Carmargue Red Rice, Brown Basmati and Wild Rice

What a marvelous mixture of different rices! 

Now for a tiny bit of trivia!
Carmargue Red Rice - Grown in the wetlands in the Carmargue region of Southern France.

Brown Basmati - Provides protein and carbohydrates as well as B-vitamins which aid digestion.  

Wild rice - is any of the four species of plants that make up the genus Zizania

Chicken Leek and Ham Pie in a Cheese and White Wine Sauce

Another dinner from a dinner; how about making a pie from your left over Sunday roast chicken!  It's really easy to do. Nice tender bits of chicken and ham with leeks in a cheese and white wine sauce, topped with crispy puff pastry; what's not to like?

Chicken Leek and Ham Pie

I love making another dinner from leftovers - I say it's the way to go 😋

Print Recipe

My pie dish is approx. 9 inches by 7 inches oval. 

To serve 4 you will need:
a few good handfuls of left over roast chicken
 an handful of of cooked ham
 3 leeks - trimmed and cleaned
 a couple of knobs of butter (30g)
 a small amount of olive oil
 a splash of dry white wine
 1 x bay leaf
 500g block of puff pastry
 a little flour for dusting
 1 egg - lightly beaten
 salt and freshly ground black pepper

 For the sauce:
 280ml milk
 2 and a half tablespoons of plain flour
 30g unsalted butter
 a pinch of cayenne pepper
 100g of mature Cheddar, grated
 a little freshly grated nutmeg
 salt and freshly ground black pepper
 a splash or two of dry white wine

First, melt the butter in a medium sized saucepan, then add the flour, stirring with a wooden spoon,cook the mixture
for a couple of minutes. If you don't cook the flour first your sauce will be lumpy so don't miss this bit out.

Now using a balloon whisk, add in the milk and keep whisking - you now have a nice lump free sauce.

Over a very low heat and stir in the cheese and the cayenne pepper and the wine.  Add a little salt (a small pinch) and the nutmeg
along with a few grinds of black pepper.  Have a taste, remove from the heat and set aside.

Take the tough green ends off the leeks, then make a vertical split halfway down the centre of each leek, run them under cold water get rid of any grit that might be hiding.

Chop into 1/2 inch slices. In a medium sized saucepan, heat the butter and a tiny bit of olive oil.
Add the leeks and the bay leaf to the pan cook over a low heat, stirring for about 20 minutes.
Add a little salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.  Now add a splash of white wine and continue to cook until the leeks are cooked and are nice and tender.
Remove the bay leaf and discard.

Meanwhile, tear the roast chicken (you don't want the skin) into bite-sized pieces.
Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F or Gas 6, 400F

Add the chicken and ham to your cheese sauce and return to the heat.  Once it's started to simmer, you can add a little more
milk if you think it is too thick.
Now tip the whole lot to your pie dish.

Make a lid for your pie from pastry. Roll it to on a lightly floured surface to about 3 quarters of an inch thick (or just under).

Cut out a piece large enough to cover your pie dish with a little overlap.  Now roll out the trimmings and cut a 1/2 inch strip.
Dampen the edge of the dish with water and press the strip of pastry around the rim.
Dampen the strip and carefully lift the pastry lid over the top.

Press it firmly over the edge to get a good seal all round, then trim, using a knife.

Gather up the trimmings and re-roll them to cut into leaf shapes - if you fancy being fancy that is.
Brush the surface of the pie with beaten egg, and arrange the leaves on top. Now, brush the leaves with beaten egg.

Bake on a baking sheet for 25 to 30 minutes - your pastry will having risen and your pie will be delicious.

Chicken Pie

Serve with peas and mashed potato.

Chicken Leek and Ham Pie with Peas and Mash

Then dive right in.

