Rosemary Chicken and Dumplings – The Perfect Comfort Food

I don’t know about your area, but it’s been DANG cold here.  Like this cold…


When it’s this cold, what makes me happiest is pots of simmering goodness on the stove and steaming up windows.  Chicken and dumplings  fits the bill to a tee.

Also, if you’d like to see a demo, here’s me on 207 with Rob Caldwell.  (Next time I’ll get a hair cut!)

Rosemary Chicken And Dumplings
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces (remove the skin if desired; I usually take the skin off the breast and thighs)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
2 cups chopped onion; about 1 large onion
2 cups peeled and chopped carrots; about 2 large carrots
2 cups chopped celery; about 3 stalks of celery
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic; about 3 cloves
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
3 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
1 cup white wine
2 cups chicken stock

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
3/4 cup milk

Heat the oil in a large, wide stockpot over medium-high heat.  Toss the chicken, flour, salt, pepper and paprika together until the chicken is coated.  Place the chicken in the heated pot and cook until browned on all sides.  Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and herbs; cook for another 10 to 15 minutes until the onions are translucent.  Add the white wine and stock; bring it to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, until the meat is tender, about 1 hour.

Cut the butter into the dry ingredients.  Make a well in the center and add the milk.  Mix just until the milk is incorporated.  Drop 1-inch balls of dough on top of the simmering chicken.  Cover and cook an additional 10 minutes. NO PEEKING!

Serves 4 to 6

Magic Chocolate Flan Cake – Thank you, Diane!

Flan is one of those desserts that is sophisticated and elegant like a stylish, urban dress worn with heals that I love but never get to wear because my driveway is lined with gravel and I’ll break something if I strap on heels.  Like the dress that I wish I could wear but don’t, I wish I liked flan.  But I don’t.  It tastes like sugary eggs to me and I’ve never been able to get passed that initial impression.

THIS flan, however, is not really traditional flan (because of the sweetened condensed milk and the cream cheese) and therefore, I find it fantastic.  The custard is smooth and creamy but not eggy or too sweet.

I used a Coffee Pecan Syrup I found hanging around in the back of the refrigerator rather than making my own caramel sauce.  I’m sure the caramel sauce would be just as decadent as the coffee pecan syrup was.

This recipe was given to me by a long time guest.  She only passes on the best of recipes and I so appreciate her discernment.  Thanks, Diane!

Getting ready to flip…
It's working!
It’s working!
Easy, sneezy.
Cake love.
Couldn’t wait.

Magic Chocolate Flan Cake
It’s worth using good-quality caramel sauce, such as Fat Toad Farm Goat’s Milk Caramel (or a Coffee Pecan Syrup that happens to be hanging out in the back of the fridge).  If your blender doesn’t hold 2 quarts, process the flan in 2 batches. The cake needs to chill for AT LEAST 8 hours before unmolding.

1/2 cup caramel sauce or topping, microwaved briefly for easier distribution
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (3 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (1 ounce) cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2, 14-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk
2 1/2 cups whole milk
6 ounces cream cheese
6 large eggs plus 4 large yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cake:  Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 12-cup nonstick Bundt pan.  Microwave caramel until easily pourable, about 30 seconds.  Pour into pan to coat bottom.  Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in bowl; set aside.  Combine chocolate and butter in large bowl and microwave at 50 percent power, stirring occasionally, until melted, 2 to 4 minutes.  Whisk buttermilk, sugar, eggs, and vanilla into chocolate mixture until incorporated.  Stir in flour mixture until just combined.  Pour batter over caramel in prepared pan.

Flan:  Process all ingredients in blender until smooth, about 1 minute.  Gently pour flan over cake batter in Bundt pan and place pan in large roasting pan.  Place roasting pan in oven; pour warm water into roasting pan until it reaches half way up the side of the Bundt pan.  Bake until toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean and flan registers 180 degrees, 75 to 90 minutes.  Transfer Bundt pan to wire rack.  Let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours, then refrigerate until set, at least 8 hours. (Remove roasting pan from oven once water has cooled.)

