Foothill gourmet: Son inherits a love for cooking

By From page B2 | May 13, 2013

Donna BrownMy son, Kyle, loves to cook. Did the apple fall not far from to the tree?

Two experiences fed his love of ethnic cuisines. First, he found a love of pizza and tacos at middle school. Later, when working at Bay Area game companies, he worked long hours to get the game completed. He was able to order from several Bay Area restaurants. He got a break and a great meal. He found his love of Indian and Thai cooking.

Indian butter chicken — Ingredients: 1 onion chopped, 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger (available in the produce section), 1 tablespoon oil, 2 tablespoons garam masala, 1 6 ounce can tomato paste, 2 cups chicken broth, 1/2 cups half and half, 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 3/4 inch chunks, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, salt to taste, 1/4 cup butter, and steamed rice.

Preparation: In a large saucepan, heat oil and cook onion and ginger, stirring often until the onion is lightly browned. Stir in the garan masala. Pour into a blender, add the tomato paste and chicken broth. Blend until smooth. Put back into pan, add the half and half. Simmer, stirring often, about 5 minutes until reduced to about 3 cups. Pour sauce into a bowl and set aside. Rinse the pan and reuse for the chicken. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat. Add the chicken cooking until the outside is no longer pink. Pour the sauce back into chicken mixture in saucepan and bring back to a simmer. Cook for another 5 minutes until the chicken is no longer pink. Cut a piece of chicken in half to make sure it is cooked through. Cut the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter into chunks and stir in until melted. Serve over steamed rice and sprinkle with fresh chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime.

Kyle’s pot pie — Ingredients for the filling recipe: 1 pound boneless chicken breast halves cubed, 1 cup sliced carrots, 1 cup frozen green peas, 1/2 cup sliced celery, 1/3 cup butter, 1/3 cup chopped onion, 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon celery salt, 1 3/4 cup chicken broth, and 2/3 cup milk. These ingredients will fill 2 9-inch pie shells. If you want to cook 1 pie shell, decrease the ingredients by half.

Preparation: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a saucepan, combine chicken, carrots, peas and celery. Add water to cover and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside. In a saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, salt, pepper and celery seed. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat and set aside. Place the chicken mixture in bottom pie crust. Pour hot liquid mixture over. Cover with top crust, seal edges and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape. Bake in a preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving. The importance of this last step is that the filling needs to cool down, so that the pie will be easier to slice.

Pie crust — Ingredients: 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup butter chilled and diced, and 1/4 cup ice water.

Preparation: In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water, a tablespoon at a time, until mixture forms a ball. Don’t refrigerate pie dough. Roll it out as soon as it forms a ball. Roll out with flowered rolling pin on a flowered surface. Cut out tops by using an upside down bowl as a template.

Donna Brown

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