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raspberry and aperol floats
the slideshow at the bottom of this article
and this backyard
For me, there’s something about
the perfect golden of pan-fried chicken.
Something about the crisp of the skin
and tender dark meat that makes up the leg.
Something about the way it glistens when it’s just done.
And there’s something about a chicken pot pie too.
And so when I asked Alice to take part in my
for the love of pie series
and she and Maria set on the path
to make just that, I was instantly smitten.
I love how it turned out.
Like so many of the photos Alice takes these days,
and as I’m learning, much of Maria’s food,
I wish I were in the room when it was happening.
And with that, I give you FOR THE LOVE OF PIE — a series that celebrates the simple things,
With Alice Gao + María del Mar Sacasa and their Chicken Pot Pie with Cheddar Biscuit Topping.
Alice Gao and María del Mar Sacasa
Chicken Pot Pie with Cheddar Biscuit Topping
New York, NY
My earliest memories of chicken pot pie are from the frozen aisle at the supermarket. For me, they were always a huge treat because our normal dinner fare was Chinese food. I still consider them an indulgent treat nowadays. Maria’s version with a biscuit top makes them feel more accessible.
My mother makes the most luscious chicken pot pie: a double, flaky, cream cheese-laced crust with a velvet cream sauced filling full of poached chicken, mushrooms, carrots, and her special “sazón,” as we say – a gift for cooking deliciously. The pie was made mostly on special occasions, and leftovers were often fought over. For many years, I made that very same pot pie, but as I became a more confident cook, I started changing things here and there, making a version of the dish that I hope will be as beloved as my mother’s. This recipe is constantly in flux. While I most commonly make this pie during the cold months for its hearty nature, I do like to root around farmers’ markets and use whatever I find there to make a year-round dish—we need a hearty, comforting meal, regardless of the weather, no? This version contains ramps, those ephemeral gifts of spring, as well as emerald green fresh peas. For a more rustic backbone, the chicken is browned in a skillet, and the vegetables sautéed in the same pan to make sure all the brown bits rendered are not wasted. The topping is cheddar biscuits, that are perfect for sopping up the sauce.
BEST SERVED WITH:
A herb salad and a chilled glass of white wine.
ONE OR TWO THINGS:
The cool side of a pillow in summer.
I love the smell of a new book and of an old one.
A long lunch that stretches out into dinner.
The sound of wind in palm trees.
Ramps are wild onions available briefly during the spring. The small bulbs have slender pink stalks fade into green at the top. Their flavour is unmistakably sharp. Green garlic is garlic that has been harvested young, prior to the cloves maturing. It is similar in appearance to scallions, but has much more assertive flavour. Should you not be able to find ramps or green garlic, substitute with 3 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped. Using warm milk will help it incorporate into the butter and flour mixture (roux) more easily. For easy assembly, prepare the biscuit dough up to 1 day in advance and store it, tightly wrapped in plastic, in refrigerator. When chicken filling is about 15 minutes away from being done, bake the biscuits. Serves 6.
CHICKEN POT PIE with CHEDDAR BISCUIT TOP (María del Mar Sacasa)
For the Filling
- 1 (4-pound) chicken, cut into 4 pieces, or 4 pounds chicken parts
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 8 ounces small red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into ½-inch cubes
- 8 ounces small carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 10 tablespoons (5 ounces) unsalted butter
- 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, tops thinly sliced
- 8 ramps or green garlic, chopped (see notes)
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 cup fresh or frozen green peas
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk, warm (see notes)
For the Biscuit Topping
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting counter
- 4 ounces grated sharp white cheddar cheese
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 ounces unsalted butter, cut into thin slices and chilled
- ¾ cup buttermilk, chilled
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- For the Filling:
- Heat oil in large (12-inch) skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Pat chicken pieces down with paper towels and season with salt and pepper, rubbing some of the seasoning under the skin. Cook the chicken pieces, skin-side down, until skin is crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Turn the chicken pieces, reduce heat to medium and cook until chicken registers 155°F on an instant-read thermometer, 8 to 10 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to a large plate and allow to rest until cool to the touch. Meanwhile, place potatoes and 1 teaspoon salt in small saucepan and add enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until potatoes are fork-tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain potatoes and reserve.
- Bring fresh water to boil over medium-high heat in now empty saucepan. Add carrots and 2 teaspoons salt and simmer over medium heat until crisp-tender, about 8 minutes. Drain carrots and reserve. Remove and reserve the chicken skins. Shred the chicken into bite size pieces and discard the bones. Reserve in large bowl. Discard all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet. Add 2 tablespoons butter to skillet and melt over medium-high heat. Cook mushrooms, ramps, and shallots until mushrooms are golden, about 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and stir in thyme and rosemary. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer mixture to bowl with chicken.