Bubble and Squeak with Bacon and Fried Egg

Bubble and squeak is a traditional English dish made with leftover vegetables from the Sunday Roast.  The main ingredients are potato and cabbage, but you can add whatever you fancy - or have leftover!
 So, be making extra potato and veg when you're doing the Sunday roast this week and you have Monday's dinner sorted!

Old Bay Seasoned Crispy Crumb Chicken

Crunchy crispy chicken with Old Bay seasoned crumbs.  Totally yummy served with whatever you fancy, or my roasted vegetables and mozzarella from my previous post.

Old Bay Seasoning is marvelous stuff, it can be used for all sorts, seafood, meat or poultry.  I got a tin from eBay from someone selling it in the UK.  I paid about £5 with postage.  They'd obviously brought it from the States as it's almost impossible to find over here.  Well worth buying a tin as it lasts ages. 


Eat More Veg! Easy to do when Roasted with Mozzarella Cheese!

Mediterranean vegetables roasted and topped with oozy melty mozzarella, equals double yum!
Made up from stuff in the fridge, all I had to buy was the mozzarella.  I served the vegetables with crispy crumbed chicken, recipe in the next post. 

So easy to do and can be prepared ready to cook later the same day - just cover in cling film and pop it into the fridge.  I'd remove it an hour before cooking as the baking tray will be so cold.


Dan Dan Mian or Dan Dan Noodles

It seems there are so many versions of Dan Dan Mian or Dan Dan noodles you wouldn't believe it.  I first came across it over at Kevin's blog, I made it and was hooked on it.  
Since then I've made it many times and have titivated it a little bit.

A nice tingly heat of the Szechuan peppercorns, although you can of course put in as much or little of them as you fancy.

Dan Dan Mian

You can get the Szechuan peppercorns and Ketjap Manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce) from either Sainsbury's or Waitrose.

Simple Stuffed Veg - from Jamie Does by Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver's latest book 'Jamie Does' goes on sale this Thursday 15th April.
You can order is here if you are in the UK or here if you're not!
As I said in the post before, it is a fantastic book.
I made one of his Greek dishes 'Simple Stuffed Veg' and I must say, it was total yum!  We loved the chilli Jamie added to this dish, along with the pistachios and feta.


Jamie Oliver's latest book titled - Jamie Does

Jamie Oliver's new book titled 'Jamie does...Spain, Italy, Sweden, Morocco, Greece and France' goes on sale 15th April
and I've been lucky enough to have been sent a copy!
I have to say, this book is in my opinion, his best yet. 
It's packed full of the most fantastic recipes and just reading it, makes you want to eat them.  I'll soon be posting a couple here, so watch this space!

Thank you Peter for sending me the book.

Pan Cooked Chicken, Asparagus and Smoked Bacon

 Soon as I saw Jamie Oliver making this on TV the other day, I had to make it.  
Crusty bread is necessary for dipping and mopping!

 Chicken with asparagus, smoked bacon and tomatoes - delish!
Mine doesn't look 'quite' the same as his did, but it was still lovely.

Syrup Sponge Pudding - 6 Minutes and it's Done

If you're in a hurry and want a super fast dessert this microwave syrup sponge pudding is the way to go!  I'm not normally a one for cooking things just by microwave. However, when you just feel the need to eat syrup sponge pudding and it can be done in 6 minutes in the microwave then you have to do it!

Syrup Sponge Pudding

Take no notice of the horrid looking custard - yes it was a packet mix, I was in a hurry!

To serve 4 you will need:
a glass 1 litre pudding bowl
150g self raising flour
a pinch of salt
50g caster sugar
50g Atora suet
1 egg
150ml milk

How to do it:
Mix the flour and salt, stir in the sugar and suet. Make a well in the centre and add the beaten egg and milk.
Mix to a soft dropping consistency.  Grease your glass pudding bowl with a little butter and put the syrup in the bottom (you could use jam if you fancy it).
Pour in the pudding mixture on top of the syrup or jam.
Microwave (based on a 1000w microwave) for 6 minutes on HIGH.

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