New Cookbook: Old School Recipe
So, I've got a new cookbook. Are you surprised? Hey now, I am very selective about adding to my cookbook collection. I dig around the internet for sneak peeks, trying to determine whether the book will enhance my collection or simply take up space on the bookshelf. This cookbook, Southern Living Heirloom Recipe Cookbook, was on my Amazon wish list for a long time. I couldn't wait to get my hands on it! I adore it already and I've only had it a couple of weeks. It is the kind of cookbook that, as I looked through it, I thought, "This is the kind of cookbook that I would write." If I had an agent...and a contract. (Please contact me if you would like to assist me with this!)
The Heirloom Recipe Cookbook contains classic dishes and many of them give you the option of preparing them the traditional way or modernizing them with shortcuts and trendy flavor options. The cookbook is also scattered with vintage photographs from Southern Living magazines. And, one of my favorite parts is the essays where writers and celebrities write about the influences and importance of food in their lives. I thought I had the monopoly on that theme, but I guess not. See, this is the cookbook I would have written if only I had been given the chance...
Chicken a la King
1 (10-oz.) package frozen puff pastry shells, baked
3 tbsp. butter
1/3 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 (8-oz.) package sliced fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 c. chicken broth
1 c. half-and-half
2 cups coarsely chopped deli-roasted chicken
1/3 cup chopped jarred roasted red bell pepper
Garnish: chopped fresh parsley
Remove centers of pastry shells to create a cavity. Set shell tops aside.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add bell pepper and next 3 ingredients, and saute until bell pepper is tender. Stir in flour. Remove from heat. Gradually stir in chicken broth and half-and-half; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly.
Stir in chicken and roasted red bell pepper; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Spoon filling into pastry shells. Garnish and replace tops, if desired. Makes 6 servings.
So, I like to taste my food as it's cooking to make sure that the seasonings suit my taste. For this dish, I added a teaspoon of garlic powder because I just love the depth of flavor that garlic adds to a dish. When you're using a recipe, remember that the recipe is just there as a guide. You can always adjust it to suit your own palate.
This dish would be equally as good served over rice. Rice is definitely a cheaper alternative to pastry shells. But, the pastry shells are nice little "fancy" touch. Use them if you want to impress someone special. Dishes like this are classic for a reason - the flavors just work together.