Election night… Dun Dun DUN!!!
I did my civic duty today and exercised my right to vote, I hope all of you reading this did too! (don’t worry, PSA over.) With all of the negativity and divisiveness surrounding this election, and dominating every conversation, I am completely ready to move on to other topics, like food!
The boys are over tonight watching the election coverage, which means I am definitely making the ULTIMATE COMFORT FOOD! Pot Pie Soup with Crust Crackers, a la Chrissy Teigen. A few months ago I bought her cookbook, “Cravings – Recipes for all the food you want to eat”, and I have not been disappointed! While 85% of the time I try to eat healthy and I modify the recipes that I find to make them a little bit lighter, I barely touched this one! Other than cutting out a lot-a-bit of the butter, (removing the meat) and adding double the vegetables, this recipe is as close to perfect as they come. She is a genius to make the “crust” into crackers so that you can have some with every bite! This really is a simple recipe that anyone can make, it’s so hearty and traditional that you can tell everyone you spent hours in the kitchen to prepare it! But in reality, it’s so easy to prep all of the ingredients beforehand, that you have something that comes together quickly and will definitely impress everyone you serve it to!
For the healthy side of this meal, I’m making a Kale Cesar(-ish) Salad. I say Cesar(-ish) because I made the easiest, healthy, homemade salad dressing with nothing but olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. This is a staple dressing that you can pair with any toppings and it will taste great! What gives it the extra -ish is the Parmigiano-Reggiano that I toss in at the end to give it an extra salty punch of amazing. It creates the illusion of a caesar dressing without the high fat content that you find in store bought, traditional dressings.
***This is the real PSA of the Day!!! I know that not everyone is a fan of Kale, but I really want to give it a try! Now, this salad will taste great no matter what type of greens that you choose to use, but I’m going to share with you my SECRET to making Kale your new fave! Ready… It sounds silly… you massage it with salt. Yes, you heard that right. MASSAGE your Kale! Trust me, it takes away the bitterness and leaves the greens tasting incredibly fresh and yummy!
Go out and spread food love ❤ and today… may the odds be ever in [y]our candidates favor!
Pot Pie Soup with Crust Crackers
For the Crust:
- 2 sticks of cold, Unsalted Butter, cubed
- 2 1/2 cups of Flour
- 1 teaspoon of Salt
- 1/2 cup of Ice Water
For the Pot Pie:
- 6 cups of Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
- 2 cups of Whole Milk
- 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil
- 1/2 cup of Unsalted Butter
- 2 tablespoons of Minced Garlic
- 1 cup of Flour
- 4 teaspoons of Salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 1 large Russet Potato, peeled and cubed
- 2 1/2 cups of Carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 1/2 cups of frozen Peas
- 2/3 of a cup of frozen Corn
- 1 cup of White Onion, diced
- 1/2 cup of Heavy Cream
For the Crust: (I halved the recipe, but you can make the whole thing and store it in the freezer.)
- Cube the butter, then place it back into the fridge for 20 minutes (By far this is the best tip that I have found! The colder the butter, the flakier and more delicious the crust. You want to put it back into the fridge, rather than using it immediately after cubing, because the heat from your hands and the knife will cause it to mush into the flour and give your dough an undesirable texture.)
- In a food processor, add the flour and salt and pulse to incorporate. Add the cold butter and pulse until pea sized pieces of butter form. (Do not over pulse, only 15-20, so that the butter doesn’t get too warm.)
- Add the ice water slowly and pulse until dough forms. (Again, only 15-20 pulses.)
- Dust your hands with flour to prevent sticking and lightly gather the dough, place in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Place the dough on a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Roll out to about 1 inch thick. (I don’t have a rolling pin so I use an unopened wine bottle, just make sure that it is well floured to prevent sticking and don’t press on the neck!)
- Prick the dough all over with a fork (You don’t want any air bubbles) and bake for 30 minutes, until golden and crisp.
For the Pot Pie:
- In a saucepan combine the broth and milk and bring to a simmer.
- In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Remove and set aside. In the same pot melt the butter. Once melted, add the garlic and cook until fragrant (no longer than 2 minutes).
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the flour. Whisk to completely incorporate, cook 2-3 minutes. Slowly whisk in the broth/milk. Salt and Pepper to taste.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook until thickened (about 5-7 minutes). Add the potato, carrots, peas, corn, and onion and simmer 20 minutes until the potato is tender.
- Stir in the cream and let simmer 5 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper and serve with the broken up pie crust!
Kale Cesar(-ish) Salad
For the Dressing:
- 1/3 of a cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/4 cup of fresh Lemon Juice
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of Freshly Ground Black Pepper
For the Salad:
- Kale (as much as you choose to eat)
- 1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon of Freshly Ground Black Pepper
For the Dressing:
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper. Set aside.
For the Salad:
- Cut the kale into bite sized pieces, discarding the tough stalk.
- Place the cut Kale in a mixing bowl, sprinkle with a generous teaspoon of salt. Massage the Kale until it turns a brighter green than you started. Shake off the excess salt and discard.
- Add the dressing to the Kale and toss well. Add half of the parmesan to give the dressing its Cesar-ish texture and taste. Season with salt and pepper to taste, as well as the rest of the parmesan.
***I choose to forego Croutons on the salad because I am serving this with the Crust Crackers that we made above.