Category Archives: Pies

Chicken and Jerusalem artichoke pie (the, I love you, pie!)

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When I started this blog the first picture I used was that of me and 4 mini pies I had made.  Creations from la cuineta will soon undertake some changes with a house move planned so the time seemed right to bring out a pie once more!

I don’t want to jinx the move and we don’t have the keys yet but if all goes to plan, I will still be cooking from a small kitchen but a better designed one!  Also for that reason, you will see a picture of the very small oven which can lay claim to many of the recipes on here (it’s time it got some credit!).  Apologies for it’s dirty state but as I’m hoping to get a brand new oven, I’m feeling quite lazy to clean it!

The recipe I found was able to utilise the artichokes that I had in my veg box delivery:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/chickenandjerusalema_85607

I started with the arduous task of extracting the hearts of the artichokes.  This is really not a favourite task of mine but I think I’m improving at it…

I still used this video here to help me:

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I was also able to utilise one of the giant onions I got in my veg box meaning we now have a little bit more space in the fridge!!!

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Once I’d got the hearts of the artichokes out, I put them in a bowl of water with lemon juice to keep them from oxidating while I chopped the onions, the chicken and could prepare the wine and the chicken stock.

I melted the butter and added the onions and garlic and gently fried for a couple of minutes before adding the chopped artichokes, orange zest and wine.  Once the wine had evaporated slightly I sprinkled over the flour and then gently added the chicken stock to make the sauce.

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I actually found the sauce to be quite thick before before putting a lid on it and cooking for the proposed 10-15 mins, so I reduced this time slightly and then added the cream for the final few minutes on the hob.  See what you think, when you have it all mixed together.

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Once the sauce was done, I moved on to the constructing of the pie.  I had cheated a little and bought ready made puff pastry but after the artichokes, this was a welcome respite 🙂  They make so much mess for what you get out of them and I guess there is some significance of whenever I mention using artichokes to most people they say they just take them from a jar.

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For my left over pastry pieces I decided to write a nice message.  That was easier for me than trying to make a flower and was probably more appreciated too! 🙂

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The height the puff pastry got to in the little over was quite impressive!

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All in all, it came out really well!  I do still love pies!!!  The pastry was nicely crispy and the orange zest made for a different kind of pie.  We both went back for seconds so a good sign that it was a tasty dish.

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I’m hoping to squeeze in another couple of blogs from my existing kitchen but we will see how the next couple of months go and the demands on my time.  I have to say that designing my own kitchen is very exciting and something I will be able to spend many more hours doing!

 

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Filed under Chicken, English, Food, Food blogging, Pie, Pies, Recipes, Uncategorized

Alternative Christmas Dinner! – Scallops with a sabayon sauce and Fish Pie!

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As I stated in my previous post, I cooked for some of my family on Christmas Day what with my mum doing the traditional turkey dinner for all the family on Boxing Day this year 🙂  It’s taken me a while to get this post up as Christmas time at home is pretty hectic and then straight back to Barcelona and work on 30th!

It was nice to choose the recipes for this day; something special that would take a bit more time to cook as I would have the majority of Christmas morning to do it.  It was also very nice to be able to cook for my family on this day and take some of the pressure from my mum during the holiday season (although she just did it all the next day instead, and the next day and the next day!).

I’d cooked the scallops in the sabayon sauce before (from the Little Paris Kitchen book) but this was the first time I’d tried this particular fish pie.

The thought of cooking Christmas Day didn’t daunt me too much but the thought of shopping in a UK supermarket on Christmas Eve did quite a bit!  In reality it was calmer than I thought but things were starting to run out.  We took the last 10 scallops, had to buy frozen prawns and had to used dried dill rather than fresh but apart from that it went very smoothly!  I was also offered a good deal on a carp (presumably with all the fish I was buying I had been identified as a prime candidate to buy) but really didn’t really have a use for that as well!

I started off by defrosting the prawns and then taking the heads and the shells off and putting to one side to use in the sauce of the pie.

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I mixed the prawn shells with milk, butter, onion, bay leaf and pepper corns and simmered for 10 mins.  When it was done I set it to one side to infuse.

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Then I put the fish into a roasting pan, skin side up.  I strained the infused milk into the pan on top of the fish and simmered on the hob for 8 mins.  I left them to cool a little before flaking into a bowl removing the skin and any bones before mixing with the prawns.

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Sneak peaks into the guest kitchen…. (much bigger than mine!!!)

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I melted the butter and added the flour and then gradually the flavoured milk left in the roasting pan.  I whisked while simmering for about 15 mins until thick and added a little salt and pepper.  I added the parsley and poured the sauce over the fish and left to cool a little.

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Meanwhile I’d boiled the potatoes in salted water for 20 mins and soaked a pinch of saffron in a couple of tablespoons of hot water.  I beat in the saffron to the mashed potatoes before adding the butter, milk and dill.

