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    Wednesday, June 20, 2012

    Chicken, Corn and Broccoli Pie - Food for The Prince and Princesses

    It's Thursday and My quest for food to woo the Grandchildren continues. 99% I'm on the button. Had a couple of so sos.
    I had some cooked chicken in the Freezer and I know they love pies.
    So this little gem evolved
    I used a 30 cm pie tin
    This was enough filling for that
    Chicken, Corn and Broccoli Pie

    2 tablespoons of butter
    2 tablespoons plain flour
    1 red onion finely chopped
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 cup of may need more
     Zest and juice of 1 lemon
    1 cup frozen corn
    1 head of broccoli finely chopped and blanched for about 2 minutes
    1 1/2 cups chopped chicken

    Puff Pastry Sheets

    Egg wash
    1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water to glaze

    Melt butter
    Add chopped red onion
    Season with Sea salt and Freshly ground black pepper
    Gently saute till onions are soft, Don't brown
    Add flour
    Stir and cook out for about 2 3- minutes
    Add milk
    Stir well till the sauce thickens
    Cook for another 3-4 minutes
    Stirring regularly so it doesn't catch on the bottom
    Add corn

    Then Broccoli, and chicken
    Then lemon Zest and Juice
    Taste and you will probably have to add more salt and pepper but it's your taste buds
    So it's up to you

    Meanwhile pre-heat oven to 200C for Fan. 220C otherwise
    Lightly grease your Pan
    Line with pastry
    Fill with the chicken mix

    Top with Pastry lid
    Brush with Egg wash
    and bake

    It should take about 35 minutes
    Check after 15 minutes and turn the pan around

    The pie should be golden and crisp

    Can't wait till dinner


    Monday, June 11, 2012

    Cauliflower Soup - Yet another Version

    The weather forecaster has told us it is going to go down to 1C tonight.
    Soup Time!

    I had cooked up some cauliflower, to make soup yesterday, but hadn't completed the task.
    Meanwhile it's time to have cooking Classes for the Grandchildren.
    In 2007, I had 3 days with Sophia and taught her some basic skills.
    We then, had the joy of eating the food.
    Of course I blogged it.
    Just as well, as I am going to resurrect the recipes, for the next lot.
    If you want to have a look and get some ideas for your Kids or Grandkids, click here

    Anyway as I was browsing through the blog,
    I noticed the very excellent sauce
    I had made for Macaroni Cheese.
    From memory, I was inspired by Chef Michael Smith
    Oooh, wouldn't that be good to enhance my cauliflower soup.
    It has evaporated milk in it, which really makes the sauce creamy
    Lots of grated cheese, with a touch of spice, from the paprika and mustard

    Cauliflower and Cheese Soup
    1 whole cauliflower

    For the Sauce
    ¼ cup butter
    1 onion peeled and chopped
    ¼ cup of flour
    ¼ cup of white wine
    180 mls of evaporated milk
    Freshly ground black pepper, 
    bay leaf
    2 cups of milk
    1 teaspoon of paprika
    2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
    200 gms of cheddar cheese, grated
    50 gms of Parmesan cheese, grated
    Salt and white pepper 

    Cook Cauliflower in salted water till tender
    Cool and puree in a blender till smooth
    Set aside

    Infuse milks with 
    freshly ground black pepper and bay leaf about 4 minutes in the microwave.
    Melt butter 
    Add chopped onions
    Gently cook till onion softens

    and add flour 
    Mix to combine
    Cook 3 or so minutes to cook out the flour. 
    Add mustard and paprika
    Add white wine, whisk quickly till smooth and then 
    Add hot milk
    Bring up to gentle boil
    Keep stirring to stop lumps
    When it has come to the boil 
    Continue to simmer for about 3 minutes
    Add Grated Cheese

    Add the  Cauliflower Puree to the sauce.
    Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary 
    You may need to add some water if it is too thick.
    That's up to you.

    I am going to serve it with Cheese and Chutney on Toast, made from the White Sandwich Bread 
    in my previous post.

    Saturday, June 09, 2012

    The Best White Bread I Have Made- Thanks to Michel Roux Jnr

    Whilst surfing through the internet, I came across a blog Blahblogblah 
    The blogger, named Injera, had posted about a Programme, that we haven’t had here in New Zealand yet, called “Great British Food Revival”,
    Of course I clicked in and found a recipe from Michel Roux Jnr for this 
    Sandwich Bread Loaf

    Being a sucker for any new Bread recipe, particularly if it looks ‘So Simple’.
    I immediately saved the post and this morning I made the bread.

