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Posts Tagged ‘Leeks’

Chicken, Ham & Leek Pie

We love a chicken pie, particularly with sweet leeks and a rich creamy sauce.

Wine Suggestion: the classic suggestion, and our first thought, was to drink a lighter chardonnay with this, but we found a great alternative in the Salwey Weissburgunder “RS” which is a Pinot Blanc from Baden in Germany. An amazing wine with lovely fruit and a texture that holds it all together giving it a long finish and makes a good match with the creamy sauce and pastry. Every time we taste this wine we are impressed and think it is one to put Pinot Blanc back on the wine drinkers lists.

Chicken, Ham & Leek Pie – serves 4

For the filling: 

  • 450ml chicken stock
  • 3 chicken breasts fillets
  • 75g butter
  • 2 leeks, cut into 1cm slices
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 50g plain flour
  • 200ml milk
  • 2-3 tbsp white wine
  • 150ml double cream
  • 150g piece thickly carved ham, cut into 2cm chunks

For the pastry: 

  • 350g plain flour
  • 200g butter
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp cold water, plus an additional egg, beaten, to glaze

Heat the chicken stock in a saucepan. Add the chicken breasts and bring a gentle simmer. Cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the chicken breasts and set aside, then pour the stock into a jug.

Melt 25g of the butter in a large heavy-based saucepan over a low heat. Stir in the chopped leeks and fry gently for a couple of minutes, stirring now and then, until softened. Add the garlic and continue to cook for another minute, then set aside. Add the rest of the butter and stir in the flour as soon as it has melted. Cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.

Slowly add the milk to the pan, stirring well between each addition. Then gradually add 250ml of the reserved stock and the wine until the sauce is smooth and slightly thickened. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 3 minutes.

Season the sauce, remove from the heat and stir in the cream. Pour into a large bowl and cover with cling film to stop a skin forming on the top. Set aside until cool.

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6 and put a baking tray into heat.

To make the pastry, put the flour and butter into a food processor and pulse until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Keep the motor running while you add the beaten egg with water and blend until the mixture comes together in a ball. Carefully remove from the processor and set aside about 250g of the pastry to make your lid.

Roll the remaining pastry out on a lightly floured surface, turning frequently until about 5mm thick and larger than your pie dish. Lift the pastry over your rolling pin and gently place into the pie dish. Press firmly up the sides of the dish and make sure no air bubbles remain. Leave the excess pastry hanging over the sides.

Cut the cooked chicken into 3cm pieces. Stir the chicken, ham & leeks into the cooled sauce, then pour into the pie dish. Brush the rim of the dish with beaten egg and roll out the reserved pastry to make a lid.

Cover the pie with the pastry lid and press the edges together firmly to seal. Trim off any excess pastry.

Make a small hole in the centre of the pie with the tip of a knife. Glaze the top with beaten egg. Bake on the hot baking tray in the centre of the oven for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and piping hot.

(Original recipe from The Hairy Bikers’ Best of British).

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Pot-roast Chicken with Chorizo, Leek and Cider

A great array of flavours and super-moist roast chicken. Chorizo cooked in cider is often served as a tapa in Spain and it’s delicious!

Wine Suggestion: A Spanish cider would be of course be great with this or failing that a good quality dry cider from somewhere else. If you feel like wine we’d recommend a really smooth Rioja.

Pot-roasted Chicken with Chorizo, Leeks & Cider – serves 4

  • 1 x 1.75kg chicken
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cooking chorizo sausages, sliced
  • 50g butter
  • 700g leeks, washed and sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 300g baby carrots, trimmed and peeled
  • Leaves from 2 large sprigs of thyme
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 200ml dry cider

Preheat the oven to 160C/Gas 3.

Season the cavity and outside of the chicken with salt and black pepper.

Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish and brown the chicken on all sides until golden, then set aside.

Lower the heat and add the chorizo, butter, leeks, garlic, carrots, thyme and bay leaves. Cover and cook gently until the leeks have softened.

Place the chicken on top of the vegetables in the casserole dish, pour over the cider, then cover and cook in the oven for 1 hour. Remove the lid from the casserole dish and turn the oven up to 200C/Gas 6. Continue to cook for another 20 minutes or until the chicken skin is browned.

Remove the chicken from the casserole and onto a carving board, cover with foil. Skim the excess fat from the surface of the vegetable juices, then place over a medium heat and simmer vigorously for 5 minutes to reduce. Season to taste with more salt if needed.

