Sunday, October 16, 2011

"Grab-it" Greats - Tetrazzini in Corningware

I don't make Tetrazzini very often, but for some reason, I was seriously jonesin' for it.  I suppose it was fortuitous that I had roasted chicken left over from the other night.  LOL

Contrary to it's name, Tetrazzini is not Italian.  It was invented by chef Ernest Arbogast of the Palace Hotel in San Francisco somewhere between 1908 and 1910.  The only "Italian" aspect of this dish, aside from the fact that it includes pasta, is that it was named in honor of Lucia Tetrazzini, an Italian Opera singer who was a long time resident of the hotel.

I find, since this is a baked pasta, that my 14 oz (400ml) Casserette dishes (P-14-B) make a perfect receptacle.

They are the perfect individual serving size.  As an added bonus, they have glass lids for storing.  No plastics need apply, thank you.  This means that, as a single person, I can make 4 servings and simply store 3 of them in the refrigerator or freezer until I am ready to bake them and chow down.  :)  Today though I am only making enough for 2, because I only have 6 oz of chicken. 

There are several variations on Tetrazzini.  Me?  I like to include the mushrooms, and I always go for the traditional chicken, though I have seen several recipes on the net that use Turkey. (which does sound intriguing)  I steer clear of the long noodles that seem to be the normal sauce vehicle.  I think it's kind of silly to use spaghetti or vermicelli in a baked pasta dish, it only makes it harder to serve.  Thus, flying in the face of tradition, I lean towards Torchietti, Penne or, my most favorite, Gigli.

What really sets this dish apart from being just another "Mac and Cheese" dish (with chicken & mushrooms) is the inclusion of the Almonds... Then are an absolute must.


Serves 2
A little pat of Butter to saute the mushrooms
2.5 oz (73 g) Mushrooms, sliced
1 TB Unsalted Butter
1 TB AP Flour
1 cup (236 ml) Whole Milk
1 TB Shallot, grated
1 tsp Lemon Juice
Kosher Salt
Cracked Black Pepper
1/4 tsp Smoked Paprika
1 cup (6 oz) (170g) cooked Chicken, diced
1 TB Dry Sherry (or Dry Marsala)
6 oz (170g) dry Pasta (though you need to cook it)
2 TB sliced Almonds, divided
3 oz (84 g) Parmigiano-Reggiano, divided
1/2 cup (1 oz) (28 g) Panko, divided

2 Corningware Casserettes (P-14-B) and potentially the lids (P-14-C)

First, you need to saute the Mushrooms in a little bit o' Butter.

You also need to boil your pasta in salted water....   as well as preheat the oven to 400 F (205 C) degrees.

Then, once you have removed the Mushrooms from the pan, go ahead and start your Balsamella (Béchamel) in the same pan by melting the 1 TB Butter....

add Flour and stir to combine... Continue cooking the roux until bubbly.

Add warm milk, whisking constantly to avoid lumps, and bring to a boil...

Continue cooking until thickened.

Rub the Shallot on a fine grater (or zester) and add to the sauce.

Add Lemon Juice as well, stirring until well combined.

Season with Kosher Salt, Black Pepper and Smoked Paprika.

Add 2 oz (56 g) of the Parmigiano-Reggiano and stir until melted and smooth.

Add the Mushrooms, Chicken and Dry Sherry (or dry Marsala), stirring to combine.

Add the cooked Pasta and fold it into the mix.

Divide the mix between 2 Casserette dishes. (P-14-B)

Sprinkle each dish with 1 TB of sliced Almonds

Sprinkle each portion with 1/2 oz (14 g) Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Sprinkle each dish with 1/4 cup (1/2 oz) (14 g) of Panko.

Now if you need to save one... Go ahead and lid it up, then store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, or wrap the whole thing in plastic wrap and store in the freezer for up to 1 week.

 If your eating now, like me, bake them for 15 minutes, or until everything heats through and the panko is golden brown.

Remove from the oven and dig in!!!

Ya know, I always forget how much I really like this dish... Chicken & Mushrooms glazed with a Parmigiano-Reggiano fortified Béchamel accented with a light smokiness from the Paprika brightened by the hint of lemon and the sharpness of the shallot... The crispiness of the Panko mixes well with the solid crunch of sweet Almonds...   Yeah, YUM! 

