Category Archives: Apple pie

Pie with wine is a good way to end any day

Last Saturday was a good day. The test kitchen welcomed three OneRoastChicken subscribers for a very successful cooking class. We made (and ate) lots of yummy food: Roast chicken with a spice rub, tinfoil carrots, homemade chicken broth, vegetable corn chowder, trout with fruit salsa, and Dutch apple pie. The house smelled amazing for hours, even with the apple pie boiling over into the sparkling clean oven.

All the food set out … apples for pie far left in blue bowl, pineapple for salsa, celery in a big pot for chicken stock, carrots to be baked in tinfoil, and at the very far right cans of creamed corn for the vegetable soup

As Jessica and Jennifer and Suzanne peeled apples, measured spices, stirred and baked, we chatted about the dinners you can get away with when you’re single and young (microwave popcorn, entire bags of kettle chips, toast and peanut butter, crackers and cheese). But now as everyone’s getting older, lives have shifted, and old patterns of eating just don’t work anymore. You can no longer get by on a chocolate bar for breakfast. People get married, have kids, need to stop eating take out, need to pack lunches. If you’re me, you discover that having a captive audience (husband) who’ll eat just about anything (André will), means that I’m more likely to experiment, make new things, be brave, try a new recipe, to make falafels at home even though they involve deep frying in a pot of boiling oil (scary).

Yesterday, while we were making soup, we talked about how to use up leftover fresh lasagne sheets (why not cut them into strips and boil like fettuccini?), how to use up leftover lime (beer, lemonade, cranberry juice), and about how I feel no guilt asking the produce guy at the grocery store to take apart this lovely tray of jalapeno peppers wrapped in cellophane and just wrap up one single pepper for me, no thanks, I don’t need six, I just need one. It cost 46¢.

The “student chickens” – as André calls all subscribers “your chickens” – well, the student chickens had lots of ideas for new classes and new cookbooks. How about a November cooking class where we work though a dinner party, from start to finish – a nice appetizer, Caesar salad, garlic bread, lasagne, chocolate cake – complete with how to get the timing right, grocery list, planning. One student chicken says that even though she’s often invited out to her friends’ places for dinner, she doesn’t feel confident enough to invite people back to her place. “And that’s bad karma,” she says.

When I suggested having a December cooking class where we did a whole bunch of Christmas baking (easy shortbreads, light fruit cake, cranberry chocolate bars, spicy ginger snaps) – everyone thought that was a great idea, especially if they got to take all the baking home at the end of the class. Sure, why not.

As it was, all three student chickens left with many plastic containers of leftover soup, chicken, fish with salsa, and pie. Did I mention the pie? I had shared some with them when we had our shared meal, but I finished off the rest once they had gone home, and André and I opened more wine. I was tired but very happy. And pie with wine is a good way to end any day 🙂


As always, I’d love to hear your feedback.
You can always reach me at shelley@oneroastchicken.com.
Thanks and bon appetit!

Shelley MacDonald Beaulieu, Owner & Head Chef
www.oneroastchicken.com

PS/ The next cooking class

The next Roast Chicken and Apple Pie cooking class is coming up next weekend, Saturday, November 10th, from 1 pm to 6 pm. The class will take place in Montreal, in the fully equipped One Roast Chicken test kitchen. To register, visit here. It’s not very often that you get the chance to take part in a small cooking class like this one with *only 3 students* and lots of one-on-one instruction.

I also received a few questions, which I would like to answer now:

Q. Is this a demonstration class or a participation class?

A. I believe in hands-on training. This will NOT be a demonstration class where you just watch me cook and you stand around for hours. No way! Sure, you’ll watch me a bit, but then you’ll leap in there and you’ll be prepping and cooking and chopping and baking and EATING.

Q. What recipes will we be making?

A. Together, we are going to be busy cooking for the entire 5 hours. You’re going to make a Spicy Roast Chicken (called Grant’s Chicken) with tinfoil baked carrots with thyme. After that, we’re going to make chicken broth from scratch. And because I get so many emails asking me about cooking fish (like, “how do you know when it’s ready?”), you’re also going to make Trout with Fruit Salsa. Next you’re going to make a lovely Corn Chowder with red and green pepper. And finally, for dessert, how about Dutch Apple Pie with two kinds of seasonal apples and a sweet crunchy topping.