To carve the chicken, remove the legs and cut each one in half at the joint. Carve the breast in slices. Use a slotted spoon to put the chorizo and vegetables onto the centre of the plates and place the chicken on top. Spoon the cooking juices over to serve.

(Original recipe from Rick Stein’s Spain, BBC Books, 2011.)

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Leek Gratin

 

A true comfort food if there ever was one, and a versatile side for simply barbecued meats, roast chicken and a whole host of mains. It’s fairly rich so a little goes a long way.

Baked Creamy Leeks – serves 6 as a side dish

  • 800g leeks, roughly chopped and rinsed well in a sieve
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 2 knobs of butter
  • olive oil
  • 6 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked
  • 100g Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 200ml single cream

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°C/gas 6.

Warm a large frying pan over a medium heat and add the butter with a splash of olive oil and the garlic.

As soon as the garlic starts to colour, add the leeks and thyme leaves and stir. Turn up the heat and continue to cook for about 10 minutes or until the leeks have softened.

Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Add the cream and half the cheese. Mix well in a suitably sized baking dish (you want a layer about 2.5cm thick). Sprinkle over the remaining cheese and bake for about 20 minutes or until brown and bubbling.

(Original recipe from Jamie’s Ministry of Food, Penguin, 2008.)

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Delicious chicken pie. Prepare the filling ahead, then add the pastry and bake to feed a crowd.

Chicken & Leek Pie – serves 6-8

  • 1.2kg boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 tbsp plain flour, seasoned
  • 2 large leeks, quartered lengthwise and sliced
  • 150g unsalted butter
  • large handful of chopped parsley
  • 170ml milk
  • 250ml cream
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • puff pastry or mashed potato

Chop each chicken thigh into about 12 pieces and toss with the flour. Melt half the butter in a large frying pan and sauté the leeks for about 10 minutes or until softened. Tip into a bowl and set aside.

Melt half the remaining butter in the same pan and sauté half the chicken pieces until golden and barely cooked. Add to the bowl with the leeks. Repeat with the rest of the butter and chicken.

Mix the chicken and leeks together along with the parsley. Return half of the mixture to the pan, add half the milk and half the cream and bubble for 5 minutes. Transfer to a clean bowl and repeat with the rest of the chicken, cream and milk. Combine the batches, check the seasoning and cool.

Preheat the oven to 200ºC.

Put the chicken filling into a 1.5 litre pie dish and cover with the puff pastry or mashed potato. Brush with the beaten egg and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden.

Wine Suggestion: We are big fans of good Bordeaux white wine and this dish works well with the balance of flavours of oaked Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc. The toasty buttery character complements the flavours and the clean and fresh texture balances any richness of the dish. Look out for some of the smaller Chateau that are up and coming like Chateau Bouscaut; the 2010 worked a treat here.

(Original recipe from The Cook’s Companion by Stephanie Alexander, Lantern, 1996.)

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Leek & Pancetta Quiche – serves 4-6

  • 200g pancetta lardons
  • olive oil
  • 2 leeks, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tbsp double cream
  • 100g Gruyère cheese, finely grated
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley

FOR THE PASTRY:

  • 200g plain flour, plus a bit extra
  • pinch of salt
  • 100g butter, at room temperature, cubed

First make the pastry by sifting the flour and salt into a large bowl. Then using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour, lifting the mixture up and dropping it back into the bowl. Keep doing this until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs, then mix in 2-3 tbsp of cold water. Bring the mixture together and knead lightly on a floured surface until you have a smooth ball of pastry. Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill for at least 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/Gas 6.

Oil a 25cm loose-bottomed tart tin.

Roll the pastry out onto a floured work surface until about 3mm thick. Line the oiled tin with the pastry and leave some hanging over the edges, then prick the base with a fork. Chill for another 10 minutes.

Line the chilled pastry case with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans or uncooked rice. Blind bake for 10-15 minutes. Remove the beans and paper and bake for another 5-8 minutes or until golden. Trim off the excess pastry with a sharp knife.

Meanwhile, fry the pancetta in a large frying pan over a medium heat for a few minutes until coloured and almost crispy. Add the leek and sauté for 3-4 minutes until soft and cooked through. Drain to remove any excess oil.

Mix the eggs and cream together in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add three-quarters of the grated cheese, stir in the leek mixture and add the parsley. Pour the mixture into the cooked pastry case, sprinkle the top with the leftover cheese and cook for 15-20 minutes or until golden and set.

