I love this time of year solely for the fact it’s the perfect time for pie. What can be better on a cold and damp evening than a piece of your favourite pie and there are so many to choose from but one that I have been wanting to try for some time now is Chicken Ham and Leek pie.
After our recent trip to Spain recently my culinary attention turned to all things Spanish and when Olive Oils from Spain got in touch to feature on Mari’s World, I flung the doors open and welcomed them in. The Mediterranean diet has long been my favourite and I love the Spanish lifestyle; siestas, sangrias and a laid back approach all appeal to me all part of the ‘Taste our Lifestyle’.
Olive Oils from Spain love their way of life with it’s passion of good food and good eating so much they went on a The Good Life Embassy world wide tour visiting Mexico City, Chicago and Berlin to mention a few.
We came to the conclusion that a chicken ham and leek pie would benefit enormously from a drop of Olive Oils from Spain and I set too to make my best pie yet.
If you love Spain and want to find out more check out the Olive Oils from Spain blog for more ideas than you could shake your maracas at. You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter
Chicken, ham and leek pie
Author: Marianne Weekes
Recipe type: Main
- Olive oil for frying
- 3 leeks sliced into fat rounds
- 1 large onion finely diced
- 2 carrots sliced into fat rounds
- 500 g chicken breast cut into rough chunks
- 300g cooked ham diced
- herbs such as rosemary, tarragon or chives
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 300 ml hot chicken stock
- 200 ml single cream
- 1 large tbsp Dijon mustard
- salt and black pepper
- Little plain flour for dusting
- 1 pack of ready made puff pastry
- 1 egg beaten for brushing
- Preheat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/Gas mark 6
- Lightly grease your ovenproof dish.
- Gently fry the leeks and onion in a little olive oil, stir well and cover. Lower the heat and cook for 7 – 8 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
- Add the chicken and increase the heat. Cook for about 5 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Turn off the heat.
- Add the ham and herbs and mix well.
- Sprinkle over the flour and stir to coat all the food.
- Add the stock, return to the heat and gently simmer for a few minutes until the sauce starts to thicken.
- Remove from the heat, add the cream the Dijon mustard and season with salt and black pepper.
- Leave to cool.
- On a floured surface take your block of ready made puff pastry and cut ⅓ off for the top of the pie.
- If your dish is round, soften the square edges to make a round before you start rolling.
- Turn the pastry frequently to aim to keep a uniform circle.
- Roll until large enough to cover the bottom and sides of the dish then take your rolling pin and roll the pastry around it.
- Hold the end of the pastry towards one side of the pie and unravel over the dish.
- Ease gently into the pie allowing it to come over the edges.
- Fill the pie with your chicken ham and leek mixture, I fill mine right to the top for a good thick filling.
- Roll out the top keeping as close to round as you can, using the same method roll the pastry over the pie filling.
- Trim away the excess pastry and pinch the edges together or use the back of a fork to seal.
- Generously glaze the top of the pie with beaten egg to give a lovely glowing yellow colour once cooked.
- Out of the trimmings, roll and cut some hearts to decorate the top with.
- Put the pie dish on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 20 minutes
- Then lower the heat to 180C/160C/gas mark 4 and bake for another 20 minutes.
- The top should be puffy and golden.
- Serve immediately with mash and broccoli and peas.
Now for a step by step, your pie filling should look like this.
Roll out your pastry and carefully roll over the pie dish.
Add the pie filling
Cover with more puff pastry, crimp the edges and decorate using the trimmings to make hearts or letters.
Now it’s ready to be baked, we liked it so much I made it a second time in a different pie dish.
Disclosure: My recipe is brought to you in collaboration with Olive Oils from Spain.
If you think producing a quick delicious fish dish is difficult Princes are out to prove you wrong and to do so they sent me a hamper of their products and asked me to get cooking with them, so I did.
There was the time my sister in law popped over with my niece and nephew and I prepared baguettes with a tuna mayo filling that everyone was happy with plus it took minutes to get ready. I particularly like this idea as I always have a can of tuna or two kicking around in the cupboard and I always have some mayo in the fridge because I am addicted to the stuff.