I enjoyed [the class] a lot! It gave me the confidence to try it on my own. Now that I know what [the pie] would look like, it ain’t complicated to make and is delicious … I’ll be sure to make 1 of the recipes 1 day this week. I admit, the minute I got home, even though I was full, I had to take another bite of the pie. — Jennifer

Q. What is included in the course registration fee?

A. Everything is included. Your registration fee of $169 CDN includes everything you’ll need for the class. There are no supplies for you to buy. No groceries for you to bring. You don’t have to bring anything! You just have to show up with smile on your face, ready to learn … and we’re going to have a great time.

Here’s what’s included:

— Included: Five hours of instruction in a small group limited to 3 people.

— Included: All of the fabulous fresh ingredients and groceries that you’ll need to cook all afternoon.

— Included: Tasting and enjoying all the food that you’ve just learned to make.

Q. If I don’t get into this November 10th class, when is the next one?

A. I haven’t scheduled the classes for the new year yet, as I’m waiting to see what my travel schedule will be (I’m trying to book space for cooking classes in British Columbia for January); but probably this Roast Chicken / Apple Pie class won’t be offered again in Montreal until February 2008 at the earliest.

Q. How can I register?

You can go here and fill out a simple registration form, then you’ll be whisked away to Paypal so you can pay 🙂

PPS/ If you’re unable to attend this class, you might be interested in the illustrated cooking lessons available in “Successful Home Cooking.” Valerie from Washington calls it her Home Cooking School.

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Apple Pie for 1 or 2

When I was a single girl, I never made a full-sized apple pie. Because who would eat it all? (Or worse, what if I ate it all myself?) If you’ve never made apple pie before, making a baby pie is a good way to get started. Here are some photos to get you inspired to make a tiny baby pie which is suitable for two if you must share, or for one if you’re hungry.

When is the last time you made apple pie?

Cut a frozen 9″ pie crust in half and save the rest for later.
Put the half you’re using in a zipper bag and leave it on the counter to defrost.
Roll out the pie crust to be just a bit bigger than your pie tin.
Place dough in the pan.
Now it’s time to prepare the apples, two different kinds for maximum squishy-ness and taste.
You slice the two apples, approximatley the same thickeness throughout.
Toss with flour, sugar, and some spices to make it taste very yummy.
Put the apples in the crust and fold up the edges.
Prepare the crumble topping (butter, flour, sugar) and don’t overmix — keep a few large lumps.
Presto, you’re nearly done. Put it in the oven on a smal sheet of tinfoil in case it overflows…
This is a half-serving, which is still a respectable portion if you are forced to share…

These pictures are just a sampling of the complete illustrated lesson for Apple Pie for One (Recipe 1.11) . The complete recipe lesson is available in Successful Home Cooking. My goal? To help you become a successful at-home cook. To order your copy of the 122-page full-colour book, click here.

If you have any questions about pie or anything else, just send me a note. You can always reach me at Shelley@OneRoastChicken.com.

All best wishes, and bon appetit!

Shelley MacDonald Beaulieu, Owner & Head Chef
www.oneroastchicken.com



Four things I always have in my freezer

I live in an apartment with a small freezer that is part of my fridge. So without the luxury or expense of a big deep freeze, I still use my in-fridge freezer all the time to make my cooking life easier. Here are four things that I always have:

1. When I’m making Chicken Tandoori which calls for 1.5 teaspoons of lemon juice, I take my lemon, remove the zest with a microplaner or box grater, and then wrap the zest in plastic and stick it in the freezer. This comes in handy for Apple Pie for One, which calls for just a bit of lemon zest. OK, so then I cut the lemon in half, and juice both halves, and this produces about 1/4 cup of lemon juice. I use what I need for Chicken Tandoori, then I put the rest in a small jar in the freezer. I save tiny jars for lemon juice, like the kind that capers come in.

2. I make a Roast Chicken dinner about every two weeks or so. In my house, a small chicken makes enough for the two of us for dinner (we eat the white meat), and then when the chicken has cooled off, I remove the leftover chicken and freeze it in a plastic container. Now I’m fully equipped for my favourite Friday night one-bowl dinner (Thai Curried Chicken). I just pull out the frozen chicken and add it to the pot of bubbling coconut milk and vegetables while the meat is still frozen.

3. I buy lean ground beef from the grocery store in a jumbo family pack, and then I freeze it in half-pound packages. When I want to make hamburgers, I pull out one half-pound package and a couple of sausages and I’m ready to cook. If we’re feeling more like Meatloaf with Spicy Ketchup, then I defrost three half-pound packages.

