Friday 30 July 2010

Little Chicken Pies

Or to give them their correct title

Mini Torte Poulete-cheddar.

Another lovely recipe from Gloria's Blog. I have made a few recipes from Gloria and they have all been excellent. This is no exception. It is quick and simple and presents beautifully. Tastes divine. This got a big thumbs up from hubby so it must be good. I made my own pastry. That is I made Delia's quick flaky pastry
I have made flaky pastry from scratch. It's a great thing to do when you are at home and can pop back and forwards to do all the rolling but it is not quick. This is so very quick and is light as a feather.

Pre heat the oven to 180/C/355.F/Gas 4

Ingredients (4 servings)

350 gms chicken breast in strips
1 packet ready made puff pastry
100 gms. cheddar cheese
1 celery stalk
3 carrots
1 onion chopped
2 tablespoon of chives chopped
25o mls. cream
30 gms. butter
1 egg
salt and pepper


Cut the chicken into strips. Grate the cheddar. Chop the chives and carrots.
Peel the onions and slice them and the celery.

In a frying pan/skillet, melt the butter over a medium heat.
Fry the chopped vegetables and chicken strips for 10 minutes, stirring often.

Remove from heat and add cream, cheddar, chives, salt and pepper and mix.

Roll out the dough. Cut into 4 rounds with a diameter slightly larger than the ramekins.
Divide chicken mixture between the 4 ramekins.

Brush the edges of the ramekins with beaten egg (reserve the remainder).
Lay the dough rounds on top and press the edges to make them adhere.

Refrigerate 30 minutes (an essential step for the dough to rise during baking).

Brush the dough with remaining beaten egg.
Bake 20 minutes in the oven until the pastry is golden. Serve hot.

Thank you Gloria x

Chicken Pies on Foodista

Thursday 29 July 2010

Dishwasher Pre Wash

Just To Make You Smile

Tuesday 27 July 2010

Cullen Skink

Isn't this the most wonderful title?One of Scotland's national treasures. It is somewhere between a fish soup and a stew. Called 'Skink' locally. Whatever, it is a meal in a bowl and a very good one too. I could push the boat out and tell you you need Finnan Haddies to make it but I wouldn't be so cruel. Any smoked white fish will do. I used a mix of white and smoked cod. You do need the smoked fish to give the special flavour though. It is a perfect winter warmer or a good dish on a wet summer day here. Keep left over mashed potato to make this. It's a good use up.

Serves 4


750 mls / 1.6 pints full fat milk or a mix of milk and cream if you are feeling decadent
A small handful of chopped parsley (reserving the stalks)
1 bay leaf
12 black peppercorns
450 gms /1lb Smoked haddock fillets or any firm white smoked fish or a mix of smoked and plain fish. Whatever you have or whatever you fancy.
5ogms/ 2oz butter
1 medium onion chopped
2 scallions finely chopped
200gms/8 oz buttered mashed potato
Salt and Pepper


Chopped parsley and four poached eggs.


Pour the milk into a saucepan large enough to accommodate the fish.
Add in the bay leaf, peppercorns, parsley stalks and fish.
Bring to the boil and simmer for five minutes.
Remove from the heat and allow to infuse for five minutes or more.

Remove the fish, strain the poaching liquid and reserve.
Flake the poached fish removing any skin and bones.

While the fish is poaching heat the butter in another saucepan and fry the onion until soft but not brown.

Then stir in the strained poaching liquid, then the mashed potatoes until you have a thick creamy consistency.

Add the chopped parsley leaves, chopped scallions and the flaked fish and simmer for another 4-5 minutes
Season well with black pepper and salt if needed.
Pour into serving bowls and garnish with chopped parsley and a poached egg.

Poached Eggs

You can of course poach the eggs in a saucepan of boiling water. A short cut is to put boiling water and a little vinegar into a microwavable dish. Make sure the water is enough to cover the eggs well. Microwave for a minute to make sure the water is good and hot. Swirl the water and drop in the egg and microwave for 30-40 seconds per egg. They will not cook a great deal after removal but will keep hot.

Monday 26 July 2010

Paremesan Chicken

This is a really quick and very tasty meal. The chicken stays superbly moist throughout the grilling but has a satisfyingly crunchy top. Great way to use up your slightly past their best salad leaves too


1 chicken breast per person
1 Medium potato per person
1 tablespoon oil(or melted butter if you prefer)
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
A good squirt of sweet chilli sauce
1 egg white
1 good tablespoon finely grated parmesan cheese per chicken breast
A good handful of spinach leaves or tender salad leaves per person
One scallion chopped per person
A handful of frozen peas per person


Turn the grill on to a medium heat
Line the grill pan with foil.

If your chicken breasts are very large baton them out under cling film a bit to flatten.
Beat the egg white in an oval/rectangular dish with salt an pepper just until it is no longer slimy.
Now roll the chicken in the egg white and then into the grated parmesan cheese to cover.
Place the chicken breasts in the grill pan and grill for ten to twenty minutes until cooked through and golden. Turn once during cooking.

Wash and chop the potatoes into cubes and set to boil for ten minutes or until just cooked.
Towards the end of cooking toss in the peas.

Combine the oil vinegar and sweet chilli sauce.