On this occasion, to keep the kids happy I kept them plain but if you do like to liven up a baguette then this recipe fave of mine is good
Mari’s tuna baguette
1 tin of tuna – in brine is better as less oily
1 tbsp mayonnaise light
2 anchovies chopped finely
1/2 tsp capers
1/4 cucumber diced
1 small baguette
Drain the tuna and place in a bowl, add the mayonnaise and all the other ingredients, mix well together.
We tried quite a few different things in the hamper and one of our favourites were the tins of mackerel, there is a delicious Moroccan spice one that is simply perfect to eat on crusty bread like the tomato mackerel fillets shown below
I had a go at various pasta dishes here is a very delicious and simple recipe to try out.
Tuna, courgette and asparagus pasta
1 x 160 can Princes Tuna chunks – hold back 2 tbsp olive oil
175g pasta – short pasta works better
1 clove garlic chopped finely
85g asparagus hard stalk removed and then cut in half
1 small courgette sliced diagonally
2 tbsp creme fraiche
2 tbsp chopped parsley and basil
- Cook the pasta in boiling salted water, drain and set aside. Adding a drop of olive oil to the water whilst cooking will prevent it sticking together once drained.
- Boil the asparagus and courgettes for 3 – 4 minutes, drain and set aside
- Heat the olive oil saved from the tuna tin in a large pan, add the garlic and cook gently for 1 minute. Add the asparagus and courgette and cooked pasta and toss gently.
- Add the creme friache to the pasta, and stir through the chopped herbs.
- Stir through the chunks of tuna, add black pepper and serve
- Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top
We also made a Tuna in tomato sauce variation which can be seen in the pictures below. The girls loved it. Plus a salmon and vegetable pasta. For plenty more ideas on how to use the Princes products visit their recipe page
Fish are a lean, healthy source of protein. The oily kinds such as salmon, tuna, sardines, contain omega-3 fats which are especially good for healthy hearts and brains.
Disclosure: I was sent a hamper of Princes products for the purpose of this post.
Trout is very good for you, it is low in saturated fats but high in essential proteins and omega-3 fatty acids, it’s also high in vitamin D – aka the sunshine vitamin – which so many of us are deficient in.
British Trout is very easy to cook with and it’s economical too – plus all the healthy bits mentioned above. All this together makes it ideal for a family meal. So British Trout sent me all the ingredients to try their recipe for Fusilli with Smoked Trout.
If you’d like to introduce some fish to your weekly menu take a look a the British Trout recipe page here where you’ll find loads of delicious ideas to inspire you. In the meantime –
Fusilli with smoked trout
Ingredients for 4 – 6
2 carrots cut into matchsticks
1 leek cut into matchsticks’2 celery sticks cut into matchsticks
150ml vegetable stock
225g smoked trout fillets skinned and cut into strips
200g cream cheese
150ml white wine or fish stock
15ml Chopped fresh dill or fennel
225g fusilli or other dried pasta
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh dill sprigs to garnish
- Put the carrot, leek and celery matchsticks into a pan and add the stock. Bring to the boil and cook quickly for 4 -5 minutes until most of the stock has evaporated. Remove from the heat and add the smoked trout.
- Put the cream cheese and wine or fish stock into a pan over a medium heat and whisk until smooth, add the dill or fennel and slat and pepper.
- Cook the fusilli in boiling salted water, when the pasta is tender or al dente drain it thoroughly and return to the pan.
- Add the sauce and toss lightly, transfer to a serving bowl. top with the cooked vegetables and trout.
- Serve immediately, garnished with sprigs of dill.
A delicious pasta dish that is easy to prepare and the children loved it too. My only thoughts on this one is the faffing around with matchsticks which is time consuming and if you’re not precise with a knife your matchsticks may look like boulders as mine do! I think chopping into a small dice would work too – an extra time saver.
