Tag Archives: Pastry

Cheeky lamb pie

25 Jan

pie

Most of us have this notion that we cook a leg of lamb for Christmas or Easter. NOT my man with his rumbling tummy!! He tends to come home with a huge piece of meat, and then stares at me with a cheeky smile. In this case, you’ve guessed what it is! He also has a way of putting in his order at the right time too!!

Our friends Franco & Sonia moved back to London from Spain, so I cooked a Sunday roast with this leg of lamb. ( recipe on the blog) Is it strange that they don’t eat as much as we do? We might eat a little too much! I won’t comment further, because we then had a fair amount of meat left. The ultimate – when you can make a pie from venison, lamb or a good cut of beef roast. My oh my!!!!

This doesn’t occur, ever! A very cheeky dish and most people will say its a waste of good meat to use lamb in a pie, but I can tell you, no wastage there!! Try it for yourself and we’ll see.

mushrooms

Ingredients

1 dish of lamb leftovers ( mine was about 2 big handfuls of lamb)

1 x teaspoon of olive oil

2 x handfuls of mushrooms, chopped

1 x onion, roughly chopped

3/4 cup of red wine

1 1/2 teaspoons corn flour

1 x pack of all butter pastry

1 x egg

3 pinches of all purpose flour

salt & pepper to taste

mushrooms

Add olive oil to the pan. Fry the chopped onions until glassy. Add the mushrooms and fry until light brown. Now add  your lamb and start mixing through. After 5 – 7 minutes, add the corn flour.

onion & mushrooms

Mix through, ensuring it coats the mushrooms and  meat. Now add the red wine. Along with the heat and the corn flour,  it will now start to thicken the red wine into a tasty gravy.

Cook this on a low heat, until thickened. Put aside and allow to cool.

diced lamb

Take a little bit of butter or non-stick cooking spray and spray a 30cm square Pyrex dish or any dish of a similar size.

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Sprinkle the flour on a kitchen top surface and swish it around a little bit to give you an area where you’ll be rolling out your puff pastry. Now get your rolling pin and start rolling!!!

puff pastry

I usually place one piece of pastry in the bottom of the dish, then I dish in the pie filling. Beat the egg and get yourself a little basting brush. Brush the edges on the bottom half of the pastry. Place the other half on top and gently squeeze the edges together. If you have any pastry left, cut little forms with cookie cutters and place it on top.

rolling pin

Brush your whole pie with the egg.

beaten egg

Last step : take a sharp knife and make a tiny hole in the middle of the pie or use an adorable pie bird!

lamb pie

Bake in the oven for 30 – 45 minutes or until golden brown. The final step is to remove it from the oven and look at the hungry buggers’ faces, waiting for the very first piece of that pie and then decide who you’ll give it to first!

lamb pie

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Nutty about…

2 Aug

All the people in London, getting to work, rush hour, the olympics, but most of all, nutty about all our gold medals that we have won already!!!! Go boys, go!!! That would be SA, just to clarify 🙂 GB is not doing too bad ;-p So after a few manic weeks after returning from our heavenly Cayman trip.. yes, it is already a month ago.. I finally have time for my little baby… to get back to posting some entries. In honour of the Olympics, I would like to share this nutty recipe.. I mean come on.. everyone is freakin nuts over here, the spirit is electric! Who is to say these nutty bars that I will be sharing with you might not help with some energy for our boys in their races!!

So this is not my own recipe, but a wonderful creation from the famous Hummingbird Bakery… just around the corner from us in Notting Hill. Its simply lovely.. and I am happy to say, that my Conan simply goes “nuts” for it!

You can use your own choice of nut mixture, just make sure that the same amount is as indicated in the recipe.

