20 February 2014

Chicken Pie with Bread Sauce - The Very Best Comfort Food

Chicken Pie with Bread Sauce

Comforting food for another rainy day

Things have been a bit delayed in blogland.  I have been suffering from terrible debilitating headaches and have been in hospital being poked, scanned and drained while they determine what is wrong.  The really great news is that I don't have a haemorrhage, the even better news is that they did not tell me that is what they were looking for! 

I have never been a sufferer of headaches before, and my heart goes out to those who live with head pain on a regular basis.  Daily life is really affected when you are in pain and trying to maintain a normal home routine is practically impossible.  Mr EEE has been my rock and has kept me sane while I have been worrying myself silly.  I hope that the kids and the rest of the family have been blissfully unaware of all the tests and panicking.

Anyway, today is the first day in several weeks that I have felt able to cook and write for the blog.  I found this wonderful recipe for  Chicken Pie with Bread Sauce on one of my favourite blogs - Tales of Pigling Bland.  I cheated and used ready made shortcrust pastry, and I left out the sweetcorn as Master EEE  won't touch it, but otherwise I stuck to the recipe.  

It was a super easy recipe to follow and tastes absolutely delicious.

I have taken this recipe directly from Tales of Pigling Bland and give full credit there.  The photos are my own, but the ones on Pigling Bland are just gorgeous  and I would urge you to check them out.

Roast Chicken and Bread Sauce Pie
For the pastry:
110g plain flour
25g butter pinch salt
2 tsp dried sage
some ice cold water for mixing it together
egg for brushing
Put the flour and salt into a bowl, cut the butter into small cubes and add to the flour.
Rub the butter in with your fingers until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs (or pulse in a food processor). Stir in the sage.
A couple of tablespoons at a time, add water over the surface and used a table knife to cut through it and mix it together. Keep adding water slowly (try to add as little as possible) until you can bring all the mixture together into a ball with your hands.
Put the ball of pastry into a plastic bag and leave to rest in the fridge for 20mins.
Preheat the oven to 200C /400F
Roll out the pastry as thin as you can without it breaking and line either one large pie dish or 6 tartlet tins.
Brush with egg and prick with a fork.
Bake “blind” : you can fill the base with baking paper and baking beans/ teaspoons / foil or just check half way through and press the pastry down if it’s puffing up.
Bake for about 8mins or until turning golden.
For the filling:
1 packet Colmans onion sauce
1 packet Colmans bread sauce
3 small cooked chicken or turkey breasts, shredded  (or equivalent from leftover roast)
2 tbsp frozen/tinned sweetcorn
2 tbsp frozen peas (or other leftover veg from roast dinner)
Optional: some breadcrumbs
Make up the bread sauce to the packet instructions but with a little less milk so that it’s thicker.
Put to one side as you make up the onion sauce.
Add the milk to the packet mixture and whisk together.
Start to heat and add the chicken, peas and sweetcorn – keep stirring as it thickens.
Make sure everything is thoroughly heated through.
Season as required.
Spoon the chicken mixture into the pie cases and top with the bread sauce.
Sprinkle with breadcrumbs if required.
Pop in the oven for 5 mins or under the grill to brown.
Eat with cranberry sauce and whatever else you fancy.

23 January 2014
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22 January 2014

Wednesday Reading Spot

Wednesday Reading Spot

I have decided to start a new slot on a Wednesday to discuss books. One of my goals for 2014 is not only to read more, but to read greedily.  When I was younger I used to devour books, and I miss that feeling.  I read, sure, but I don't read with that same passion and fervour as I used to.  Well I have decided to change that.  I am starting my own books and baking group at my house, and I want to start a book group online too.  For this to work I need you guys to join me online to discuss books and to share your reading suggestions.  If you are in, then comment here or email me at rachelsaint@me.com

To kickstart, I thought I would share my 3 favourite books of 2013.

This was such an amazing novel and ranks in my top 10 best ever books.  It is a heartbreaking story of twins growing up before and during the second world war in Germany.  The story is loosely based on Ben Elton's own family experiences as Jews in Germany.  Ben Elton's books are always very readable, but this one was on a different level.  The story is a complex one that twists and turns and keeps you guessing throughout.  The persecution of the Jews is a recurrent theme and the way the story unfolds felt like I had a scream stuck in my throat.  I cannot recommend this novel enough.

This was a quick and fairly charming story of a man who takes an unexpected journey across the UK to visit an old, sick friend.  The story is told from the perspective of the main character and his wife and recalls a number of incidents that have taken place of the course of their lives.  Like every great story, there are some unexpected twists and the whole story has a an underlying sadness to it.

This novel blew my mind when I read it.  It is such a clever novel that is written in the form of diary entries of the 2 main characters.  It is a story of love, hatred, betrayal and revenge and has a wicked twist to the plot.  It has been a massive hit in America and is being made into a feature film.  

So these were my favourites  -which are yours.

Let's get this book party started.
21 January 2014

Tuesday Taste - Lemon Cookies

Lemon Cookies

This is one from my archive today.  These lemon cookies really do melt in the mouth.  They are easy to make and use a handful of store cupboard ingredients.

Tuesdays are tricky for me as I really want something quick, tasty and nourishing.  Being well into the working week, I often want to reward myself with a special treat.  The kids are also stuck into their school weeks and need something to help them get through the drudgery of school and homework.  I have made these cookies lots of times and serve them either with a nice culpa, or with a spoon of ice cream, or with some fruit.  

Find the recipe here and do let me know what you think.

20 January 2014

Monday Mooch

I have decided to start a new Monday activity to share my mooching around the web (you thought I had meant to write smooching didn't you!).  You will be delighted to learn that I have devoted many many many hours to browsing the web for interesting  things.  

Here are my faves this week.....

  • I wish I had done this when my kiddies were little
  • As a photographer I find this man fascinating and terrifying
  • I loved my trip to Peru so much and am delighted that I was able to try many of these foods
  • I know I will never walk along this

19 January 2014

Winter Warming Food - Savoury Scones

Easy English Eating  - Winter Warming Savoury Scones

With the weather all rainy and cold, I have been craving comfort food.  I am a bit of a savoury gal, so I wanted something warming, a bit salty and that would make a nice change from bread and butter.

I LOVE Joy the Baker's blog, and I knew that I needed to make her Caramelised Mushroom and Onion Biscuits as soon as I saw them.

The full recipe is on her site here and I would urge you to make these asap.  They are lush served warm straight from the oven with butter melted on them.

My lovely mommy cooked us some bolognese sauce and I served these scones dipped into that - it was a great lunch.


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