Allow the quiche to cool for a bit before serving.

Wine Suggestion: We tried a lovely Bott-Geyl Pinot d’Alsace which worked superbly. A great combination of Pinot Blanc 35%, Pinot Auxerrois 35%, Pinot Gris 15% and Pinot Noir 15% (vinified as white wine). Rich and complex but with the freshness  and texture to balance the quiche perfectly.

(Original recipe from Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course, Hodder & Stoughton, 2012.)

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We love turnips (or swedes as the rest of the world calls them) and think that they deserve a bigger part of the limelight. This puts them centre stage and celebrates their earthiness and sweet character. This recipe comes from Denis Cotter, of Café Paradiso in Cork, and like many of his dishes it is pretty sweet for a savoury dish and has the potential to divide your dinner guests. Our guest is not usually a fan of turnip but she loved this dish.

Swede & Leek Gratin in Maple Cream with Sage & Walnut Crust – serves 4-6

  • 1 large swede
  • 2 leeks, halved lengthways and well washed
  • 30g butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 100ml dry white wine
  • 250ml double cream
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup

For the crust: 

  • 8 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 tbsp chopped chives
  • 50g white bread
  • 50g walnuts
  • 30g butter

Preheat the oven to 150ºC/300ºF/gas mark 2.

Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Peel and quarter the swede, then chop into slices about 5mm thick. Simmer in the water for 10 minutes, then remove and partly cool them in a bowl of cold water. Drain and set aside.

Chop the leeks into 2cm pieces. Melt the butter in a large pot, over a high heat, add the leeks and garlic and cook, stirring, for 8-10 minutes. Add the thyme and white wine, and boil for 1 minute, then pour in the cream and maple syrup. Bring back to the boil and then take off the heat. Season with salt and pepper.

Grease an oven dish with butter and arrange a layer of swede slices on the bottom. Spoon a third of the leeks on top and cover with another layer of swede. Repeat to get 3 layers of each, finishing with the leeks. Press firmly on the top and put the dish in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes.

To make the crust: put the sage, chives and bread in a food processor and pulse to a fine crumb. Add the walnuts and butter and pulse briefly to chop the walnuts coarsely.

Increase the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4.

Scatter the sage and walnut topping over the gratin and return to the oven for 5 minutes.

Remove from the oven and leave to rest for about 5 minutes before serving.

Wine Suggestion: You’ll have some wine left in the bottle you used for this dish. A dry chenin would be good as it will carry the earthy and sweet characters of this dish but also has enough acidity and texture to cut through the richness.

(Original recipe form Denis Cotter’s For the Love of Food, Harper Collins, 2011.)

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It’s another Irish Food Bloggers Association Cookalong and this time the theme is Irish. We were tempted to do an Irish stew but thought that was a bit obvious, we thought about beef and Guinness but that’s not all that original either and then to make things more difficult we invited a vegetarian for dinner.  It was then that we thought about using some Irish cheese as the base for a dish and after eating many variations of cheese and pastry all week we came up with this. Irish potatoes, leeks and a west Cork Cheddar all baked up in a pie. Delicious!!

Serves 4-6

  • 650g waxy potatoes
  • 750g leeks
  • 50g butter
  • 200ml creme fraiche
  • 180g Bandon Vale Vintage Cheddar, grated
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • 500g puff pastry
  • beaten egg for glazing

Heat the oven to 200C.

Peel the potatoes and cut them into slices. Boil in plenty of salted water until tender (it’s ok if they go a bit mushy).

Meanwhile, throw away the very green bit of the leeks and slice the rest into rings. Wash really well in cold water to get rid of any grit.

Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the leeks. Cover and cook over low-medium heat until tender – about 20 minutes.

Mix the  leeks, potatoes, creme fraiche and cheddar and season well with salt, pepper and a little bit of nutmeg.

Roll the pastry into two rectangles (about the size of your baking sheet).

Pile the potato mixture into the middle  of one sheet and leave a good rim around the edge. Brush the edges with beaten egg and lay second piece of pastry over the top and press the edges down, pinching firmly to seal. Trim off any excess.

Brush all over with the egg and cut 3 or 4 slits along the width of the top.

Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden.

(Original recipe from Nigel Slater Tender Vol 1 – A tart of leeks and cheese)

Wine suggestion: A full-bodied white was nice with this. We had a Santenay Blanc followed by an oaked Semillon from the Clare Valley.

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