Tag Archives: pot luck

Holiday Deviled Eggs

Holiday Deviled Eggs with Jalapeno and Dried  Cranberrieseggs
We have a family friend who is mad about deviled eggs but his girlfriend and the rest of the folks around are not big fans of making or eating them. I try to bring a plate of eggs to parties and potlucks when I can as a treat for him.

I made a batch recently and as I started to put them together I thought the eggs looked a bit plain and would benefit from a little accessorizing . Since much of my kitchen time has been dedicated to holiday jam making the home cupboards were bare. Rummaging around in the fridge I found one Jalapeno and from the pantry I snitched a hand full of dried cranberries. Yes, I know it sounds weird but pretty eggs now had a delicious combination of sweet, tart, spicy, salty, and creamy.

When we offered the red and green flecked eggs to our deviled egg loving pal he gave them a bit of a skeptical look but ended up ignoring the plain ones in favor of the spicy berry ones. They were a hit and we are making them for several holiday events this season.  I hope you will try our Holiday Deviled Eggs recipe!

8 large fresh eggs (hard boiled and peeled)
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tsp brown mustard
1/4 cup dried cranberries diced (plus extra for garnish)
1 large jalapeno seeded and diced (save a bit for garnish)
pinch of cayenne pepper
salt and white pepper to taste

Split the hard boiled and peeled eggs lengthwise
Scoop out the yolks and mix the yolks with mayonnaise and mustard
Season with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper
Stir in cranberries and jalapeno
Scoop the yolks back into the whites
Garnish with more cranberries and jalapeno bits





Perfect Night for Pie

chicken pieChicken pot pie is one of the most cozy meals I can imagine. Flaky crust sheltering tender bits of chicken and vegetables all gathered together with a light gravy.  When I was a kid my Mom would buy the little frozen chicken pies and stow them in the freezer as a treat for me.  While it is nice to have a meal that is just heat and eat,  part of the comfort for me now is the slow process of making a savory pie.

Today I woke to cold, wind-whipped rain slamming against the bedroom windows. Despite the downpour, I ran way too many errands getting soaked in the process.  After a trip to two banks, the dry cleaners, and delivering jam to several stores;  I stopped into Whole Foods and they had chicken parts on sale.  I already had some root vegetables from the winter farmers market and I decided it was the perfect time for staying home the rest of the day and making pie.

Here is my Chicken Pot Pie recipe which yields extra stock and extra chicken for another recipe.  Stay at home days don’t come often for me so later in the week I can use the chicken for chicken tacos and the stock to start a quick soup.

8-10 cups of water
1 whole chicken breast and 2 chicken thighs (both bone-in) chicken stock
4-5 carrots
2 parsnips
1 small turnip
1 onion
1 tablespoon coriander seed
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon kosher salt
a few springs of rosemary, parsley, and thyme

Peel onion, carrots, parsnips, turnip and cut into large chunks
Split chicken breast in half
Place all ingredients in a large stock pot and bring to a boil
Simmer for an hour or until chicken is tender
Strain stock and let chicken and vegetables cool slightly
Separate the chicken meat from the bones
Slice the carrots, parsnips, and turnip into bite-sized pieces
Reserve about 4 cups of stock and 3 cups of chicken and the vegetables for the pie filling.  Store the rest of the chicken and stock for another meal.

Pie Crust
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cold butter cut in about teaspoon sized pieces chicken pie sliced
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
6 tablespoons cold water
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix flour, salt, and baking powder in food processor or mixer bowl
Add shortening and butter and mix until pea sized crumbs form
Pour in cold water and mix just until the dough comes together.
Gather dough in a ball and wrap in plastic wrap.
Chill for 30 minutes or up to overnight

Pie Filling
3-4 cup chicken
1 small onionchicken pie filling
1 cup sliced mushrooms
4 cups of stock
1/4 cup cream
2/3 cup frozen peas
carrots and parsnips from stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon instant flour such as Wondra

Slice the onion and cut slices in half
Heat olive oil in a large frying pan and saute onions and mushroom until onions are just translucent
Add stock and simmer until reduced by about one-third
Add carrots, parsnips, turnip, and chicken
Add instant flour and cook until very thick
Add frozen peas and cream and set aside to cool slightly

Making the Pie
Prepared and chilled pie dough
Prepared pie filling
1 egg yolk plus 2 tablespoons of water for egg wash
9″ deep dish pie pan

Heat oven to 375 degrees
Divide the pie dough in half
Roll half of the dough to about 1/4″ thick 12″ circle and place in the pie pan, pressing gently into the pan and leaving edges overhanging
Pour filling into the pan
Roll remaining dough to 1/4″ thick circle and cover the filling in the pie pan
Cut off any extra dough and crimp the edges by using a pie crimper or pressing between thumb and forefinger all around the edge
Cut a few slits for steam to escape during baking
Brush top with egg wash
(optional) use the leftover dough to make decorations using a cookie cutter and attach using a bit of the egg wash
Bake for 1 hour until nicely brown and cooked through

Corn and Caramelized Onion Soup

Corn Caramelized Onion SoupTwo simple ingredients plus a handful of spices are all that are need to make this creamy non-fat,vegan corn and caramelized onion soup.  Perfect for a dinner party starter, travels well to pot luck parties, and freezes well for a quick weekday supper paired with a big salad and crusty bread. Grab the last of the fresh New England corn and a few onions at the farmers market this week and make this soup!

