Top those pies with veg

Vegetable topped pie recipes

Day six, of twenty two daily recipes, posted in this, my Christmas Countdown. Don’t forget, if you would like to see any particular recipe or need some advise on your festive cookery, just leave a comment at the bottom of the post & I will be happy to help.

Today, we are talking pies. Not pastry pies, but vegetable topped pies, a cunning  way of getting extra veg into the kids & also a little bit healthier for us all.   You can use a variety of different veg to top your pies & a lot of different fillings, to go under that veggie thatch. See my variations at the bottom of the recipe.

The pie in the photo, (find the recipe below) is topped with an equal mix of white potatoes & celeriac. The sauce is made with the addition of a couple of tablespoons of Pernod, which enhances the flavour of both the fish & celariac, although you can omit the alcohol if you wish. 

potatoes, celariac, sweetcorn, fish, pies
Part of you 5 a day

Haddock & Veggie topped Pie

Time: 40mins + cooking.  Equipment: Oven proof baking dish, 2 saucepans, frying pan. Allergens: Fish, Milk

INGREDIENTS:

225g Smoked Haddock, or fish of your choice

500ml Milk

 2 Stalks Celery, 1 Carrot chopped.

Parsley + 2 Bay leaves

4 Hard boiled eggs, peeled & halved.

150g Frozen sweetcorn or mixed veg.

40ml Olive oil, for the sauce

2 Tbspns Plain Flour.

450g White Potatoes. Peeled & chopped into chunks

400g Celariac, Peeled a chopped into chunks

40ml Olive oil for the topping

Seasoning.

METHOD

Place the potatoes & celariac into a large saucepan, cover with water & salt, bring to the boil & simmer until tender. (About 20mins)

Place the skinned fish in a large frying pan, add the carrot, celery, parsley & bay leaves. Pour over the milk. Bring to the boil, turn off the heat, cover and let stand for 5mins. Add the frozen veg & let stand while you are making the sauce.

In a medium saucepan, place the olive oil & flour, over a medium heat, stir until the mixture binds together & bubbles, lightly, do not brown.

Remove pan from the heat & strain the milk from the fish, into the pan. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Stir in the seasoning & Pernod.

Flake the fish into a oven proof baking dish, add the veg & eggs.  Pour the sauce over the top.

Drain the potatoes & celariac, place back on heat, to briefly dry. 

Add remaining olive oil & sesonings & mash well, until smooth

Pile on top of the fish & sauce & make a decorative pattern with a fork.

Place in a preheated oven 180c 350f Gas 4 & bake for 20-30mins until golden brown.

Serve immediately.

Cooking up a feast.

Although not as rich & creamy as butter, olive oil is far better healthy option. Generally speaking, any root vegetables can be used mashed, for the topping, either on their own or mixed with potato.

Variations: Try a mix of potato & beetroot, mashed with a tablespoon of creamed horseradish. Replace the fish with cooked smoked mackerel. Omit the eggs & sweetcorn, replacing with 2 Tbspns Capers.

Cheats way.  Omit the haddock & use 1 tin of Tuna Fish, mixed with 1 can Cambells Condensed Tomato Soup & 2 Tbspns pitted Black Olives. Top with potato & grated parmesan.

If you have been. Thank you for reading.

Until tomorrow.

Do real men eat Quiche?

How to make a man sized quiche

Its a bit of a poser this one, “Do real men eat quiche”? Well, to my mind, plonk a large slice of quiche, containing, bacon, eggs, mushrooms, cheese etc, in front of them & as long as you call it a breakfast quiche & they are not vegetarian, they probably do.  Just look at it this way, the quiche in the header photo is just, breakfast on a pastry plate!

Below, you will find the recipe for a man sized breakfast Quiche. The pastry recipe you will find as a previous   Christmascountdown post, by clicking the link.  At the bottom of the page, you will also find some variations, which may also help you use up your Festive leftovers, when the time comes.

bacon, eggs, cheese, pastry, cream,
Bacon & Eggs. Tempted?

Big Breakfast Quiche  

Time taken 45 mins + cooking & chilling.  Equipment 1. 13cm Deep fill flan tin.

225g Short crust pastry   Follow the link for recipe 

200g Bacon off cuts. (Cheaply bought from your butcher. You get nice chunky bits)  Dry fried.