Where is your Corningware?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Fowl Weather Fare In CorningWare - Pesto Chicken Pot Pie

I promised, now that I have 4 French White Ramekins, that I would give out my Pesto Chicken Pot Pie Recipe.  Though this can be made in the Grab-it bowls (P-150-B), it seems to work better in the Ramekins (F-16-B).  I think this is because the Grab-it Bowls are 550 ml, while the French White Ramekins are 500 ml.

I will admit this recipe will sound a little daunting and it does seem like a lot to take on all at once, however, you can make the filling and the pastry ahead of time and store then in the refrigerator for 24 hours.  

This crust is slightly different than the Pâte Brisée I use for sweet pies (Apple, Lemon Meringue and Cherry).  For starters, it contains Spelt Flour...  I like Spelt in savory applications because it lends a nutty flavor like whole wheat, but without the "sweetness" whole wheat usually imparts.  The Second difference is the lack of sugar... I think that one is a given, but there is also more salt (an extra 1/2 tsp)   The third and final difference, is the amount of butter has changed.  I like more butter with my sweet pies than I do with savory pies, thus this recipe contains 4 TB (2 oz) less.

This is the perfect mean when the weather is foul...

Pesto Chicken Pot Pie

Pesto Chicken Filling:
1.25 lbs Chicken Breasts, Cubed
4 oz Celery, Chopped
4 oz Carrot, Chopped
4 oz Onion, Chopped
Olive Oil
1/2 cup AP Flour
3 1/2 cups Chicken Stock
3 TB Pesto
Kosher Salt
Cracked Black Pepper
3 oz Frozen Peas, Still frozen
Savory Pâte Brisée (see Below)
4 500ml CorningWare French White Ramekins (P-16-B)

Heat oil (about 1 TB) in a large skillet.
Add chicken and brown lightly.

Remove chicken to a bowl.

Add 1-2 TB more Olive oil then add Celery, Carrot and Onion, sauteing the Vegetables until almost tender.

Sprinkle the vegetables with 1/2 cup flour.

Stir until the vegetables are well coated and continue cooking until the flour begins to smell nutty.

Stir in the Chicken Stock and bring to a simmer for about 10 minutes. (Until the gravy begins to thicken)

Add the Chicken and continue simmering for an additional 5 minutes.

Stir in the Pesto, season with Kosher Salt and Cracked Pepper, then remove the skillet from the heat.

Allow to cool while you mix up the Pâte Brisée (Don't worry about the Peas yet)

Savory Pâte Brisée:
6 oz Unsalted butter, VERY cold, and cut into very thin slices
2 cups (8.5 oz) (240g) AP Flour
1 cup (3.5 oz) (100g) Cake Flour
1 tsp Kosher salt
Approximately 1/3 - 1/2 cup (3-4 oz) (100-125ml) very cold water

Whisk the Flours and Salt together very lightly.

Add sliced Unsalted Butter and toss briefly to coat them.

Work the butter through the flour with your finger tips, sort of rubbing the flour into the butter or use a pastry cutter.

Add the ice-cold water starting with 1/3 cup (3 oz) (100ml) and mix very fast with your hand just enough that the dough coheres.

If it does not, add more water 1 TB at a time... You want it to just barely hold together.

Wrap in plastic and chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. (Spelt is lower in gluten, so the dough does not need to relax as long as regular Pate Brisee would)

OK, Back to the Filling......
It should be cool now, so go ahead and stir in the frozen peas (this will keep them from getting too mushy when baking)

Back to the Pâte Brisée now.....
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide into 4 pieces.

Now the fun part, you are going to divide each piece into 2/3 & 1/3 pieces.  The 1/3 piece is for the top and the 2/3 piece is to line the CorningWare Ramekin.

Place all the "top" pieces back into the refrigerator and begin rolling the dough to line the ramekins.
Roll each "bottom" piece into a 10-11 inch circle.

Fit the dough down into the ramekin making sure to leave the over hang.

Once all the ramekins have been lined, fill them with the cooled filling and preheat the oven to 400 F degrees.

Now roll each of the "tops" into a 6 inch round.

Place on top and begin rolling the dough over and in...

(you want the seam inside the ramekin to ensure there is no spillage while baking)

Crimp the edges....

Cut vent holes.

Place on the bottom rack of the preheated oven and back for 35 minutes, or until the tops are nicely browned.

Remove form the oven and place on a rack, allowing to cool for about 15 minutes.

Then, my favorite part, Dig IN!!!   YUM!

The perfect meal when it's cold, wet and dreary outside.

Where is your Corningware?