Sunday, March 25, 2012

Maggie Beer inspired Chicken pot pie

For me,a pot pie is the ultimate comfort food.What's so comforting about a humble little pie?Is it the flaky,buttery pastry or the rich,creamy filling or the wonderfully melt-in-your-mouth combination of the two?Or could it be all that butter??The big slab of butter that you throw into a pie?

Yes,of course a pie has butter...a good lot of butter.A friend had once asked me if she could make a pie without butter and without refined flour.I suggested that she better not make a pie at all and have porridge instead.Because a pie is a pie is a pie!It is awfully unhealthy and totally tasty.It is an absolute no-no for size zero aspirants,fitness freaks and other poor souls on diet.But there is nothing like a warm pot pie for a tired,exhausted momma like me who does not mind a few extra pounds being added to her already jiggling belly!
This pie recipe is however not my favourite though it is a really,really good one.My favourite pie is my Amma's pot pie which I grew up eating.I guess you'll have to wait for a while for that recipe.But for now,here is one inspired by Maggie Beer's pheasant pie which was featured on one of the episodes of Masterchef Australia.I've adapted her extremely forgiving sour cream pastry recipe which is too good for words.And I've used chicken and mushrooms in a rich, creamy sauce for the filling.How comforting is that?


For the sour cream pastry(adapted from Maggie Beer's pheasant pie recipe)

200g Unsalted butter, chilled
250g Plain flour
125ml Sour Cream

Pulse the butter and flour in a food processor until it looks like breadcrumbs.
Add the sour cream and continue to pulse until the dough starts to incorporate into a ball.
Wrap in plastic film and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Roll the pastry to desired thickness and cut 2 circles, 1 bigger for the base of your pie dish and 1 smaller for the lid.
Keep refrigerated while you make the filling.

For the filling

3 boneless chicken breasts(cut into small cubes)
1 packet button mushrooms(halved)
1 onion (cut into fairly big cubes)
1/4 cup plain flour
1-2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup fresh cream
Good sprinkle of parsley
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Rub chicken pieces with salt,pepper and olive oil.Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until almost cooked.
Heat olive oil in a pan and saute onions until just translucent.
Add mushrooms and saute till mushrooms reduce to half the size and all the water evaporates.
Add flour and cook for a while.(It should not turn brown)
Add stock and stir to remove lumps.
Add cooked chicken cubes and fresh cream and cook till thick.The sauce should be creamy but not clumpy.Add more stock if needed.
Season with parsley,salt and pepper.
Keep aside till it cools.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Carefully transfer the bigger circle of the pastry to the base of the pie dish and gently press down and the sides,making sure there is a little extra pastry around the sides.
Spoon the filling into the base.
Cover with the smaller circle of the pastry and crimp the edges to seal.
Score a cross pattern on top of the pie.
Give the top an egg wash.
Bake at 180 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour,till the crust is nice and brown.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Gajar ka Halwa/Carrot Fudge

I came across this wonderful Indian dessert recipe in Anjali's Spice and sugar tales and knew almost immediately that it was going to be the dessert for the weekend.Fresh,juicy carrots cooked in whole milk until the carrots turn soft and all the milk reduces to leave behind gorgeous little specks of milk solids....
I'm so glad I tried it.Thank you Anjali for the lovely is a keeper!
The only change I made was to add a tin of condensed milk into the milk and carrots,half way through the cooking.But I don't think it made much of a difference.It would have tasted pretty much the same even without it.

You'll find the recipe for this dessert here.I am not writing down the recipe,simply because Anjali has written it down so well with every detail and also because I'm in an extremely lazy mood today.And after you've made it,take a large bowl of this gooey,fudgy dessert,plonk on your sofa,take a mouthful and close your eyes......You'll be thankful for the simplest of things like carrots and milk and sugar and cardamom and that lovely Indian great grandmother who first thought of putting it all together to create the glorious "Gajar ka halwa".

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Bow and butterfly cake

This was a cake that I made a while ago,when I was still taking my Wilton lessons.I don't exactly remember the source from where I got the inspiration and idea.All I remember is that the lady in the video tutorial had beautiful,beautiful hands...So beautiful that I looked at my own and felt awfully sorry!

The cake is covered with fondant.And that's the Wilton bow made with a blend of fondant and gumpaste. The gumpaste butterflies were cut out with PME cutters and brushed with gold lustre dust.

Linking this to Cakes,Cookies and Desserts event at Spice and sugar tales.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Egg in a hole

There's no doubt that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.It should be a wholesome,healthy and fulfilling meal,loaded with all the vital nutrients to help you live your day.But sadly,nobody in my home seems to have time for an elaborate breakfast.So all they do,most of the time is maybe grab a fruit or gulp down a glass of milk before rushing to their school/office.But whenever my slow and sleepy little girl manages to get ready a few minutes before her school bus arrives,I fix this quick breakfast for her which she enjoys.
'Egg in a hole' is common in breakfast and brunch counters and it is always my favourite to order at one of those live egg stations.When served with some fresh fruits and a glass of milk,it makes a quick and wholesome breakfast on a busy weekday.

Sending this for 'Just for fun' event hosted by Shobha at Good Food.


1 egg
1 slice of bread
enough pepper and salt


Using a medium sized,round cookie cutter,cut out a circle from the middle of the bread slice.
Heat a knob of butter in a non stick pan.
Lay the bread slice in the pan.
Break an egg right into the hole in the bread.
Cook for a few minutes on medium heat.
Flip over to the other side being careful not to break the egg.
Cook until done.
Carefully transfer to a plate and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Serve hot.