Posts Tagged ‘Leek’

Laughably easy fish pie

February 3, 2011

My sister Fiona has been going on and on about her spectacular fish pie for as long as I can remember. It’s a winter meal apparently so it wasn’t on the cards until winter kicked in. Well Missy it’s February now and still no fish pie…..what’s going on! On my recent quest for Freezer Friendly meals I decided to live on the edge and make my very own fish pies. It can’t be that hard to make! So with a little bit of online research I got the general idea and gave it a bash. The pie has now been sampled and given the big thumbs up from Eilidh (the recipient of all the freezer meals). She actually admitted to having a Harry Met Sally style “moaning” session in her flat while sampling the first one. Go Eilidh!! What will the neighbors thinks….

Ingredients (makes 8 individual pies or one huge one)

2 leeks
200 grams Butter
Salt and Pepper
1 ltr Whole Milk
100 ml cream (optional for mash)
100 gram fresh parmesan finely grated
2 tbsp plain flour
Dijon mustard
Dill
Parsley
300 grams undyed smoked haddock fillet (or similar white fish)
300 grams haddock fillet
300 grams salmon fillet (or trout)
2 kg potatoes (I used Maris Piper)
150 grams of baby frozen peas

Method

Peel and boil potatoes.

Finely slice the leeks and rinse to remove any grit. Saute in a heavy based pan on a low heat with a large knob of butter (50g). Saute until soft and sweet – this is called a fondue.

Make white sauce buy melting 60 grams of butter in a pan. Mix in the flour and slowly add the milk until sauce thickens and all milk has been incorporated. Make sure you stir constantly and honestly add the milk little by little if you don’t you are going to end up with a really lump sauce. Add a heaped spoon of Dijon mustard and finely grated parmesan. Stir in the leeks, frozen peas and some finely chopped parsley and dill (approx small bunch of parsley and 1/2 small bunch of dill). Season well with Salt and Pepper (make sure you taste it). Leave to the side to cool.

Cut the fish into bite size pieces 2 cm cubes, stir through the cooled sauce.

Once the potatoes are cooked, drain well and mash. Stir in the rest of the butter and if the potatoes are floury and a bit dry you can add some milk or cream. Season well with salt and pepper – again make sure you taste it.

I used individual single serve foil containers for freezing but you could use ceramic or pyrex dishes. Put the fish and sauce mix in the bottom and top with mash.

And that is it!

To cook the individual portions pop in the oven at 180 degrees (or 170 in a fan assisted oven) for 35 – 40 minutes – until cooked through. You will need to cook it for a little longer if it is one “mega” pie.

If you do freeze the pie make sure it is fully defrosted before you bake it in the oven – I don’t recommend that you microwave it to defrost.

So Fiona I don’t need you to make me a pie anymore – I can make it myself!! Tee Hee.

Leek and Gruyere Tart (not for those on a diet)

June 8, 2010

Leek and Gruyere tart

Quiches, tarts or flans are great to serve for an easy lunch or dinner . There is no last-minute flapping they can be made in advance and warmed through or even eaten cold. Savoury tarts/Quiche are extremely versatile, so long as you have pastry, eggs and milk or cream you can pretty much add anything as your filling. My favourite is leek and Gruyère. However there are many many many more fabulous combinations you can try:

sautéed mushrooms and carmelised onions
Broccoli and blue cheese
Smoked salmon and spinach
Roast tomato feta and basil
Pea and feta
Roast pumpkin feta and spinach
Char-grilled courgette red onion and roast tomato

The list goes on…..

Ingredients

Pastry (this is Stephanie Alexander’s pastry recipe and uses quite a lot of butter but it is worth it – a lovely flaky pastry)

240 grms plain flour
180 grms unsalted butter
Salt
Ice cold water

Filling

5 eggs
150 mls double cream
150 grms of Gruyère
4 large leeks
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper

Pastry Method:

Kick off with making the pastry, pop the flour into a large bowl and chop the cold butter into cm cubes and add to flour. Add a pinch of salt and rub the butter through the flour until it looks like fine breadcrumbs. Add cold water – bit by bit – until you form a soft dough (but not sticky or wet at all – if it is sticky add a little more flour). Try your best not to over work the dough.

Wrap dough in cling wrap and pop in the fridge for about 30 mins.

Once chilled roll out on a floured surface and line a 24 cm loose bottom flan tin. If possible try to leave at least 1cm of pastry above the edge as the pastry will shrink when baked.

Put the pastry back in the fridge or freezer to chill down again for at least 20 mins.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

Line pastry case with foil and pastry weights or dried beans.

Bake in oven for 15 minutes then remove foil and beans and brush pastry with beaten egg white and bake for a further 5 minutes (this seals the pastry case to prevent the filing leaking out).

This sounds like a lot of work but you can do all of this whilst preparing the filling.

