leftover chicken & veg packed pocket pies

It is hard cooking for two (and a little 1 year old) and not have any leftovers. Especially with dishes like roasts. In our industry we waste nothing and so i recycled the chicken meat for these lovely, tasty puff pies. They are so easy to make and are a great way to sneak vegetables in for the kids.
These pocket pies freeze really well so i usually make a whole batch, freeze them, and then bag them for later use. Simply pop them into a hot oven straight from the freezer and you have a great lunch or light dinner when time is of the essence. The size of the pies depends on yourself. I used a fairly small tea saucer to cut out my rounds but you can use a side plate or any other round mould.
Grated cheese is another ingredient that works well in these pies although i did not add it this time.

ingredients | makes about 10 – 12 | easy
2C chicken, deboned and roughly chopped
2T olive oil
2T butter, & extra if needed
1 onion, chopped
1t crushed garlic
2 medium zucchini, grated
1 large carrot, grated
2C mushrooms, sliced
1C frozen peas & corn mix
2T flour
1C chicken stock
1/4C cream
5 sprigs thyme, leaves only
salt to taste
black pepper
2 rolls puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, beaten
flour for dusting

how to do it
In a large skillet, heat olive oil & butter and sauté the onion until it has a nice gloss and is almost tender. Add the sliced mushrooms the pan & an extra tablespoon of butter. Cook for about five minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a minute, while stirring.
Add the grated carrot & zucchini and cook for about two minutes. Stir the flour through the mixture, cook for one minute and pour the stock into the skillet.
Allow the mixture to simmer for about five minutes until reduced and thickened. Add the chopped chicken and fresh thyme, stir it through and cook for a further five minutes.
Pour the cream into the skillet and add the pea & corn mix. Stir and cook for five minutes more. Season with salt & pepper.

You don’t want a very wet mixture so ensure you cook and simmer the mixture enough to allow the juices to evaporate.

Set the mixture aside to cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, place the first batch of pastry on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry out, extending it by about 2 – 3cm on each side. Using a small plate, cut out circles and place it onto a floured baking tray.
Repeat this until you have used all of the pastry.
Now spoon the mixture onto the centre of each pastry round, taking care not to overfill the pastry. Lightly brush the egg around the edges and press one side down on the other side.
Press a fork into flour and gently press around the edges of the pastry to seal the pocket.
Using a sharp knife, make little incisions in the top of the pastry to allow steam to escape while it bakes.
Brush the pocket pies with the beaten egg and place the tray into the freezer. Freeze overnight. You can bag the pies and mark it with the date and ingredients.
Once ready to use the pies, heat the oven to 180 degrees C. Place the pies into the hot oven on a baking tray and bake until the pastry is beautifully crispy and browned.
Serve the pies with a garden salad and homemade mayonnaise.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x


easy roast chicken & rice one pot meal

Very similar to my chicken & orzo dish, this meal is a great, easy go-to that can be enjoyed any night of the week. In my home, it was the perfect end to all of the Easter celebrations.
I love one pot meals for its simplicity and no mess, no fuss kind of attitude really. And honestly, after cooking up another wonderful meal, i don’t want to spend hours doing a clean up.
I roasted a whole chicken and portioned it while the rice was cooking in al of its delectable juices. You can, however, use chicken pieces if you prefer, which will reduce the cooking time.
Basmati is my preferred grain and adds beautiful aromatic flavour here. And since it cooks so quickly i can have my meal on the table sooner rather than later.

ingredients | serves 6 | easy
1 whole chicken
3T olive oil
2T butter + 3T extra
3 celery ribs, sliced diagonally
3 carrots, peeled & sliced diagonally
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
zest of 1 lemon & lemon quartered
1.5C dry white wine
1.5C chicken stock
bunch fresh thyme, leaves only
1tsp fine salt
1tsp black pepper
bunch parsley, chopped
bunch chives, chopped
1C basmati rice

