Wednesday 26 May 2021

Bacon And Egg Pie - The Kiwi Way - a là Chelsea & Annabel

Some time ago I mentioned that I'd make more recipes from Bacon the Cookbook by the Irish blogger Niamh Shields.  This is not that recipe!  This recipe is a hybrid from two Kiwi cooks - Chelsea Winter and Annabel Langbein.  Aussies and Kiwis always argue about who first created recipes like pavlova, lamingtons and a flat white.  We did, we did!!  But who cares really?  I love New Zealand, and strongly recommend a visit there. The land of mountains and snow, glacial rivers, glaciers, bungee jumping, possum pies, sheep and Hobbits!  What's not to love about all that, my friends?

Hilarious story about the couple who ran a West Coast café selling possum pies.  The people who supplied the possum meat (possums are an introduced pest in NZ) were going out of business so they sold 6 tonnes of meat to this couple.  They ran out of meat eventually so he went out shooting his own supply.  They were then charged with selling 'unregulated meat'.  The charges were dropped, their defence being they hadn't been told they were doing something illegal.  You gotta laugh!!

I suggest tackling this pie on a lazy Sunday afternoon as Mr P. and I did this weekend.  You won't regret it, as you will have leftovers for days!  And that's a very good thing.  It's not a difficult recipe, but it does take a bit of time.  And I love it cold, straight out of the fridge.  Mr P. thinks I'm nuts:-)  I also love cold stew on hot toast with lots of melting butter.  I've almost convinced him that this is a great thing.

golden, crispy, comforting pie

Serves 6-8, if you're really hungry, otherwise 1 or 2 more:


3 medium potatoes, peeled

1-2 tbs EV olive oil or vegetable oil

1 large red or brown onion, diced

250g./9 oz rindless bacon, diced or cut into strips

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

2-3 tbs plain flour

4 sheets of ready-rolled puff pastry, thawed

3-4 tbs of cornflake crumbs, or semolina or almond meal

1/2 cup of tomato or red capsicum relish

12 large eggs

1-2 ripe tomatoes, sliced or diced

1/2 cup of roasted capsicum (out of a jar), cut into strips

2 tbs of wholegrain or Dijon mustard (optional)

1/2 cup of fresh parsley, finely chopped

2 tbs thyme leaves and/or 3 tbs of chives, finely chopped, and a dessertspoon of dried oregano

1½ cups of cheddar cheese, grated

1/2 cup of fetta, crumbled

copious amounts of freshly ground black pepper, and a generous sprinkling of sea salt

2-3 tbs of cream or a lightly beaten egg, for glazing at the end

sesame and/or poppy seeds for sprinkling over the glazed pie


First, boil the whole peeled potatoes for 10-15 minutes till tender (but not fall-apart squishy); let them cool enough so you're able to slice them

Heat the oil in a frypan, add the onion and bacon and stir for about 5 minutes; add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes till your kitchen smells wonderfully fragrant

Turn on your oven to 190C/375F; place a large baking tray on the middle shelf to get hot (your pie dish will sit on this, to help the bottom crisp up)

Grab a big baking dish (Annabel uses one that measures 30cm x 40cm/12 in x 16 in); mine was a wee bit smaller than Annabel's but it worked out fine

Measure out and chop off a big piece of baking paper - enough to cover the base and most of the sides of the dish

Screw it up in your hands (for easy handling), smooth it out, then place it on your bench; throw on the plain flour, place 2 sheets of pastry on the paper, and press the pastry together to form one big pastry sheet - if you have too much pastry on the bottom, trim it and keep for the top of the pie

Get your Mr P. to lightly butter the sides of the baking dish (if you're lucky enough to have a Mister P.)

