Category Archives: English

Toad In The Hole

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Cottage Pie


Simple Fish Pie

Fish Pie

Yes I know it seems like all I ever eat is pie.. But this is more like fish with mashed potato 🙂

Its a sad day when I make Fish Pie for one but that’s what I wanted for dinner and I was on my own so I decided to make an individual pie in one of my terracotta baking dishes, they really are handy as everything get cooked through and it retains its heat for a long time so even if you are a slow eater it stays hot unlike when you ladle a dollop of pie onto a plate and its cold in 5 minutes!

Hot!

Ingredients (for 1)

  • 100 Grams Firm White Fish (I used Hake which I don’t recommend! Pollock or Coley work well or Line Caught Cod)
  • 10 Smallish Prawns (not tiny Shrimp but not Jumbo either-I used Frozen)
  • 10 Mussels, out of their shells, cooked (I used Frozen)
  • 10 Capers, drained of their brine
  • 1 Tbs Fresh Parsley
  • 15 grams Butter
  • 15 grams Plain White Flour
  • 300ml Milk
  • 1 Portion of Mashed Potato
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 15 grams Cheddar, grated
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 5 grams MORE Butter!

Method

  1. If using frozen shell fish- allow these to thaw
  2. Place White Fish in a pan with Milk & Bay Leaf, season lightly. Poach over low heat with lid on until fish is JUST turned white
  3. Remove Fish to a plate and allow to cool. Reserve Milk for your sauce (discard Bay Leaf)!
  4. In a small saucepan melt Butter with Flour until you have a Roux
  5. Slowly add the Milk (used to poach the fish) whisking until it is all incorporated. Bring to the boil & reduce till a simmer, stirring till thickened.
  6. Remove from heat
  7. Flake White Fish
  8. Add White Fish, Prawns, Mussels, Capers, Parsley & remaining Butter- mix well (but gently you don’t want to break the fish up)
  9. Sprinkle over Paprika
  10. Season to Taste
  11. Prepare your Mashed Potato, I just add Butter & Seasoning. Then stir in 1 Egg Yolk!

Roux

White Sauce

Assembly

  • Preheat Oven to Gas Mark 6
  • Grease your individual casserole dish with Butter or Olive Oil
  • Spoon in filling
  • Using a piping bag pipe over Mashed Potato (or spoon it on then fork over the top to create peaks)
  • Sprinkle over grated cheese
  • Bake in the oven for approx 25-30 mins till Golden & Bubbling (remember your ingredients were all cooked through anyway!)

NB

This was a simple fish pie using the ingredients I had in the fridge, freezer & cupboards.

If you want to make a special fish pie I would (and do generally!) add the following:

  • A Flaked Smoked Fish Fillet- I normally use Smoked Haddock but you could use Smoked Salmon
  • 1/2 a Chopped Boiled Egg Per person
  • 2 Chopped Cornichons Per Person
  • Some Fresh Dill/Tarragon or Chervil

Please note my piping is atrocious in the photos I need a new piping set & I was using a children’s one! If you pipe the mash it goes really crispy, ditto the egg yolk makes the mash really crisp!



Festive Sugar Cookies

 

Christmas Cookies!

 

 

This year I have struggled to find a Christmas Tree, I’m used to seeing them everywhere in London, even Cost Cutter Supermarket! But clearly in Northern Cyprus they aren’t so popular and as I really don’t like faux Christmas Trees I ended up buying an actual tree– it is in a big pot & it isn’t very symmetrical (especially after I snapped two branches squishing it into the car!) but after Christmas I can plant the tree in the garden, smug in the knowledge I am not chopping down trees for my own frivolity (ha!) and in future it can be used with outdoor lights to make the garden look pretty!

Anyway the tree is a bit spindly and it is sitting on a Granite table over a Marble floor so I am a little concerned about putting glass decorations on it (they make up the bulk of my decorations) so I thought I would make a batch of cookies to fill in the gaps and hopefully look a bit prettier than the Lebkuchen I made last year (although my friend still has one saved for her tree this year- what a loyal friend, it really is quite bad but at least I can make up for it with one of these ones!)

