Happy post-Thanksgiving, everyone! Things got away from me in this past week or two. Everything at work and school is starting to gear up. We have three weeks until our performances and I have three/four weeks until my finals for my classes this semester. Both of which include papers, on top of one final exam and one oral presentation. I am desperately trying to make serious headway on both papers during my free time this weekend, but it will also be my only chance to decorate for Christmas and prep my food gifts (no telling what those will be, yet!). I’m planning to make the dough for three different Christmas cookies tomorrow, which I will shape into cookies and pop in the freezer. I know all three freeze beautifully and this will make things so much easier as the month goes on! I might even make up a batch of my Cranberry Chutney, which is the ultimate sign that the Christmas season is here!
We powered through our fundraiser for work last weekend, which went splendidly! However, I felt my throat get a little sore throughout the day and by Monday I was knocked flat with some kind of winter muck. A scratchy, painful throat that made my whole mouth hurt, some crazy body aches, super fatigued. Ugh. Thankfully, an afternoon of sleep, lots of soup, and a few eucalyptus & epsom salt baths got me back up on my feet to finish out this week and still get through my prep for Thanksgiving. I still don’t know what it was, but I am hoping I avoided catching my coworker’s bronchitis and, instead, just picked up a bug off one of our students. My asthma and allergies make me very prone to bronchitis and pneumonia, but this hasn’t really moved down into my chest as bronchitis normally would, so I do think I got lucky and it’s just a bad cold!
Anyways, on to more pleasant topics! Thanksgiving at M’s mum’s house ended up having 18 people and was, all-in-all, stress-free. We had a few sticky moments when politics and other controversies came up (it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without it, huh?) and trying to get the massive 21 lb turkey in the oven in time, but otherwise, it was lovely. About half of those 18 people had already sign-up to bring a dish, so I focused on desserts (pumpkin pie, vanilla bean cheesecake, cranberry curd tarts, and a praline sauce) and ended up putting together the green bean casserole since M ran out of prep time. But everything else was taken care of! It was nice to loosen the reins a little bit! Shockingly, with all of those people and all of that food, there wasn’t too much in way of leftover. I managed to snag a few slices of dessert, cranberry sauce, and a solid 3 cups of turkey–some of which went into this quiche and the rest will go into a double batch of Turkey Pot Pie Soup tomorrow night. I’m not too sad about our lack of leftovers. We have a ton of veggies in the fridge from our Produce Delivery box, so I’m planning to do a lot of simple, plant-based meals to reset ourselves after this weekends indulgences. Plus my crisper box is completely overflowing and this is the only way to deal with it!
This quiche is, hands-down, my favorite quiche that I have ever eaten. My mother made it often when we were younger, but I was only reintroduced to it after I graduated and we tried making it gluten-free. I love quiche because it take so few ingredients to make a solid dish with many servings (with just M and I in the house, this will last us a few days worth in lunches, too). But I usually don’t go through the fuss of making pie crust (often, I just thinly slice potatoes, layer them in a greased pan, and cook them until brown and crispy before adding in the quiche filling). So this lovely mix of turkey, cheese, bacon, and broccoli, all wrapped up in a flaky, buttery crust, is extra special. That last bite with more crust from the side as well as the bottom is just total bliss. Every time I make this, I wish I had grabbed even more turkey leftovers, so I could stash them in the freezer. I never seem to remember, so I will just have to do my best to enjoy this quiche now, before waiting another whole year to make it again!
Turkey Broccoli Quiche
- – 1 gluten-free pie crust
- – 3/4 c. chopped broccoli
- – 1 c. chopped, cooked turkey
- – 1/2 c. shredded baby swiss cheese
- – 1/4 of a medium onion, finely chopped
- – 6 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped
- – 1 Tbsp. butter
- – 3 extra-large eggs
- – 1 1/4 c. half-and-half (or: 1/2 c. heavy cream + 3/4 c. milk)
- – 1 tsp groud thyme
- – salt & pepper to taste
Roll out the pie crust and spread into a 9-inch pie pan. Crimp the edges and place the pan in the fridge while you preheat the oven and prep the filling. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat, add the broccoli and onion and sauté until tender, when the broccoli is bright green and the onion has softened. Sprinkle turkey, bacon, and half of the cheese into pie crust. Pour vegetables over top, spread evenly. Top with the remainder of the cheese. Whisk the eggs, half-and-half, and spices in bowl until thoroughly mixed. Pour eggs over other ingredients in pie shell. Bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees F and bake for an additional 20-30 minutes, until a knife inserted at the center comes out clean.
