HELPING FAMILY FARMS FLOURISH. HELPING FEED THE HUNGRY.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Carla Hall's Spiced Lamb and Potato Pie

        

Who can forget Carla Hall? Twice a contestant on Top Chef, she was voted “Fan Favorite” her second time around, which is equivalent to being named “Miss Congeniality” in the old Miss America days.  She was lots of fun to watch and never an unkind word came out of her mouth, a trait sadly missing from Top Chefs most of the time.  She made it all the way to the finals, her recipe for Chicken Pot Pie landing her an appearance on Jimmy Fallon.   Sadly she suffered major equipment failures in the finals and was bounced off the show.  But talk about bouncing back.  She is now a fixture on ABC’s “The Chew” where she enlivens the proceedings with her philosophy of ‘Cooking with Love’ which became the name of her first Book subtitled ‘Comfort Food that hugs you’ (Simon and Schuster 2012).   Since “The Chew” is taped within walking distance of our New York apartment, I was not surprised to see Chef Hall in our local supermarket where she greeted one all with her fabulous smile.  My next encounter with Carla was in Food and Wine’s “Chef’s Easy Weeknight Dinners” (Time Affluent Media Group 2014).  Her contribution to the book is a Mediterranean influenced riff on Shepherd’s Pie.  And it’s well worth the 45 minutes it takes to make the whole thing.

Monday, December 15, 2014

New Brunswick Stew with Rotisserie Chicken


Costco's $4.99 Chicken 
 
In our continuing series of quick weeknight dinners leading up to Christmas, I couldn’t ignore the charms of Rotisserie Chicken.  I cannot go into Costco without buying one of their birds, beautifully cooked and an amazing bargain at $4.99.   I’ve made this chicken into sandwiches and salads and I’ve sliced off parts to eat all by themselves when I am all by myself.   Last week, I brought one home and searched around for a recipe that would fall into our dinner-on-the-table-in-no-time criteria.  Almost immediately, I came upon a recipe labeled “Brunswick Stew”.  To be honest, it landed squarely in Sandra Lee territory but it fit the bill.  Rotisserie chicken is skinned and shredded.  Everything else came out of a can or the freezer and the mixture was then seasoned, stirred into a Dutch oven, brought to a boil then simmered on the stove for 45 minutes.  Just enough time for a Cocktail!  Or a look into the origins of Brunswick Stew.  It must be named for Brunswick Georgia, I thought to myself.