When I worked in the family hotel in Italy, many of the desserts, especially at lunchtime, were prepared by the waitresses in the upstairs kitchen, fresh fruit in bowls, macedonia fresca (fresh fruit salad) and another of these desserts was Pesca Melba known as Peach Melba.
The dessert was invented at the Savoy hotel in London by chef Auguste Escoffier in honour of the Australian soprano Nellie Melba around 1892 and since then there have been many desserts based on Auguste’s idea.
Auguste used vanilla ice cream, peaches and raspberry puree for his masterpiece, he actually served it on a swan carved out of ice the first time but I didn’t have that time available plus ice swans aren’t my forte, so I have made a dessert using his base ingredients and adding a couple more as my intention was to provide a delicious dessert perfect for summer BBQs and also to knock up quickly for the twins ‘pudding’ of an evening.
In Italy we used a tinned half peach for the base, a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of that and a squirt of raspberry sauce over the top. Pesca Melba. We would prepare them for 100+ guests at lunchtimes so it had to be a quick dessert.
However with just a little more time available and only a couple of mouths to feed I prepared the dessert for the girls with fresh peach and they LOVED it.
Here, I have served the desserts in individual glasses, the old fashioned tumblers that we used for water in Italy. I found them in Sainsbury in case you were wondering, and I crushed a biscuit over the top too which went down a treat.
Here’s my quick Peach Melba recipe that is approved by the kids. I’m entering this recipe into the #MorrisonsMums/Dads Love Summer eBook Linky Challenge Sweet Treats category.
Disclosure: This post is an entry for the #MorrisonsMum (or #MorrisonsDad) Summer Recipe eBook Challenge sponsored by Morrisons, which has recently cut prices on over a thousand every day products. Find out more here price checker tool
I really wanted to get this recipe up for the Diamond Jubilee but one thing led to another and I never got round to making it however I did make it for the girls birthday party when we had the family over and I’m so pleased I gave it a go because it was a roaring success.
First, it’s a really easy recipe to follow as you’d expect to find here on Mari’s World. Second it’s delicious and third it can be prepared in advance! What’s not to like about it?
This is excellent buffet food to feed lots of people and to make it more economical I used a mixture of chicken pieces, trays of thighs for a couple of pounds together with breast which is more expensive.
The recipe was created in 1953 by the Cordon Bleu school of cookery in London in honour of the Queen’s Coronation, I can remember this recipe in my first cookery book The Dairy Book of Family Cookery which I still have and use today. Mum used to make it frequently when she ran her outside catering business back in the 80’s so a staple of my childhood as there would always be some leftovers for us to finish off.
2k (5lbs) cooked chicken
125g spring onions (or onion)
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tbsp mild curry paste
150 ml red wine
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 tbsp apricot jam (or canned apricots if you have them)
300 ml mayonnaise
150 plain yoghurt (or whipping cream)
salt and pepper
Rocket to garnish (or cucumber/watercress)
I bought trays of chicken thighs, drumsticks and breasts and put them in the oven to cook for about half an hour – test with a skewer to make sure no red juices run from the thickest parts. I let the chicken cool and then stripped the meat from the bone.
Heat the oil in a small frying pan and add the onions to soften for a couple of minutes, stir in the curry paste and cook stirring for 1 minute.
Add the red wine, lemon zest and juice and tomato puree. simmer, uncovered stirring for about 5 minutes or until reduced to 4 tbsps.
Add the apricot jam, mayonnaise and yoghurt. Season with salt and pepper and stir well to blend evenly. The mixture should be a coating consistency and be the colour of pale straw.
Add the chicken pieces to the mayo mixture and stir to coat evenly.
That is it! I placed mine on this bamboo platter I bought years back from The Pampered Chef and added a bit of rocket around the edge to break up the colour
“This post is part of the #FaveFamilyRecipes Competition with BritMums and Tilda Rice. Every pack sold will provide a meal to an expectant mum in need in support of the World Food Programme’s Mothers Helping Mothers initiative in Bangladesh.”