Posts Tagged ‘English Food’

From Dish Paige!:

Every year my parents get me a present for Valentine’s Day, and depending on their availability, either one or both of them take me out to lunch as well. It’s sweet and I love it, and it doesn’t at all underscore the fact that I’ve never actually had anyone to celebrate the holiday with and that I’m going to grow old and die alone and it’s all Hallmark’s fault anyway because no one really cares about Valentine’s Day except for people who are single because, again, Hallmark designed this thing to sell chocolates to people who never thought they were lonely until a commercial told them so. Or err….

So last year my parents got me a set of 4 heart-shaped Le Creuset ramekins for the occasion, and I figured the best thing to do with them was make some mini Pot Pies.

To make the dough, I used my old stand-by recipe, which you can find here.

For the filling:
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter
1 three pound chicken
4 cups chicken broth
4 oz. pearl onions, peeled and sliced in half
5 oz. red potatoes, washed and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
3 small/medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch rounds
2 small/medium turnips, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch rounds
5 oz. (e.g. half a box) frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup milk
a few sprigs of thyme
salt & pepper
1 large egg

Place the chicken and stock in a medium pot and add just enough water to cover the chicken. Bring the stock to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the chicken is cooked through – about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, if you’re making your own dough, now would be a good time to do it! Then, peel/chop/slice your veggies. If you’re not making your own dough – well how about writing some haikus in the meantime?

Once the chicken is done, transfer it to a plate and set aside until it’s cool enough to handle. Strain 1 1/2 cups of the stock into a measuring cup and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375. Melt the butter in a large skillet or a medium pot (whatever), and add the potatoes, carrots, onions and turnips and cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies begin to brown. While keeping an eye on the veggies, remove the skin and bones from the chicken and shred the meat into bite-size pieces. There will be more chicken then you actually need, but I’m sure you can figure out a use for the leftovers!

Once the veggies have browned, and a few sprigs of thyme to the pan and give it a stir or two. Next, add the flour and cook, stirring for about 1 minute. Add the reserved chicken stock and milk and bring to a simmer. Cook the mixture until it’s thick and bubbly, stirring constantly. Stir in about 3/4 of the chicken you shredded (or more or less depending on how much you want in your pot pies), and salt & pepper to taste. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out half the dough (if you’re making one big one make one big circle, if you’re making individual ones, make four little circles) and transfer to your vessel(s), leaving about 1 inch of dough hanging over the sides. Carefully spoon the filling into the dough. Then, roll out the remaining dough in the appropriate size, place on top of the filling and pinch everything together so it sticks the top to the bottom and it looks pretty. Use a knife to make a few slits into the center of the pie. Beat 1 egg with 1 teaspoon water, and bush the top of the dough with the glaze. Sprinkle with sea-salt and then bake on a baking sheet until the dough is golden brown. If you’re making individual pot pies, they’ll take about 30-40 minutes. A large pot pie will take about 45-60 minutes.

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart.

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A few weeks ago my Saucy Little Sister, Torey, returned from London where she had been living and studying for several months. And aside from British slang and an awkward approach to crossing the street, she brought back with her a profound love for Cornish Pasties. Not to be confused with decorative nipple wear, “pasty” rhymes with “nasty,” not “tasty,” and pasties are similar to classic savory pot pies filled with meat, potatoes and vegetables – though the shell is a turnover, rather than the shape of a pie pan.

In England, pasties have been a lunchtime staple for generations and serve as an inexpensive, hearty take-away meal. I’m no historian, but I hear they were born during the industrial revolution as a bag lunch that working-class wives would make for their factory worker husbands. Pasties were a whole meal in a pocket, and some women would even put a small dessert filling in one end, baking two courses into a single pie.

In order to get a little taste of Torey’s experience across the pond and to help curb her craving for this exclusively English treat, the two of us rolled up our sleeves and made some of our own. Descended from a long line of pie-makers, we made the pocket with a traditional pie crust recipe instead of pastry dough, and the filling was a mix of winter vegetables and frozen peas (summer may be here, but fresh peas and carrots are still a month or two off). Served with a side of fresh arugula salad from my garden, this was a hearty and delicious lunch that we enjoyed out in the back yard. We also froze some remaining pasties to be reheated on a rainy day.

Pasties with Peas, Chicken and Potato
Makes 8 Turnover Pies

3 cups white flour
3 cups whole wheat flour
3 tbsp salt
3 sticks butter (cold and cut into small chunks)
6 tbsp cold water
4 tbsp olive oil

Mix the dry ingredients and add butter, cutting into dough with a pastry cutter or two knives. Do not melt butter or blend it into the flour, or else you won’t get a nice flaky crust. Once the butter chunks are reduced to the size of small marbles, add the water one tablespoon at a time, cutting it into the dough. Form the dough into a ball once the chunks are about the size of small peas and put in the fridge to cool for about an hour (in the meantime you can work on the filling).


Roll out the dough on a well-floured surface to about a third of an inch thickness. Cut the dough into large circles, 12 inches in diameter, and place on a baking sheet. Spoon about a cup of filling in a mound onto one half of the dough circle, and gently fold dough over the filling. Dip your finger in some water and dab along the edge of the dough to make the top and bottom halves stick together, then roll the edges together to seal the pocket. Use a fork to gently press the edges flat, and use a sharp knife to poke three or four slits in the top of the pocket (this helps to release steam while the pasty is baking). Brush the top of the dough with olive oil and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour (until pockets are golden-brown). If you plan to freeze some, only cook them for half the time and wrap in foil or plastic.

rolled doughpasties


2 cups chopped roasted or grilled chicken
2 cups frozen green peas
3 cups white or yellow potatoes, boiled and chopped
1 cup turnip, shredded
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp white pepper


Toss together all ingredients in a large bowl and spoon onto dough. You can add carrots or other vegetables that you like, and feel free to toss in some fresh herbs or chopped parsley for added flavor.


Gwen & Torey with Pasties

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