The filling in this homemade pie is amazing. We are using chicken and gammon to make it. What is gammon, you might be wondering if you are not from the UK. Well, it is the hind leg of pork after curing. Sometimes it is smoked, and other times not. It needs to be cooked before eating it. If you are served a roasted ham in the UK, it is usually known as gammon steak, or just gammon. If you cannot get gammon steak, buy some cured ham instead. We are also using leeks, mushrooms and chicken in the filling, along with garlic, white wine, cheddar cheese, cream and chicken stock for the perfect taste.
First we are cooking the vegetables and then adding the garlic, wine, some flour, milk, the stock and cheese, followed by the cooked meats. Once everything is cooked through and well combined, you can transfer it into a baking dish and then top with your choice of puff pastry or shortcrust pastry. Puff pastry is more flaky, while shortcrust is more solid. You can use whichever you prefer or whichever you can find readymade.
The baking time will be between 30 and 40 minutes, depending which type of pastry you use. Because the filling is already cooked, as soon as you see the pastry turning golden brown, the pie is ready to serve. This is great served with mashed potatoes and perhaps carrots, broccoli or another fresh vegetable on the side. The filling is rich and creamy, so you do not need to make additional gravy or sauce to go with it.
New potatoes can be stuffed to make a delicious appetiser or afternoon tea component. This type of potato has a crisp, waxy texture and a thin skin which is eaten along with the rest of the potato. A new potato is a young potato. They can hold their shape once cooked and cut open. A new potato is sweeter than a regular one because the sugar has not yet converted into starch. This makes them ideal for salads.
The best-known type of new potato is the Jersey Royal and when they appear near the end of April in the UK, this often indicates the beginning of summer. They are usually sold until July. Pentland Javelin is another kind of new potato, as are ones labelled ‘salad potatoes’ and those are best eaten cold. When buying new potatoes, get ones which are dry, firm and unblemished. Do not rinse them until you are using them because the dirt protects them from bruising or deteriorating. Just rinse them before using – you do not need to wash them.
Usually new potatoes are simmered for 10 minutes and served with salt and butter, but in this recipe they are par-boiled and then deep-fried, before being filled. Some of these are filled with a garlic tomato mixture, some have a sour cream and bacon filling, and the rest have a crème fraîche and caviar filling. Serve these chilled at teatime for a delicious, healthy snack at tea time. Continue reading
What is a Scotch egg exactly? This recipe consists of a hard-boiled egg wrapped in sausage meat and then coated in breadcrumbs. They are prepared and then deep-fried. Serve them chilled or at room temperature. Scotch eggs are often featured at teatime and they are also enjoyed at picnics in the UK. Although you can get pre-packed, ready-made ones from supermarkets and petrol stations in the UK, it is best to make your own, for a better, fresher flavour. Scotch eggs are usually made with chicken eggs but you can also get quail egg ones which are smaller. These might also contain bacon and/or mayonnaise.
Fortnum & Mason, the London department store, claims they invented Scotch eggs in 1738, but another theory is they were inspired by ‘Narcissus meatballs’ which is a Moghul dish. The first time the recipe was printed was in 1809, and this was in Mrs Rundell’s ‘A New System of Domestic Cookery’ book where she recommended serving them hot with gravy.
In this video, Heston Blumenthal shows you how to make scotch eggs. Half-boil the eggs so the yolk is still runny, plunging them into ice water to stop the cooking process. Peel them, coat them in the prepared sausage meat mixture, some beaten egg and finally the breadcrumbs. Fry them in very hot oil to crisp up the coating quickly, then finish them in the oven. The heat does not have long enough to reach the egg yolk so the outside will be cooked and crispy and the yolk will be oozy and delicious. Continue reading
A tartlet is like a tart but smaller. Tartlets are a good example of teatime finger food, and they are simple to prepare. This video shows you how to make tartlets for your afternoon tea party. The caramelised onion chutney, goat’s cheese and asparagus makes a beautiful topping for the puff pastry bases.
Buying readymade puff pastry sheets is simpler than making your own, and these will still look and taste homemade no matter whether you make or buy the pastry. Make them full-size if you want to make 4 or cut each one in half if you prefer to make 8 smaller ones.
You can vary the ingredients if you wish, perhaps using another type of chutney or marmalade, swapping the goat’s cheese for mozzarella or using mushrooms instead of the asparagus. Perhaps you would like to use different ingredients and make half the tarts with the ingredients in the recipe and the other half with your own choices. The shiny golden finish is optional but painting the tartlets with beaten egg or milk before baking means you will get a beautiful result. Continue reading
Although scones come in plain or fruit varieties, cheese scones are especially tasty. This video shows you how to make English cheese scones which are wonderful served at teatime, split in half and buttered. Scones are deliciously dense and flavourful and their texture is what distinguishes them from other savoury teatime treats.
Serve them warm from the oven for a real treat. Fruit scones usually feature sultanas or raisins while plain scones are plain. Cheese scones can be made with Cheddar cheese or another type, and they are nice spiced up with the addition of some mustard or paprika to enhance their flavour.
Scones are a favourite at teatime, served perhaps with finger sandwiches and dainty little cakes, and of course a pot of your favourite tea. Making scones is very easy and all you need are the ingredients and an oven. Serve them warm or let them cool down. Scones will keep in an airtight container for a couple of days but these are so yummy you probably will not have any left after your afternoon tea party. Continue reading
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