 

4. I make chicken broth from the leftover bones every time I roast a chicken. And once the broth is made, I freeze it in one-cup jars that might otherwise be used for jam, or I reuse pickle jars (or others) which hold about 4 cups. We go through a lot of chicken broth on a weekly basis so it’s definitely cheaper and easier to have homemade on hand. I use chicken broth instead of water to cook rice. I use it to make Instant Beef Soup (which uses a combination of beef and chicken broths to get the best flavour). And my favourite Thai Curried Chicken recipe needs 1/3 cup of broth in the sauce, and then more broth to cook the rice.

To make these recipes and more…

Check out OneRoastChicken’s new cookbook, “Successful Home Cooking” which is now available for order. This is not another cookbook. This is a cooking school in full-colour delivered right to your kitchen. All recipes include pages of colour photography and step-by-step instructions. And to keep you on budget, every recipe includes the price per serving. How about Meatloaf with Spicy Ketchup for $1.32 per serving? Or Chicken Tandoori for $1.81? Order your copy of “Successful Home Cooking” now…

Thanks and bon appetit!

Shelley MacDonald Beaulieu,
Owner & Head Chef
www.oneroastchicken.com

Cooking disasters and cooking success

Everyone has a great cooking disaster story. And they happen from time to time. Double a cookie recipe but forget to double the sugar. Results are inedible and end up in the garbage.

I used to be really sad when this happened. Think of the waste, the cost, why am I such an idiot? I remember once when I was about 20 years old, and not a very experienced cook, I attempted to make a pork stew using my aunt’s recipe. The whole thing was a giant disaster — pork too tough to eat (she must have used pork tenderloin, where I had picked something tough and cheap). I remember shedding tears as I threw the entire meal in the trash. Waste. Cost. Idiot.

Since then, I’ve discovered a few secrets to successful cooking.

1. A great recipe with step-by-step instructions.

Don’t you love recipes that help you succeed? How about recipes that let you follow along with pictures so you can see if you’re in the right place, getting the right results. Recipe 1.5 > Dutch Apple Pie is a perfect example.

2. A real person who can explain the tricks to making the recipe successfully.

This could be your mom or your neighbour.

Or it can be me! Send me an email, I’d be happy to answer your questions.

I believe that every recipe has a “recipe gremlin” — a little trick that if you don’t know about, the recipe won’t turn out as well as it could. And most people don’t tell you about the recipe gremlins… They say peel and core the apples, but do they remind you check the insides of each apple section for that plastic-like piece of apple core that you DO NOT want to find in your pie? (In the photos above for Recipe 1.5 > Dutch Apple Pie, this recipe gremlin is explained in step #4).

3. A great cheering section who’ll support your attempts, and who’ll eat your recipes, no matter what!

This can be your husband, wife, grandkids – anyone who’ll say “that’s great” even when it isn’t. And when you burn the potatoes he’ll say “I like them that way” when probably he doesn’t.

 

And while I still sometimes have kitchen disasters, I’m more matter-of-fact about it now. If you cook often enough, sometimes it’s not going to work out as planned. I try to have a sense of humour about it.

My cheering section says “ce n’est pas grave” (literally: it’s not grave, but really what he’s saying is “it doesn’t matter.”) And finally, I’m starting to believe him.

Do you have a kitchen disaster story?

Just post a comment. Got pictures? Send those, too.
You can always reach me at shelley@oneroastchicken.com.

Thanks and bon appetit!

Shelley MacDonald Beaulieu,
Owner & Head Chef
www.oneroastchicken.com

Survey + free apple pie recipe

I am hard at work on a new book for One Roast Chicken, and rather than guess what people want, I decided to ask you — since you’re someone who is interested in cooking, you like tips and tricks, and you’re always looking for easy ways to get dinner on the table.

I have a free gift (bribe) for you!

I’ve created a short survey that’ll take you less than 2 minutes to fill out.

> Survey link
> Link to survey on webpage

And as a thank you (bribe) for filling out this survey, I will send you a FREE copy of the recipe I’m working on: Dutch Apple Pie. This recipe is nearly done, and I’ll send it to you for FREE as soon as it’s ready (value $5 Cdn).

Here’s the catch.

I’m only going to share this gift with the first 100 people who complete the survey. This means you’ll have to ACT FAST if you want to be one of the lucky people who not only gets to share their brain with me, but who also gets the reward of APPLE PIE!

After 100 Apple Pie recipes are given away, the survey will shut down. So you better do this right now — take two minutes of your time and scroll down to the survey. You’ll get your copy of the Apple Pie recipe as soon as I finish eating it, err… finish testing it.

> Survey link
> Link to survey on webpage

Thanks in advance for your feedback and help 🙂

Bon appetit!

Shelley MacDonald Beaulieu
Owner & Head Chef
http://www.OneRoastChicken.com