Hi again, everyone. I won’t bother asking how your week was, because I don’t really know that I want to talk about it. At least not yet. But, like always, the days keep going forward, which means we are getting closer and closer to Thanksgiving. And what is Thanksgiving without dessert, right? And what is a more Thanksgiving-worthy dessert than pie? Maybe cheesecake…but I’m here to talk about my very favorite pie crust, so let’s keep the focus on pie! Pie crust was one of the very first gluten-free recipes that I mastered. The keys are: lots of starch to keep things light and to make the perfect mix with the fat (butter) to create a crispy crust. A dash of vinegar helps too. And best of all, while I suggest gentle handling while kneading and rolling out the dough, that isn’t quite as crucial. See, the reason that we are so careful with pie crust is to (1) not melt the fat in the dough and (2) not activate the gluten in the flour. We’ve removed one of those factors by using gluten-free flours. No risk of tough, gluten-activated dough here! Now we can focus on keeping everything chilled and make ourselves some super tasty pie!
Last Thanksgiving I made three pies: Pecan, Apple, and Maple-Nutmeg Custard. (Don’t worry, my mother made a pumpkin cheesecake, so we fulfilled the pumpkin requirement!) All three were delicious, but this year we have a ton of guests. I plan to scale back to give them some room at the dessert table, so I am planning to make a traditional pumpkin pie using this crust. And maybe a cheesecake, if I can’t help myself.
So here’s the deal with pies. In general, fruit pies can be made with the dough raw, and the pie dough will bake along with the fruit. Filled pies (that do not have a top crust), typically, want a par-baked (also known as blind-baked or prebaked) crust first. Par-baking is nothing to be scared of, just form the bottom shell in your pie pan, place a sheet of parchment over the crust and fill the pie shell with a layer of dry, uncooked beans. Bake for 12-15 minutes at 425 degrees, then remove the parchment and the beans (careful, they are hot!) and bake for another 5 minutes. Then your crust is partially baked and much sturdier. It will hold up better to the liquid, custard type fillings.
So pick your favorite fillings and get planning! I usually try to cook my desserts one or two days before Thanksgiving, as they will keep. Then I can warm them up gently, if needed, while we eat dinner!
Check out my recipe for Gluten-Free Pie Crust!
Did you vote today? I am typing away while the results roll in (eek! I’ll be distracted soon enough). Today was a student holiday workshop day, since the public schools were closed in order to be used as polling sites. That means I had to be in work two hour earlier than normal. And since I still had the late shift at work as well, and couldn’t be positive that I could get away during the day, my only choice to cast my vote was to wake up and do it before work. I wanted to be sure that I had enough time, in case there were lines (there were), so I aimed to get to my polling place before it opened at 6am. While my mother’s house isn’t that far away (I haven’t actually changed my permanent address yet…), in order to be up and prepared for the day plus the drive over, I had to wake up at 4:45am this morning. Whoof. Good thing I am all about making sure my voice is heard. Plus, there was already a line when I got to the polling site at 5:40am, so I’m glad I was early. I got the last spot inside out of the cold! It was so worth it, but I am definitely beginning to drag! I did manage a twenty minute catnap since I made it to work a little early (bargaining for traffic in this area is always a crapshoot). Thankfully working at a theater company means we have handy items like beanbag chairs to add to my naptime comfort!
In the continuing saga of today, I had to bite the bullet and get a new car battery after my car died (totally knew it was coming) and my phone’s SIM card seems to be dying as well. I can’t catch seem to a break whenever I am running on too little sleep. I’ve tried all the tricks from the internet to try to reset the SIM card, but the best I can do is make my phone recognize the SIM but find no service…so, a dying antenna, most likely. Unfortunately, this is not the best week to try to squeeze in an appointment at the Apple Store, but I may have no choice. Thankfully, while on wifi, I can still have everything function and receive iMessages. Occasionally, I’ll even have a regular text get through. What is it about the holiday season, hmm? Just when the gift and food costs start to add up (even extra, since M’s birthday is in November), everything electronic and/or mechanical in my life suddenly needs repairing, too. Sigh. I suppose that is how that goes!
However, speaking of stressful elections and less money, this recipe can be the answer to both! Cheap eating comfort food at it’s finest! Plus, by trading pie crust for super easy biscuit dough, it becomes quick enough to whip up on a weeknight. (Though if you want the more traditional version, I have that too) Dare I even point out that, since your are putting the chicken into the mix when it is already cooked, it would be so easy to swap this for cooked turkey in order to use up some Thanksgiving leftovers! If your family does roasted potatoes at the Thanksgiving table, you could also swap those leftovers for the fresh potatoes in this recipe, too! (Just cook the raw vegetables until tender and add the potatoes then, just before you add the broth).