When the potatoes and peas are cooked drain and toss the salad leaves onions and the dressing through them. Serve onto warm plates with the chicken breast on top



You can use up all sorts of bits of salad in the fridge doing this.
If you don't have new potatoes use old ones but make sure they are waxy and not floury as they will just break up.

Sunday 25 July 2010

A Grand Day Out

This is myself and Grannymar who has a wonderful Blog I have been visiting for a while. It is not a food blog but she covers a wonderful variety of topics with great knowledge and humour. It is truly worth visiting. She has a loyal band of followers and the comments are always so much fun. I would be lost without my daily dose.

Through time we realised we didn't live so very far from each other so at long last we met last Friday for coffee. The venue was a garden centre at Donegore which also boasts a very nice gift shop and cafe. Over coffee we chatted away like old friends for ages. We then wandered around the lovely plants in glorious sunshine and enjoyed the views from this lovely place.

Donegore boasts a pre-Anglo-Norman motte (hill) and from the summit the six counties of Ulster are visible. It was a perfect day to see this beautiful green carpet laid out before us. Unfortunately that green is indicative of the amount of rain poured down upon us hence why we were so fortunate with the sunshine. You can just see Lough Neagh which is the largest in the United Kingdom.

Grannymar has a son in law who has a very good Blog which I discovered only recently. Not Junk Food. It's an excellent blog. A few weeks ago I was very fortunate to win a prize in a give away on this blog, which Grannymar delivered to me. A fabulous book 'Easy Entertaining' by Darina Allen of the Ballymaloe Cookery School. To accompany the book was a lovely pinny, a very useful item in the kitchen especially when, like me, mess follows like a shadow. I think I'll keep it for special use though. A big thank you to George. I am delighted. Do visit his blog. It's really good.

I had such a lovely day and already am looking forward to another blether with Grannymar. Isn't the internet a magical place where you get to meet with people who you might otherwise never have known existed. Such a wonderful medium for making friends.

Grannymar, thank you. It was a special day.

Sunday 18 July 2010

Coby's Cake

I wandered over to The Claytons Blog and found Coby had posted a recipe for this cake. I just knew it was a winner. It is an old recipe and nothing will make my heart beat faster. Sad I know but I love the old recipes. It is not quite the same as Coby's as I added some chocolate. I love chocolate cake in any shape or form. So does hubby. Unfortunately chocolate does not like him so he has to moderate his consumption. I tend to stick little bits of it in here and there to keep us both happy. I just knew the addition of a little chocolate in this would be a winner and it was. Forgive me Coby for massacring your recipe but it was a run away success.
This is my take. The original recipe is at the link above.

60g / +2oz soft butter/margarine
145g/- 6oz soft brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
155g/- 6oz SR Flour flour/or plain flour with 1 teaspoon baking powder
60ml milk + 1 tablespoon
50gms/2 oz dark chocolate

For The Topping

3 tsp caster sugar
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
10g soft butter

Preheat the oven to 180C./160.C fan/355.F/Gas 4
Line a 20cm cake tin, and here I used a cake liner, if you're not using a liner, grease the tin before lining.

Melt the chocolate with the tablespoon of milk.

Place everything else into the food processor and whiz until just combined

Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin.

Spoon the melted chocolate and milk mixture into about four blobs on top of the cake mixture and using a skewer swirl through.

Place in the oven and bake for about 30 - 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
Leave in the tin for a couple of minutes before turning out onto a cake plate.
Make the topping by combining the sugar and cinnamon. Brush the soft butter over the top of the warm cake, and then sprinkle over the cinnamon sugar.
Serve warm or cold.
Serves 8

The metric measurement did not convert easily to imperial so the + means a little more and the - means a little less.

Thursday 1 July 2010

Mammy Rita's Sticky Ginger Bread

Rita lives way up north in the wilds of Scotland. A Highlander born and bred. This recipe as the title tells comes from her Mammy. It is a snip to make and so moist sticky dark and spicy. Just everything you want in Ginger bread. It keeps very well too. If you can, leave it for a couple of days before eating. It really is the better for it. A slice warmed and custard poured over is a dessert from heaven. I will give you the recipe just as Rita gave it to me. It is very simple but I put everything in the food processor and it works fine. Now Rita's mammy is having none of this so don't tell her will you?


In a large saucepan melt the following ingredients

1/2 pint of milk
125 gms/5ozs dark soft brown sugar
2tbsp treacle
2tbsp syrup
100gms/4ozs butter or margarine

Cool until barely warm then beat in

2 beaten eggs

and then stir in

225gms/8 ozs self raising flour
1/2 teasp bicarb. soda
1 tablespoon each of ground ginger, cinnamon, and mixed spice
pinch of salt.

This makes one 2lb and one 1lb loaf
Grease and line the tins.

Bake for 75 mins at / 180.C/160.C Fan / 350.F
/Gas 4

My Notes

I use a slightly larger loaf tin which takes all the mixture

23.5 x 13.3 x 6.99 cms
9.25 x 5.25 x 2.75 inches

In this tin it takes an hour to bake. Start testing your cake after an hour.It's ready when a skewer comes out clean.

Try adding a tablespoon of cocoa to ring the changes.