    My Loved One reckons, it is one of the best I have made and I tend to agree
    So Thank you Injera and Thanks to Michel Roux Jnr,
    The recipe is on the website, worth while getting into this food lovers. 
    Great recipes from all of the Celeb Chefs, featuring on the BBC

    I used Dry yeast in the little foil packets. I think they weight about 8 gms
    It is not easy to find fresh yeast around where I live. 
    The yeast in foil is brilliant,
    keeps for ages too
    Also I really like to use Pyrex loaf containers. 
    Easier to see when the loaf is brown.
    Excellent for pies as well

    Milk, butter and golden syrup makes this loaf particularly rich and delicious, and it keeps well too

        20g/1oz golden syrup
        25g/1oz melted butter
        350ml/12fl oz warm milk
        10g/1/2 oz fresh yeast or 1 Pkt Dried yeast
        250g/8oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
        250g/8oz strong bread flour
        10g/1/2oz sea salt

    Preparation method
    Stir the golden syrup and melted butter into the warm milk until well combined. 
    Crumble the yeast into a large bowl, then pour over the warm milk mix and 
    stir until the yeast has dissolved.
    I let the yeast foam up. 
    Takes about 6-7 minutes 

    Add the remaining ingredients and mix until a smooth dough forms. 
    Cover the bowl with cling film and set aside for about 5 minutes.
    Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and 
    knead for 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. 
    Once again, the ipad is indispensable, just propped up again the wall. Michel's recipe there for me.
    Meanwhile oil the bowl
    Return the dough to the bowl, 

    Cover with cling film and place into a warm place for 1 hour, 
    or until the dough has nearly doubled in size.
    Meanwhile, grease and flour a 12cm x 20cm/5in x 8in bread tin.

    Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface again and knock back a few times. 
    Divide equally into two pieces and shape into balls. 
    Best way to get a nice ball 
    Flatten the piece of dough
    and then pull in the edges to the middle
    When you have formed a ball turn it over and lightly massage it
    A Lovely globe
    Place the dough balls side by side in the prepared bread tin, 

    cover with cling film and set aside to rise again, until doubled in size.

    Preheat the oven to 220C/410F/Gas 7.
    Using a sharp knife, slash the dough a few times and place into the oven immediately. 
    After 10 minutes, reduce the heat to 180C/350F/Gas 4 
    and bake for a further 30 minutes, or until the bread is golden-brown. 
    To check if the bread is done, remove from the tin and tap the bottom with your knuckles   
    it should sound hollow.
    Leave the bread loaf to cool on a wire rack.

    I love the way you can tear the bread apart, just like my childhood.
    My Mother would send me out to buy half of loaf of bread. 
    I think it cost about threepence 
    The shopkeeper would break the bread in half
    Wrap a strip of paper around it,
    The smell of the fresh bread was too much for me and I used to pick at the soft crumb. 
    Tearing little strips off. Trying to make it look like a little mouse hadn't been there.
    Who did I think I was kidding?
    My Mother never commented, but I bet she had many a laugh with my Father 
    It looked just like this
     Made great Toast served with Peanut Butter and Banana, grind of black pepper... one of my favourites

    Thursday, June 07, 2012

    Quick and Easy Seafood Pasta Bake

    Lauraine Jacobs invited me to the NZ Guild of Food Writers May Day Market in Parnell It was an interesting experience, lots of yummy food and wine tasting, plus suppliers were showing off their new products.
    Greig Buckley, had a stall promoting his business, Kai Artisan Foods 
    Go and check out the website here

    We got a Goodie Bag and amongst the Goodies were
    Sealord Frozen Hoki Filets And a bottle of Heinz Seriously Good Alfredo Sauce. 
    I don't normally promote products, but I think these two are worth keeping in your freezer and pantry for one of those days, when you just don't want to have to go out, and buy ingredients.

    Hoki is what you would call a cheap and cheerful fish.
    Not something I would pan fry and serve with lemon,
    Nevertheless it’s good for Fish Pie, Fish Cakes and I turned it into this Pasta Bake.
    To boost it, I used some prawns from the freezer.
    I don’t normally use sauces in a jar.
    But this Alfredo was good, not excellent, but a very good standby for the pantry.
    The Frozen Hoki, once again handy for a quick meal.
    If you don't live in NZ I'm sure you will have replacements

    We loved this Pasta Bake, it was really tasty and so simple

    I always enjoy the crispy cheesy topping.
    Excellent pairing with the fish and pasta, nice crisp white wine on the side

    This will feed 3 people, 4 for lunch with a salad and some bread

    Pre-heat oven to 180C
    You will need
    2 cups penne, cooked to manufacturers instructions 
    Drain and toss in a little oil to stop sticking
    Set aside
     2 filets Sealord Frozen Hoki just thawed and cut into 2.5cm (1 inch) pieces 
    20 frozen prawns, thawed 3 tablespoons 
    Extra virgin olive oil 
    Zest lemon and juice of 1 lemon 
    Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper 
    1/2 jar Seriously Good Heinz Alfredo Pasta Sauce
    You may need more it should be fairly moist and saucy
    Whatever suits you

    1/2 cup Tasty Cheese grated 
    1/2 cup Fresh breadcrumbs 
    3 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper 

    Marinate the fish and prawns in Olive oil, lemon zest, salt and freshly ground black pepper 
    Meanwhile cook the pasta 

    Now to assemble, 
    See, so so simple

    Toss the marinated prawns and fish in lemon juice 
    Then add the pasta and the Pasta Sauce

    Pop into a greased gratin dish or something similar
    Mix the cheese, breadcrumbs, oil and sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 
    Sprinkle over the fish

    Bake 180 30 –35 minutes, till topping golden and the sauce is bubbling
    Serve while hot. Yum
    Actually a sprinkling of fresh parsley over the top would make it really pretty.
    Next time perhaps