To Unmold: Place bottom third of Bundt pan in bowl of hot tap water for 1 minute.  Invert completely flat cake platter, place platter over the top of Bundt pan, and gently turn platter and pan upside-down.  Slowly remove pan, allowing caramel to drizzle over top of cake.  Serve.

Serves 16

P.S.  E and I might have had a bite (or two or three) straight from the plate when we unmolded it.  We dare you to resist!

Cook the Book: Zucchini and Genoa Salami Deep Dish Pizza

Zucchini and Genoa Salami Deep Dish Pizza

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 zucchini, roughly chopped
2 summer squash, roughly chopped
1/2teaspoon salt
1/2teaspoon pepper
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound Genoa salami, cut in medium-thick slices
1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese

1 Crusty Peasant Bread dough recipe.  You can also use the pre-made bread dough you can find in most grocery stores – you’ll need 2 bags.

Olive oil to brush over the crust
Dried basil, Italian seasoning, oregano – whatever you like – to sprinkle on the crust

Oil a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini, summer squash, salt and pepper. Sauté until tender. Divide the dough roughly in half; make one part slightly larger than the other. Either roll or use your hands to stretch the larger piece until it’s big enough to overlap over the sides of the baking pan by about 1 inchSpread half of the Parmesan cheese evenly over the dough. Add layers (in order) of half each of the salami, mozzarella, ricotta, zucchini and summer squash.  When you transfer the squash to the pizza, use a slotted spoon to drain the excess liquid.  Repeat. Stretch the remaining half of the dough out enough to overlap the top of the pan, then pinch the two layers of dough together neatly. Brush the crust with the olive oil and sprinkle with the herbs. Preheat oven to 350°. Let the pizza rest and rise for 30 minutes, then bake until golden brown (about an hour).  Cool 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

Serves 8-12.

Cook the Book: Black Bean and Corn Salad

Black Bean and Corn Salad

This salad is best if you can grill the corn, though you can use steamed or boiled corn in a pinch.  I sometimes roast the corn when we are on a lobsterbake – just stick them on a roasting fork and turn them over the fire.  You can also use it as a summer salsa for grilled chicken or fish.

4 ears of husked corn
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 red pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 cup loosely packed, fresh, chopped cilantro
1/4 cup diced red onion
Small clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Brush the ears of corn with olive oil and place the ears directly on a hot grill.  Cook until brown and tender, turning often, about 10 minutes. Cool slightly and use a sharp knife to cut the kernels off the cob. Toss the corn with the remaining ingredients and serve.

Serves 4-6.

Cook the Book – Bourbon Street Bread Pudding

Bourbon Street Bread Pudding

This is one of my favorites – and I don’t even like bread pudding!

Day-old French bread, sliced 1-inch thick, enough to cover the bottom of a 9-inch square pan.
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup sugar
5 eggs
2 cups heavy cream
Dash of cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla
3/4 cup raisins

Bourbon Sauce:
1 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter
Dash of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in ¼ cup water
1/4 cup bourbon

Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease a 9-inch square baking pan. Arrange the sliced bread in one layer in the bottom of the pan.  If there are large gaps cut some pieces to fit. Cream the butter and sugar together in a medium bowl. Add the eggs, cream, cinnamon, vanilla and raisins and mix well. Pour the mixture over the bread and let stand for at least 5 minutes. Turn the bread over and let stand another 10 minutes. Cover the pan with foil and place it in a larger pan filled halfway with warm tap water.  Bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes.  The custard should still be soft when done. Remove the pudding from the oven and the water bath and allow it to cool a few minutes. While the pudding is cooling, combine all the sauce ingredients except for the bourbon in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Continue to boil until the sauce has thickened so it coats the back of a spoon.  Remove the pan from the heat and add the bourbon.  Keep warm. Cut the pudding into squares and serve with the warm sauce.

Makes 9 servings

Wilted Brie Salad

This recipe was inspired by Kerry Altiero, chef and co-owner of Café Miranda’s in Rockland, Maine.  If you haven’t eaten there yet, it’s a palate’s delight.