Mixed Nut Slices

For the base

150g Plain Flour

40g icing sugar

120g unsalted butter, softened

For the topping

50g unsalted butter

50g Golden syrup

110g soft light brown sugar

2 large eggs

40g walnut pieces

40g pecan halves

40g shelled pistachios

40g flaked almonds

40g roughly chopped hazelnuts

One 22 x 31cm baking tray

Preheat the oven to 170 C and line the baking tray with baking parchment. Using a freestanding electric mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the flour, icing sugar and butter into a dough. Alternatively, rub the ingredients together by hand in a bowl.

Press the dough into the prepared baking tray, making a slight lip around the edge to stop the filling from pouring over the sides of the tray. Place in the oven and bake the base in the oven for approximately 20 minutes or until the edges are a light golden brown and the edges are a light golden brown and the middle is pale, but cooked.

Meanwhile, make the topping. Place the butter in a small saucepan along with the golden syrup and brown sugar, and melt together over a low heat. Remove the pan from the hob and allow to cool slightly.

Break the eggs into a bowl and lightly beat with a fork. Pour the butter and syrup mixture into the eggs and stir until all the ingredients are incorporated.

Mix all the nuts together in a separate bowl, and scatter them over the part-cooked pastry base. Carefully pour the syrup and egg mixture over the nuts, making sure it is evenly spread over the base.

Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the topping is set and golden brown in colour. Allow to cool before carefully cutting into 12 slices.

Just roll with it…

29 Feb

Which is what I have been doing the last few days. Sometimes you just have to sit back and let life take you where it wants to 🙂 I have found that it actually makes you much less stressed and more energized…. which added to my GREAT decision of joining the gym, FULL on! Obviously, this is the reason why my posts have had no ” meat” on them…. Go to work, go to gym, come home, cook, wash, clean, shower and go to sleep… and the next day all over again.

I have to say, all those crazy, gym-bunny freaks really have quite a good addiction going, it is a great routine…. if you stick to it long enough to become a routine ;-p Yes, yes… I PROMISE, mine will become a routine.. a happy (driving everyone crazy with my energy) routine…   So this dish came up in my mind while I was in a “all level” “all body workout”. What I think about this description… the gym barbie-doll lied!!!! Yes, she did!!!! “All level” means you have to at least have gone to the gym for more than 6 months and weigh less than one of my thighs! Maybe the “All body workout” was true.. because even my face was working out from frowning from all the pain…. yeah, you heard it.. pain… and a LOT of it!

Needless to say, this pain forced me to go to my happy place… and what happy place would this be? Food… food… food!!

I went down the healthy route as my new found happiness is watercress 🙂 Yes, watercress… and what looks pretty with watercress.. Salmon 🙂 Green and pink. Pink was the colour Iof my face halfway into my excercise class… and green was the colour when I walked out of that deep, torturing, dark place… but hey, I got a recipe out of it!! 🙂 Quite simple really, but my Johnny Bravo loved it!!!!

Salmon & Watercress Tart

1 pack of watercress – mine was about 3 handfuls

1 tin of artichokes.. roughly torn

2 pieces of Salmon – baked in the oven for 15 min

2 eggs

250 ml cream / soya cream

1 big red onion, roughly chopped

2 teaspoons of wholegrain mustard

1 teaspoon of crushed garlic

half a holder of goats cheese

parmesan to grate

salt & pepper to taste

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 pack of puff pastry ( I only used half)

Preheat your oven to 180 C.

Heat a frying pan and add your olive oil and onion.

Fry your onion over high heat for about 10 minutes.

While this is frying, you can roll out your pastry and place it in the dish you will use for the tart.  Now, after the onion has fried for 10 minutes, add the garlic and the artichokes. Flavour with salt and pepper. Fry for another 5 minutes.

Place the watercress in the dish, lined with your puff pastry.

Now, gently break the salmon and spread it out over the watercress. Layer with the onion and artichokes.

Crumble over the goats cheese.

Take your cream, eggs & mustard and whisk together. Flavour with a pinch of black pepper.

Pour it over the filling in the puff pastry lined oven dish. Grate over a bit of parmesan and grind over some black pepper.

