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    Sunday, November 22, 2009

    The Main Event, Potatoes - Potato and Pea Pies - Simple Fish and Chicken Salad a la Waldorf

    It's worth while keeping the fridge freezer and pantry  reasonably stocked... love to be able to fossick around for a tasty lunch.
    I did have a box of new baby potatoes. I love them at this time of the year.

    I was desperate for a pie for lunch.
    We are very fond of pies
    Here's a combination that worked
    I got 4 pies out 2 sheets of puff pastry
    2 with lids and 2 without

    2 sheets Puff Pastry
    5 baby potatoes steamed till tender
    Grated cheese
    Handful frozen peas
    1 onion finely chopped and sauteed till translucent
    4 eggs beaten separately

    Roll out pastry to fit your pie tins.
    Re-roll the scraps till you have 4 bottoms and 2 lids!
    Butter tins
    Line with pastry and prick with a fork

    Healthy amount of grated cheese on bottom
    Slice the potatoes and layer
    Throw in peas and onion
    Beat 1 egg per pie
    Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Add to pie
    Put more cheese on the top
    Place lids on
    Brush with some beaten egg and water to make a glaze
    Bake 200C about 15-20 minutes
    Remove from tins
    Cook slightly on a rack
    Pick it up in your hand
    Dip it into some tomato sauce
    Saw Julia Child make Salade Nicoise on Saturday
    I had some beautiful fresh gurnard...this recipe is really
    not like Salade Nicoise at all but it flashed through my head.
    Some Nicoise flavours in the sauce though.
    Simple, perfect for the summer, we might get one of these days.
    I haven't put quantities... its up to you.

    Cos lettuce
    Tomatoes quartered
    200gms gurnard per person
    Baby potatoes
    1 shallot finely chopped

    French dressing (just use your favourite recipe I always have some made in a jar)
    White wine

    For the potatoes
    Cook till tender
    Slice while warm
    Into a bowl with the shallots
    Pour over a couple of tablespoons of white wine

    Sit and let absorb for about 5 minutes
    Then toss with French Dressing

    Set aside till ready to use

    For the fish

    2 tablespoons Olive oil
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    White wine 
    Lemon juice

    4 anchovies
    1 tablespoon of capers

    Good knob of butter

    Season the fish with S & P
    Saute the fish in olive oil
    Don't over cook
    Remove and keep warm
    Add anchovies mush them up
    Throw in a good slurp of white wine
    and the juice of a lemon

    Turn heat up and bring to boil
    Reduce slightly

    Add capers and a good size knob of butter
    Add fish back into pan just to coat with the sauce.

    Plate up
    Dress the lettuce and tomatoes with your favourite french dressing.
    Lay out on the plate
    Add the fish
    Spoon over the sauce.
    You could of course follow the Salad Nicoise theme.
    Add hard boiled eggs, blanched green beans, olives
    Any flavours you like.

    I was making chicken stock for the freezer today. I couldn't get any chicken carcasses but they did have a special on legs.
    I really love leg meat it is so moist and flavourful.
    I put the chicken and vege in a pot to simmer for about1 hour.
    Took the legs out, removed the meat and chopped into 2 cm pieces then stuck them back in.
    Continued to cook for another couple of hours to extract as much wonderful flavour as possible.
    for my stock.
    Now what to do with that luscious chicken meat.

    I had a quick look in the fridge, all the ingredients for a Waldorf Salad were sitting there.
    Great, add chicken
    Sit on some crispy lettuce
    Accompany with some little new potatoes.
    Excellent lunch.

    What I did do, that was different to normal, was my dressing
    The lemon zest really lifts it, as does the bite from the Piri Piri seasoning. 
    It was so delicious so I have to share.

    Chicken Salad  a la Waldorf
    So enough for two
    3 poached chicken legs
    2 sticks celery chopped into small pieces (not too small want to get the texture)

    1 small apple, peeled, cored and chopped into small cubes
    6 walnut halves chopped in half

    8 small potatoes
    Baby Cos lettuce leaves

    3 tablespoons Best Foods Mayo
    Zest of 1 lemon

    Juice  of 1/2  lemon
    Freshly ground black pepper
    1 tsp french mustard
    Good pinch of Piri Piri seasoning

    Mix all of the dressing together in a bowl
    Add the rest of the ingredients and serve.
    There is enough for me for lunch tomorrow.  Hooray.

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