5, Large Free range eggs

200 ml Milk

200g Chestnut Mushrooms, sauted

2 Fresh Tomatoes, Sliced

150g Grated Cheddar Cheese

1 Tab Olive oil.

Seasoning + (Cayenne pepper, nutmeg & thyme if liked)

METHOD

Make the pastry, according to the recipe, pop in the fridge to chill while you a preparing the filling.

Preheat the oven to 200f 400c Gas 6  With a large tin baking tray inside.

Dry fry the bacon, remove & drain on kitchen paper add, 1tbspn oil to the pan & quickly saute the mushrooms.

Lightly grease flan tin with oil.

Line the tin with pastry, crimp the edges & placed the cooled bacon & mushrooms on the base.

Beat together eggs, milk & seasonings, pour into the tin.

Place the tomato slices on top & spinkle with the grated cheese.

Carefully place on the heated tray, in the oven & bake at the above temprature for 15mins. Reduce the temp to 180c 350f Gas 4 & bake for a futher 25 – 30mins, until puffed up & golden brown.

Serve to your man with a side of baked beans.

Variations:

 Replace the bacon & veg with smoked salmon, chopped dill & blanched fennel.  Use 2 Whole Eggs & yolks of 3. Replace 1/2 the milk with double cream. Omit Cheese.

Use, pitted black olives, sundried tomatoes, garlic, roasted green peppers & Bazil. Top with Grated Parmesan.

Blanch Tenderstem Broccoli Spears, add to pastry shell & top with crumbled Blue Cheese.

Use, chopped left over turkey & veg. Cheat & pour over a can of Cambells Condensed Chicken Soup. Use left over pastry to make a lid. ( Roll trimming to the size of your tin) Place on top ofthe filling, brush with milk & make a small steam hole in the middle of the lid. You now have a turkey & Veg pie. And YES real men do eat these.

Don’t  forget, you can always line a small patty tray to create, individual tartlets. Great with drinks.

If you have any questions, please ask, by leaving a comment in the box below.

Until tomorrow.

Mascapone Pastry

Rough puff pastry

Day 4 of Countdown to Christmas & we are back to pastry.  Rough puff pastry, but to be exact, Mock rough puff pastry. This dough is very easy to make, but care must be taken when mixing the ingredients. There is a long chilling time involved, which makes it easy to make & plonk in the fridge until the next day. Kept chilled & wrapped in cling film, it will last for 1 week, which makes it ideal to whip out & create those little Christmas canapes or impressive afternoon tea pastries.  It is also a very rich mix, which is suitable for both sweet & savoury recipes. You can use french patisserie flour, but I like to use Maize Bite Flour, for a crisp flaky texture & a golden yellow apperance.

Mascapone Rough Puff Pastry   Makes 225g   Time taken 15mins + 8 hrs chilling time.   Allegens: Dairy

175g. Maize Bite Flour or French Patissere (Plain Flour)

175g. Chilled butter

175g. Mascapone Cheese

Pinch of salt.

METHOD

Sift the flour & salt into a bowl.

Chop the butter in with the flour, it must be no bigger than the size of a baked bean. (See video below).

Add the mascapone & bring the mixture together with the blade of a knife.

Do not over mix, it just needs to come together in a ball.

Wrap in cling film & place in the fridge for a minimum of 8 hours.

Chopping butter into flour

When ready to use, roll out on a lightly floured surface 1/2cm thick & use as required.

The header photo shows, parmesan & blue cheese twists, to make these roll out the pastry into an oblong, sprinkle with grated parmesan & blue cheese & fold in half.  Cut into strips, see photo’s above & twist the pastry, sprinke with more parmesan. Place on a baking tray, lined with non-stick paper & bake in a pre-heated oven, 220c 425f Gas 7 for 10-12 mins, until golden.

Variations:  Roll out as above, stamp into small circles & pipe with hummus, pate or herbed cream cheese, for drinks party savouries.

Roll out as above, cut into wide strips spread with harasia & roll around mini chorizo sausages. Bake as above.

Instead of your usual pastry, use to make your mince pies.

Roll out as above, Cut into small oblongs & bake as above, sandwich 3 together with a fruit conserve, whipped cream & fresh or frozen raspberries, Dust with icing sugar before serving.