Place in the oven for 30-45 minutes or until the pastry is puffy, crisp and light brown. Serve up with a lovely, fresh salad!

Overdue quick indulging chicken pie

10 Nov

As you all know, lately there have been no consecutive posts…. there are a few reasons… feeling blue… literally and figuratively… as the lovely cold british winter season creeped up on us. Arriving home late after work and of course having my own Conan in the house coming home ravenous after workout sessions at the gym… and a little bit of laziness added to that and you get a lovely combination of simply…. nothing.

This recipe came to light after having yet another wet and cold journey home and really feeling sorry for myself. What do I do when I feel like this? Naturally I think of what I will be cooking to eat for supper that will make me feel warm and cosy and fill up Conan’s stomach so that he will be ready for battle again the next day… a.k.a gym.

You don’t always have to think of a chicken pie as a lengthy process. If you have chicken fillets… then hey, Bob’s your uncle!! As I can never ignore a bargain, I still and always have loads of mushrooms in my fridge, so they HAVE to go into this pie. This is very quick and very tasty and for some absurd reason Conan was VERY impressed with it… as if I ever give him food he doesn’t enjoy? He still surprises me everyday! Just shows you, sometimes the quick, rushed option might taste better than you ever thought 🙂 So here we go, lets get cooking!

No Fuss Chicken Pie

1 pack of skinless chicken fillets, cut in medium sized cubes

2  1/2  handfuls of mushrooms, roughly chopped

1 tablespoon of sunflower oil

salt & pepper to taste

1 pack of puff pastry

2 packets of chicken and sweetcorn instant soup

250ml cream / soya cream

125 ml of soya milk / whole milk

pinch of crushed garlic

Heat your pan with the sunflower oil. Add your chicken to the pan and lightly sear your chicken. Flavour with pepper and salt.

Fry it for about 8 minutes. Remove from the pan and add your mushrooms. Allow to soften. Now add your chicken back into the pan. Sprinkle over your soup powder. Stir it so that the mushrooms and chicken are coated in the powder. Now, add your milk and garlic. Stir through and add your cream. Stir well. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 180 C.  Now, roll out your pastry on a board, sprinkled with flour. Grease a pie dish and place half of your pastry in the pie dish. Scoop your chicken mixture into the pie dish. Cover with the remaining pastry.

Brush with egg. Use the weight of a sharp knife to slide over the pie. Place in the oven for about 20 minutes or until golden.

Serve up with a fresh crisp salad or simple veg. So simple, but so tasty 🙂

Sunday chicken pie.. with a try!

12 Sep

Naturally, it was sunday and I didn’t do much, while still having a cold and lying on the couch, with a whole chicken simmering in chicken stock in my la creuset pot, while we were proudly watching the Rugby World cup. It was an experience that was memorable. The first time we watch our country play the rugby world cup and we’re sitting in London. Just the two of us, and one chicken. I wish I could say Wales were playing chicken, but hey, they played hard!  I think this is why I believe, that maybe, just maybe if SA had some home made chicken pie, they might have scored another try! Yes, and then maybe we could have won with more than just one point! Well, you cant have everything. At least the spirit was there, and a home made chicken pie that could take both our colds away. This lovely and soothing chicken pie, added by the excitement from the world cup made our sunday memorable. We were just like tweedle doo and tweedle dum sitting on the couch together with our little plates of food ;-p  Enough with the pity party, I know you will enjoy this chicken pie and maybe while you enjoy it, maybe then, our team will score another try!!

1 Whole chicken – (mine was rubbed with butter and parsley – bought it like that)

1 litre of chicken stock

1 pack of puff pastry

1 large onion, roughly chopped

3 slices of bacon optional ( I had leftover from breakfast)

Handful of mushrooms, roughly chopped

2 teaspoons of crushed garlic

1/4 cup of dry white wine

Juice of half a lemon

handful of crushed bacon kips of salted crackers like the ones in my picture 🙂

Salt & pepper to taste

1 tablespoon of oil

1 egg, beaten

Bring to boil the chicken stock, with the chicken in a saucepan, until the meat falls off the bone. Allow to cool and remove the chicken from the bones, shred slightly with your hands and discard the skin and bones.