- Melt additional 2 tablespoons butter in now empty skillet and cook potatoes and carrots until golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer to bowl with chicken. Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter in now empty skillet over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook, stirring, until pale golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly and steadily, whisk in the warm milk. Continue to whisk until mixture is smooth and slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the reserved chicken mixture and peas, making sure everything is coated with sauce. If the sauce seems a bit thick, add a little more milk. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook just until heated through.
- For the Biscuits:
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 425°F. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine flour, cheese, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in large bowl. Using two dinner knives tips of forefinger and thumb to work the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the buttermilk and stir with sturdy rubber spatula or wooden spoon just until combined. If mixture looks very dry, add more buttermilk, 2 teaspoons at a time.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead just until it comes together, no more than 6 to 8 times. Press the dough into a 3/4-inch thick disc. Use a 2 to 3-inch floured biscuit cutter to stamp out biscuits and arrange them on the prepared baking sheet. Whisk yolk and cream together in small bowl and brush over tops of biscuits. Bake until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and immediately arrange biscuits on top of pot pie. Serve immediately.
Photos: Alice Gao Food: María del Mar Sacasa
Rhubarb first arrives from greenhouses here.
The leaves are an awkward yellow
and the stems are a thin,
It’s too cold to be grown outside then,
but even still it brings with it
the feeling of spring.
In Chez Panisse Fruit,
Alice Waters writes that,
rhubarb is the vegtable bridge between tree fruits of winter and summer,
and I’ve always liked that.
I love the idea that it’s a vegetable
that carries us
to the glory of spring.
We made rhubarb the topic of our day a couple months ago now.
It was once winter had ended
but spring had yet to really begin.
When the days were still short, but starting to get longer.
When the winter light still lingered
but the bright of spring was just peeking in.
When I was longing to throw away my woollen socks.
See you soon.
PS: This tart is a bit of a doozy by way of steps, but it’s worth it. It’s not hard perse, just a little labour intense. You can make the dough and the rhubarb a day ahead, you could even bake the crust a day ahead if you wanted, just be sure to store it in a airtight container. The crust is a traditional Pâte Sucrée from Michel Roux, the Panna Cotta is from David Lebowitz and the rhubarb is a slight adaptation from MSL. And you can find a rectangle tart pan here. Please also note, you will likely find you have leftovers of each component of this recipe. The rhubarb if there is any left, is great for snacking on, but won’t keep well for more than a day or so. The remaining tart dough can be well wrapped and stored in the refrigerator for up to a week (it freezes well too). And the panna cotta should be set in a small ramekin or dish and served within a couple days.
this bakery in montreal
these violet caramels are delicious, find them here
the feeling of summer
this beach towel (via)
photos: michael graydon + nikole herriott
panna cotta + rhubarb tart
Pâte Sucrée (michel roux)
- 250 gr (1 3/4 cup) all purpose flour
- 100 gr unsalted butter, cubed & slightly softened
- 100 gr confectioners' sugar, sifted
- pinch of salt
- 2 medium eggs, at room temperature
- 1 egg white, whisked
Panna Cotta (david lebowitz)
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped
- 250mL 10% cream
- 750mL 35% cream
- 25 gram sheet gelatin
Vanilla Bean Rhubarb (slightly adapted from MSL)
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup brandy
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped
- 1 1/2 pounds rhubarb, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- juice of half a lemon
- CRUST: Place the flour in a mound on the counter, make a well and place the butter, confectioners' sugar and salt inside and mix together. Gradually draw the flour into the centre and mix with the fingertips, until the dough becomes grainy. Again, make a well and then add the eggs. Use your fingertips to bring the dough together. When it is well amalgamated, knead it a few times with the palm of your hand until smooth. Roll the dough into a ball, wrap with plastic wrap, and rest in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours or overnight.
- TO MAKE SHELL: Roll dough to approximately 3mm (1/4 inch) thick and line a 13 3/4" x 4 1/2" rectangular tart pan. Cut off excess and save for another use. Chill for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Prick the base lightly and bake blind, parchment lined with beans or weights for 20-30 minutes or lightly golden. Remove paper and beans and bake until crust looks dry to the touch and is an even light golden. Remove from oven, brush with egg white and return to the oven until it is just dry. Let cool completely.
- RHUBARB: Bring granulated sugar and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cook, undisturbed, until light amber. Remove from heat; add 3/4 cup brandy, scraped contents of vanilla bean, and salt. Return mixture to a boil for 1 minute, then stir in rhubarb. Remove pan from heat, cover, and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and remaining 1/4 cup brandy, re-cover, and let stand for 20 minutes more. Refrigerate until cold, about 4 hours or overnight. Strain and set aside. (The strained liquid can be spooned over each slice as is or reduced and poured over the entire tart, though neither is necessary.)