Now you have the idea, I am sure you can have fun making your own shapes & sweet & savory fillings/toppings.

For me, its a large G&T with some olives & the twists in the photo.

Until tomorrow. Enjoy your evening.

Chocolate & Coconut Truffles

Recipe for Dairy Free Truffles

Day 3 of the Coundown to Christmas recipes & tips brings you the delight of chocolate. In particular dairy & gluten free Coconut Truffles, very apt for Truffleicious you may think.

We all love chocolate, but there are varying degrees of this comforting confectionery. Many of the cheaper varieties are mainly made up of sugar, & additives. Food regulations state that the ingredients list must show the components of the product in a decreasing scale. Therefore, if the first ingredient listed is sugar, then sugar is the main ingredient of the product. So, my mantra for purchasing any food product is “Always read the label”.

For the recipe below you must use chocolate that has a cocoa butter content of above 72%. Block creamed coconut must also be used, not a tin of coconut milk as this is all part of the setting agent in the finished truffles.

Coconut & Rum Truffles.

Gluten free, Dairy free, Vegetarian, Vegan.  Time taken, 45mins + chilling

Makes 40.

INGREDIENTS

250 g Dark Chocolate (above 72% cocoa mass)

1/2 Pack of solid creamed coconut 

60 g Desicated Coconut, (fine variety)

150 ml Rum, OR Malibu OR Water if you want to avoid alcohol.

150g Coconut, or Cocoa Powder for Rolling.   These can also be dipped in melted chocolate when set.

METHOD

Place the the coconut cream & your prefered liquid in a saucepan & bring to the boil, stirring.  Cool for 10mins.

Chop the chocolate into small chunks & place in a large bowl.

Pour the coconut mixture onto the chocolate, stirring briskly, from the centre, until you have a thick glossy emulsion. Stir in the fine desicated coconut.

Chill & roll into balls, with you fingers. Coat each ball with your chosen coating, or dip in melted chocolate. 

Leave to set & there you have it, the perfect gift for friends & relations or if like me, you are a bit of a Piggy, Eat them yourself.

Chocolate, truffles, liqueurs, home made, Coccoa fat,
A little of what you fancy.

Until tomorrow Foodies, have a lovely evening.

Don’t forget, if you have a question or would like to see a particular recipe on The Christmas Countdown. Please leave a comment in the box below.

Perfect pastry

How to make perfect pastry

Day 2 of our Christmas countdown deals with pastry. Ok, there are plenty of ready made pastries on the market, but there is nothing nicer & more satifying than making your own.

Apart from the fact that there will be no hidden, additives in your homemade pastry, you also have the opportunity, to ring the changes, by using different flours. You need to experiment with this, as some flours, Rye for example, produces a lovely nutty tasting pastry, but it can be quite heavy, needing the addition of a bit more liquid than when using normal plain flour.

Always, use the best quality flour that you can afford, cheap flours contain bleaching agents, to retain the whiteness & the quality of the wheat used in the milling, is not always of great quality. All this reflects in the final taste & texture of your finished result. I personal use Mathews Cotswold flours, in all my baking. In the photo above, you can see pastry made with their Maize flour, which make a beautifully crisp, golden pastry, suitable for quiches, tarts etc.  Recipe below:

Short crust pastry. 

Makes 1kg enough to line 4 x 20cm Quiche or Tart tins.  Allegens:: Wheat, Egg.

450g Maize Flour

115g Unsalted butter- chopped into small pieces.

115g White Cooking Fat – chopped into small pieces.

1 medium free range egg, beaten & made up to 8 tbspns with ice cold water.

Large pinch of salt.

METHOD

Place the flour & salt into the bowl of a stand mixer.

Using the K beater, mix on speed 3 until the mix resembles breadcrumbs. DO NOT OVER MIX.

With the mixer running, gradually add the egg & water. Until the mix forms a ball. Remove from the bowl & lightly knead on a floured surface. Wrap in cling film & chill for 30mins, untill ready to use. Never over work your dough, & keep all ingredients chilled. Warm over worked pastry, results in oily, heavy pastry. Always bake in a metal tin, placed on a pre heated oven tray (place in oven, when switching on). This conducts the heat better. NO soggy bottom. As a general rule, this pastry bakes at 200f 400c Gas 6 for 15mins, reducing to 180f 350c Gas 4 for a futher 20mins, depending on your recipe & oven.

