Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Chicken and Leek Cottage Pie

Here we bring together two cultures: the comforting nature of British food, based on its cottage pie idea but combining it with Mediterranean style which gives it an extra twist.


For the filling:
2 pieces of chicken breast, diced
1 leek, finely chopped
Mushrooms, finely chopped
Garlic, finely chopped
Olive oil
Salt & pepper

For the mash:
Potatoes (obviously)
Olive oil
Salt & pepper

Lightly fry the garlic and then add the chicken and leek. Sautee until the chicken is cooked (you can add a drop of white wine) and then add the mushrooms, oregano (don't be shy with it, we want a very oregano-ey flavour here) and seasoning. When the mushrooms are cooked, take it off the fire. Put your filling in a medium tray. In the meantime...

Boil the potatoes (if they're chopped it takes less time). Drain them and put them in a bowl. Add milk and mash. When you have a nice, creamy texture, add some olive oil (for flavour) and seasoning. Spread the mash evenly over the filling, making sure that it completely covers it, coming up to the edge of the tray. Stick it in the oven for about 30 minutes (until the top is nicely golden brown), take it out and serve. Lovely.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Green Lentils

Ingredients (serves 2-3)
300 gr of green lentils
1 onion, finely chopped
1-2 cloves of garlic, likewise
Olive oil
Some ripe tomatoes or a can of chopped tomatoes or tomato paste (depends on availability and taste)
1-2 carrots, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped (optional)
Some chopped parsley


In a medium/large saucepan lightly fry the garlic and onion in olive oil. Add the tomatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the lentils, chopped carrots, celery and salt. Add water and bring to the boil. Let it cook for about 40 minutes or until the lentils are soft. They absorb the water so keep an eye in case they get stuck. If they are cooked and have absorbed the water there's no need for more, but if not, add more to help them cook. In the end you'll get a lentily pulp, there shouldn't be much water left in it. No problem if there is, just use a ladle with holes to serve it, or eat it as a soup. Some people like to add bay leaves in the mix, it gives it a nice flavour. When it's finished, throw in the chopped parsley and serve.

This is a very flexible recipe and you can pretty much embellish the lentils with any veg you like. I sometimes put a chopped pepper instead of celery, mushrooms go well too (add them near the end), lemon brave and try variations.

Goes fantastically well with natural set yogurt. Eat and help yourself to seconds, it's lovely! There is also a version with rice which I promise to share with you all if you're nice :-)