how to do it
Preheat the oven to 165 degrees Celsius. 145 degrees with a fan.
Heat the oil & 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet with tight fitting lid.
Sauté the onion until translucent. Add the carrots & celery and cook for five minutes. Place the chicken in the skillet, breast side down, and brown for five minutes. Remove the chicken and deglaze the pan with the white wine. Cook the wine until reduced by half. Add the garlic, lemon zest & thyme and stir through. Put the quartered lemon into the cavity of the chicken and place the chicken back into the skillet, breast side up (browned side facing upwards). Pour the stock into the skillet and bring it to the boil.
Turn the heat down and place the skillet into the oven, without the lid. Cook the chicken for two hours.
Carefully remove the skillet from the oven. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set it aside.
Pour the rice into the vegetable mixture, add the remaining 3 tablespoons butter and bring it to a gentle simmer. Cover with a tight fitting lid and cook for about 12 minutes until the rice is just cooked.
The rice will soak up most of the juices.
While the rice cooks, portion the chicken.
Place the chicken pieces on top of the cooked rice, cover with a lid and gently cook for four more minutes, so as to heat the chicken and finish cooking the rice.
Garnish with the chopped parsley & chives and serve immediately.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x






zucchini & goat’s cheese galette

This puff tart makes a great side to almost any main, is perfect on its own as a snack or served as a light meal, with a zesty salad. The creamy goat’s cheese and zucchini are the perfect match and set atop a flaky, buttery pastry is my idea of a perfect taste sensation.
Shop bought pastry is perfect and saves a lot of time. If you prefer making your own, I salute you!
Puff pastry is one ingredient I always have readily available as it really simplifies things. The thawing and cooking time is quick and it works really well with both savoury and sweet dishes.
I absolutely love sinking my teeth into thick pastry, topped with great flavours…

ingredients | serves 4 – 6 | easy
1 roll puff pastry, thawed
3-4 zucchini’s, peeled
100g soft goat’s cheese, broken into pieces
1 round crotin cheese, sliced
4T creme fraiche, at room temperature
3T cream cheese, at room temperature
zest of 1lemon
1t crushed garlic
3 thyme sprigs, leaves only
2 spring onions, sliced diagonally
1 egg, whisked
black pepper
a few pinches of salt
fresh rocket, garnish

how to do it
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
Place the sheet of pastry on a lightly floured surface and evenly roll it out, extending the pastry by about 1cm on each side. Gently lift the pastry onto a greased, ovenproof tray.
Using a sharp knife, cut along the pastry, about 1cm from the edge, not cutting all the way through. So as to create a border.
Lightly the border of the pastry with the beaten egg.
Mix the cream cheese, creme fraiche, lemon zest & crushed garlic and spread it across the centre of the pastry.
Top the cream cheese mixture with the peeled zucchini strips followed by the spring onion and goat’s cheese. Top with the crotin rounds & thyme and season with salt & black pepper.
Bake in the preheated oven until puffed and browned, about 25 minutes.
Carefully remove the tray from the oven and garnish the galette with fresh rocket.
Slice the galette with a pizza cutter and serve immediately.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x





pork, chorizo & orzo

The perfect TV meal! Quick and easy and perfect for a bowl and fork.
The orzo pasta can easily be replaced with rice or any other pasta like penne or farfalle. The choizo sausage adds a beautiful smoky flavour to this dish as well as depth so I will not recommend leaving it out of the recipe. You can however use pancetta or bacon instead.
I used pork sizzler sausages and removed the skin so that all the beautiful meaty flavour is easily released into my dish. Do not hesitate to replace the sizzlers with a different alternative such as a spicy sausage, or any other sausage of your preference. In turn, really making this dish your own.
Serve this dish with a simple side salad.
A great family meal, on the table in no time. My idea of food heaven!