Filling Method:

Peel off the tough outer layers of the leeks and cut off the toughest part of the green part – not all the green bit through as this is really tasty and adds colour.

Slice down the middle and wash really well to remove any dirt/grit.

Finely slice and add to a large heavy based pot or deep frying pan with a large pinch of sea salt and about 3 tablespoons of olive oil.

Saute on a medium heat – do not brown – reduce heat if necessary.

Stir regularly and cook for about 35 – 40 mins, when ready the leeks should have reduce to about 1/4 of the original size and be soft and sweet. You may need to add a little more oil or a splash of water to prevent the leeks sticking/burning. Cover the pot with a lid most of the time so that it doesn’t dry out too much.

Leek

Crack eggs into a jug, add cream, a pinch of salt and a few turns of the pepper grinder. Lightly whisk with a fork trying not to get too much air into the mix.

Grate the Gruyère.

Evenly spread the leeks into the flan case. Sprinkle over the Gruyère and pour over the egg mixture. Do not over fill with egg.

Pop into the preheated oven at 200 degrees Celsius and bake for about 20 – 30 minutes.

You want to bake the Quiche until the egg is almost set in the middle as when you remove from the oven it will continue to cook – you don’t want the egg being rubbery.

Serve with boiled new potatoes and a green leafy salad.

Fantastic!!!!!

TIP: Always put the flan tin on a baking tray just in case the filling leaks out – it is a bit of a pain having to clean the filling off the bottom of the oven (have done that a few times!!)

Heart warming Roast Butternut pumpkin and leek soup…..yum!

May 13, 2010

Bowl of roasted pumpkin and leek soup

I have to say pumpkin soup – and I mean good pumpkin soup – is the “feel good” soup equivalent of risotto. No matter what kind of terrible day you have had it will make you feel better.

Pumpkin soup is a stock standard in Australia and can be found pretty much in every decent cafe during the winter months. It is a very popular choice for lunch on a cold day.

As it is apparently spring here this recipe should really be forgotten about until November. However it is still rather on the chilly side, I am being polite about it (its May what the heck is going on!!!!)

So pumpkin soup is well and truly still on the agenda.

Ingredients:

1 medium-sized butternut pumpkin (squash) approx 1 kg peeled and diced
1 large leek
1 brown onion
2 medium-sized potatoes
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper
Vegetable or Chicken stock (2 stock cubes or equivalent in “real” stock if you are being virtuous)
Double cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius.

Peel, seed and dice the pumpkin into 1 cm cubes (approx). Pop into a low flat oven proof dish (ideally ceramic but a baking tray will do). Drizzle with olive oil (approx 2 table spoons), sprinkle with a pinch of salt and grind over black pepper. Toss with your hands so that the pumpkin is evenly coated with the oil.

Pumpkin roasting in oven

Pop in oven for approx 25 – 30 mins (or until pumpkin is soft and a little golden) – keep checking it to make sure it is not burning and toss every 10 mins so that the pumpkin roasts evenly.

Leek and onion sauteed

While the pumpkin is in the oven finely slice the onion. Thoroughly wash the leek to get rid of any dirt/grit and finely slice. Pop onion and leek in a large soup pot (with a heavy base would be good but not absolutely essential). Add a glug of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Saute over a low to medium heat until soft and sweet (the sharp smell from the onions should have disappeared and your eyes should not be watering anymore).

(By the way I know you are probably thinking “why is she using a frying pan?”, yes I know I haven’t mentioned a frying pan but I didn’t have a large pot – was staying in a holiday house in the middle of nowhere and you have to make do with what you have.)

Peel and dice the potatoes into 1 cm cubes and add to the pot.

Diced potatoes added to sauteed leek and onion

Add roasted pumpkin and stock cubes and add approx 1 1/2 litres of boiling water (or 1 1/2 litres of stock). Should be enough to cover all the veg and a little bit more (you can always add more water if you need).

Roast pumpkin, stock and boiling water being added to the pot

Simmer until all veg is soft – approx 20 – 30 mins.

Pumpkin and leek soup simmering

Use a hand blender (bar mix) and puree the soup or you can do this in a food processor or blender. Be careful if you are using a blender – remove the small vent so that pressure does not build up and when blending cover with a folded tea towel.

** I forgot to do this once and had boiling hot soup flying around the kitchen….amazingly I managed to escape without third degree burns!

Once blended check for seasoning, add salt and pepper if required and more boiling water if it is too thick. If it is too watery put back on the heat and reduce until it is the desired thickness.

Blended roast pumpkin and leek soup

You can at this point add a splash of double cream but it is not essential (I don’t usually do this but the last time I made it I had some cream in the fridge anyway).

I served this soup with grilled cheese on toast with a little scraping of hot English mustard (a little bit of a random choice but it worked!!)

Tip: This soup freezes really well, if you are going to freeze a few portions I would recommend that you leave the cream out though.