Posts Tagged 'butter'

Cheddar-Pecan Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole

Cheddar-Pecan Green Bean Casserole

Green bean casserole is an iconic dish that most Americans expect on their Thanksgiving holiday table. Originally made with canned green beans and condensed cream of mushroom soup, I took the basic elements of this classic dish and gave it a fresher, modern spin.

First, I substituted tender haricots verts for the canned green beans.

What are haricots verts? Quite simply, they are very small and slender French green beans. (Haricot verts is French for green beans.) They tend to be more tender and flavorful than the thicker American green beans. Most markets now carry them both fresh and frozen.

Next, instead of using canned soup as my sauce, I made a quick cream sauce and flavored it with some shredded sharp white cheddar cheese. (Isn’t everything made better with cheese?!)

Lastly, I tossed chopped pecans and panko bread crumbs with the classic French fried onions for a crunchy topping that makes the dish in my opinion.

This homemade version of the classic canned soup green bean dish is sure to become a favorite at your house. The haricots verts, pecans, and the touch of sharp cheddar in the sauce elevate this dish to new heights. It’s so good you’ll serve it year round!

Cheddar-Pecan Green Bean Casserole

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra to grease the baking dish
1 1/2 pounds fresh or frozen haricots verts, trimmed
8 oz. button mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoons freshly ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup chicken stock
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup French fried onions
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 395 degrees. Lightly grease a 9- x 13-inch casserole dish with butter and set aside.

Over high heat, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the beans and cook until just tender, about 2 minutes. Drain and immediately plunge the beans into a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain again and set aside.

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to give up some of their liquid, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and nutmeg and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms and stir to combine. Slowly stir in the broth and heavy cream. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the shredded cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the green beans and stir until well coated. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan.

In a medium mixing bowl toss together the French fried onions, bread crumbs, and pecans. In a small saucepan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Stir the melted butter into the onion mixture. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the green beans. Transfer to the oven and bake until golden and bubbly, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Excepted from “Simply Suppers” by Jennifer Chandler.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Croque Monsieur

Croque mr

Croque Monsieur

I had my first Croque Monsieur when I lived in France during culinary school. To this day it has remained my favorite sandwich.

Basically, a Croque Monsieur is a grilled ham and cheese sandwich. But the French have elevated what would be a simple sandwich into a work of art! A classic ham and cheese is slathered with a béchamel sauce to make it even more indulgent.

The key to a good Croque Monsieur is the ingredients. Since the ingredients are few, you need to use good ones. Traditionally, a nutty Gruyère or Swiss Emmental cheese is used. Most markets carry these cheeses, but in a pinch, a good Swiss cheese could be substituted. As for the ham, this sandwich is a wonderful way to use up the leftovers from your Christmas baked ham.

The béchamel sauce is what makes this sandwich. Considered a “mother” sauce in French cuisine, a béchamel is very simple to prepare. Butter and flour are cooked together over low heat before milk and cheese are added to make this traditional cheese sauce. Thanks to the cheesy goodness that the sauce adds, it really is a knife-and-fork kind of sandwich.

This classic French treat is perfect for supper, lunch or a weekend brunch. They are so rich, serve them simply with a salad or soup. However you choose to serve them, I bet they will become your family’s favorite ham-and-cheese sandwich too.

Croque Monsieur

Serves 4

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 1/2 cups grated Gruyere cheese, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 slices white sandwich bread, lightly toasted
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 pound baked ham, thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. When the butter starts to foam, add the flour. Cook, whisking until thickened, about 1 minute. While continuing to whisk, gradually add the milk. Cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thickened, about 2 to 4 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and add the nutmeg, Parmesan, and 1/4 cup of the Gruyere. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

To assemble the sandwiches, place 4 slices of the toasted bread on a baking sheet. Lightly brush each of the slices with 1 tablespoon of mustard. Top each with 1/4 of the ham and 1/8 of the remaining Gruyere (about 1/4 cup). Top each with one of the remaining toasted bread slices. Pour the cheese sauce evenly over the tops of the sandwiches and sprinkle each with 1/4 of the remaining Gruyere. Transfer to the oven and bake until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil until the topping is bubbly and lightly browned about 3 to 5 minutes. Serve hot.

Variation: Feeling indulgent? Top your Croque Monsieur with a fried egg and you will be enjoying a treat the French call a Croque Madame.

From Simply Suppers by Jennifer Chandler.

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie

Nothing says comfort food like chicken pot pie. Chicken and vegetables in a rich and creamy sauce topped off with a flaky crust makes for a satisfying one-dish meal.

If you thought frozen pot pies were good, you need to try making a homemade one. It’s surprisingly easy to make a pot pie from scratch and I can guarantee it will be infinitely better than any store-bought version.