I was actually a bit stupid & baked a couple of trays full before I realised I hadn’t pierced a hole in any of them! So now I have some for hanging and some for eating (although they are a bit sweet for me!)

Ingredients

  • 190g Butter, room temperature, cubed
  • 270g Caster Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Essence or Almond Essence (use 1/4 tsp if you have Extract)
  • 1 Medium Egg
  • 390g Plain White Flour, sifted
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder

 

Method

  1. Preheat oven to gas mark 3, 170 oc
  2. Beat Butter, Sugar & Vanilla until light & fluffy
  3. Add Egg & mix well till everything is incorporated
  4. Add Flour, Salt & Baking powder, mix till well combined
  5. Dust work surface with flour & roll out dough using a rolling pin
  6. Use cutters to make your desired shapes
  7. If they are for hanging use a skewer to make a hole near the top of each cookie
  8. Arrange on foil or grease proof paper lined trays
  9. Bake for 10- 12 mins or until golden around the edges
  10. When slightly cool transfer to a wire rack

If you want to ice them Royal Icing looks good, especially if you dye it pink!

Ingredients

Royal Icing

  • 1 Medium Egg White
  • 1/2 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 250 g Icing Sugar, Sifted
  • *1/4 tsp Glycerine Syrup *
  • Food colouring, I used Red for some pink cookies

Method

  • Whisk Lemon Juice & Egg White in a large bowl
  • Gradually begin adding Icing Sugar, whisking well to combine each time you add more
  • Whisk until you can form soft peaks
  • Add food colour if desired
  • If it is too runny add some more sugar!
  • * Add Glycerine*- this stops the icing drying if you are working slowly (like me)

NB

I used a knife to smear on some icing- think I need a bit of practice but once I tie on some nice ribbon they will make a nice edition to the tree 🙂


Chicken & Mushroom Pie

Chicken Pie with Suet & Flaky Pastry

 

Sometimes I just feel like eating a simple pie- in fact most of the time I’d rather it without loads of Herbs, Spices & Wine.. I want a pie like they sell in the supermarket! So I make this..

Normally I use Frozen Short Crust Pastry for the base & Frozen Puff Pastry for the lid but as I had a bit of time on my hands I decided to try out Delia Smith‘s ‘Quick & Easy Flaky Pastry’ which I mentioned before in my Pie, Mash & Liquor post. It really is a good recipe & very simple- I will use it again. And I made a simple Suet Pastry for the base.. I love Suet Pastry as I love Dumplings!

Ingredients

For the Flaky Pastry

http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/type-of-dish/pastry/quick-and-easy-flaky-pastry.html

 

Frozen Butter

Sifted Flour

 

 

Grated Butter

 

 

Flaky Pastry- Ready

 

 

For the Suet Pastry (Pie Bottom)

  • 350g Self Raising Flour
  • 190g Shredded Suet (Atora is the brand available here in Tempo! Beef or Vegetable)
  • Cold Water (use your judgement!)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt

Method

  1. Sift the Self Raising Flour & Salt into a large mixing bowl
  2. Mix in the Suet
  3. Add a few drops of cold Water mixing with a knife
  4. Keep adding water until you have a sticky dough
  5. Now use your hands to finish the dough- it should be smooth, neither sticky nor dry & leave the bowl clean (add a drop more water or a sprinkle of flour to correct if necessary)
  6. Allow the pastry to rest, covered in the fridge for 30 mins
~When you need the pastry it should be rolled to approx 2 or 3mm thickness~

Suet

Line with Suet Pastry

For the Pie Filling

  • 300g Chicken, Skinless Boneless Thighs (I only had Breast & it tends to dry out)- cubed
  • 1/4 White Onion, Chopped finely
  • 4 Standard White Mushrooms, Chopped
  • 25g Butter
  • 25g Corn Flour
  • 1.5 Cups Milk
  • 1 Tbs Heavy Cream
  • 1 Tsp Yeast Extract (Marmite)
  • 1 Tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 Tsp Chicken Bouillon Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Glucose Syrup
  • Salt & White Pepper to taste