Corn and Caramelized Onion Soup
12 fresh ears of corn
2 large onions
cooking spray or 1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 bay leaf

Corn Stockcorn stock
Remove husks and silk from corn
Slice the kernels off of the cobs and place the cobs in a large kettle
Reserve 6 cups of corn kernels for soup and 1 cup of kernels for garnish (skip garnish if freezing)
Pour 16 cups of water over the cobs and add salt, pepper, coriander seeds, and bay leaf.
Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer and cook for about one hour
Remove cobs and discard (compost if possible)
Strain through a sieve

Caramelized Onionscaramelized onions cooking
Slice the onions as thin as possible
Coat the bottom of a large skillet generously with cooking spray or olive oil
spread the onions out in the pan and toss to coat with spray or oil
cook over medium low heat adding a little water if needed and adjusting the heat so onions cook slowly and do not brown or crisp.  Cook for about 30 minutes until onions are very soft, add sugar and cook another 10-15 minutes until onions are soft brown color and very tender.

Place 6 cups of corn kernels in food processor or blender
Add 1 cup of the caramelized onions
1 cup of corn stock
Process until a thick paste
Strain through a coarse sieve to remove solids
Pour into a large pot and heat for a few minutes
Slowly pour in 6 cups of stock and stir (remaining stock can be frozen and used for other recipes)
Boil gently for about 10 minutes
Place some corn kernels and caramelized onions in each bowl
ladle hot soup into each bowl

An Evening of American Food and Song

On Wednesday night we threw a party that combined my love of food and food history with my husband’s love of music and singing.  We invited a group of my fellow food blogger friends and the members of the Sounds of Concord Barbershop Chorus (where Mark sings Bass) to an Evening of American Food and Song.  

The foodies selected and prepared dishes that reflected their vision of the  American spirit and the Barbershop guys sang their hearts out for us including a rousing version of the Star Spangled Banner .  Despite the showers we gathered in the house for cocktails and dinner but when the rain let up the boys filed out to the patio to fill the summer night with their harmonies. 

It was a magical evening of friendship, fun, and fantastic food.  I will try to give you a flavor of some of the festivities and dishes but honestly I was having too good a time schmoozing and listening to the music to snap a ton of pictures.  I think we may just have to make this an annual event!

 Some of the dishes we made and our clever and talented friends brought included:

Ham Fancies, Homemade Pimento Cheese,  Daisy Sandwiches, Picnic Pickles
I adapted these appetizers from the 1917 American cookbook, “1000 Ways to Please A Husband”  Mark was not convinced that cutting pimento sandwiches into cute little shapes is the way to a man’s heart but he did enjoy the homemade picnic pickles

Red, White, & Blue Grass-Fed Beef Sliders
Jon Ross-Wiley from www.localinseason.com grilled up baby burgers topped with blue cheese and tomatoes that were delicious and fit the theme perfectly.  He shared with me that our friends at CityFeed in JP donated ingredients when they heard about our party.  Thanks guys!!

Summer Succatash

Anita Freed made as American a dish as you can get featuring foods that reminded her of pre-Colonial Thanksgiving feasts.  In more modern times, ingredients arrive in a CSA box. You can get the recipe for this tasty dish and other local food recipes from her blog, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Swiss Chard

Wild Rice Salad
Lara Zelman, a.k.a Good Cook Doris also brought us a dish filled with native foods and Colonial transplants from the earliest days of our nation.  Wild rice and cranberries already grew here and parsley and celery (often Lovage or cutting celery)  were frequently grown in Colonial gardens.  This dish was delightfully cool and light; perfect for a hot summer night.

Sue McCrory who brings us many delicious stories and events in the Public Radio Kitchen brought her family’s favorite baked beans.  “Pat Riley’s (Vegetarian) Baked Beans”  were so rich and full of baked in sweetness that I just wanted to heap them on a plate with a chunk of cornbread and eat huddled in a corner, growling like a hound if anyone came near.  Luckily, she made a huge pot so there was plenty to share.

Another hearty dish was brought by Mike and Laura Angotti.  I am not typically a huge chili fan, but this cowboy style recipe full of meat and beans in a thick flavorful sauce won me over.  They also supplied blue corn chips and shredded cheese to finish it off right.

 Corn and blueberries, as native American foods, played a big part in the menu and were featured in a corn casserole from Brian (a Barbershopper), a blueberry/strawberry cornbread, and some petite blueberry muffins bursting with berries made by Margie Gordon Hurwitz.  The muffins came nestled in linens in a vintage  basket with a little tag that read “House of Hurwitz”.

Blueberries were also used in a drink we called a Yankee Doodle, which contained gin, homemade blueberry syrup, tonic water, and a squeeze of lime. There were homemade maraschino cherries and blueberries to add that packed a punch!  The other drink pictured was a moscato based sangria with summer fruits.   Of course we also enjoyed a selection of good old American beers.

Alan Bone, another of the Barbershop singers, brought a Southern Macaroni Pie and brought home an empty dish-yum! 


Mark insisted that an Americana party had to have a watermelon basket and so he carved up this number just shortly before the party began.  It was filled with melon and berries and went well with the fresh cherries one of the guests brought.

There was also more fruit for dessert in the luscious blueberry cobbler made by Laura and Rob Ciampa who mostly blog about great restaurants and travel in New England but clearly some terrific things come out their own kitchen!  There was a blueberry pie from the charming Noj and Lily Zachariah as well of some fine singing from Noj. 

And I made some fruit tarts if only to justify owning 19 tart pans. Blueberry with cornmeal crust, sour cherry with almond crust, and peach spice with shortbread crust.

And throughout the evening lots of singing and chatting and smiles:

Click here  for more pictures!

Sounds of Concord is always looking for men who like to sing to join them.  Check the website for details and rehersal times.