Make sure there aren’t any fine bones between the chicken. Reserve the chicken stock, you can always freeze it and use it in future for chicken soup.

Add the oil to a frying pan and add your onion. Fry for about 10 minutes. Now add your mushrooms. Cook until brown, but still firm and add your chicken and white wine. Mix through and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.

Taste and flavour with salt.Now add your lemon juice and bacon.

Allow to simmer for 5 mins.

Add 2 cups of the reserved chicken stock and allow to simmer for another 10 minutes, mixing every now and then.

While this is simmering, take some flour and sprinkle over your work surface. Now roll out your pastry.

Place one part in the bottom, in a greased bowl/ tray. Now, mix through the crushed crackers in your chicken filling. Take your chicken-pie filling and scoop it in the dish.

Cover with the remaining pastry. I made 2 little hearts from extra pieces of pastry, it adds a little love ;-p Brush with your beaten egg.

Place in a preheated oven of 180 C and bake for 15-20 minutes or until puffed up and golden brown.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Serve with some veggies or salad, or if you were feeling as worn out and ill, nothing ;-p Just the good ‘ol chicken pie!

Monday Pig out pie

8 Aug

Hello my foodie friends! I think after this weekend, we almost knew what “gluttony” meant. I won’t be suprised if we develop little piggy tails! We enjoyed a pork barbeque with a lovely bread and olive and goats cheese. The next day we had larger than life pizza’s and on Sunday I prepared a lovely sticky and sweet pork shoulder with rice, corn and a radish salad. How does it not come close to being as greedy as 2 little piggies?

I suppose we love food so much, we can never be guilty of gluttony ;-p We enjoy it too much and definitely appreciate it. Naturally,even after all of this indulging, there was some leftover pork. Yes I know, even I do not feel like taking photos of everything and took a back seat on the blog over the weekend.  This is good, it means I will make it again, just to share that lovely pork shoulder.

So, back to the leftovers – I wanted to make a simple and light stirfry, but alas, so enters the lion man! He wanted a pork pie! He can’t say no to a pie! Also in this message, he “matter of fact” mentioned he would like to have mushrooms with it and a tasty little sauce.“Recipe brain” going in overdrive! Needless to say he had to pick up puff pastry from the grocer on his way home… well he was the one that wanted pie! ;-p

I suppose it is a comfort food for many. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like pie. I think the love for it lies in the lovely and rich butter pastry. So while I am sitting at work I am working on a little non-fat pastry recipe in my head. Well hey, who wants that?? The whole point of  pastry is to be rich, creamy and warm, creating an unknowing smile on each face enjoying this indulgence! That is always the joy and greatest reward of cooking to me. I also have to create a “cement of fame block” for the hubby as he was the genius that came up with tonight’s title. He won’t admit it, but he is always curious about my writing ;-p

I am sure he will be showing this to his work colleagues tomorrow ;-p  And before I start, remember, the main ingredient in food is love. Especially in this dish, there was plenty. My hubby put his hand to rolling out the pastry for the pie – he managed really well 🙂 Soon, I will have my own assistant ;-p

Monday Pig out pie

sunflower oil for cooking

1 pack of puff pastry

1 egg, beaten

Handful of mushrooms, rougly chopped

1 onion, roughly chopped & 1/2 red onion roughly chopped

Reserve of your “gelatin” from your leftover pork / 2 tablespoons of honey, 2 teaspoons of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of soya sauce

2 tablespoons of apple pickle / apple chutney

1 courgette, roughly chopped

1 green/ yellow pepper, roughly chopped

2 cups of leftover pork, cut in bitesize pieces

Salt & pepper to taste

Preaheat your oven to 180 degrees celcius.  Heat a frying pan and drizzle with oil. Add your “gelatin” / sauce mixture. Now add your onions and fry for about 8 minutes. Add your courgette. Fry for another 8 minutes and now add the mushrooms, yellow pepper and pork. Finally, add your pickle. Mix through and allow to simmer. Season with salt to taste.