- PANNA COTTA: Warm the cream over medium heat with the contents of the vanilla bean until steaming. Remove from heat, cover and let steep overnight (optional). Strain cream and heat with the sugar on medium high until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Soften 25g (approximately six sheets) in a liter of cold water for 5 to 10 minutes. Wring the sheets out and stir them into the warm panna cotta mixture in until dissolved. Let cool slightly then pour carefully into prepared crust. I like to place crust on a parchment lined pan in the refrigerator before pouring in the panna cotta, this makes it so you don't have to transfer it after the shell is filled. It should take 2-4 hours to set, depending on your refrigerator. For the crust to remain crispy the tart should be served the day it is made. It will keep in the refrigerator covered for a few days but the crust will soften. Arrange strained rhubarb evenly atop the panna cotta and serve immediately.
I like how wood grains vary.
How when placed beside one other,
they’re so different.
How you can see the type of tree,
and in some cases
where it might have grown.
How now and again you can even tell if it grew straight to the sky
or shifted with the sun.
And I especially like how before we use it,
it already has a story.
this kind of cooking
this little lathe
new press just in time for father’s day
plus, handled & detailed pins are back in stock
and these bowls still make me melt
photos: michael graydon + nikole herriott
If you’re anything like me,
you’ve dreamt you dream of packing up
and moving to the French countryside.
Dream about the markets,
and the boulangeries.
About the kitchens,
and the copper pots.
If you’re anything like Mimi Thorisson,
the talent behind Manger
you’ve done exactly that.
I love her site for a bunch of reasons.
But mostly because it reminds me
that childhood dreams
can do come true,
that there’s magic in the details
and that doing what you love,
with who you love
leads to great things.
FOR THE LOVE OF PIE — a series that celebrates the simple things.
Today, Mimi Thorisson and her Potato Pie with Comté Cheese and Lardons.
Potato Pie with Comté Cheese and Lardons
When I was 19, I often went on Saturdays to a small ‘salon de thé’ near the Bon Marché store in Paris with my mother. After a little shopping session, we always looked forward to a casual meal there – potato pie with salad. Ever since it closed down, I’ve thought fondly of that delicious potato pie, so I recreated it. It has become a family favourite, and for some reason I only make it on a Saturdays.
BEST SERVED WITH:
A mâche salad, for a late lunch on a Saturday!
ONE OR TWO THINGS:
I was an only child with a dream – to have a great big family with lots of dogs. I love adventure, taking chances and cooking huge meals for family and friends.
Potato Pie with Comté and Lardons
For the pastry:
- 500 g/ 4 cups plain flour
- 250 g/ 1 cup unsalted butter (cubed & at room temperature)
- 2 eggs
- 3-4 tbsp water
- 1 & ½ tsp salt
For the filling:
- 900 g/ 2 pounds potatoes, peeled and sliced into fine rondelles
- 120 g/ ¼ pound lardons/ bacon, sliced into small sticks
- 190g/ 2 cups Comté cheese, sliced (or any of your favorite cheese)
- 2 onions, finely sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
- 30 g/ 2 tbsp butter, cut into small pieces
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ½ tsp fresh thyme
- 2-3 tsp olive oil
- Sea salt and black pepper, for seasoning
For the eggwash:
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp milk
For the dough:
- Mix all the ingredients together, start kneading until you get a soft dough. Make into a ball, cover with cling film and store in the refrigerator for 2 hours (for best results, leave to rest overnight).
For the filling:
- In a skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil and fry the bacon. Set aside. In the same pan, add one or two teaspoon of olive oil, fry the onion until golden and season with salt and pepper. Add the garlic towards the end. Set aside and leave to cool for 5 minutes. Peel and slice the potatoes.
For the crust:
On a clean surface covered with parchment paper, add a dash of flour and roll out 2 pastry disk to fit your pie dish. Line the pie dish with the first disc, leaving 2 cm overhang. Place a layer of potatoes, onion/garlic, bacon and cheese. Sprinkle nutmeg and thyme all over. Scatter bits of butter and finish with a layer of potatoes. Season with sea-salt and pepper. Brush the edge of the base pastry with water and cover with your second pastry disc. Seal together by pressing firmly on the side of the dish with your thumbs. Cut off excess pastry dough and re-roll to create 5-7 leaves to decorate the pie (see photo). Brush pie with egg wash. Prick a small hole in the center of the pie.
Bake in a preheated oven 210°C/ 410 F for 40-45 minutes. Cover with parchment paper if pie browns too much.
A few weeks ago two very large boxes
arrived at my studio door.
I’d be expecting them
but their contents
were even better
than I’d imagined.
A while earlier the talented
Sue Paraskeva agreed to
make a round of bowls for HG (!!)
and so both bubble-wrapped boxes
were filled with those.
Each bowl is perfectly askew
and the loveliest blue grey.
They’re made from a mixture of stoneware
and porcelain which makes for
a beautiful beige dappling
and a slight sandy undertone.
Available in both small and medium
each is one of kind.
we’ve been filling them
with an easy spring broth.
Fish or chicken stock,
and purple-shelled clams.
They’re perfect for that,
but I think
they’d be beautiful
with a couple scoops of
pastel-coloured summer ice cream as well.
Hope things are swell.
I’ll be back with those new pies soon.
photos: michael graydon + nikole herriott
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