Friday, 27 May 2016

Creamy Chicken, Bacon, Leek & Mushroom Pie



Ingredients:

250g ready made puff pastry
3 large or 4 medium chicken breasts
125g pancetta
Olive oil
200ml chicken stock
3 leeks, sliced
200g button mushroom, halved
2 medium carrots, chopped finely
75g butter
300ml milk 
5 tbsp flour
1 tbsp thyme
Handful of grated cheese
Seasoning 
A little egg or milk for glazing 


Method:


  1. Chop chicken into roughly inch squares.
  2. In a bowl mix together 3 tbsps of flour & the thyme.
  3. Coat the chicken in the flour mix.
  4. Heat a little olive oil in a pan until hot & add the pancetta & flour coated chicken chunks. Stir continuously until the chicken chunks are beginning to brown.
  5. Add the leeks, carrots & mushrooms & a little more oil, continue to stir until the leeks are soft.
  6. Mix the chicken stock with the leftover flour from coating the chicken & then add to the pan. Allow to continue to simmer for a few minutes.
  7. In another pan on a low heat melt the butter and once melted remove from heat to add 2 tbsps of flour, mix to a thick paste.
  8. Place back on the heat & add the milk a little at a time, whilst whisking to ensure the paste is completely combined with the milk. Gradually the sauce will begin to thicken, but keep stirring until it's the desired consistency. 
  9. Place the chicken & bacon mix into the bottom of a pie dish, sprinkle over the cheese & pour over the white sauce, gently mix together slightly & allow to cool.
  10. Preheat oven to 160C.
  11. Roll out the pastry to the desired shape, size & thickness for your pie dish.
  12. With the milk or egg for glazing brush around the edge of your pie dish & the place the pastry over the filling, crimping the edges of the pastry to the pie dish edge to seal. Make a hole in the middle of the pastry with a knife.
  13. Glaze the pastry case with the milk or egg & place in the oven for 30-40 mins or until golden brown & bubbling. 

Enjoy with some greens and boiled new potatoes.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Slow Cooked Moroccan Chicken & Aubergine Tagine




Ingredients:

5 chicken thighs
2 medium aubergines
2 onions
4 carrots
75g sultanas
75g apricots 
2 chicken oxo cubes in 500ml boiling water
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp ginger
1 tbsp cumin 
2 tbsps flour
Black pepper


Method:

  1. Chop aubergines into 1-2 inch chunks & place in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  2. Next place the chopped onions, carrots, sultanas & apricots on top of the aubergines.
  3. In a bowl or jug mix the OXO cubes with the boiling water & add the spices & flour, mixing well.
  4. Place the chicken thighs on top of the vegetables & fruit but push them into the vegetable mix and pour over everything the stock & spice mix.
  5. Place on low in a slow cooker for 6-8 hrs or on high for 3-4 hrs.
  6. Serve with rice or couscous.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Clangers Craft

Ok, so I don't think I ever expected my life to be quite this fun when I became a parent, but this is what I've spent today doing... 

...making Clangers craft with what bits I could find in the house.

Clanger with the Hoot Planet & Little Hoot

Hoot Planet

Little Hoot

Clanger

It's safe to say I have a Clanger's & especially Little Hoot mad toddler at home 
:)

Sunday, 8 May 2016

The Loving Scotch Egg

I think God was trying to tell me he lives me when I cut through this Scotch Egg this lunchtime! 




Saturday, 7 May 2016

Friday, 6 May 2016

Slow Cooked Ham Stew


Ingredients:

2kg ham joint, soaked overnight to reduce the salt
2 onions, chopped finely
half a swede, chopped into chunks
6 carrots, peeled & sliced
1 can of baked beans
2 cans of tinned tomatoes
1 can of kidney beans
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 tbsps mixed herbs


Method:

  1. Chop the onions, swede & carrots and place in the bottom of a slow cooker dish.
  2. Add the baked beans, tinned tomatoes, kidney beans, tomato puree & herbs and mix well.
  3. Cut off as much fat as possible from the ham joint.
  4. Make a dip in the bean & veg mix and place the ham joint on top.
  5. Pour over 300ml boiling water.
  6. Cook on high for 1 hr, then low for another 6-7 hrs.

Serve with rice or potatoes.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Spring Seeds

This was my conservatory windowsill a week or so ago...


...lots of new growth and potential for the summer garden of 2016. Now, it is beginning to look a bit like a forest. I am looking forward to the end of this cold weather & the frosts to be able to begin planting out in the garden.

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