Organic Picks for February
By Mark Mulcahy
I was inspired to write my column by three things this month. First was this quote I found from Harriet Van Horne: “Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.”
Secondly my love for pie! Which is what I have every Christmas morning, start most of my client meetings with, and started my new decade with this year. On Christmas I had a homemade apple pie which always brings the spirit of the season to completion for me. When I bring pie to a meeting it changes the whole dynamic of the day. It seems to settle everyone into the seats and allows us to let go of whatever thoughts we walked into the room with before we begin the task at hand.
On New Year’s Day I ended the day with a homemade chicken pot pie filled with Melissa’s organic celery, carrots, mushrooms and baby Dutch Yellow® potatoes. Now that’s a way to start a year!!
Lastly these words of wisdom from The Whole Pie shop in Santa Rosa, Ca. “Pie is a good metaphor for life; or if you prefer, life is a metaphor for pie. Both have structure and content, crust and filling. Both are better with a hot cup of coffee. And like life, pie is not meant to be perfect, it’s meant to be eaten.”
As I’ve clearly stated my case for (and love for) pie, I’d like to offer an invitation to bring more pie into your life and the life of someone you care about. Pie doesn’t have to be difficult and is always appreciated! While I always prefer a homemade crust, I don’t let that stand in the way of the opportunity to make or share pie. Like any gift it’s in the love it comes from more than the ingredients. Though starting with a filling made from Mellissa’s organic produce certainly will make any pie better.
This month I’m going to make broccoli cheddar pie for my daughter’s birthday and I’m excited to share her delight when she takes her first warm bite.
Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Pot Pie adapted from Melissa’s Southern Style Kitchen
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Stand time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6 pieces
Author: Melissa Sperka
2 9” inch refrigerated pie crusts, bring to room temperature per instructions*
2 Tbsp. light butter or butter
3 Melissa’s green onion chopped
1 cup whole milk plus 3 Tbsp.
4 oz. onion & chive cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. ground mustard
2 Tbsp. organic all-purpose flour
2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese divided
3 cup organic rotisserie chicken roughly chopped*
1 1/2 cup Melissa’s organic broccoli florets, steamed crisp tender and chopped
1 large egg, beaten with 1 Tbsp. water
*I said it didn’t have to be difficult
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a 9-inch deep dish pie dish with cooking spray. Fit one pie crust into the dish leaving enough overhang to crimp with the top crust. Set aside.
In a medium-size skillet over medium-high heat melt the butter. Cook the green onion just until softened around 1-2 minutes.
Add the milk and cream cheese. Cook over medium heat stirring until the cream cheese has melted., Add the garlic salt, black pepper and ground mustard.
Dissolve flour in 3 Tbsp cold milk until dissolved. If needed, add more milk 1 Tbsp at a time. Whisk the flour slurry into the sauce. Cook over medium-high stirring constantly until thickened. Once the sauce begins to thicken lower the heat and simmer for 2 minutes.
After 2 minutes mix-in 1 1/2 cup shredded cheese. Stir until melted.
Remove from the heat and add the chopped chicken and broccoli florets. Mix until combined then pour into the pie shell. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/2 cup shredded cheese.
Fit the second crust on top. Fold and crimp the edges of the two pie crusts together. Cut 4 slits in the middle of the pie.
Whisk together the egg and cold water and brush over the entire crust. Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden. Rest for 10 minutes before serving.
If you are wondering who to share pie with, my advice is to not over think it. A partner, a co-worker, a neighbor, a colleague who does not share the same political views, most anyone you know will welcome pie at most anytime and the world will be just a little nicer for it.
Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love. Lao Tzu