This is a perfect last minute meal for greens that you might find popping up in your garden (or under the cold frame).  If you don’t have time to make the pesto or the crostini, just skip it and buy both.  This salad also makes a great sit down appetizer for a dinner party.

Wilted Brie Salad
8 cups mesclun mix, lightly packed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
8 oz. brie cheese, cut into four wedges

Preheat broiler.  Mix all ingredients except for the brie and divide evenly onto 4 plates.  Place wedge of brie on top of salad.  Place under broiler for 2 minutes.  Serve immediately.

Serves 4

No longer looking for a quick dinner tonight

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Win A Free Cookbook!

If there are any of you who don’t have one of my cookbooks, At Home, At Sea, yet, here’s your chance to win a free one! Blogger of Delicious Musings is offering a free cookbook to the best comment made on a post of my recipe Dill, Lemon and Goat Cheese Pesto.


It ran in the Portland Press Herald for the first time last year with a few other pesto recipes.

Hope someone deserving wins!  I want to hear the first recipe the winner makes from their new cookbook.


© 2009 Anne Mahle

Strawberry Apple Cobbler

Applestrawberry In my efforts to use what I already have in the pantry and the freezer before flitting off to the grocery store for the fresh and new, I found some frozen apples in the back of the freezer.  It’s encouraging that I can now see the back of the freezer. 

Every fall, the girls and I is pick apples from our and our friends’ trees.  Some of are stored, some frozen and the rest turned into a wonderful sweet, fresh cider that we drink through the winter and will enjoy on the boat this summer as well.

When I freeze the apples, I use one of those all-in-one numbers that peels, cores and slices all at once.  Sometimes you have to peel a little more skin off by hand because the contraption misses some, but it saves lots of time.  I then cut the whole spiral in half and place them in a gallon-size resealable bag with a little lemon juice. 

When I use them in pie or cobbler, I just add a little bit more thickener – flour or tapioca – and increase the cooking time by ten minutes or so.

Strawberry Apple Cobbler

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
5 tablespoons frozen butter
4 tablespoons butter
4 to 5 tablespoons ice water

4 green apples, peeled, cored and cut into medium slices
2 cups fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and cut in half
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon cinammon
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 450º.  Grease a non-reactive (enamel or stainless steel) 9×13 baking pan or 10-inch deep dish pie plate.  Combine all filling ingredients in baking pan.

To form pastry, place dry ingredients in medium sized bowl and cut butter and shortening in with a pastry knife until mixture resembles corn meal.  Add water and form a ball.  It should be soft feeling but not at all sticky.  Roll out to 1-inch larger than the shape of your baking dish.

Cover the baking pan with the pastry and turn the excess part of the pastry under.  Press into the sides of the pan.  Make several slits in the top to let steam escape.

Turn the oven down to 425º and bake for 45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling around the edges.  Serve warm with whipped cream.

With a whisk, whip the cream until almost forming soft peaks and add the sugar and vanilla.  Whip until forms firm peaks.

It’s smelling so good!

© 2008 Baggywrinkle Publishing

Cheesy Garlic Bread

This recipe must have a story and I wish I knew what it was.  It was given to me by a mom from school who got it from “Ed the former monk,” who learned it in the monastery.  Now you are as curious as I am to know more.  I’ve adjusted it somewhat from the original, but it still needed credit.

This may seem like a lot of butter and garlic, BUT the butter ends up being about the same amount of fat you would use for any biscuit and the garlic just becomes soft and mushy and not at all sharp tasting.

Cheesy Garlic Bread

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
7 to 8 whole garlic cloves
2 1/2 cup flour
4 teaspoons sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons minced parsley (optional)
1 1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 400°   Melt butter in an 8 to 10 inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add garlic to the melted butter.

Mix the dry ingredients thoroughly.  Then add cheese and parsley. Then add milk, forming a wet dough.  Spoon this dough into the center of the skillet with the butter and garlic.  It doesn’t need to go all the way out to the edges.  There will be butter around the edges of the dough; spoon some of this on top of the biscuit.  Bake for about 30 minutes, or until lovely and golden brown.

Advising against a cholesterol test the day after.

© 2008 Baggywrinkle Publishing