Turkey & Leek pie

 

This pie is a must-have at Christmas in our house. Over the years we have developed a tradition whereby we have Christmas dinner No.1 which is the traditional turkey, ham, potatoes roasted in goose fat, stuffing, veg, pigs in blankets and gravy, on St Stephens Day we have Christmas dinner No. 2  which is more or less the same with freshly cooked roast potatoes and different veg  which I enjoy even more than dinner on Christmas Day! ) and then we have Christmas dinner No.3 which is the Turkey Pie. My adult children now insist that we stick to this routine and no matter what they have on they all manage to be here for these 3 dinners ! It is a nice way to extend Christmas to be honest and for us all to have dinner together. The pie in particular is a really nice change and a great way to use up leftover cooked meat – any mixture of turkey and / or ham can be used and of course this pie can be made anytime with cooked chicken. Happy Christmas to you all and happy cooking in 2018! x

 

Serves 4-6

Approx. 30 minutes prep & 45 minutes in the oven

Ingredients

50g butter plus extra for greasing
1 onion sliced
1 large leek, trimmed & sliced
250g button mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon plain flour
250ml chicken stock
100ml cream
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
900g cooked turkey cut into chunks(or mixture of ham, turkey or chicken)
200/225g ready rolled puff pastry
1 egg lightly beaten
Salt & freshly ground black pepper

 

How to make it!

  • Preheat oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5
  • Heat the butter in a sauté pan
  • Add the onion, garlic, leek and mushrooms and sauté for 2-3 minutes until softened but not coloured
  • Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring continuously
  • Gradually pour the stock into the pan followed by the cream, stirring until smooth after each addition
  • Add the bay leaf, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes until thickened, stirring occasionally
  • Stir in the parsley, season to taste and set aside to cool.
  • Cover the sauce with a buttered circle of non-stick parchment paper to prevent a skin forming
  • Place the cooked turkey / meat in a 1.75L (3 pint) pie dish and ladle over the sauce
  • Stir gently to combine.
  • Roll out the pastry to a thickness of 0.5cm/¼cm on a lightly floured surface to fit the top of the pie dish making sure that it is large enough to hang over the edges like a ‘blanket’.
  • Place the pastry lid on top of the pie, trimming it down to fit and brush around the edges with a little water to help it stick, then press down along the sides to seal.
  • Cut a small slit in the pastry lid to allow the steam to escape
  • Cut out a few decorative pastry leaves to put in the centre of the pastry lid.(optional)
  • Brush with the beaten egg and bake for 45 minutes or until the pastry is nicely puffed up and golden brown.

Serve with some creamy mashed potato and enjoy!

Advertisements

Winter quinoa salad

Quinoa salad 6

This beautiful and nutritious salad will brighten up any dark, dreary day. I know you are probably saying salads are for Summer but the ingredients in this recipe are available all year round in our supermarkets so there is no reason not to give it a go to brighten up any day –  you will be so glad and your body will thank you for it. You will know from a previous recipe that I am a big fan of quinoa not just because it is quick and easy to make, but also because it is a super healthy source of (plant-based) protein and a slow release energy sustaining food (i.e. keeps you full for longer!).  It also keeps and travels well so very handy for making wonderful healthy lunches to bring to work and also for using up leftovers such as cooked chicken or roasted vegetables. Beats a ham sandwich any day! Continue reading

Delicious, healthy Chilli Con Carne with guacamole

Chilli con carne

“Next to jazz music, there is nothing that lifts the spirit and strengthens the soul more than a good bowl of chili.” (Harry James)

Chilli con carne is one of my favourite comfort meals. This version is high in flavour, contains lots of protein(kidney beans are a virtually fat-free source of great quality protein), low on salt and low-fat. It is very easy to make and a really good dish for busy weeknights where you are short on time but still want to eat a tasty, healthy meal! To make this dish even more delicious and healthy have it with some guacamole, diced tomato and Greek Yogurt. Serve with brown rice to add some carbohydrate to the meal if you wish. Leftovers(if there are any) can be used to make a tasty tortilla wrap the next day or just re-heated in a bowl with some melted cheese on top!  Continue reading

Healthy cheat’s pizza

Pizza photo 2

This ‘pizza’ is the fastest, easiest meal you could ever make and so tasty as well. I use tortilla wraps as pizza bases and they make a lovely thin and crispy crust. They are also a whole lot healthier (and cheaper) than frozen or takeaway pizzas. I made this twice this week, varying it by using different cheeses. I used Buffalo Mozzarella on the one in the picture but goat’s cheese or cheddar cheese work really well also. They are great when you need to make something quickly and for using up leftovers as you only need small quantities of the toppings (depending on how many you are making of course!). Children and teenagers love ‘dressing’ their own pizzas – in my house everyone has different tastes so they make their own. My son, for example doesn’t like cheese so he makes his pizza with lots of peppers, salami, pepperoni etc. My own favourite is goat’s cheese, caramelised onion jam / marmalade, asparagus and rocket. You need to use two tortilla wraps to make the base firm enough. Once you top it with the tomato purée you can be as creative as you like. They take approx. 10 mins in an oven heated to 160°C / 325°F.

Ingredients for 1 pizza

2 tortilla wraps (preferably wholemeal)
Tomato purée or passata
Mixed peppers, diced
Black olives, sliced
Buffalo Mozzarella
Olive Oil
Rocket

  • Place two wraps on a baking tray
  • Spread with tomato purée making sure the surface of the wrap is fully covered
  • Scatter peppers, olives and torn mozzarella plus any other toppings on top
  • Drizzle with a little olive oil
  • Bake in the oven for 10 mins until the cheese is melted and bubbling
  • Serve with rocket scattered across the top and a further drizzle of oil (optional)

Smoked Salmon with soft boiled egg and quinoa

 

Smoked Salmon & Egg Photo bw

If you haven’t tried quinoa before I urge you to buy some this weekend and include it in your diet from now on. Quinoa is a great source of protein, fibre and is rich in minerals, B-vitamins and vitamin E. It cooks in 15 minutes and is also wheat-free, gluten-free and contains anti-inflammatory compounds. I am a big fan because it is so versatile, adds protein and substance to salads to make them more filling and satisfying (fuller for  longer!) plus it’s a keeper i.e. cooked quinoa keeps in the fridge for 2-3 days. It doesn’t have a huge amount of flavour in itself(same as pasta or rice) but has a nice nutty flavour and fluffy texture. This quick lunch was made from some left-over white quinoa to which I piled on some beautiful Irish organic smoked salmon and a soft boiled egg. This would also make a great breakfast. It was topped off with some of my homemade mayonnaise (see previous post) to which I added some chopped dill. You will also find another recipe using quinoa in a previous post – Butternut Squash & Quinoa salad.

Continue reading