Gluten-Free Biscuit-Topped Chicken Pot Pie
- 1 batch gluten-free biscuit dough*
- 1 large chicken breast (or 2 mid-sized chicken thighs), cooked**
- 1 medium russet potato
- 1 small-medium sweet potato
- 1 yellow onion
- 1 large carrot
- 1 c. frozen peas
- 1 clove garlic
- 3 Tbsp. butter, divided
- 3 Tbsp. rice flour
- 3-4 c. chicken broth
- 1 tsp. poultry seasoning mix***
- salt & pepper
* My favorite biscuit recipe is from the Blackbird Bakery cookbook, which, fortunately, was shared on Epicurious!
***Or a heaping 1/4 tsp. each: ground sage, ground thyme, and finely minced rosemary
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a pie pan or an 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish.
Dice the potatoes, onion, and carrot into medium, equal-sized pieces. Take a pat from the 3 Tbsp of butter and add the pat of butter to a large saucepan. Melt over medium heat and then add the potato, sweet potato, onion, and carrot pieces. Cook the vegetables, stirring occasionally until all the pieces are softened and tender, about 4-7 minutes A fork should easily pierce the potatoes and the onions should be turning translucent. Chop the chicken into equally-sized pieces and stir into the vegetable mix. Add the rest of the butter to the pan. Once melted, add the rice flour and stir occasionally. Allow the flour and veggie mixture to cook for 3-4 minutes. Finely mince the garlic clove and add to the pan with the spices, including salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth, about 1/2 cup at a time, until you have a thick gravy holding all the vegetables. Add in the frozen peas and remove from heat.
Make the biscuits according to directions, stopping after you have cut the raw dough into biscuits (for cut biscuits) OR right before you are instructed to drop the dough onto a baking sheet (for drop biscuits). Spoon the gravy-veggie mixture into your prepared pan, leaving almost a inch of space from the rim of the pan. Top the mixture with a biscuits and bake for 12-15 minutes. Allow the pie to sit for 5-10 minutes before serving (it will be hot!) and enjoy!
How was everyone’s Halloween? We got ZERO trick-or-treaters, which is so surprising. We have plenty of children in our complex, but maybe we are scary (or too far) by being a back-facing apartment down a set of stairs? Everyone I talked to this year mentioned that they had fewer as well. Is trick-or-treating no longer the “in” thing? Is everyone going to parties and trunk-or-treats? (Unless you live out in the country where there is too much distance between houses, I do not see the appeal of trunk-or-treats, by the way.) I was lucky enough to grow up on a cul-de-sac in a sprawling neighborhood that was flooded with children. Our street, at one point, had about 40 children amongst the seventeen or so houses. We walked blocks on Halloween night, all through the other neighborhoods. M grew up in a more rural, wooded area, but all of Main Street took on the responsibility of creating an amazing Halloween atmosphere, so the further houses would drive down to let their children trick-or-treat in town. So I just don’t get it. And now, I’m left with so much Halloween candy…oy.
Otherwise, November has been off to a pretty rocky start. M is on a full week of tech rehearsals and performances, meaning he starts work late enough that I don’t see him before I go to bed and he sleeps past when I leave in the morning. We are communicating through texts, post-it notes, and leftovers. On Tuesday, I also had my longest-lasting gall bladder attack, yet. Thankfully, it wasn’t the most severe, pain-wise, but certainly the longest time in constant pain, from 10pm until almost 5 in the morning. I did not get any sleep and I still feel like I am recovering from that. Ugh. I am counting down the weeks (6!) until my surgery and hopefully then this will all be over. (Though I am steadfastly not thinking about the surgery part. Eek!)
Anyways, as a proper lead up to Thanksgiving this year, I though I would update a few old posts with some badly-needed new photos and share a few of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes every Friday! We are starting things off with my #1 Thanksgiving necessity: stuffing. After I had to skip it on my very first GF Thanksgiving (just two months after cutting gluten) I spent the rest of that first year endlessly researching this stuffing. Growing up, my mom always used the Pepperidge Farms mix, with the tiny shriveled, dry cornbread pieces and the packet of seasoning. It is the taste of my childhood Thanksgivings, so I knew I wanted to make a gluten-free stuffing that emulated those flavors. This recipe uses a combo of home-made cornbread (baked in a jelly-roll pan, so is nice and thin) and store-bought GF bread. Just be sure to give the bread a few days to dry out (or at least some solid time in a low-temp oven the day before Thanksgiving). Drier = better, here.
I have successfully made this stuffing in a crockpot, in a separate dish in the oven, and stuffed into the turkey, so it should stand up to any of your preferences. These days, I also like to jazz things up with added cranberries, like in the photos*, or roasted chestnuts, or even some sage sausage (just cook the meet before adding it to the stuffing). Add up to 2 cups of these additional mix-ins after stirring in the melted butter and before adding the chicken broth to the bread mixture.
Click through for the recipe for Knock-off Pepperidge Farms Cornbread Stuffing!
*the dish in the photos is holding a 1/2 batch of this recipe in an 8×8 dish!