Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Chicken, mushroom, bacon and leek pie

I forgot to take a photo of the ingredients, sorry.

Cast of characters
  • 2 chicken breast fillets cooked and shredded(you can use any cut of chicken you like ie thigh fillets etc)
  • 1 medium leek sliced
  • 2 rashers of bacon cut into strips
  • mushrooms - I used cup mushrooms and Swiss Brown - chopped or sliced - about 300g (maybe more, we love mushrooms so I always add more)
  • Sprig of fresh thyme, leaves removed from stalk
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon corn flour
  • 2 tablespoons creme fraiche or low fat Greek yogurt
  • salt and pepper
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • 1 sheet pre-rolled puff pastry
  • 1 egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 200°C

Step 1
Add a drizzle of olive oil to pan and fry the bacon strips for a couple of minutes. Add leeks and then mushrooms and thyme, cook until mushrooms are done.

Step 2
Add chicken stock and the cornflour that has been disolved in a little water. Once the mixture begins to thicken takke pan off the heat and add the creme fraiche. Add the shredded chicken and mix through. Place filling into a pie dish. I used an old pyrex pie dish because the new fancy pie dishes are too big for the puff pastry sheets to cover properly.

Step 3
Cover the pie with the sheet of puff pastry, trim the excess pastry from the edges and crimp.Cut to vent slits in the top of the pie and brush with beaten egg.

Step 4
Bake for about 25 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.

Serve with whatever side dishes you like for example mashed potatoes and vegetables. We didn't bother with side dishes, we ate the pie on its own.

This photo shows the inside of the pie after it is cut open.

The pie was outstanding and I will definitely make it again.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Aussie beef and beer pie (that failed as a pie)

This recipe comes from Woolworths The good taste Collection COOK! book.

I do love a good meat pie but I've never made one so when I saw this recipe I decided to give it a go.

Cast of characters

  • 4 (about 650g) beef scotch fillet steaks, cut into 2cm pieces
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 250ml (1 cup) beer
  • 1 sheet (29cm x 29cm) frozen pastry, just thawed
  • 1 egg lightly whisked
  • 2 sheets (25cm x 25cm) frozen puff pastry, just thawed
  • Fountain Spicy Red Sauce, to serve
Step 1
Place beef in a large bowl and sprinkle with flour. Season with salt and pepper. Gently toss to evenly coat.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook the onion, garlic and thyme, stirring for 5 minutes or until the onion is soft. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the beef and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until browned.

Step 3
Stir in the tomato and beer. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low. Cook, covered for 55 minutes or until the beef is tender. Set aside for 30 minutes to cool.

Step 4
Preheat oven to 220°C. Place baking tray on the middle shelf. Cut the shortcrust pastry into quarters. Line 4 round 3cm-deep, 12cm (base measurement) pie tins with shortcrust pastry, allowing the sides to overhang. Brush edges with egg. Divide the beef mixture evenly among the pastry cases.

Step 5
Cut each puff pastry sheet in half diagonally. Top the pies with the puff pastry and trim excess pastry. Press the edges with a fork to seal.

Step 6
Brush the pies with egg. Cut a small cross in the centre of each pie. Bake the pies on the tray for 25 minutes or untilgolden and puffed. Serve with the spicy red sauce.


When I got to the end of step three I decided the mixture was way to sloppy to put into pies so I cooked some rice and fresh French cut beans and served them with the meat mixture.

Despite the fact that I didn't make the pies the actual meat mixture was really delicious and I will definitely make this again and call it a casserole and not bother trying to make it into pies. To be honest this tasted a lot fancier than regular aussie meat pies and I'm now on the hunt for a regular meat pie recipe :)

Stuffed Buns

These buns are so easy, I make them fairly plain but there is no reason why you couldn't add anything you like to them for example herbs or spices, capsicum, celery, chopped mushrooms; whatever you want.

Cast of characters

  • 1 tray minced beef (the tray I used was about 900g)
  • Bread rolls (any shape you like, I used 4 torpedo rolls and 6 dinner rolls for 900g of meat)
  • 1 can corn kernels (frozen corn kernels can be used)
  • Tomato paste
  • Butter 
  • Grated cheese (not in photo)
Brown the mince and drain. Return to pan and add tomato paste, I used 4 heaped tablespoons for 900g meat) mix well until all the mince is coated with tomato paste. Add corn and mix through. Turn off heat.

Step 2
Cut the tops off the buns.

Hollow out the inside of the buns being careful not to rip the edges. When the rolls are all hollowed out butter the insides well.

Spoon the meat mixture into the buns making sure to fill well.

Cover top of buns with grated cheese. If you want to freeze the buns to cook later wrap them in foil after adding the grated cheese and put in the freezer.

Step 4
Bake in a moderately hot oven until the cheese has melted and turned golden brown.

These are alawys yummy :) Don't stint on the tomato paste, it really is better with this recipe to have too much rather than too little.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dort's Shortbread

This recipe comes from Better basics with "fast" Ed magazine  (A Better Homes and Gardens magazine)

Cast of characters

  • 90g icing sugar
  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 375g plain flour
  • whole blanched almonds, glacĂ© cherries, to decorate
Preheat oven to 160°C. Line oven trays with baking paper.

Step 1
Put icing sugar and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium until light and creamy. Beat in vanilla.

Gently fold in flour and mix untl smooth.

Step 2
Roll tablespoon of mixture (I wanted smaller bickies so I used teaspoons) into balls, then put them on prepared trays. Flatten each ball with a fork, then top with an almond or a cherry.

Bake for 20 minutes or until pale golden and firm. Cool completely on wire racks before serving.

Greek Lemon Chicken

This recipe comes from Super Food Ideas magazine.

Cast of Characters (Serves 4)

  • 8 small (250g each) chicken thigh cutlets (skin on) trimmed
  • 300g red rascal potatoes, cut into 2.5cm pieces
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 medium red capsicum, cut into strips
  • 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 medium lemons
  • 250g cherry truss tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped basil leaves (I hate basil so I left this out)
Heat oven to 200°C/180°C fan-forced

Step 1
Place chicken in a large roasting pan. Arrange potatoes, onion, capsicum and garlic around chicken. Pour over stock. Finely grate 1 lemon. Reserve grated lemon rind. Juice grated lemon. Cut remaining lemon into wedges. add lemon juice and wedges to pan. Season with salt and pepper.

Step 2
Roast for 15 minutes or until chicken starts to brown. Reduce temperature to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Roast for 25 minutes.

Step 3
Add tomatoes and olives.
Roast for 10 to 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and tomatoes are just starting to collapse.
Step 4
Combine parsley, basil and reserved grated lemon rind in a dish. Sprinkle over chicken mixture. Serve.

For extra flavour, serve with crumbled feta cheese.

While this tasted okay I don't think I'll make it again. There was way too much watery juice and too much lemon flavour.