Recipe Mama

Family Pie Tips December 13, 2008

Filed under: Cooking Tips — obsidian @ 8:06 am
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When making a “family pie” – one large pie to cut up to serve the whole family, I bake this in a springform tin. I find getting the pie out is really easy. I also make a large pie, twice as much as needed, and we have one half one night, and I wrap the other half in aluminium foil and reheat it on low in the oven for another night’s dinner.

 
Adding rice or pasta to a pie is a good way to bulk it up a bit and make it more filling.

 

Curried Beef Pie

Ingredients:
Puff Pastry sheets
Beef mince
Gravy powder
Milk powder
Rice
Corn
Carrot
Potato
Dried herbs (or fresh if you have them)
2 teaspoons Curry Powder
Ground Cardamon
Ground Coriander seeds
1/2 cup grated low fat cheese

 

Method:
1). Get your frozen pastry out and let it defrost while you make the filling.
2). Put a saucepan on the heat and add the mince (no oil). Fry this until brown. Drain off the excess oil if there is any. Add 2 teaspoons of curry powder and fry for a few moments.
3). Add your corn, potato (cut into really small pieces) and carrot (I cut my carrot into slices, then cut each slice into quarters, so it cooks quicker), and about a handful of rice (depending on how much mince you used). The rice helps to give it substance, soaks up the liquid (and stretches the mix further!).
4). Put about a tablespoon of gravy powder in a coffee mug, fill with water, mix and add this to the pot. Add more water if needed to just cover the ingredients. Add about 1/2 a teaspoon each of coriander and cardamon, and about 2 teaspoons of dried herbs.. If you like, you can add some milk powder dissolved in water to make a slightly creamier pie filling. I use about 3 tablespoons milk powder in 1/2 cup water. You could use actual milk, but powdered milk gives more milk and less liquid.
5). Simmer this until the rice is getting soft. Add cheese and mix well.
6). When the mince mix is cooked, allow it to cool (you can use it while still warm, but its best not to be hot because it melts the pastry).
7). Grease your chosen pie making dish (I find the best thing to use is actually a spring form pan. You know those cake tins with the base and sides separate, with a locking thingie to release to let the bottom out…. I find it makes getting the pie out in one piece really easy!). Place the pastry into your dish.
8). Spoon the filling mix into the dish, and put your lid on.
9). You can give the top of the pie a light glazing with milk and a pastry brush (you can add egg to the milk, but it isn’t necessary). Don’t forget to cut an air slit in the pastry lid to allow the steam to escape. Put the pie in the oven to cook.
10).. It should go in a hot oven (about 200C), cook until the pastry is browning. Probably about 20 mins?

 

Savoury Pastry Tarts

Filed under: Nibblies and party Snacks,Pies & Bakes - Savoury — obsidian @ 7:53 am
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Vol-au-vents are those pastry things that are like a pastry doughnut with filling in the middle. Normally you either buy Vol-au-vent cases, or make your own. Buying them is easy, but they have a lot of pastry (so are more fattening), and every time I see them in the supermarket, some cases are always broken.. making your own is tedious (to say the least) as you have to cut rings out of pastry and lay them ontop of eachother on one circle) to form the case. This way is a cheater’s way of making a similar thing, that is slightly less fattening as it has less pastry

 
Ingredients – Salmon & Corn:
Puff Pastry sheets
Corn
Garlic
Onion
1 tin smoked salmon (generic brand is fine)
Milk
2 tablespoons (approx) Plain flour
cheese (optional)
Curry powder
Salt and pepper

 
Method:
1). Get your frozen pastry out and let it defrost while you make the filling.
2). Put about 2 tablespoons of flour into a saucepan, and add about 1-2 cups of milk, mix well to remove lumps, and bring this to the boil. It should thicken nicely. Your white sauce shouldn’t be too runny, or when people eat the pies, the filling will oooze out and burn them on the chin…. not nice…
3). Fry garlic an onion until soft.
4). Add the (drained) salmon, corn and Garlic and onion. You can add a touch (1/2 teaspoon) curry powder if you like, and cheese too if you like. Season to taste with the salt and pepper.
5). Allow it to cool (you can use it while still warm, but its best not to be hot).
6). Cut pastry sheets into 9 squares and place each square into a lightly greased muffin tin. The corners will poke up – leave them (it makes little “handles” to hold onto when they are cooked). Fill the pastry cases with the mixture and bake at about 200C for around 15 minutes, until the pastry has cooked.

 
 
Ingredients – Chicken & Mushroom:
Puff Pastry sheets
Garlic
Onion
3 large mushrooms
1 chicken breast (or 3 thighs) cut into very small pieces
Milk
2 tablespoons (approx) Plain flour
cheese (optional)
Salt and pepper

 
Method:
1). Get your frozen pastry out and let it defrost while you make the filling.
2). Put about 2 tablespoons of flour into a saucepan, and add about 1-2 cups of milk, mix well to remove lumps, and bring this to the boil. It should thicken nicely. Your white sauce shouldn’t be too runny.
3). Fry chicken and mushrooms until chicken starts to brown, add garlic an onion, fry until soft.
4). Add the chicken mix to the sauce and cheese too if you like. Season to taste with the salt and pepper.
5). Allow it to cool (you can use it while still warm, but its best not to be hot).
6). Cut pastry sheets into 9 squares and place each square into a lightly greased muffin tin. The corners will poke up – leave them (it makes little “handles” to hold onto when they are cooked). Fill the pastry cases with the mixture and bake at about 200C for around 15 minutes, until the pastry has cooked.