The above recipe makes, 1kg of pastry. you can halve the quantity, but I think it is always better, from a time point of veiw, to make a larger quantity, & divide it into portions & freeze for later use. You can line 4 tins with the pastry & pop into the freezer. When needed you have them ready to fill & bake.  

To make a gluten free version of Shortcrust pastry. Replace the above flour with the following:

200g Buckwheat Flour

250 Brown Rice Flour.

Omit the egg & use nine tablespoons of chilled water. Follow the method as above.

Apple, shortcake. tart, pie
Fill you flan.

Have fun choosing your fillings, both sweet & savoury, get creative

On tomorrows Christmas Countdown, we will be dealing with Rough Puff Pastry & Christmas Cake Pies?

Lemon Mincemeat

How to make Vegan Mincemeat

We all like those little pies full of tangy, vine fruits & spices, I say all, but, thats not quite true. Vegans are appalled by the addition of suet, in these festive fillers. 

All is not lost dearest Vegans, you shall have a pie. For I have created this luscious mince meat, especially with you in mind. Bursting with a tangy lemon flavour, using dried, cherries, berries & ginger & soaked in a shot or two of Greek Metaxa. Delicious.

Vegan, Mincemeat, Lemon, Mincepies, Homemade,
A taste of Sunshine

Vegan Lemon Mincemeat

Makes 2.5 kg      Time taken 1 hour  G/F D/F Vegan, Vegetarian  Allergens: NUTS

Ingredients:

6, Large Unwaxed Lemons

450g, Mixed Dried berries, cherries & cranberries.

225g, Crystalised Ginger or other fruit to your liking.

100g Shelled, green Pistachio nuts.

5, tbspns Olive Oil.

700g, Soft brown sugar.

1/2 level tspn each of nutmeg, ground mixed spice & cinnamon

200ml Brandy. ( I use Metaxa 5* Greek)

Method

Halve the lemons & squeeze out the juice & reserve.

Quarter the lemon peel, remove flesh & excess white pith

Place the prepared skins in a saucepan, cover with cold water, bring to the boil & simmer for 30mins.

Drain, cool slightly & place in a food processor, with the crystallised ginger,

Process until finely chopped.

Turn into a bowl & add the olive oil, pistachio nuts, dried fruits, strained lemon juice & sugar. Mix well with a wooden spoon.

Add the spices & brandy, stir well again & pack into sterilized jars. Cover & seal.

This is a gorgeous & unusual recipe for mincemeat with a tangy flavour. Can be used immediately, but improves with keeping.

Dried fruit, Mincemeat, homemade, food, cookery
Dried Berries & Cherries

Tomorrows Countdown to Christmas recipe will be Pastry, plus a gluten free version. Also a fool proof rough puff, with a difference.

Until tomorrow. Have a great evening

About

Cookery & Food Experience, what I can offer you.


TRUFFLEicious is based at Great Chalfield, Wiltshire, in a stable we converted into a 5* hygiene registered kitchen, within the grounds of Great Chalfield Manor.

I have been working as a private cook/recipe developer for more than 40 yrs, mainly in private family houses, for Polo functions and at Harrods. During this time I have built up a large repertoire of my own recipes, which I have created & developed over the years, to suit our ever changing tastes & dietary needs requirements. 

“My aim is to supply 100% Homemade food, made from fresh, natural, local ingredients, which contain NO nasties”.

I am a great believer in cooking food from scratch, using fresh natural ingredients. You may like to read my related article Taste have we lost it?

Food & Cookery for the small business

I am available, on a consultancy basis, to advise on any food related matters, you may wish to discuss with a fully experienced Cook/recipe developer. These may include:

  • Creating recipes from your own product. 
  • Assisting you in creating a new food product.
  • Creating recipes for all dietary requirements.
  • Writing food & recipe blogs for your business.
  • Food Hygeiene.
  • Advise on food legislation & regulation for the small food business.

Home Cooking

I also offer a Cookery Tuition Package (in your own home)

The difference between us & other cookery schools is:

You choose what you would like to learn to cook.

