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Maple Pork Loin Chops with Polenta and Collard Greens

Polenta seemed to be everywhere I turned this week. Mark Bittman made a breakfast pizza with it, Anthony Bourdain came across it in one of his travels during a late-night marathon of No Reservations, and an unopened bag of cornmeal was sitting in my kitchen, originally intended for a cornbread that never happened. This creamy cornmeal dish, similar to grits, is a blank canvas for a wide range of flavors. I decided to go the simple route since it was my first time making it, choosing to flavor it with chicken stock and parmesan cheese. I then paired it with maple pork loin chops and collard greens for a plate of serious comfort food. Continue Reading →

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Kitchen Basics: Chicken Pot Pie

I woke up extra early on Sunday morning to do some cooking. At 10 AM, you would assume I’d be up making a dish for brunch or perhaps baking muffins, but instead I was prepping and roasting a whole chicken. It was a component for that evening’s dinner, the ultimate comfort food: chicken pot pie. The combination of flaky pastry, seasoned gravy, and vegetables that appeared on plates throughout my childhood make it an ideal winter Sunday meal. 

The whole chicken provided not only the meat for the pie, it also provided the chicken broth after a few hours of simmering the carcass on the stove with vegetables and seasonings. The best part was that the three pound free-range organic chicken cost only ten dollars and some change at the store the previous day, which is a bargain in Brooklyn. 

A guide to making chicken broth and the pie are after the jump. Continue Reading →