ingredients | serves 4 | easy
3T olive oil
2T butter
1 small red onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 small red pepper, seeded and cut into blocks
5 pork sizzlers or any other pork sausage of choice
2 chorizo sausages (160g), sliced and halved
2 spring onions, sliced diagonally
1 large or 2 medium sized tomato/s, roughly chopped
1.5C orzo / rosmarino pasta
5 sprigs thyme, leaves only
1tsp paprika
1C white wine
2.5C chicken stock
chives, for garnish
2T butter
1/2t salt
1/2t black pepper

how to do it
Using a sharp knife, cut down the sizzlers, opening up the sausage to reveal the meat. Gently fold out the inside and discard the skins. Break into even sized pieces, to get about 5 pieces from one sausage.
Set aside.
In a medium sized skillet, heat the olive oil &. butter. Add the onion to the pan and sauté until glossy, about two minutes. Add the pork sizzlers pieces and fry until browned on all sides.
Add the red pepper and toss for about two minutes. Add the chorizo & garlic and toss for a minute. Add the paprika and stir through.
Pour the wine into the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat until reduced. Add the orzo / rosmarino pasta and stir to coat. Pour the chicken stock into the skillet, stir well and reduce the heat to low. Place a tight fitting lid on top and cook for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is cooked al dente. (The occasional stir will prevent the pasta from burning on the bottom).
Once the pasta is cooked and the broth reduced, add the chopped tomato, one sliced spring onion, thyme, salt & pepper.
Stir though and cook for a further four minutes, while stirring. Stir the remaining two tablespoons butter through the mixture.
Remove from the heat and garnish with the chives and remaining spring onion.

*You can also add parmesan shavings to this dish.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x


leftover leg of lamb – open lasagna of lamb & mushroom

I do not waste anything in the kitchen. Quite honestly, no good Chef wastes any food produce. And minimal waste equals great saving. Simply freeze items in freezer friendly containers or resealable freezer bags, name and date it and safely reuse it in the not so distant future. Easy.
I had some leftover leg of lamb from Sundays’ roast and since pasta is another one of my secret romances, last night was undoubtedly pasta night in my home. Use whatever meat you prefer or may have tucked away in your freezer. Or fry some bacon or sausage, like chorizo and add it to the dish. Even leftover oxtail will make an amazing alternative to the lamb.
There is great effort in making a lasagna…a good lasagna, that is. So this is my take of a lazy lasagna when I actually don’t have the time to make all of the elements to the traditional lasagna we all love so much.

ingredients | serves 4 | easy
10 lasagna sheets
2tbs olive oil
700g leftover lamb (or any other red meat that you would like to use)
3tbs olive oil
3tbs butter
1 punnet wild mushrooms, halved
4 leeks, washed and sliced at an angle
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 white onion, quartered
1.5c cream (full fat)
1c beef stock/broth
8 sprigs thyme, leaves only
2 sprigs rosemary, leaves chopped
1/4c brandy
1tsp dried oregano
1/2tsp salt
black pepper
parmesan (garnish)
fresh chives, garnish
handful fresh parsley, chopped
150g creme fraiche

how to
run water in a large pot and add two tablespoons of olive oil & salt. set aside.
heat the two tablespoons olive oil & 2 tablespoon butter in a large skillet / pan and fry the mushrooms until just cooked. about five minutes. set aside.
in the same skillet, add the remaining one tablespoon olive oil & one tablespoon butter. sauté the onion & garlic until translucent. add the brandy and cook until the alcohol has evaporated, about two minutes. (or flambé if you feel gutsy.)
add the herbs (thyme, rosemary oregano) & the leeks and cook for one minute. add the beef stock and mushrooms and cook until reduced by almost half and slightly thickened. about five minutes.
pour the cream into the mixture and cook for about three minutes. turn down the heat and get on with the meat and the lasagna sheets.
bring the pot of salted water to the boil. add the lasagna sheets one by one and give it a gentle stir. cook for about 8 minutes.
using tongs, pick the sheets out of the water directly into the cream mixture, twisting the sheets to sit, folded, in the creamy sauce, making space for all then sheets. (the starchy water will give a beautiful shine to your sauce.)
in a separate pan, heat a little olive oil and toss the meat until warmed through and slightly crispy on the outside.
turn the heat of the cream mixture on a low simmer and very gently move the lasagna around so to cover it with the sauce.
once warmed through, garnish with the chopped chives and parsley and liberally top with parmesan shavings.
top the lasagna with the meat or serve the meat separately.

from my kitchen to yours, with love x