Thursday, June 30, 2011

Restaurant Reviews: California Pizza Kitchen

Yummy CPK Barbecue Chicken Pizza with bacon on the new gluten free crust!

I shared with y’all a few weeks back when I learned that California Pizza Kitchen would soon be debuting gluten free crusts.  Well I’m so pleased to say that yesterday was the first day of the new crusts at our local CPK and we were right there to taste them so I could share this review with you!  I’m so selfless I know, ha!

The new menu is great and clearly indicates which items (besides the pizzas) are gluten free.  There are a good number of appetizers and salads that are marked GF and even a dessert option.  All of the pizzas except one could be made GF and with no upcharge!


So what was the verdict?  Well, it was delicious!  We were prepared for it to be just so so since it was the first day and we thought they might still be working out the kinks, but the pizza came out quickly and tasted great.  The crust is on the thinner side, but not crispy.  We enjoyed the pear gorgonzola pizza and the classic barbecue chicken pizza.  Both were absolutely wonderful.

Since the CPK on West Grey is just down the street from our house, I know we will be going a lot.  I still prefer the flavor of the crust from Pink’s Pizza, but at a lower price tag with a dine-in option, I know CPK will definitely be in our regular rotation.

Here are a few more pictures of the new pizza I captured with my blackberry camera… I apologize there are no pictures of the entire pizzas because like a little piggy I started eating before I remembered to take a picture!

Pear, Gorgonzola, hazelnuts, and mixed greens on GF crust.

I wasn't the only one who enjoyed it!

Stop by and try it soon.  I can't wait to hear what y'all think!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Recipes: Skillet Chicken Pot Pie

I recently shared this easy weeknight recipe on my family blog and I thought I should bring it over here to share as well since it easily converts to gluten free.  This comes together in less than an hour but tastes like it's been baking all day!

Skillet Chicken "Pot Pie"
Serves 4

Pie Filling:

  • 1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken (I use thighs because that's what we prefer, but breasts are fine too - or if you are feeling super lazy, just pull apart a rotisserie chicken)
    • salt, lemon pepper to season
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 shallots minced (but you can use any onions you have on hand)
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine (or in my case left over flat champagne, ha!)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon herbs de provence (if you don't have that use thyme)
  • 2 cups frozen pea, carrot, corn medley
Biscuit Crust: 

  • 2 cups all purpose flour (I use my standard blend, but insert any gluten free all purpose mix you like and make sure that if it doesn't have it, you add 1 tsp xantham gum)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Begin by making the biscuits.  Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together.  Stir in the cheddar cheese.  Stir in the cream with a wooden spoon until the dough forms.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured area and form a ball.  Knead the dough briefly until smooth.  Then, cut biscuits (I use the top of a glass) and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake about 15 minutes.

Pat chicken dry and season with salt and lemon pepper.  Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a skillet over medium heat.  Brown chicken lightly on both sides and transfer to a plate.  Add the remaining butter to the skillet and heat on medium until melted.  Add shallots and salt and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, whisk together the cornstarch with the wine.  When the onions are ready, stir the liquid mixture in with the onions for about 1 minute.    Slowly whisk in the broth, cream, and thyme, and bring to a simmer.  Place the chicken back into the pan, cover, and cook over medium low about 10 minutes.

Transfer fully cooked chicken to a plate.  Stir veggie mixture into the sauce and simmer about 2 minutes.  Once chicken is cool, shred it into bite-sized pieces and return it to the skillet.  Season filling with salt and pepper to taste.  Either place biscuits on top of the filling and serve from the skillet, or put individual servings into ramekins and top with a biscuit.  Enjoy!