Archive for February, 2011

Chicken, mushroom and walnut pie

February 27, 2011

Once again I set about making Sunday lunch. The first thing I get some small savoy cabbages from my vegetable patch, pair them down and shred the leaves. I put them into a bowl and set them aside until I need them. Next I put some spuds on to boil; when they are done I will drain them and much later slice them for sautée.

I then make my shortcrust pastry and leave it to rest in the fridge. I get the fry pan on the stove and chop an onion with garlic; at this point a warden wearing a gasmask would probably register that some serious cooking was going on. I put some chicken breast pieces into a plastic bag, toss in a couple of spoonfuls of flour, and shake it about as if I was on a 1960s dance floor. I fry the chicken with some quartered mushrooms, and toss in a hand of ready-shelled walnut halves. Meanwhile, using my Xmas present kitchen toy, I chop a handful of parsley. I turn on the oven and put a milk pan on the stove to melt some butter, slopping in some plain flour to make a roux. I let the flour cook through and start adding the milk. When the white sauce has reduced I toss in the hachoired parsley and put all the stuff into the pie dish, finishing with the white parsley sauce. I roll out my pastry, make the pastry lid and decorate it with a few leaves. I then brush egg onto the pastry for a nice glaze and bang the pie into the oven to cook. I slice the spuds and use two fry pans to sautée them, meanwhile bringing salted water to the boil for my cabbage. I cook the cabbage only for about 5 minutes and while it is in the pan I cut up some sun-dried tomatoes. When the cabbage is done I drain it and then mix in the tomatoes. I take the potatoes out of the frying pans, and get the pie from the oven. It is looking good.

My chicken, mushroom and walnut pie

Finally, I plate up. The pastry is delightful and I like the crunchy hard texture of the warmed walnuts in contrast to the chicken and mushrooms. The cabbage tasted nice, too. I may grow some more this year. The only negative thing about cooking a Sunday lunch like this is that I have had no time to play piano or practice guitar. Still, I can go do that now. So bye for now, my dear blogophiles; I’ll speak to you later.

A Sunday lunch in greens, yellows and browns

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Need to get this blog moving again

February 25, 2011

Hello, my dear blogophiles. I suddenly realised that it is 20 days since I last blogged. I shall endeavour to mend my tardy ways. At present, I seem to be sweeping up fallen leaves from the garden, a job I should have done months ago. Not to worry, once swept they are gone, and the virgin soil is suitably exposed for spring flowers.

This weekend I plan to make a chicken and mushroom pie. I took some small cabbages from my vegetable patch yesterday and I shall cook them with guidance from the very wonderful Delia Smith, as an accompaniment. My guess is I shall also sautee some spuds since there should be enough space on the hob. The pie will have a creamy white sauce within it, so my inclination is not to make a separate sauce, since that might draw the spotlight away from what is in the pie. I am tempted to use the phrase ‘over-egging the pudding‘  but applying it to a main course might not work. There is not enough semantic space between the two notions.

I must go practice my piano. Speak to you later 🙂

Cheese soufflé

February 5, 2011

This weekend I decided to make a cheese soufflé. For the cheese I grated some Norwegian Jarlsberg and that tasted fine.Maybe it could have risen more spectacularly but I was pleased with the way it turned out.

My cheese soufflé

I have been incredibly busy with my music lately and so I have not had much time to blog. I’m also pressing on with the first draft of my autobiography. I have got to the point where I moved to Sheffield to take up my research scholarship with the Medical Research Council, although I was based in their unit of social and applied psychology. Oh, and my marriage fell apart. Happy days. I wanted to make a start on the illustrations for the bio, too, but that has been frustratingly slow. I have been thinking about doing a drawing of my paternal Grandad from a reference photo. My inclination is to do the drawing digitally, although I can see that pencil could be nice. The problem is that I can’t make up my mind. Btw, on Friday I had a very good full English breakfast with my friend Tom. I have to go out now. Speak to you later.