You may want to:

  • Brush up on your basic skills.
  • Learn to cook dishes for various dietary needs.
  • Batch cooking from scratch – time management.
  • Special occassion cookery.
  • Healthy eating & nutrition.
  • Nutritional foods & cooking for older people
  • Ecconomic purchasing & cooking for families.
  • How to use your leftovers.

These are only suggestions, we are able to accomodate any aspect of food & cookery.

Should you wish to chat with us about any of the above topis, please contact me at info@truffleicious.co.uk

TRUFFLEicious is registered as a food business with Wiltshire Council & our Scores on the Doors are 5*. We hold current public & product liability insurance & Food Hygiene Certificate.

Visit our sister sites for more information

>> TRUFFLEicious 

> > http://www.truffleiciousteaches.com

 

BBC Wiltshire – Rachel Houghton, 27/11/2018

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06qgwjp

BBC Wiltshire – James Thomas, 27/11/2018https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06qgwjp

Hi Foodies, I am feeling very lucky today, the lovely Emma Coleman from BBC Radio Wiltshire visited my little Stable kitchen, last week, to interview me.  That was luck in itself, but just imagine my feeling of elation when my recorded interview appeared not just on one, but both of the above mentioned radio programmes today. If you click the links above, you will be able to hear them.

Now. If you heard the programmes & read my previous blog – link in red below – you may wish to make your own Fondant Icing (Ready rolled). The recipe follows:

FONDANT ICING. Covers 1 x 10cm cake.

1, level dessertspoon powdered gelatine, mixed with 3 dessertspoons of cold water.

100gm Granulated Sugar

6.Tbspns hot water

1.Tbspn Fresh Lemon Juice

2.tspns vanilla essence

25ml Vegetable oil

1/2 – 3/4 kg Sifted Icing Sugar.

METHOD

Place granulated sugar, hot water & lemon juice in a small saucepan & bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve.

Cover & boil for 2mins, uncover & boil for a futher 5mins until a little of the syrup forms a soft ball when dropped into very cold water.

Add the gelatine mix, essence & oil & stir to dissolve. Cool until luke warm.

Put half the icing sugar in a large boil & add the syrup mixture,stir well to combine. Gradually work in the remaining icing sugar, with the fingers, kneading until the mix becomes, smooth & pliable.

Place in a plastic bag & leave at room temperature overnight.

Roll out on a board dusted with sifted icing sugar & use to cover your cake. At this stage you can knead any colourings into the icing. This icing is also suitable for moulding. See the little snow men in the photo above.

You will also find my original blog, regarding the nasties in store bought icing, by clicking the link below:

If you have any questions on your Christmas cookery please feel free to ask.

Just leave your question in the comment box below.

If you have been. Thank you for reading & possibly listenening.

How do you like your Icing?

Ready to Roll Icing 

It’s that time of the year again. You’re rushing around like a headless turkey, trying to get everything done, buying presents for his parents, trying to calm down the over excited kids and all of a sudden, your remember. “Ahhhh I haven’t iced the cake”. Presuming you made one in the first place! Well, of course you did. You like to feed your family, wholesome, natural foods, not products loaded with chemicals, preservatives & goodness knows what else.

You are a domestic goddess, you know what’s good nutrition wise, for your brood, you substitute butter for low fat spreads, to keep their hearts healthy, buy low sugar products to help their teeth & weight & try to get them to eat their 8 a day – no chance – . But. During all this healthy eating campaign, are you aware of what is actually in those substitutes? & their  food mile foot prints?  Do you read the ingredients list, in small print, on the back of products?

We need to be a couple of generations older, to know what some of these additivies will do to us – think smoking – Are you mindful of the ecco damage we are doing to our planet? – think Orangutan –  What is wrong with cooking & making fresh healthy food from scratch. Yes, I can hear you all crying “TIME”.  Well it is time. Time to get yourself organised, spend less time on FB & that glass of Chardonay every night & prioritise your week, as you CAN do it, you owe it to yourself & your family. 

Time, verses ready made products. The food industry is well aware of this, by persuding us to buy these tempting, ready made, calorie & chemical laden products.