Method

  1. Heat Butter, Fry Chicken until it loses most of its pink colour
  2. Add Onions & Mushrooms, Fry for a few minutes until softening but do not allow to colour
  3. Sprinkle over Corn Flour, mix well
  4. Add Chicken Bouillon & Onion Powder, mix well
  5. Add Milk, bring to the boil till sauce thickens, reduce heat to low
  6. Add Cream
  7. Add Yeast Extract & Glucose Syrup, mix well
  8. Season to taste
  9. Leave to cool slightly before filling Pie

 

Fry Chicken

Add Cornflour

Add Heavy Cream

Add Yeast Extract

Finished

 

Assemble Pie

  1. Pre heat oven to 200 oc/ Gas Mark 6
  2. Grease Pie Dish with Butter- I used 2 Terracotta Dishes which each hold a Man Sized Portion of pie!
  3. Roll out Suet Pastry & Line Pie Dish- Making sure the dough hangs over the lip, trim off excess
  4. Spoon in pie filling, don’t fill right to the top!
  5. Roll out Flaky Pastry, cut out a circle (or square!) a bit bigger than your pie dish
  6. Wet the Suet Pastry covering the lip of the pie dish with some Cold Water
  7. Cover with Flaky Pastry lid, seal well around the edges & prick a few holes with a sharp knife
  8. Brush with Milk or Egg
  9. Cook in Oven for 30- 40 mins, until brown & piping hot
  10. Either lever whole pie out of dish to serve on a plate/spoon some pie out onto a plate or eat directly out of individual dish

 

Fill Pie

Out of the Oven

 

 

NB

Leek instead of Onion is a nice alternative


Red Wine & Onion Gravy

Sausage, Mash & Onion Gravy

Ingredients

  • 2 White Onions, Sliced
  • 1 Tbs Butter
  • 1 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Brown Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup Red Wine
  • 1 Beef Stock Cube
  • 1 Cup Hot Water
  • 1 Tbs Corn Flour
  • Salt & Pepper

Method

  1. Heat Butter & Oil
  2. Fry Onions until soft, approx 5 mins
  3. Add Sugar and continue frying until onions are brown & caramelized, keep stirring so they don’t burn (or they will be bitter!) approx 20 mins
  4. Stir in Corn Flour till Onions are coated
  5. Sprinkle over stock cube & stir well
  6. Add wine & de glaze the pan
  7. Add hot water & bring to the boil
  8. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the gravy has thickened & become shiny
  9. Taste & season

 

Fry Onions

Add Sugar to Caramelize Onions

Flour & Stock Cube

Onion Gravy- Done

 

 


Chicken Stock, Chicken Soup & Chicken Sandwich Recipes

Soup & Crusty Bread

Last week I was feeling a bit under the weather so I decided to make a nice Chicken Soup, including my own Chicken Stock

Ingredients

For Chicken Stock

  • 900g Raw Chicken Necks (or you could use any other cheap parts- Wing Tips etc)
  • 1 Onion, quartered
  • 1 Carrot, Snapped in half
  • 2 Celery Sticks, Snapped in half
  • A few sprigs of fresh Parsley
  • 8 Black Peppercorns
  • Pinch of Rock Salt (Kosher Salt)
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • Water
  • 2 Tbs Butter
  • 1 Tbs Olive Oil

Method

  1. Heat Butter & Olive Oil in a large pan
  2. Add Chicken Pieces & fry until golden
  3. Add Vegetables, Herbs, Salt & Pepper
  4. Add enough Hot Water to just cover ingredients
  5. Bring to the Boil & skim off any ‘scum’ that rises to the surface
  6. Reduce heat & Simmer for approx 1.5 hrs with the lid on
  7. Taste & add more Salt if necessary
  8. Allow to cool & pour through a sieve (discard veg & chicken bones)
  9. This can be used immediately, frozen or stored in the fridge for 3 days (once cool you can scrape off any fat that solidifies on the surface)

Chicken Necks

Bubble Bubble

Skim Skim Skim

Ingredients (serves 4)

