A Perfect Pair; Cheese and Sangria Wine Jelly

What goes better with cheese than wine?  I love little cheese plates for snacks and parties. I always like to serve them with fruit spreads to add a little sweetness and contrast. Apricot jam, Pear preserves etc.. but then I heard of wine jelly and thought, yum! I decided to incorporate some fruit and other flavors into mine, much like you would for a sangria. I am not a jelly/jam maker. I don’t have jars and tongs and all that jazz so I made a simple batch and just refrigerated it. Do plan ahead because even though this is easy to make it can take 1-3 days to get to a jelly like consistency.It will loosen at room temp, but re-jells when refrigerated. Serve as a side on a cheese plate, over cream cheese with crackers, or on top of grilled chicken or pork.

Sangria Wine Jelly

2 1/2 c of wine ( I used a Cabernet)

Juice from 1 Orange

Juice from 1 Lime

Juice from 1 Lemon

1/2 t cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of zest from above citrus fruits

1 pkg dry pectin

2 1/2 c sugar

Add all ingredients to a medium sized sauce pan, bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Cool and add to an air tight container.  Refrigerate until set 1-3 days.

Served over Cream Cheese

Mini Chicken Pot Pies

We all have seen and love  food in miniature, pizzas, sandwiches, sliders, everybody likes a little single serving of their favorite food. I was making chicken pot pie for dinner and decided to try to shrink them, just for the cute factor. I kind of had a plan, use my regular pot pie filling, refrigerated biscuit dough and a muffin tin, but I had never done it before so I made sure I also had a back up plan incase things went wrong, as they do a lot in my house. The incredible thing is that they actually worked, cooked through and were as cute as a button, the bad news is that unless you are carb loading or only want cute the bread to filling ratio is off. Easy enough to fix by spooning extra filling over the top at the end, kind of like a popover. Or skip the cute part and just spoon filling over baked biscuits, country style, which was my back up plan and equally as delicious.

Chicken and Vegetable Filling

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces

2 T oil

1 zucchini chopped

2 potatoes chopped

1 c chopped carrots

1 c chopped leeks

1 clove garlic minced

2 tsp seasoning salt

1/8 c sherry

1 3/4 c chicken stock

1/4 c flour

2/3 c milk

In a large pan heat oil and saute chicken and potatoes about 5 minutes, add leeks, garlic and carrots continues to cook over med heat until chicken is cooked through and potatoes have started to soften.sprinkle with flour and cook one minute,

Add sherry and deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom. Add chicken stock and zucchini and seasoning salt and stir, bring to boil and then simmer for 5 minutes. Add milk and stir, heat through, turn heat to low.

To make Mini Pot Pies,pre heat oven to 350. Use a non stick muffin tin and separate your refrigerated biscuit dough in half. I used Grands.

Place on half into each tin and spoon in filling

Place the other half of the biscuit over the top and press to seal (doesn’t have to be perfect, sort of seals itself while cooking).

Use a sharp knife and cut a 1 inch slit into the top of the dough of each pie. Cook according to biscuit directions.

Voila, cute on a plate.

Option 2, cook biscuits according to package direction, split in half and spoon chicken pies filling over top.