 

Camembert and Chicken Parcels

Filed under: Meat Dishes,Pies & Bakes - Savoury — obsidian @ 7:45 am
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Ingredients:
Puff Pastry sheets
Garlic
Onion
Chicken breast fillets (1 per parcel, or chop this up if making smaller parcels)
Salt and pepper
1/4 to 1/2 wheel Camembert cheese per parcel

 
Method:
1). Get your frozen pastry out and let it defrost while you make the filling.
2). Take the Chicken breast and make a slice lengthwise to create a split in which you can place the cheese.
3). Fry the Garlic and onion and place some into the split you just made. Cut the cheese into slices (good sized ones) and place a slice into the split as well. Season with Salt and Pepper.
4). Cut a Pastry sheet in half, place the chicken in the centre and fold the sides over to cover the chicken and the ends over. Press down to seal well. Cut a slit in the pastry to allow the steam to escape.
5). When your parcels are done, put them on a tray with the seams downwards. Give them a light spray with oil, or brush the pastry gently with a pastry brush and milk (you can add egg, but it isn’t necessary). Put them in the oven to cook. I like to sprinkle sesame seeds on top to look nice…
6). As the chicken needs to cook through, start them off at about 160C, and cook for about 30 mins, then turn up the oven to high and cook until the pastry is browning. Probably about 15 mins more

 
Small Parcels:
1). Get your frozen pastry out and let it defrost while you make the filling.
2). Take the Chicken breast and chop it into small pieces. Fry this with the Garlic and Onion.
3). Cut the pastry into 4 squares. Wet the edges of the squares and place a small spoonful of fried mixture into one corner. Add a slice of the cheese and fold the pastry over into a triangle, and using the prongs on a fork, make a |||||| pattern around the edges. Cut a slit in the pastry to allow the steam to escape.
4). When your parcels are done, put them on a tray. Give them a light spray with oil, or brush the pastry gently with a pastry brush and milk (you can add egg, but it isn’t necessary). Put them in the oven to cook. I like to sprinkle sesame seeds on top to look nice…
5). They should go in a hot oven (pastry needs to cook in a hot oven or it just goes bleerrgh instead of crispy), cook until the pastry is browning. Probably about 10-15 mins, because the chicken is already cooked, so you’re just cooking the pastry.

 

Vegetable Quiche

Ingredients:
6 eggs
Spring onions, finely chopped
bacon (2 rashers), chopped
1/4 cup grated cheese
1 teaspoon cornflour
a “splash” of milk
1/4 cup of steamed broccoli
1/4 cup sweet corn
1/4 cup steamed pumpkin
1/4 cup spinach
1 sheet puff pastry
Optional – cooked diced chicken breast

 
Method:
1). Fry the bacon and spring onions. Then leave to cool.
2). Put the cornflour into a coffee mug, add the milk and stir until it is combined. Beat the eggs and milk mix together. Add whatever herbs and spices you like.
3). Add all ingredients together and stir gently, but don’t whisk it! (otherwise you’ll have too much air in the quiche and it will puff up and look bizarre
4). Line a deep flan tin with the pastry (I need to cut some of the overlap off and use it in the areas it doesn’t cover). Add the egg mix. Use a pastry brush to coat any exposed pastry with the filling mix.
5). Put this on the top shelf of the oven and bake until pastry is browned. You might need to turn the oven down towards the end to let the inside set without burning the pastry.

 

Chicken & Veg Parcels

This is basically a “freeform pie” – rather than using a pie dish, you just slop the ingredients onto the sheet of pastry and wrap it up.

Ingredients:
3 chicken thighs (skinless)
3 small-medium sized mushrooms
1 clove garlic
1 small onion, finely chopped
Pinch of assorted spices (mixed herbs, cardamon etc.)
1c grated cheese
1/2 cup spinach (I use 2-3 cubes of [defrosted] frozen stuff)
handful of peas and corn
1/2 cup steamed pumpkin
1/4 cup steamed broccoli
1/2 cup steamed eggplant
1 sachet of cream of mushroom cup-a-soup
Sheets of puff pastry

Method:
Fry the meat, onion, garlic and mushrooms. Mix the mushroom cup-a-soup with about 1/2 a cup of water and pour over the meat. Add rest of ingredients together. Make sure your mixture is not too runny.

Scoop the mixture onto a sheet of pastry and fold the corners over to make a sort of envelope.  Make sure the pastry overlaps well so that it will seal and the filling will not leak out.  (You can make 4 small parcels by cutting the pastry into 4, or make one large one from a full sheet)

Then flip it over so the seams are down on a greased tray, and poke an airhole in the top. You can brush the pastry with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds and herbs.

Cook in a hot oven (200ºC ) until the pastry is cooked…. about 15-20 mins.

 

Chicken & Rice Parcels

This is basically a “freeform pie” – rather than using a pie dish, you just slop the ingredients onto the sheet of pastry and wrap it up.

Ingredients:
3 chicken thighs (skinless)
5 small-medium sized mushrooms
1-1.5 cup cooked basmati rice
1 clove garlic
Pinch of assorted spices (mixed herbs, cardamon etc.)
1c grated cheese
spinach (I used 2 cubes of [defrosted] frozen stuff)
handful of peas and corn
1 sachet of cream of mushroom cup-a-soup
splash of milk to make it liquidy enough
Sheets of puff pastry

Fry the meat, garlic and mushrooms. Mix the mushroom cup-a-soup with about 1/2 a cup of water and pour over the meat. Add rest of ingredients together.

Make sure your mixture is not too runny.

Scoop the mixture onto a sheet of pastry and fold the corners over to make a sort of envelope.  Make sure the pastry overlaps well so that it will seal and the filling will not leak out.

Then flip it over so the seams are down on a greased tray, and poke an airhole in the top. You can brush the pastry with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds and herbs.

Cook in a hot oven (200ºC ) until the pastry is cooked…. about 15-20 mins.