19 June 2014

Patea Maori Club presents 'Pie e'

You can't beat a good pie.  Homemade pies, with just the right amount of pastry?  Yum.  Last night we had a fridge full of leftovers from the night before's roast chook.  So last night, when facing that daily conundrum of 'what for dinner', we had options.  Another roast meal.  Make the leftovers into a curry.  Risotto perhaps (had freshly made chicken stock too!)?  Then I did what we all do - looked into the freezer, for that one thing that might just act as a flash of inspiration.  And I got lucky - sheets of flaky puff pastry, lying there in the cold, desperate to be taken out an cooked (seriously, the edges were getting freezer burnt).  So, it's pie time kia ora talofa, it's pie time....  I've made chicken pies before (see the pie time link), but always with a creamy white wine sauce.  They're great, but can be OTT rich.  So this time I wanted to keep things a bit more mellow, and have the flavour of the stock etc really shine. 

Homemade stock is awesome, and if you've had a roast the night before it's easy as - chuck the carcass into a pot with a bit of water (maybe 1/3 -1/2 the way up the bones) and simmer on a low heat for as long as you can.  I had it simmering away for about 3 hours, but that was probably overkill - 1 hour should do the trick.  If you're using fresh chicken, rather than already cooked, then grab some liquid stock from the supermarket, if you can.  Powdered stock will be absolutely fine, just can be a bit salty, so make sure you taste before you add any extra salt.  

Right... you will need... 

3 sheets flaky puff pastry 
1 tbsp butter
1 onion, diced
good handful mushrooms, chopped up 
1 1/2 cups vegetables (I used leftover roasties, chopped up, but frozen mixed vege will do)
1 1/2 - 2 cups chicken, chopped into bitesize chunks
2 tsp cumin or rosemary (or whichever spice you fancy) 
1 1/2 cups chunky soup (see NB at bottom)
1 cup stock 
1 tbsp flour 
1 egg 
  1. Sauté onion and mushrooms in butter.  If your chicken needs cooking, add this once onion has softened.  
  2. Add all other ingredients except flour and egg.  Once all ingredients have heated through sprinkle the flour over top and mix in - this will help to thicken the sauce.  Simmer gently for 10-15 minutes.  Turn off and allow to cool and thicken.  If sauce is too liquid, add a little more flour (add only a little at a time, because it's amazing how much a little will thicken, and you don't want super-stodge).  
  3. Spray pie dish (I used a casserole dish this time 'cause you do need quite high sides) or grease with butter.  Lay pastry out covering base and sides.  Pour in filling.  Place more pastry on top and pinch to join any edges.  
  4. Brush top with egg and bake at 150 degrees celcius for about a half hour (or until golden).  Serve with some steamed veges, or a salad.  
NB: I used some of my Mum's peanut chicken soup (AMAZING, will get the recipe!), but if I hadn't had that I'd have used something like a thick, chunky chicken and corn soup, a minestrone, or even a tin of chilli beans (kidney beans in a salsa sauce).  

05 June 2014

The legend of the Ginger Ninja

I love ginger.  It smells great, apparently has some medicinal qualities, and it goes in both curries and desserts.  What a legend!  A few weeks ago I did a chocolate self-saucing pudding.  Well, this is its ginger ninja sister.  Suit up like a samurai and get cooking!  

Batter1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1-2 tsp ground ginger
¼ cup Chelsea Soft Brown Sugar
¼ cup Chelsea White Sugar
50g butter
1 tbsp Chelsea Golden Syrup
½ cup milk

Sauce½ cup Chelsea Soft Brown Sugar
½ cup Chelsea White Sugar
1 tbsp Chelsea Golden Syrup
2 tsp ginger
2 cups boiling water

  1. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Melt butter with golden syrup. Pour into dry ingredients with milk and mix.
  2. Place in greased oven-proof dish that is quite deep, such as a small lasagne dish, or into ramekins (as I did, but maybe don't fill them quite so much - I should have put some into another dish).
  3. Put sauce ingredients in a bowl (you can use the same one you used for the batter). As you add the boiling water, stir until ingredients are mostly dissolved, then pour over the batter mixture.
  4. Bake for 45 minutes at 180°C (or about 20 minutes for ramekins).
  5. Serve with vanilla ice-cream or whipped cream.