I hope you’re resting and relaxing over the long weekend. We’ve been working on some projects at our farm property and getting caught up on emails and work. It’s still a million degrees in Texas, which means any time outdoors has been spent in a pool. Count this as your Labor Day grilling plan, plus a weekly meal plan. Here you go!
Fire up your grill! I’d suggest either this Chile-Rubbed Flank Steak with Chimichurri or Honey Soy Flank Steak with a side of cheese bread. I also love these Ribeye Kabobs or grilled Tri Tip with Fermented Black Bean Sauce (which also appears in my cookbook). You can use the spice rub or the honey-soy marinade for chicken or pork tenderloin as well. The chopped salad recipe from my friend Molly Watson’s newsletter, A Salad A Day, is the perfect Memorial Day Side. Or make Healthy Texas Caviar that you can snack on all day long. I recently tested Alexandra Cook’s Blueberry Lemon Quick Bread, and it would be good enough for dessert.
Today will be a Tuesday that feels like a Monday. I want a hands-off dinner that I can assemble earlier in the day. Instant Pot Picadillo to the rescue; make it with ground pork, beef or turkey. After it cooks, use a pastry blender to break up the ground meat. Serve with rice or steamed cauliflower to soak up the sauce.
My daughter has an evening volleyball game that’s a bit of a drive during rush hour traffic. I’ll have my husband make a simple pot of spaghetti with Marcella Hazan tomato sauce (we have some frozen that I can transfer to the fridge). Steamed broccoli and a simple salad on the side. If you don’t have homemade sauce, use Rao’s Marinara. Is anyone else nervous that Rao’s recipe is going to change now that they’ve been purchased by Campbells?
My husband said that someone in his office recently mentioned my chicken pot pie. It made me wonder why I hadn’t made it recently! We have family in town, and this will be the perfect dinner.
Chicken Pot Pie with Puff Pastry Crust
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cups diced red potato, skin on (about 1 pound)
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms (about 8 ounces)
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour or arrowroot flour to keep gluten-free
- 2 1/2 cups milk, plus 1 tablespoon for egg wash
- 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups chopped or shredded cooked chicken (about 12 ounces – from a rotisserie chicken or a whole poached chicken breast)
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 sheets puff pastry dough, thawed
- 1 egg for pastry wash
- Preheat oven to 375°
- Over medium-high heat, add the butter and oil in a large Dutch oven or high-sided pan, such as a Le Creuset. Add potatoes and the next 6 ingredients (through thyme), and sauté for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low; sprinkle flour over vegetables. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in milk and broth. Increase heat to medium-high. When the liquid starts to bubble, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened. Add chicken, peas, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if necessary. I sometimes add just a dash or two of Tabasco for depth of flavor.
- Spoon the mixture into a 3-quart baking dish. Place two puff pastry sheets on a flour-dusted work surface (cover the remaining dough with a damp towel to keep it from drying). Use a rolling pin to gently roll out the dough and smooth out the seams. Place the dough over the chicken pot pie filling and tuck it around the edges of the baking dish.
- Crack the egg in a small bowl and whisk to scramble. Add 1 tablespoon milk or cream and whisk to combine. Use a pastry brush to apply egg wash on the crust and prick it with a fork in a few spots.
- Place pot pie on a rimmed sheet pan. Bake in the middle of the oven at 375° for 30-40 minutes or until top is golden brown.
Tonight we’re planning to go out. But on Saturday, I plan to grill one of the recipes we didn’t end up making for Labor Day (see above). We’ll have a baby romaine Caesar salad on the side, along with a healthy dose of green vegetables.