It’s the savory sauce that makes the big difference. This version uses simple ingredients – butter, flour, chicken stock, and cream – to create a sublime filling. I use poultry seasoning to impart flavor to the dish. If you don’t have this aromatic seasoning blend in your pantry, you can make your own by grinding together 1tablespoon each of dried rosemary, dried sage, dried thyme, and dried marjoram in a spice grinder or mini food processor. Or you can simply season your pot pie filling with a pinch of the aforementioned herbs.

Once the sauce is made, you can add chicken and your favorite vegetables. This version uses traditional ingredients like carrots, potatoes, and peas. Roasted root vegetables like parsnips and turnips are also delicious in a pot pie.

If you are short on time, you can pick up a rotisserie chicken at your local grocery store for this recipe instead of baking your own chicken. This short-cut can save you about 30 minutes in your prep time.

Once the filling is complete, top the pie with a pie dough and bake until heated through with a flaky pie crust.

Besides being delicious, another wonderful thing about pot pies is that they can be made a day in advance. If doing so, either top with the pie crust just before baking or make sure the pie filling is completely cooled before topping with the uncooked pie crust. You can also freeze the unbaked pot pie to bake on a busy day.

Enjoy!

Chicken Pot Pie

3 split chicken breasts, bone in, skin on (about 2 1/2 pounds)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cups water
1 cup peeled and finely slices carrots (about 4 carrots)
1 cup peeled and diced white potatoes (about 1 large potato)
1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion (1 small onion)
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out the dough
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
2 unbaked pie crusts (9-inch), homemade or store-bought
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the chicken with the olive oil and generously season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast until cooked through, about 35 to 40 minutes. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove and discard the bones and the skin. Cut the chicken meat into large dice. (You should have about 3 to 4 cups of chicken.)

While the chicken is roasting, in a medium saucepan over high heat, bring the water to boil. Add the carrots, potato, onion, and peas and cook until crisp-tender, about 8 minutes. Drain well and set aside.

Raise the oven temperature to 395 degrees.

In another large pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk until the mixture is golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Whisk in the chicken stock and cream. Add the poultry seasoning and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring often, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken, carrots, potato, onion, and peas. Stir to combine. Adjust the seasonings as necessary.

Pour the filling into a 9- x 13-inch baking dish. On a lightly floured surface, place the two pie crusts on top of each other. Roll the dough until it is big enough to cover the baking dish. Place the pie crust over the top. Flute the edges, if desired, and cut slits in the top for steam to escape. Brush the crust with the beaten egg. In case of overflow, place the baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, about 35 to 45 minutes.
Serves 8.

Cooking Tip: Sometimes I top the filling with biscuits rather than the pie crust. For a short cut, you can use canned biscuits, but I prefer homemade. Just add the biscuits 15 minutes into the cooking time to prevent burning.

From Simply Suppers by Jennifer Chandler

Potato Chip Cookies

potato chip cookies0934

Potato Chip Cookies 

Who doesn’t love potato chips? They give these buttery cookies from the kitchen of my talented friend Nancy Kistler a delicious salty crispness. Bet they become your favorite way to use up all those crumbs at the bottom of the potato chip bag! Thanks Nancy for sharing your recipe!

Potato Chip Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cups crushed potato chips (classic style)
1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the flour and mix until well blended. Stir in the vanilla and chips.

Drop rounded tablespoons of the dough, spaced about 2 inches apart, onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake until lightly browned around the edges, about 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Place the powdered sugar in a shallow bowl and roll the cookies in the sugar to lightly coat. Store at room temperature, with waxed paper between the layers, in an airtight container.

Makes about 30 cookies.

Cooking Tip: Do not refrigerate or freeze the unbaked dough as the potato chips will become soggy.

From The Southern Pantry Cookbook by Jennifer Chandler.

Photo by the talented Justin Fox Burks. Food styling by Jennifer Chandler.

Roasted Winter Squash Soup

Squash Soup

Roasted Winter Squash Soup

If you are a fan of acorn and butternut squashes, now is the time to enjoy these hearty cooler weather vegetables. This winter vegetable first started appearing in our local farmers markets in late September and will continue to be in season throughout the winter.

This smooth and creamy soup is one of my favorite ways to enjoy winter squashes. It is a lovely soup that warms the heart and features some of Autumn’s best flavors. And as an added bonus, it is possibly one of the easiest soups to make. Simply roast the squash until cooked, transfer it to a pot, add chicken stock, and then puree.

Roasting the squash with onions and carrots adds a sweet, caramelized dimension to the flavor of the soup. Also, since you are roasting the squash, you don’t have to worry about trying to peel that tough outer layer. Once cooked, the flesh of the squash is easily scooped out.

This soup is also perfect as first course for a holiday meal. Since the squash roasts in the oven, your stove-top is free to cook other dishes for the meal. You could even make it a day ahead if you like.

Deceptively rich, this soup has no cream added. The richness of the butternut and acorn squashes takes center stage in a soup that will your family and guests alike thankful they are at your table.

Enjoy!

