So first off, I’m sorry. I’m sorry for not posting for so long. I really do enjoy doing this, but sometimes I get caught in this crazy life and I forget to do those things that are for me, that I enjoy. So I’m going to try harder to make that time, and really to find the energy to dedicate to myself. Why is that so hard??!! Well we know why, I just wish it wasn’t so hard.
Kris is away this week in Sweden. Even when he is traveling, I do try to still cook for myself. I can’t eat toast every night for a week… well I can but I’m trying to be better. So on Monday during nap time, I made up a big batch of pot pie mix using all sorts of vegetables that are in season now and and have been making myself and the boys hand pies for dinner all week. This has been one of the most successful things I have ever made my toddlers. They loved it, fed themselves and told me after each bite that it was “delicious” and that they “liked it”. If you have ever (or never have) had two 2 year olds say this about their dinner than you know what a big deal it is! But mostly its so good because we all enjoy it. After 3 nights (and one day where I had the “soup” for lunch also) I’m making up the rest and freezing the individual hand pies for easy weeknight dinners when Kris is away next week. 🙂
Spring Vegetable & Chicken Hand Pies
For the filling:
- 2 small chicken breasts
- 4 medium carrots peeled and chopped
- 2 medium potatoes peeled and chopped
- 1 large leek cut in half and sliced thinly
- 1/2 bunch of asparagus chopped
- 1 cup of peas (fresh or frozen)
- 75 grams of unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup of flour
- 1 1/2 -2 cups of chicken stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon of dried tarragon
- 1 tablespoon of dried thyme
- Salt and pepper for seasoning
For the pie crust:
- 2 1/2 cups of flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 cup of cold butter
- 6 tablespoons of ice cold water
- 1 egg yolk
- Preheat the oven to 200C.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and add the bay leaf, whole chicken breasts, chopped carrots and potatoes and poach for 10 minutes. Add the asparagus into the pot with 2-3 minutes remaining. Remove from the water and put all the vegetables in a bowl. Let the chicken cool and then shred and add the bowl of veggies.
- Put the leeks and butter into a separate pot and saute over medium heat until the leeks are soft. Add the tarragon and thyme and cook for another minute. Add in the flour and mix well. Cook for 1 minute stirring constantly. Turn your heat up and slowly pour in your chicken stock a little bit at a time until you reach a glue like texture. (Sorry but its the only thing I could think of to describe the texture). If your mixture is too loose, let it boil for a little but keep stirring! When ready, remove it from the heat and pour into the bowl with the chicken and veggies. Mix together and season with salt and pepper to your liking. You pot pie mix is done! At this point you can use it right away or put it in the fridge or even freeze it for future meals.
- Pie Crust: Place the flour and salt into a food processor equipped with the blade attachment. Mix together than add your butter and pulse until its a breadcrumb texture. With the processor on low, add your water and egg and the mix until a dough forms. Turn out onto your counter top and sprinkle with flour and kneed it until it all comes together. Then roll it out into a rectangle shape. At this point you can cut your rectangle shapes to form your pies or you can really use any shape you want - even cookie cutters!
- Assembly: Take two same sized pieces of pastry, place a few heaped spoonfuls of the filling in the centre of one of the rectangles and then spread it evenly leaving a couple mm edge around. Place the other piece of pastry on top and then fold over the edges, making sure that they are sealed. Place on a lined baking sheet and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes or wrap in parchment paper and then foil and place in the freezer.
Nice fresh chicken stock is hard to come by in the stores here so usually I make my own, but If I don't have any to hand or not enough, I use the poaching liquid with a cube of bouillon to make my sauce. Tastes great!
Hello All! Sorry its been so long since I’ve posted. I don’t really know why its been so long. I think I was hit with a two week low motivation streak. But the good news is I’m back!
My parents have been here visiting and helping me with the boys so I’ve been repaying them with lots of good food. If you follow me on Instagram, you can see some of the yummy things I’ve been making. After a pretty heavy weekend, I thought I would make something light. I know – shrimp bisque isn’t really something you consider to be light. But this one is! It uses only a little cream and no butter… I know… unusual for my cooking 🙂
This bisque actually started out as a chowder, but somehow the texture was way off and so to remedy that I blended the soup and then strained it – turning it into a shrimp bisque. And this is one time I’m actually thankful for whatever mistake I made because it turned out soooo good. One of the key steps to this recipe is making the shrimp broth. It seems like a bit of a hassle, but really its easy to do and adds such a nice sweet shrimpy flavor to the bisque. The end result is what I am confidently calling my best soup ever! I served this with warm cheddar biscuits – bonus recipe included.
Corn, Bacon & Shrimp Bisque
For the Bisque
- 100g of bacon diced
- 1 lb or 500g medium/large shrimp, peeled, deveined and shells put to the side
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, or more, to taste
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups fresh corn kernels - I prefer to use fresh but you can use frozen or canned
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon of dry sherry
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/3 cup cold butter chopped
- 1/3 cup cheddar cheese chopped
- 1 cup milk
- Pre-heat your oven to 200C. Place your shrimp shells in a roasting dish and toss with a tablespoon of olive oil. Roast for 20 minutes then transfer to a pot on the stove, cover with water, bring to a boil and simmer until shells are soft. Approx 30 mins. Once softened, blend in a blender until smooth. Strain through a fine strainer or cheesecloth and put the broth aside.
- Heat a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
- Add shrimp to the stockpot, and cook, stirring occasionally, until pink, about 2-3 minutes; set aside.
- Add garlic and onion to the stockpot, and cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in paprika, oregano and red pepper flakes until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Whisk in chicken stock, corn and bay leaf. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 12-15 minutes; discard bay leaf. Puree with an immersion blender.
- Once pureed, strain through a fine strainer or cheesecloth. Take the remains and blend in a blender then strain again into the soup. This may seem like a lot of work, and it is, but the results are worth it. Its building layers of flavor.
- Add in your sherry, heavy cream and shrimp broth and bring the soup up to a simmer. Remove from heat.
- Serve immediately with shrimp, garnished with bacon, basil leaves and loads of fresh ground pepper
- Mix your flour and baking powder together then place in a food processor.
- Add your cheddar cheese and pulse until the mixture resembles a fine breadcrumb.
- Add in the butter and pulse 3-4 times to break butter up into pea size pieces.
- Pour in your milk and mix until a dough forms.
- Remove the dough and roll out on a flour surface. Cut out your biscuits and place on a lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 12-13 minutes.
- Serve warm.
This recipe was adapted from Damn Delicious