01 May 2012

♪ it's pie time, kia ora talofa, it's pie time, a special time of day ♪

You know that feeling when you have a hankering for something, and until you have it no other food will suffice?  Friday morning, sitting at the computer, when I'm struck by a gastronomic lightning bolt from the sky, telling me that it's chicken pie or bust. 

I'd never bothered to make a chicken pie before.  Mince, yep.  Shepherd's (which, let's be honest, it's really just mince), yep.  Bacon and egg, oh yes.  But chicken?  Never.  Which is weird, 'cause chicken pie is always my pick if we're getting pies from the bakery on weekends.  Not having a clue what was required, but knowing what kind of consistency I wanted the filling to have, was helpful.  Just sort of tinkered with it, letting it bubble away, until it seemed right.  And, luck of the irish, it was bang on.  This one will be making an appearance on our table again soon! 

3 sheets flaky puff pastry (I bought pre-rolled, gold)
2 chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
2 rashers bacon, chopped up
1 onion, diced
couple handfuls mushrooms, chopped into smallish chunks
1 red chilli, seeds removed and chopped
cumin seeds, or other herb/spice as preferred
1 cup white wine (I used more like 2)
200 ml cream
flour, as needed to thicken (I used approx. 5 tbsp)
1 egg, to brush pastry
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees (200 if not fan bake) and spray pie dish with a little oil.
  2. Brown chicken and bacon in pan.  Remove when cooked and set aside.
  3. Saute onion, 'shrooms, chilli and herbs/spices until onion becomes translucent.  Pour in wine and allow to simmer until liquid is reduced. 
  4. Pour in cream, stir and allow to heat through before adding flour, and stirring and allowing to thicken.  You may need a little more flour, or less, add bit by bit and see how you go.
  5. Arrange pastry in dish so that dish is covered and excess lays over the sides (this will become the pie's top).  Pour filling in and cover with pastry.  If you've some excess you could make something to decorate the top.  Cheesy, but quite satisfying, I assure you.  
  6. Brush with egg and bake for about half an hour.   

raindrops on roses, and whiskers on kittens...

Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens.  Yep, they were a few of Maria von Trapp's favourite things.  I was reminded of that song the other day, having made a swag of mini pikelets, served with jam and cream.  Pikelets with jam and cream - it had been so long since I'd had that, I had almost forgotten just how soothing it is to eat something so simple, that hasn't changed one iota since we were kids.  Edmonds pikelet recipe.  Berry jam.  Cream.  Sorted. 

We were headed to the 1st Birthday party of friends' daughter, and naturally were taking a plate of nibbles.  I decided mini pikelets would be quick, easy-to-transport and, very likely, equally popular with adults and kids alike.  I mean, who doesn't like pikelets?  So, bring back the humble pikelet - full-sizded, or mini - and enjoy the simplicity.  Happy Birthday, Ara. 

1 cup plain flour
1 tsp Baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk
  1. I think the recipe book says to beat the egg and sugar separately, then add with milk to dry ingredients.  I didn't bother, largely 'cause I wasn't reading the recipe very carefully.  So all ingredients got whacked in together, and I didn't have any problems.  So there you go - bung it all in and mix. 
  2. Heat pan, sprayed with a little cooking spray (if pan not non-stick enough).  Cook until bubbles form, turn, cook other side and remove. 
  3. Serve warm, or allow to cool on wire racks before piling with toppings. 
NB: Whilst about half of the pikelets were spread with a little butter, jam and a dollop of cream, I also did some with butter and 100s & 1000s (FAIRY BREAD!!), and some with cream cheese and jam, something a little more sophisticated for the discerning palate ;)