Roasted Winter Squash Soup

1 acorn squash (about 1 to 2 pounds)
1 butternut squash (about 2 pounds)
6 tbsp. unsalted butter
6 tsp. brown sugar
2 carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
6 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Crème fraiche or sour cream, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cut each squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out and discard the seeds. Cut the butternut squash in pieces approximately the same size as the acorn squash.

Place the squash halves, skin side down, in a roasting pan. Place 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 teaspoon of brown sugar in the cavity of each squash as well as on top of the butternut squash pieces. Scatter the carrots and onions evenly around the squash. Pour 2 cups of chicken stock into the pan, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and roast until the squash are tender when pierced by a knife, about 1 1/2 hours.

Remove the pan from the oven and allow the vegetables to cool slightly. Scoop the squash from the skins and place in a large soup pot. Discard the skins. Add the carrots, onions, and cooking liquid. Then add the remaining 4 cups of chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir well and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

Puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender or in batches in a food processor or blender. If using a food processor or blender, return the soup to the pot. Adjust the seasonings as needed and heat through over medium-low heat. Serve warm garnished with a dollop of crème fraiche or sour cream if desired.

Serves 6.

Cooking Tip: If you prefer a thinner soup, simply add more chicken stock.

Freeze well.

Previously published in The Memphis Commercial Appeal.

 

 

 

Banana Pudding Pie

Banana Pudding Pie

Banana Pudding Pie

As all good true Southerners, I love pie and banana pudding!

I came up with this yummy dessert to marry together two of my favorite sweet treats into one perfect concoction!

Think you’ll agree … it’s a marriage made in Heaven!

Enjoy!

Banana Pudding Pie

For the crust:
2 cups vanilla wafer cookies, plus extra for the pie garnish
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature 

For the filling:
2 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick

For the whipped cream topping:
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
1/4 cup granulated or powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

To make the crust: In a food processor, finely grind the cookies. Add the sugar and pulse until combined. Slowly add the butter and pulse until well incorporated and forms moist clumps. Transfer to a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the crust evenly into the bottom and up the side. Bake until set, about 8 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.

To make the filling: In a medium saucepan, combine the heavy cream, cornstarch, salt, egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla. Over medium heat, cook, whisking continuously, until the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer a large mixing bowl. Transfer to the refrigerator and cool completely, about 1 hour.

Spoon 1/2 of the cooled pudding evenly over the bottom of the crust. Create a layer of banana slices, reserving some for garnish. Spoon the remaining pudding evenly over the bananas. Place the pie in the refrigerator to set while making the whipped cream topping.

To make the topping: In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the cream, sugar, and vanilla until soft peaks form. Spoon or use a pastry bag to pipe the whipped cream evenly over the pie filling. Chill the pie until set, at least 4 hours. Before serving, garnish with the remaining banana slices and extra vanilla wafer cookies.

Serves 8.

Do-Ahead: You can make and refrigerate this crust and the pie filling the day before. Add the whipped cream and garnishes the day of.

Recipe from Simply Suppers by Jennifer Chandler.

 

Grilled Corn and Green Bean Salad

Grilled Corn and Green Bean Salad_0921

 

Grilled Corn and Green Bean Salad 

This easy summer side dish is a great addition to any backyard barbecue. I like to make this colorful and chilled side dish ahead of time so I am free to enjoy time with my guests.

Enjoy!

Grilled Corn and Green Bean Salad

Vegetable oil, for the grates
4 large ears corn, shucked
2 tablespoons butter, softened
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound green beans, trimmed, boiled until crisp-tender, and cooled
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion (1/2 small onion)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese

Preheat a clean grill to medium-high with the lid closed for 8 to 10 minutes. Lightly brush the grates with oil.

Brush the corn with the butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Place the corn on the grill. Close the lid and cook the corn, turning occasionally, until just tender and slightly charred on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes total. Transfer the corn to a cutting board to cool.

When the corn is cool enough to handle, use a sharp knife to carefully slice the kernels off the cob; discard the cob. Place the kernels in a large bowl. Add the beans, tomatoes, and onion.

In a small bowl whisk together the mustard, vinegar, and oil until well combined. Add the dressing to the vegetables and toss to coat. Add the goat cheese and toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4 to 6.

Cooking Tip: Blanching is a culinary term for cooking a vegetable until it is just crisp-tender. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the vegetable and cook until vibrant green and crisp-tender, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process.

Do-Ahead: The vegetables and dressing can be prepped the night before. Toss all the ingredients together before serving.

Variation: Feta cheese would be a delicious substitute for the goat cheese in this salad.

From Simply Grilling by Jennifer Chandler

Food Styling by Jennifer Chandler

Photo by Justin Fox Burks

 


Jennifer Chandler

Search Recipes by Category

Learn more with the Simply Grilling cookbook

Learn more with the Simply Salads cookbook

Follow me!

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 156 other followers

Twitter Updates