Higher Elevation = Lower Boiling Point

After spending nearly six months in Texas for the winter, we headed Northwest to explore New Mexico, Utah and Colorado. I hadn’t given any thought to the impact higher elevations would have on my cooking and grilling.

Higher Elevation Lower Boiling Point

Higher Elevation Lower Boiling Point

That is until we were at 5,000 feet above sea level and DH’s Whole Grain Oatmeal that I prepare in the microwave boiled over like a volcano. Ooops. I knew the elevation was the cause and decided that I should revisit the topic before I ruined a more expensive meal.

The reduced air pressure at higher elevations affects the boiling point of water. Did you know that once water reaches the boiling point, that is as hot as it will ever get regardless of how much higher you turn up the heat. For every 500 feet of elevation, the boiling point is reduced by 1 degree F. Thus cooking oatmeal in the microwave for the same amount of time I did in Texas was an extremely messy mistake.

I found some good articles in About Food.com. The first does a good job of explaining ‘what is happening’ at higher elevations and the second provides tips to use when cooking, baking and grilling at higher elevations.

Higher Altitude Lower Boiling Point

High Altitude Cooking Tips

Use the comment section to share any High Altitude Cooking Tips or experiences that you have.

 

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie

Yesterday was pretty darn cold for Texas.  I wanted comfort food and my favorite is Chicken Pot Pie.  I went searching for recipes and found one by Trisha Yearwood.  I figured if Garth Brooks likes it, then I’m sure my DH will too.  However, Trisha’s recipe was lacking vegetables.  What is Chicken Pot Pie without vegetables?  I made some modifications to the ingredients and switched from a casserole dish to preparing in my ever faithful #8 Griswold Cast Iron Skillet. The results were amazing and DH commented that I could definitely make this dish again. (For those not familiar with the RV terminology of DH and DW … they stand for Dear Husband, Dear Wife – OR – Darn Husband, Darn Wife depending on the day and the mood.)  

The recipe calls for Buttermilk.  That’s not something I usually have on hand, but there are good substitutions or if you have heavy cream you can make your own.  I had just shy of a pint of heavy cream left over from a previous recipe and time on my hands.  So, I turned it into butter and used the fresh buttermilk for my recipe.


 

Here is my Recipe as modified from Trisha Yearwood’s …

Ingredients

2 Cups Cooked Chicken Shredded
2 Cups Chopped Vegetables
Celery
Carrots
Potato
Onion
2 Cups Chicken Stock/Broth
1 10 oz can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 Cup Buttermilk Well Shaken * (Click here for substitutions)
1/2 Cup + 1 Tbs Butter melted
1 1/4 Cup Self Rising Flour
Salt & Pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Melt 1 Tablespoon butter in an oven proof skillet

Add chicken and vegetables and saute over medium heat for 5 minutes

Combine soup and broth in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Let simmer and reduce for 10 – 15 minutes.

Add soup mix to skillet and stir to combine

Add Salt and Pepper to taste

In medium bowl mix buttermilk, melted butter, flour, dash pepper.

Carefully add mixture over ingredients in skillet. Smooth if necessary but do not stir.

Bake for 45 minutes or until crust is lightly browned.

Remove skillet from oven and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.