Tag Archives: ham

Cottage Cheese and Beetroot for Lunch?

I was perusing a magazine, in which there was the usual “back to school” lunch ideas.  I don’t know about yours, but mine wouldn’t touch Cottage Cheese with Beetroot. No thank you.  Wouldn’t touch it myself to be honest, but I’m not really a fan of cottage cheese- reminds my of weight watchers.

My eldest when asked every day in Primary school what he wanted in his sandwich, always gave the same reply- ham and cheese.  Jords went through stages of wraps or rolls, but in the end, in the majority of cases it was some sort of meat and cheese.

Feed the Parents Xmas 2012

Posh Nosh at the weekend

I am funny when it comes to lunch, I either want a really good sandwich (good bread, then not too much filling), or something as simple as an apple and a yoghurt.  Other days I am just ravenous- and could eat everything put in front of me.  But unfortunately, unless it’s a late lunch, I find I am just as hungry again in the evening.

Soda Bread Chicken Sandwich

Soda Bread Chicken Sandwich

So until the weather gets colder and it’s soup time, lunches will consist of cheese and tomato.  Boring you might say? Not at all… the tomatoes are perfect at the moment, and there is nothing better than pairing them with a good cheddar cheese, or a nice French Camembert.

So, what do you like for lunch?I’d love to be organised enough to have something slightly different every week, but alas due to the fact that I am not a morning person- that’s never going to happen!  And as you know from previous posts, finding a good lunch can be very hard.  Sometimes only a toasted special with chips is your only man!

Of course most lunches are improved when on holidays and a small glass of vino is included…..

 

 

 

 

Life’s too short not to eat dessert first

And if you can’t…. then may eat something wrapped in pastry.  But in moderation. Mostly.

729 layers of pastry

729 layers of pastry

Puff pastry making isn’t for the faint of heart, or strictly speaking even for those with a weak heart, as the amount of butter in it, well, I’d better not tell you.

Sausage rolls ready for chilling

Sausage rolls ready for chilling

Sausage rolls are a failing of mine.  Love them, but only now and then, as I fully realise how bad they are for me!  But as I was making a batch of puff pastry to hone my Ballymaloe skills, I felt it was a good idea to use some of the puff to make a few nibbles.  That, and Nigel had bought me some sausage meat.

Sausage Rolls ready for eating

Sausage Rolls ready for eating

The next puff pastry item on the agenda was a chicken and ham pie.  I had boiled a ham, and had cooked chicken left over, so I very gently cooked some diced shallots in butter, then made a roux and added milk and then cream to make a rich sauce, to which I added the chopped cooked meat.

Pre-topping Chicken and ham pie

Pre-topping Chicken and ham pie

This then simply went into a dish and was covered in pastry.  And it went down a treat!  and it was gone before the photo got taken.

So what to do with the scraps? Why palmiers of course.  We had made these in class with our left over pastry so I thought it was fitting at home too.  One important thing to note is that normally with scraps of pastry they can be simply worked together and then re-rolled, but with puff pastry, and flaky pastry you need to keep the layers, so the scraps need to be stacked and then rolled out carefully again, you can fold, and then re-fold if necessary.

Some were a little more "caramelised" than others!

Some were a little more “caramelised” than others!

Palmiers are also called palm leaf cookies, elephant ear cookies, french hearts, shoe-soles or glasses, Schweineohren (in German), Palmeritas (in Spanish).  Palmier is the French word for palm tree, and the pastry gets its name from its resemblance to a palm leaf. It is crispy and flaky with tastes of butter and caramelized sugar. It can also be savoury. Although it is not documented who first came up with the recipe of Palmier, but many believe it is invented in the beginning of the 20th century France, suggested by the French name and its recipe.

Comfort Food- Back to School

The start of the week is hard at the best of times, but harder still after two weeks off school.  So I decided to make a chicken and ham pie for dinner to cheer everyone up.  And as the weather is nice, serve it with a green salad, and home-made wild garlic pesto.

Chicken with carrots, onions, potatoes and thyme

Chicken with carrots, onions, potatoes and thyme

I skinned the chicken but left it on the bone for flavour.  The skin I cooked separately until extra crispy to add texture to the finished dish.

Chicken skin ready for roasting in a hot oven

Chicken skin ready for roasting in a hot oven

The pesto was simply a matter of blending, although it was not made to any specific recipe, and quite strong!

Pinenuts, freshly grated parmesan, and wild garlic

Pinenuts, freshly grated parmesan, and wild garlic

I used our new nutribullet, reasonably successfully, it needed quite a few scrapes and blends, and I will probably revert to the kenwood.

Ready for blitzing

Ready for blitzing

And the finished product…

The finished pesto

The finished pesto

Once the chicken had been poached with the vegetables in the stock, I took them out and reduced the cooking liquor, adding some roux to thicken and some milk.  This was all then poured over the chicken, cooked ham and vegetables, and covered with the pastry, and cooked until golden.

Chicken and Ham pie with salad and wild garlic pesto

Chicken and Ham pie with salad and wild garlic pesto, and a side of crispy chicken skin