For Chicken Chowder Soup

  • 2 Chicken Breasts, Cooked & Shredded (I poached mine in the same pan I was making the Stock in)
  • 25 Grams Butter
  • 25 Grams Corn Flour (or Plain White Flour)
  • 2 Bacon Rashers, diced
  • 1 Potato, diced
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 2 Cups Chicken Stock
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1 Tbs Fresh Parsley
  • 1 Tbs Fresh Chervil
  • 1 Small Tin Sweet Corn Kernels, drained (I didn’t have any but I wanted to add them!)
  • Salt & Pepper

Method

  1. Melt Butter in a heavy based saucepan
  2. Fry Bacon till brown
  3. Add Potatoes & Onions, fry gently for 2 mins (do not allow to colour)
  4. Add Flour & mix well to coat ingredients in the pan
  5. Add Stock slowly, mixing well to avoid lumps
  6. Add Milk & Cream
  7. Bring to the boil stirring well until thickened
  8. Reduce heat to low & cook until Potatoes are done
  9. Add Chicken & Sweet Corn, stir well
  10. Season to taste
  11. Garnish with Parsley & Chervil or Chives if you have some!
  12. Serve with Crusty Bread

Chicken Breasts (for soup)

Potatoes

Close Up

NB

After cooking I used my Stick Blender to roughly blend my soup- the blended Chicken & Potatoes made it quite thick so I added a little extra Water

Sandwich

I had some leftover Chicken as my 2 Chicken Breasts were HUGE and I didn’t want to put it all in the Soup so I used this to make my sandwich filling for the next day- Chicken, Bacon & Avocado.

Ingredients

For Chicken Sandwich

  • Shredded Chicken Breast (leftover from Soup Making)
  • Crispy Bacon, diced (also leftover from Soup Making)
  • 1/2 Ripe Avocado, diced
  • 3 Basil Leaves, Torn
  • Mayonnaise, to bind mixture
  • Salt & Pepper, to Taste
  • Iceberg Lettuce, Shredded
  • Toasted Crusty Bread

Method

  1. Mix all ingredients well
  2. Fill Toasted Bread slices
  3. Enjoy 🙂

Friendly Creature 🙂


Breakfast Oven Casserole

Ready

Or Strata if you want to sound classy

This will be Breakfast for 2 people in the morning which I think is quite greedy- I tried to use just 4 Eggs but it didn’t fill the dish well enough, detox Monday! If you had more guests you could add extra ingredients but I think 6 eggs is sufficient for 4 people 🙂

Ingredients

6 Eggs

5 Slices of Crusty Bread, Sliced (I used a stale seeded loaf)

1 Cup Milk OR 1/2 Cup Milk & 1/2 Cup Double Cream

2 Breakfast Sausages, Sliced into bite sized pieces (I used Chicken Frankfurters as that’s all I have but would have rather Pork Breakfast Sausage)

2 Streaky Bacon Rashers, Chopped up OR Pancetta Cubes

2 Tomatoes, Chopped into wedges

4 Mushrooms, Sliced

1 Tbs Fresh Parsley, Chopped

1 Tbs Fresh Chives, Chopped

1 Cup Gouda Cheese, Grated

Salt & Pepper

Grated Gouda

Method

  1. Grease an oven proof dish (I will check the size of mine & add this later)
  2. Cover the base of the dish with Sliced Bread
  3. Fry Bacon till crisp- tip over the Bread
  4. Fry Sausage pieces till cooked- tip over the Bacon
  5. Fry Mushrooms till brown- tip over the Sausages
  6. Fry Tomatoes till starting to brown at the edges- tip over the Mushrooms
  7. Sprinkle Chopped Herbs over
  8. Sprinkle Grated Cheese over
  9. Lightly beat Eggs in a jug
  10. Add the Milk & Season well with Salt & Pepper
  11. Pour this over everything in the casserole dish
  12. Refrigerate over night
  13. Pre heat oven to 180 oc/ 350 f
  14. Bake for 30 mins (until Egg mixture is cooked through)

Bread Layer

Sprinkle Herbs

Pour Eggs Over

Brunch

NB

I enjoyed this for Brunch, just a shame the grill isn’t working as i would have liked the top to go crispy!

