Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Chicken and Celery Pie

Easy but time consuming

Serves 3-4 or 2 greedy people

3 chicken breasts
4 sticks celery
1/2 tsp celery salt
2 cloves garlic
1 onion
1 pint milk + a dash more if needed...
50g butter
50g plain flour
qty of puff pastry or shortcrust

1) Dice the chicken and remove any skin or gristle

2) Dice the celery very chunkily and remove any stringy bits, slice the onion

3) In a saucepan (pref with a draining lid) place the milk, onion, whole garlic cloves, chicken and celery, bring to the boil gently and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the chicken is cooked and celery soft

4) Now this is a matter of personal choice with pastry - now I love pastry and prefer it top & bottom but the dear other half does not so I only topped the pie, use this time to line if required or roll out ready to top the pie

5) Melt the butter in a seperate pan and add the flour and cook out for a few seconds, now drain all of the milk from the other pan and whisk together, bring to boil then simmer for a few mins until thickened and smooth, remove from the heat

6) Remove the garlic cloves from the pan and smoosh with the back of a fork, stir into the sauce, now add the contents of the chicken pan and mix well, add the celery salt and season well with black pepper

7) Fill the pie dish, cover with the pastry and pierce several times, now cook at about 180o for a good hour or so or until browned and gorgeous

We had this sunday and it was scrumdiddlydumpcious considering basic ingredients, during the long slow cook the sauce turned a beautiful golden colour and it was yummy. I am pleased to say we demolished it between two and couldnt move for the rest of the day!!

Softly Softly

For the drivers and non-boozers:

My favourite non-alcoholic soft drink is a self made drink called 'Grenadade' consisting of 1 part Grenadine syrup (dont be stingy here! I recommend Teissiere) to 6 parts good lemonade and 3 cubes of ice, have converted two so far and predict many will follow... :-)

Ribena...ah the good old days...this is one drink I never grew out of! However my favourite way of drinking it is with hot water rather than cold....is so warming on a cold day and comforting. It is though very expensive however Lidls blackcurrant hi-juice is a very good contender at around £1.50 a litre. Currently supping Ribenas new addition in the form of Blueberry, very nice indeed!

Another summer drink I like is lime cordial with lots of ice and lemonade so refreshing in the heat.

Also home made lemon cordial is rather simple and lovely, just take two lemons, slice thinly, take a large glass lidded jug and sterilise with boiling water, swill and pour out, add the lemons and 4 tbsp sugar, top up with boiling water, stir with the other end of a wooden spoon, put lid on and leave until cool, place in fridge and allow to stew for about 12 hours, then stir again well and use as you would any other cordial. When it gets about halfway down top up again with boiling water and 1 tbsp sugar. This will keep for about a month easily in the fridge.

When it comes to soft drinks I am not a brand follower, however if I had to choose it would Schweppes everytime for Lemonade and Sainsburys surprisingly for coca cola, however I do tend to have the caffeine free one which tastes much better than coca colas metallic tasting version!

Spirits Move Me...

Sorry about the title...am rather a big take that fan and the line came into my head!

I do love spirits almost as much as wine...

01/07/08 - I have not tried yet but bought some sour cherry liqueur in Lidl yesterday, they also have as a special line a blueberry version and an apple one, I would have liked all three but am watching pennies and my waist at the moment!

My favourite is a clear spirit called Floranis which I can only get in France, is akin to Pernod but much smoother and a gorgeous fennel taste... is lurvely mixed with coca cola and ice!!

Also fond of a whisky /whiskey but I do not have extravagant tastes (thank the lord!) Am quite content with a nice Jamesons on the rocks, or a Paddys with coke / ice or even Grants quite happily will consume! Not into the whole peaty tasting ones...

Have recently been converted to Frangelico, a clear & smooth Italian hazlenut liqeuer, best enjoyed on lots of ice. Oh and it works great if you can't sleep!! Is nice with a twist of lime but I cannot work out why....will have to keep persuing!

We also are at the end of a bottle of Bicerin a chocolate hazlenut liqeuer which is dreamy with a kick!

Recently I have been indulging in a bottle of Machiatto liqueur from Lidls, gloriously creamy and far too easy to drink!! (this has since mysteriously vanished.....)

Balsamic Turkey with courgettes and plum tomatoes

This has been made twice now out of lonely fridge contents and I love it! Takes ten mins to cook, little prep and lots of flavour!.... A few months on and this dish still lingers in my mind .. think its time to visit waitrose again!!

Serves one and no naughty carbs


1 thick turkey steak (we like waitrose best)
1 courgette
4-5 baby plum or cherry tomatoes
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp garlic sauce (cupboard cheat)
1/2 tbsp approx olive oil
1 small nob of butter

1) Slice the courgette thinly into rounds and halve the tomatoes

2) Heat the oil on till medium hot in a large shallow pan and add the turkey, cover and cook for about 4 mins, add the butter and courgettes, cover and cook for 3-4 mins til starting to brown

3) Add the tomatoes and squish with the back of the spoon / spatula

4) Cook for about 3-4 more mins or until the courgettes are browning and the turkey is cooked, drizzle over the BV and garlic sauce and allow to evaporate slightly, serve immediately.

Is certainly a good way to liven up turkey steaks and the BV makes a lovely sticky glaze.

Oh and yes I am greedy and lurve courgettes.

01 09 10