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Now the fish mixture had cooled, I spread the mash on top and baked in the oven for 40 mins on 180 degrees and until the top was brown and crispy.  The saffron gave the mash a really nice colour so will be using this in mash in the future for sure!

While the pie was baking, I started the scallops.  First with the sabayon sauce by putting the egg yolks, wine and sugar and salt into a glass bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.  I whisked for 10 mins until thick and foamy.

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I set this aside while I cooked the scallops with a bit of oil.  2 mins on one side and then 3 mins on the other.  I served the scallops in their shells with a bit of rocket on the side and the sabayon sauce dripped over the top.

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So the verdict and the final pictures; the scallops were great as a starter and went down very well with my family 🙂  Very tasty and a very nice mix of flavours!  Quite a pretty plate too 🙂

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And the pie was extremely tasty too!  It’s quite a big investment of time but worth the effort with some nice touches in the recipe including the saffron in the mash and the prawn shell infused milk makes a big different to the taste.

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My family seemed happy so that was the main thing!  Mum said the best Christmas Dinner ever but I’m quite sure she was being nice!  It was good to have something different though and these recipes are a luxurious treat for Christmas 🙂

And now as an extra; a peak into the best Christmas Dinner ever (served on Boxing Day this year).  Traditional turkey dinner by my mum 🙂  Really the best ever and something I look forward to a lot with the pigs in blankets always my favourite!!!  All the family together too so a perfect Boxing Day!

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A belated Merry Christmas to all and hope the New Year has started well 🙂

Ingredients

Scallops with a sabayon sauce – served 5

10 large scallops with shells

Several handfuls of rocket

Olive oil

4 egg yolks

100 ml dry white wine

Pinch of sugar and salt

Fish pie – serves 5 (including seconds!!!)

350g raw shell on prawns (I could only find frozen)

700 ml milk

1 bay leaf

2 peppercorns

450g haddock (or any white fish)

450g smoked haddock (or cod)

75g butter

75g flour

4 tablespoons of chopped parsley

Salt and pepper

For the mash

1.3kg floury potatoes

Large pinch of saffron threads

75g butter

250ml milk

3 tablespoons of fresh dill (if you can get it!)

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Filed under English, Fish, Food, Food blogging, French, Herbs, Pie, Pies, Recipes, Starter, Uncategorized

Chicken, bacon, leek and mushroom pie

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So another month has passed and I think I have done less cooking in this time than in a long time.  I’ve not been home much and I’ve really missed cooking!  So this weekend I did a couple of recipes but one has already been featured on here (Chicken Chow Mein) so my “feature” for this blog is chicken and mushroom pie.  When I built this blog and the about me page, there was definitely a pie theme going on so it was about time a full recipe made it on here!  This also coincides well with the purchase of a new recipe book; Pies, Glorious Pies!

I’ve opted for what I thought was quite an easy recipe but having never really had any problems with making pastry before, today was going to be the day what with me having to put pictures on here!

I made the pastry first by sifting the flour into a bowl and mixing by hand with chilled, chopped butter.  I say sifting but I probably sifted about half before I got bored and tipped the non-sifted part into the bowl.  The recipe book states that you can use a food processor to make the pastry but I prefer to make by hand so I can feel and see the texture well.

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After the mixture resembled bread crumbs, I added the 2 egg yolks and water and mixed until it made a dough.  I then attempted to knead until smooth but I think maybe I did not knead for long enough although the dough did look like a nice shaped ball!

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I wrapped the dough in cling film and left in the fridge for 30 mins.

In the meantime, I chopped the chicken and added this to the pie dish along with the lardons.  I quartered a few mushrooms and added this to the dish with one chopped leek.  I also added salt, pepper and one teaspoon of dried parsley.  It seems I forgot to buy the fresh parsley when I went food shopping yesterday….

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I then poured in the stock/worcestershire sauce mixture over the top before going back to the pastry.

I lightly floured the surface and then started rolling out the pastry with a rolling pin.

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The pastry was cracking quite a bit from the beginning so when I picked it up it fell apart quite easily so there was no way of putting it on top of the pie mixture!  I put the dough back together with a bit more of water and egg and tried again.  It was better this time but still there were a few cracks so not the perfect pie topping I was looking for 😦  These are the best photos I could get…

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I cooked the pie for 1.5 hours on 180 degrees and served it along with some mangetout and carrots.  While it did not look the prettiest pie in the world, the most important part was that it tasted great 🙂  A lot of flavour and for me, a real taste of home!

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Ingredients

Rich shortcrust pastry

  • 250g plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 125g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2-3 tablespoons of ice-cold water

Pie filling

  • 1.5 chicken breasts
  • 150g bacon lardons
  • 1 leek
  • 100g mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon of dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons of worcester sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 4 tablespoons of chicken stock
  • 1 egg, beaten with a pinch of salt
  • Salt and pepper

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Filed under Chicken, English, Food, Pie, Pies, Recipes, Uncategorized