Chicken and leek pies with sweet potato wedges

At the risk of confirming all the stereotypes about the British, I am going to start yet another post with a complaint  comment on the weather. The lovely warm, sunny weather that led to my last post on barbecued swordfish and halloumi skewers is now a distant memory and we have returned to grey, cold, wet, generally miserable weather. Boo. Will summer ever arrive?!

One good thing about this however, is that it is a good excuse to bake a comforting, warming pie! Leeks are one of my favourite vegetables and, aside  from sauteing them with butter, white wine and garlic, one of my favourite things to do with them is put them in a pie! The recipe for these chicken and leek pies is based on a recipe from BBC Good Food. The sauce, made with cream cheese and dijon mustard, is creamy without being too cloying and tangy and tasty thanks to the mustard! These pies are topped with crispy crunchy filo pastry, which helps makes them a healthier option than a more traditional pie. You can also use low fat cream cheese to reduce the calorie and fat count even further – and it still tastes delicious, I promise!

This is what you’ll need to make two individual pies (or you could make it in one dish as well of course, but I’m quite into my cute individual pie dishes!)

  • 2 Chicken breasts, cut into chunks
  • Around 1 and a half to 2 leeks, depending on size
  • 1 large carrot
  • About 85g low fat cream cheese (around a third of a normal sized tub)
  • Around 3 rounded tsps wholegrain mustard (maybe a little less if you aren’t such a big mustard fan as me!)
  • 225ml chicken stock
  • A handful of freshly chopped tarragon
  • 2 sheets of filo pastry

Pour a little oil into a pan and fry the cubed chicken until cooked, then remove from the pan and set aside. Add the chopped leeks, carrot and a splash of water and cook for around 10 minutes. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil until beginning to reduce then add the chicken to the pan and the mustard and soft cheese along with the finely chopped tarragon and some salt and black pepper.

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Divide the mixture between your pie dishes then scrunch up a sheet of filo pastry on top of each one. Brush with a little olive oil and pop in an oven heated to 200 degrees for 15 minutes.

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I like to serve these with some sweet potato wedges. These are good for dunking in the sauce!!

Take one large sweet potato and chop into wedges. Parboil for a few minutes (not too long!) then toss with plenty of salt and olive oil before roasting for around 20 minutes. Mmmm!

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Prawn, Mango and Sweet Potato Red Thai Curry

I first  found this recipe online somewhere a couple of years ago, I’m afraid I can’t remember where, and with a few wee tweaks here and there, it fast became one of my all time favourite meals. It’s spicy, but not too spicy, it’s sweet, but not too sweet, it’s tangy, but not too tangy and it’s slurpy. It’s completely moreish.

As with many of my favourite recipes, I have little habits that go with the cooking of it. For this one, I like to have the kitchen completely to myself (don’t get me wrong, the OH and I like cooking together, and, usually manage to agree on what we’re doing, but this has always been of my babies and I like to enjoy some alone time when cooking it! Also, I tend to make quite a mess when cooking this so like to spread out…) I always drink a glass of wine while making it, and I always have some feel good funky music on as I go.

This is what you’ll need;

For the paste.  (always handy to keep some in the fridge);

  • 2 shallots
  • 2 stalks lemongrass
  • 2-3 red chillis (I include the seeds as well)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • Chunk of ginger, grated
  • 2 tbsps tomato puree
  • 2 tsps corriander seeds (crushed)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds (crushed)
  • 1 heaped tsp paprika
  • zest and juice 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce

Whizz together in blender. Keep in a jar in the fridge.

For the curry;

  • 200g king prawns
  • 1 medium mango
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 3 or 4 spring onions depending on size
  • Small chunk of ginger
  • 1 and a half tbsps red thai curry paste
  • 1 clove garlic
  • sesame oil
  • 250 ml chicken stock
  • 200 ml coconut milk (I use light and don’t think it impacts on the flavour at all. The bonus with using 200ml is that it leaves you with half a can of coconut milk, perfect excuse to whip up a little coconut ice cream! 🙂 )
  • 2 tsps fish sauce
  • fresh coriander to serve

Heat some sesame oil in a large wok and fry the crushed garlic and grated ginger, after a few mintues add the chopped spring onions. After another minute or two add the curry paste.

Whisk in the coconut milk, fish sauce and chicken stock and simmer for around 5 minutes. Meanwhile peel and cube the sweet potato then add to the sauce. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until tender.

Add the prawns to the pan then after a few minutes, once they’ve begun to cook through, add the peeled and chopped mango and the lime juice. Cook for another minute or two then serve with freshly chopped coriander. This always leaves quite a bit of sauce so I serve in a bowl, slurpy and yummy 🙂

You can probably tell that a) I’d had a couple of glasses of wine already and that b) I was so looking forward to eating this that I couldn’t really be bothered with nice presentation or faffing around with pictures!


Ginger & Lime Chicken with Sweet Potato Mash

This has been one of our favourites for a while now but for some reason I hadn’t made it in ages. I decided to make it for tea last night after spotting a solitary sweet potato that I’d forgotten about lolling around the bottom of the cupboard yesterday morning!

Ginger and lime are two of my all-time favourite ingredients, in fact, without wanting to sound dramatic, I’m not sure I could cook without them! So the flavours in this is a winner for me! 🙂

This is what you need;

(serves two)

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • the juice and zest of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • a good chunk of ginger
  • sugar snap peas and carrots, or whatever other veg you fancy on the side

Zest then juice your lime. Put half of the lime zest to one side for later and mix the rest with all of the lime juice and the honey. Grate around half of the ginger into the sauce also.

Bash your chicken breasts to flatten them out a bit then slash each one a couple of times. Spoon half of the sauce over and allow to marinade while the grill comes up to temperature. Grill the chicken, turning halfway through cooking and pouring the remaining sauce over the other half of the chicken.

Meanwhile, dice and cook your sweet potato until soft enough to mash. Set to one side. Slice your remaining ginger into small thin ‘matchstick’ like slices and add to a frying pan of very hot oil. Cook for a few minutes until just beginning to char. You can now mash the sweet potato with the tasty gingery oil from the pan as well as the lime zest you put to one side earlier. Arrange your chargrilled ginger matchsticks on top of the sweet potato. Deliciously lime-y and ginger-y! 🙂