Grease a pie dish / tin. Roll out your pastry and place one half in the pie dish. Scoop in your pork mixture. Top off with the remaining pastry.

If you have any pastry left, cut out little hearts with a cookie cutter and place them on top of your pie – this extra loving creates a better taste, I promise! ;-p

Finally, brush your pie with the beaten egg, so that it can turn lovely and deliciously golden in the oven 🙂 Bake it for 30 – 45 min until golden brown. 🙂  And if you’re anything like the hubby, serve a salad with it 🙂

 

 

 

 

Footie steak & ale pie

6 Apr

Today, I felt really, really happy!! Even more happy than normal – sun, birds singing, lots of little pictures of my ever-improving little new garden 🙂 It is safe to say that today I truly was a desperate housewife! Woke up, made coffee, put the washing in, cleaned the house, hung the washing. Yup, then I walked down the street, bought flowers from the Bon Fleur flower shop and came home starting to plan my attack on the weeds! So, after a few scrapes and cuts, it was done and my plants were planted! What a cute, pretty sight! So some of the pictures that were in my mind formed itself in my little garden 🙂

Now it was time to make some happy, comfort food for the man – this is after I heard that there was a big football game on tonight. So I made him something that would make him feel very calm, and fill up his tummy and his mind with happy thoughts! This is now a test to see if it will keep him from getting too worked up while watching the footie!! So lets hold thumbs!!

As I am sitting here on the couch next to him, while writing this, he has stayed calm… , wait, or not! Just heard a scream!!! So, that’s a no then. Hmm. No sugar for this man tonight!! Maybe I should try and hide the coffee machine? Caffeinne cant be good when watching soccer? He would lose his mind! Ok, enough of the small talk, here we go with the recipe!!

1 pack of shortcrust pastry or puff pastry

1 egg

1/2 onion roughly chopped

7 mushrooms cut into slices

2 teaspoons of crushed garlic

1 tablespoon of butter

1 bottle of ale or beer ( I used Stella Artois)

350g beef goulash or stewing steak

2  1/2 tablespoons of gravy granules

1 teaspoon of sugar

handful of fresh thyme

Start rolling out your pastry, drizzle a bit of flour to prevent it from sticking to your rolling pin. Now either place them in individual small baking cups, or you can make one big pie in a big dish. Remember to grease your cups / pie dish. When placing them, allow enough space to hang over – this you will fold closed after putting in your filling.

Now get a bowl and put your cut pieces of steak in it and pour over your ale / beer. Leave to marinate while you are busy with the other ingredients. Add butter to a heated pan and the garlic. Now add the onion and fry until glassy.

Then you will add your mushrooms. Fry till almost done. Now get back to your steak that has been marinating in the beer. Take them out of the bowl and squeeze out the beer fluid. Make sure you squeeze this fluid over the bowl that the meat was marinating in, because you will use this. Now add it to the pan with the mushrooms and onion. Fry until almost browned and then add your gravy granules.

Mix through so that it dissolves slightly. Now add your beer / ale and mix gently. This will start to thicken, so you need it to simmer. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Now add your sugar and thyme and mix through thoroughly so that the sugar dissolves in the sauce.

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celcius. Scoop your filling into your pastry cups / dish. Now, fold over the overhanging pieces to that they look like a little blanket 🙂

Take your egg and brush each one – this will allow them to go smiley and golden 🙂 Bake them in your oven for about 20 minutes or until golden. This really is lovely, you can still taste a bit of the beer/ ale and it really is hearty added with the gravy. I served it up with a cucumber, chive, tomato and romaine lettuce salad. Serve up with whatever you feel like 🙂