Try to arrange the ingredients so they are equally spread out as you will be dividing it up and you want a bit of each ingredient in your piece!

You can substitute other kind of Sausage & Cheese, you can use Bread Cubes instead of Slices, you could add other Herbs, Spring Onions, Bell Peppers– whatever you like! I wanted to add Potato but didn’t have any 😦

Next I will try this in the slow cooker!



Mini Pie and Mash

Tea Spoon

I had some of the Flaky Pastry left in the freezer along with Suet Pastry I made the other week so I thought I’d get these out & try making some Mini Pies in my Cupcake 12 hole tin. I used my same Pie and Mash Recipe that I have already written about but this time I used Lamb Mince as I also had some of that leftover. I couldn’t taste any difference so I think the moral of the story is use Beef as its cheaper and under all the Vinegar who is going to know what animal is in the pie!

Oh and I thought ‘I’ll just leave those for a few more minutes’ and wandered off, forgot about them & came back to find them a bit burnt, still I suppose they are more authentic that way!

And the Bain Marie is a must in future, I didn’t use a tray filled with water like last time and the suet pastry doesn’t stay as soft as last time..


Sausage,Bean & Cheese Melt

More Sausage bits than You Know Who

No I’m not a Pie Monster despite how it seems, some weeks you just don’t fancy another Meze & all you can think about is eating things you can’t get here. I think its called mental torture.. But seeing that I don’t have a Self Sadistic attitude I decided to start making the things I miss from England. (Ha ha No I didn’t buy the weather machine from The Russians to make it Rain- that’s not one of the things I miss!)

 

 

 

Only the Best for my Pastie..

 

 

Greggs The Bakers sell a delicious Sausage, Bean & Cheese Melt which is matched perfectly with a carton of Ribena & a dreadful hangover. Since I can’t get Greggs here but unfortunately I can still get the dreadful hangovers I developed the following recipe in case of Emergencies..

4 Ingredients (again!)

Ingredients (Makes 2)

Ready Rolled Puff Pastry (remember I have a hangover)– I like to use these Mille Feuille Squares, but use any Puff and cut out whatever shape you like, 1 square folded over is like a Turnover Pie.

1 Small Can Heinz Baked Beans with Pork Sausages (alternatively use standard Heinz Beans with some Pre Cooked & Chopped Breakfast Sausages)

1 Small Handful Mild Cheddar, Grated

Milk (to glaze)

The White Stuff

3 Tablespoons

Method

  1. Pre heat oven to Gas Mark 5, 190 oc (or whatever your Puff Pastry packet says)
  2. Place one Pastry Square onto a baking tray
  3. Open the can & remove the Sausages to a plate, slice them up & place half onto one Pastry Square
  4. Pour the Beans onto the plate & lightly mash with the back of a spoon, spoon half of this (approx 2.5 Tbs) on top of the Sausage Pieces on the Pastry Square
  5. Grate Cheese & Sprinkle over the Sausage & Beans on the Pastry Square- Be sensible, if you put too much filling in it will not be possible to seal it!
  6. Place Second Pastry Square on top of the filling & lightly press round the edge with a fork to seal
  7. Brush with milk  & put into the oven for approx 20 mins (or follow the instructions on your packet)
  8. When it is nicely brown remove & leave to cool slightly- yes it will burn your mouth!

Cheese & Beans Mountain

Press Press Press

Greggs Minus the Slash Marks

NB

If you wish to, before the Pastie goes into the oven you can Score a few lines across it to give that authentic Greggs look!

Greggs Sausage & Bean Melt actually has tiny Sausage Meatballs inside- this wouldn’t be hard, remove some sausage meat from the skin, roll into tiny balls & lightly fry (do not allow to colour)

The best thing about making your own one is that its Hot & Crispy- unfortunately unless you get to Greggs first thing in the morning when its just been baked you are more likely to get one that has been sitting, going limp under a heating lamp for hours.. Also getting ANY Sausage at all in your ‘Sausage’ & Bean melt seems to be a bit hit and miss!

I recommend cutting a corner off & letting the steam escape for 5 minutes- don’t try to bite straight into it 😮