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Chicken & Mushroom Pie

I’m really rather fond of pies, especially when the weather is as wet and gloomy as it’s been today. There is something oh so comforting about pie, whether it’s steak, chicken or apple… you just can’t beat the deliciousness of buttery flaky pastry on a cold day.

Chicken Pie

Given that today has been rather horrid on the weather front, I thought I’d share one of these recipes with you to really get you in the autumnal spirit of things. I’m feeling rather autumnal myself, I’ve spent the entire day cleaning my home (yes it’s that bloody nesting instinct as baby still hasn’t arrived), I figured that there wasn’t anything else to do seeing as it was so wet outside.

I digress, here is my delicious home-made chicken and mushroom pie recipe made using left over roast chicken, so it makes a perfect Monday night treat that’s really cheap to make.

Chicken & Mushroom Pie
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: British
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Chicken & Mushroom Pie
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, roughly chopped
  • 3 sticks celery, roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 300g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped thyme
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • Left over roast chicken, pulled off the bone and shredded
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 400g shortcrust pastry (either home-made or store bought - I won't judge!)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large casserole dish and add the onion, cook until translucent. Add the other vegetables and thyme, stir well to coat the vegetables with the oil and cook for 10 minutes until they have softened.
  2. Add the flour and stir well to coat the vegetables, then immediately add the tomato purée and chicken stock. Season generously then add the shredded chicken. Turn the heat to medium and simmer for about an hour until the pie mixture has thickened.
  3. Once the pie mixture is cooked remove it from the heat and allow it to cool for about half an hour.
  4. If you are making pie with a base you'll need to blind bake the pastry crust first (see notes below). However, you may only wish to add the pastry on top, in which case follow the steps below.
  5. Fill your dish with the pie mixture and pop the sheet of rolled pastry on top allowing about 2cm of pastry to over-hang the dish. Use cutters to decorate the top.
  6. Brush with egg wash, poke a few small holes in to let the steam out and bake for 40 minutes.

Instructions for Blind Baking a Pastry Crust

If you wish to make a pie crust (which I think is best), roll out your pastry to the desired size, depending on the size of your dish. Use a small ball of pastry to push the corners into place so you don’t tear the pastry.

Ensure that you roll the pastry out so that you have about a 2cm overlap on the dish (sometimes the pastry shrinks in the oven). Place a sheet of baking paper over the pastry and fill the dish with ceramic baking beans. Pop into a pre-heated oven (180oC fan) for 15 minutes, then remove the baking beans and baking paper and bake for a further 5 minutes.

Once you have blind baked your pie crust allow it to cool slightly before adding the chicken mixture and complete the recipe from step five above.

1

Ribeye Steak with Roasted Potatoes, Creamed Spinach and Mushrooms

There is something truly wonderful about this time of year.

The beginning of September marks the turning of the seasons into autumn and brings with it all the promise of crisp blue skies and the changing colours of nature. Not to mention that September is also the month in which I celebrate my birthday AND it’s the month in which I get to meet my baby. My little bundle really could arrive any day now, so I’ve been nesting and preparing things in anticipation.

One thing I was adamant about was ensuring that my freezer was fully stocked with meals. I’ve had friends tell me that having meals prepared in those early weeks really is a life saver, so as a first time mum I decided to take their advice on board. I figured the more prepared I can be the better… roll on those sleepless nights!

I’ve probably made enough meals to see us through at least the first four weeks of parenthood. Everything from chicken and lamb curries to stews, casseroles, cottage pies and meatballs. I found Pinterest to be a great help when deciding on suitable meals to freeze. I’m hoping I’ll have time to post a recipe link-up to these freezer meals… that’s if the baby doesn’t decide to make an appearance in the next week. My due date is only three days away!

You may recall me mentioning that throughout my pregnancy I’ve struggled with sickness and nausea and a real lack of appetite. The first few months I found it impossible to eat without being or feeling sick, but the second trimester bought some much welcomed relief as I regained my appetite.

Well, that relief was short lived as much to my disappointment, my sickness returned about five weeks ago.

I finally decided that I’d had enough of feeling so groggy and needed to see the GP and have anti-sickness medication prescribed. Let me tell you, these little pills really have been my savour. I’ve been able to enjoy cooking and eating again, so much so that I decided to celebrate the return of my appetite with a delicious steak dinner.

Essentially this recipe is for the creamed spinach and mushrooms as I’m assuming most of you know how to cook steak and potatoes to your own liking. I opted for a nice piece of ribeye, roasted herbed potatoes and this side dish which I’ve made a few times before but never shared.

Steak

This recipe makes a beautiful side dish for steak. The combination of mushrooms and thyme is utterly delicious. The earthy flavour of the mushrooms really works harmoniously with the woody essence of thyme.

I once read that mushrooms and thyme are true kindred spirits (The Flavour Thesaurus), which is so evident when you taste this dish. You’ll never look back – I honestly don’t think I can cook mushrooms without thyme any more, they’re just not the same.

If you’re a foodie and do not have this book in your cookery repertoire, I strongly suggest you rush out a pick up a copy – it’s a real cook’s bible, helping you to understand flavour parings and why they work.

I also feel it’s really important to use white pepper and not black in this recipe.

Creamed Spinach and Mushrooms with Thyme
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Vegetable
Cuisine: British
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
This is a great side dish for steak, but it would work equally well with chicken.
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp thyme leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 300g closed cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 200g spinach, washed
  • 100ml double cream
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion and seasoning, keep it moving with a wooden spoon until the onion is slightly browned. Add the garlic and thyme and fry for another minute.
  2. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook until this has evaporated at which point you can add the mushrooms - cook these for a couple of minutes, they will soak up all the flavours in the pan and take on a nice colour.
  3. Add the spinach and mix well to combine. It will seem like too much, but give it a minute and the leaves will wilt down.
  4. Add the double cream and mustard and simmer on a low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring from time to time to ensure it doesn't stick.