October 26, 2018

Ham and Root Vegetable Crumble

This started with a ham in the fridge that needed cooking! I knew I wanted to do something other than a boiled and glazed ham, which was eaten for dinner a few weeks ago. I wanted to do something other than the usual 'left over ham recipe'. Of course this does not imply denying the appeal of a ham and leek pie. But I had the afternoon and wanted to spend a little time in the kitchen. So I pulled out the vegetable basket and checked to see what was already in the house-a sweet potato, a turnip and onions. "Ok, root vegetables are going to be part of whatever I come up with for this ham", I thought to myself.

I'm not sure how I got to the crumble idea but I did. Once there, I was not turning back! Think off all the juicy fruits we put under a blanket of sweet crumble to bake into the perfect dessert. Could there be a savory version, I thought to myself. The answer? Yes. Yes, there can. And there should be. I'm sure there are savory crumble recipes out there but to be honest, it doesn't strike me as a popular recipe. Savory crumbles need more attention!

October 13, 2018

Simple Fish Pie with Lemon Mash

Half of my family eat the fish. The other half just cannot get on board. Maybe a garlic butter drenched crab claw here and there, out of politeness, but otherwise an expected 'no'. Which means that consumption of fishy dinners is a little light in our house. Tinned fish, absolutely and 99% of the time while dining out, fish will be ordered. And on the rare occasion of a take away from the chipper, fish and chips is a must with buttered white slice pan! 

With a 50/50 eating rate, it is a little inconvenient to cook for dinner as it means that two have to be whipped up. A little strenuous for anyone and an absolute nightmare for the non-fish eater, who will have to come in very close contact with raw fish! 

So on those occasions when some have found somewhere better to be around dinner time, the fish can come out! 

Fish pie can be quite a personal thing. There are endless combinations between fish, filling and topping. Filling with one kind of fish, a mixture, a mix between fish and crustaceans, a pastry topping, or a pastry bottom and a mashed top. So many options-all lovely and waiting to be discovered. 

For me, this fish pie is uncomplicated and delicious. It gives me everything I want from a fish pie. It's unbelievably comforting, filling, bursting with flavor and not the least bit demanding in terms of preparation. And it is filled with frozen peas-which is a must! Frozen peas are one of my favorite convenience ingredients. I adore them and use them every week. 

October 07, 2018

Chicken Stuffed with Apple, Blue Cheese and Almonds

I feel like I missed most of Autumn. Having been in Colombia for three weeks and having had a number of Indian summers, it seems to have come and gone. But while the leaves are still crunching underfoot, this recipe celebrates the flavours of Autumn. 

A favourite time of year for many, myself included. I love an extra layer, a lazy weekend walk and most of all, the cooking that comes with the cooler months. 

This stuffed chicken screams autumal flavours-apple, cheese and almonds. Apple and cheese-a classic combo in both sweet and savory autumn recipes. With the addition of texture from toasted almonds that release all their hidden flavour when raw.   

While making these stuffed chicken breasts I cooked one with no stuffing for a non blue cheese lover in my house! No incision was made. Instead I rubbed the chicken with olive oil, salt and pepper and put on a separate baking sheet.

It went in the oven at the same time as the stuffed ones and roasted along them on a separate baking sheet-for no blue flavour cross over!

Roasting the chicken this way with no stuffing is a lovely, quick and easy mid week dinner. Everything on one tray in the oven. You could season the chicken in so many different ways. Here's three ideas: