Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The inaugural pie

This week my flat and I have eaten extremely well. So well in fact that Lili and I have decided to do a ‘health’ week after Easter. Damian was dismayed, telling us over and over that a week of steamed veges would not help. According to him health is achievable through a balanced diet. Sounds far too easy huh. 

Apparently if we eat like his grandmother, ‘a bit of this, a bit of that’ we will live to 99 like she did. I don’t know, I can bet that his grandmother had a completely different menu to us…She lived in Ireland after all, all that black pudding maybe? 

This week Lili made a lovely roast vegetable pasta salad with the best chorizo I've tasted in a while. Damian made a delicious garlic marinated chicken thigh on a bed of lemon and spinach risotto. 

Consideration needs to be given to presentation and Damian took the award for that this week. He moulded the risotto in the centre of the plate and carefully placed the thigh on top. He also marinated his chicken all day, waking up earlier than normal to start the process. Thumbs up to him. We didn't stop hearing about it until things went quiet around the actually eating of it time. 

I made a curried chicken and vegetable pie, a recipe that I’ve been carrying around for nearly two weeks telling everyone that I’ll make. I found it on the Best Recipes website which I can highly recommend for inspiration. 

2 chicken breasts chopped
1 onion diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large potatoes
2 carrots
½ cauliflower, chopped
½ broccoli, chopped
1 x 420 g can of condensed cream of chicken soup
2-3 teaspoons curry powder
3/4 cup of milk
¾ cup of peas
1 sheet of frozen puff pastry
2 – 3 sheets of frozen short pastry
1 egg
extra milk
ground cumin

In all my fervour, I burnt my fingers pulling the pie dish out of the oven. I still don’t know what I was thinking, but I'm typing this with slightly raw fingertips and one badly blistered forefinger now.

The pie got the thumbs up from my harshest critics. I was told I'd have to make another one in the cooler months as it was a very wintery and comforting meal.

Talking to Hamish earlier in the week, he told me the key to a good pie was to ensure a rounded, whole flavour. Funnily, Lili made that very observation of my pie!

I really recommend giving this one a go, I was nervous about pie making, having never made a pie before but this was relatively easy.

I was a bit annoyed to have forgotten St Patrick’s Day and part way through realised I should have been making a Steak and Guinness pie. Maybe something to think about for Easter... 

I washed my meal down with a beer I found in our fridge. Very similar to a Guinness I assume, the Coopers Extra Stout, made in Australia, has a very rich flavour. It’s chocolatey and kind of smokey too. I quite liked it! I only managed one bottle though as it was a meal in it’s own.

I’m off to the Royal Easter Show Wine Awards Dinner at The ASB Showgrounds this weekend! I’ve been eagerly anticipating it all week. If anyone has any recommendations on the wines I should be particularly looking out for please let me know. I will have full run down of the night next week. 




  1. That pie sounds wonderful, and i am sure Gina would have executed it beutifully. I use to cook gina pies on sundays in fact she was an integral part of the process with her expertise in chopping onions and crushing garlic... doing so with a glass of riesling in her hand..impressive for a cook to watch.
    It appears she took more from my pie-making sessions than i first before she becomes a world famous foodie editor i would like to stake my claim (and not to overshadow my father in his wineswilling teachings) that i had great influence in teaching Gina the traditional art of piemaking..

    Keep up the good blogs Gina.

    Sara Lee

  2. Sara Lee!

    Thank you for your comment :-) It's always nice to hear from my followers.

    Indeed, I neglected to mention your pie cooking classes. I suppose I was too busy chopping onions and crushing garlic to consider them lessons... Or maybe one too many glasses of Riesling on each occasion has left the memory somewhat blurred.

    I do remember a conversation recently about a new pie recipe you had tucked away, I'm sure my readers would love you to share... why not?

    Fair dinkum though buddy, you make a good pie. We should have a pie-off one day.

    I eagerly await your latest recipe.