This brings me back to the title of this blog How do you like your Icing? Please read in conjunction with my previous blog Marzipan

ready to roll icing,royal icing,icing additives,icing sugar,homemadeicing
Always read the label
Icing, Icing sugar, ready made icing, royal icing, home made icing,
Thanks white stuff

Ready to roll, (cake covering or fondant) is the most common, store bought icing. While it takes a little while to make, but you can soon whip it up in that lovely food mixer that stands, unused on your work surface. One thing you can be sure of, you know exactly what it contains. Just take a look at the ingredients list in the store bought products above.

Royal icing (piping, decoration). Is much easier to make, again in the mixer. Both icings are also much cheaper to make than their store bought counterparts. 

What I really don’t understand, is that so many of us seem to be aware of & indeed want gluten free, dairy free, Lowfodmap, lactose free, vegan, vegetarian etc, but we don’t seem to care about the additives, artificial chemicals & goodness knows what that is added to our foods. 

Its also not just about the Supemarkets. Don’t forget those ready made cakes you purchase, whether from a Farm Shop, Bakery or a social media advertiser of home made cakes!  Do you check their ingredients?  Can you be sure that they home make their own cakes & icings & don’t resort to packet cake mixes, store bought icings & decorations? Always beware of the words “hand made”. 

Follow me on twitter & Instagram for ideas & ingredient lists

In the long term, all these additives could be doing us untold harm. Who knows, only time will tell. So. Make the time, to home make your food from scratch, or you my find YOUR time is shortenened, in the long run.

Next year, my blog will include a weekly update of seasonal foods, with recipes & ideas on how to priorotise your time & feed your family with healthy home made foods.

So. Whats in your icing this Christmas?

Halloween Butternut Squash

Autumn is finally upon us. Apart from the cold mornings the weather continues to be glorious. Walking my furry friend across the fields, the early morning mist creates an eerie atmosphere & evokes memories of smoky bonfires, leaves rustling underfoot and of course Halloween.

Here at TRUFFLEicious, we are preparing for the closure of Great Chalfield Manor for this year & concentrating on our winter activities.  Writing my recipe book  TRUFFLEicious, Nutritious, Nutrition is one of my projects for the winter months & continuing to retail my homemade Gluten free Cakes, Spelt & Rye Breads & of course, Chocolate Truffles (Full details on my website www.truffleicious.org) is another.

Right enough waffling back to Halloween with its Pumpkins & Gourds.  This month’s recipe is vegetarian, for the carnivores amongst you, some spicy sausages or chicken, would make a great addition. You can also make double the amount & serve one half hot & save the rest to have as a salad for the next day.

Oriental Butternut Squash, Black Kale & Spelt with Sesame & Pomegranate Dressing

Serves 6.  Low Fodmap. DF, V, Vegan.  Oven heat 180c, 350f, Gas 4

INGREDIENTS:

2 Medium Butternut Squash, Halved, seeds removed & chopped into large cubes.

1 Large Bag of fresh Black Kale. Shredded.

2 Red Onions, Peeled & quarted.

2 Red Peppers. Deseeded & cut into chunks.

Seasoning

4 Tbspns. Rape Seed Oil.

Sesame Oil to taste.

For the dressing:  Put all ingredients in a screw top jar. Shake to emulsify.  Adjust to taste.

100ml. Cider Vinegar.

tspns Lemon Grass Paste

2 Crushed Cloves Garlic

2 tspns Clear Honey.

50ml. Low Salt. Vegan Soy Sauce

Ground Black Pepper

200ml. Rape Seed Oil.

150g Brown Spelt. Cooked to packet instructions.

METHOD:

Preheat the oven.

Place the oil in a large roasting tray.  Add the Squash, onion, peppers, season well with salt & pepper.

Toss everything together to coat veg with the oil. Roast for 15 – 20 mins, until cooked but not mushy.

While the veg are roasting make the dressing & quickly stir fry the black kale in a large Wok.

Using a slotted spoon, place cooked veg in a large serving dish; add the drained spelt & kale.

Toss together, drizzle with Sesame Oil, to taste & serve either on its own with crusty bread or with grilled halloumi.

If you are having a Halloween or Bonfire party, this dish looks brilliant served in a pumpkin shell or individual halved, different coloured gourd shells.

Enjoy.