Pick up the whole shebang, paper and pastry, place it into the baking dish, sprinkle on the cornflake crumbs, and into the oven (on the hot tray) it goes for 10 minutes - don't worry if it puffs up, the filling will flatten it out

Take out the baking dish, and let it cool for a few minutes

Layer the potato slices over the bottom of the pastry, then spoon the relish over the potatoes

Break each egg into a cup (to be sure they're okay), then into the pie dish

Place the tomato and capsicum evenly over the eggs and potatoes

Add dabs of the mustard over everything

Now spread over the onion, bacon and garlic mix

And sprinkle on the herbs, the cheddar and fetta, and the pepper and salt

Either place 2 joined sheets of pastry over the top and trim them so they fit neatly over the pie OR if you have a savvy, spatially-inclined spouse like Mr P., get them to make pretty lattice strips and lace them beautifully over the whole thing

Paint on the cream or eggwash, and throw the seeds all over the top layer of pastry (make a couple of slits in the pastry for steam if using one big sheet rather than lattice)

Bake at 190C for about 50-60 minutes or till golden-brown and crisp on top

Serve with salad or steamed veg.


Chelsea suggests using 5-6 tomatoes, but as I'm not a fan, I used 1 tomato, some roasted capsicum, and a mix of tomato and capsicum relish instead

You could use a really big round pie dish for this, if you have one

gather your ingredients

puff pastry goes into the baking dish

potatoes and relish onto the partly-cooked pastry

12 eggs over the potatoes and relish

add the mustard, bacon mix, herbs, tomato, capsicum and fetta

grated cheese sprinkled over all

latticed, and sprinkled with seeds

after 50-60 mins. at 190C

golden, crunchy, delicious!

© Sherry M.

Brush-tailed possum
 (Author: Andrew Mercer - Wikimedia Commons)

Wednesday 19 May 2021

Blackberry Fool à la Thalia Ho

Here we have another recipe from Thalia's book Wild Sweetness.  She is the Brisbane-based creator of an award-winning food blog called Butter and Brioche.  And her new book is a honey.  Regular readers will have seen my Anzac Day post of her recipe for oat biscuits with rosemary, apricot and white chocolate.  They were a real winner with everyone.  And I'm keen to try out lots more of her recipes.

Thalia calls this one Currants and Cream, but as I had to use blackberries instead, I've called it a fool.  No, not your local silly person, but that English dessert of fruit purée mixed with whipped cream or custard.  I remember when sharing a house with several other students years ago, I tried to make a dried apricot fool but not having a blender or processor, it ended up a kind of fibrous, orangey-brown mush.  Not pleasant, my dears.  Thank goodness for a well-equipped kitchen these days.   

so sweet, so fruity, so delicious

Serves 4-6:


115g./4 oz white chocolate, finely chopped

400 mLs/14 oz thickened/heavy cream

125g./4.4 oz blackberries or blackcurrants

50g./1.8 oz white or caster sugar

2 tbs Chambord or Crème de cassis


You make the cream by placing the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl, then - 

Pour 240 mLs/8 oz of the cream into a medium saucepan, bring it to the boil, then pour it over the chocolate

Put it aside for a minute to melt the chocolate, then give it a good stir till well-mixed and smooth

Now grab some clingfilm and cover the bowl, making sure you've pressed the clingfilm onto the surface of the chocolate mixture - you don't want a skin to form

And into the fridge it goes for around 6 hours to chill

While it's chilling, get on to the fruity part by putting the fruit and sugar and liqueur into a medium saucepan

Heat over medium-low till the fruit slumps (says Thalia) - i.e.  goes limp but still has some shape, and the juices are thick and syrupy

Into the fridge it goes to chill also

When you're going to eat this, put the chocolate cream mixture into a bowl, add the rest of the cream, and beat with electric hand-beaters or in a stand mixer till you have soft peaks

Gently stir in the fruity purée, till you have beautiful dark-pink streaks throughout - don't go crazy here! - you want a beautiful rippled effect 

Place it back in the fridge for an hour to chill right down

Serve with a crunchy little Amaretti biscuit or biscuit/cookie of your choice

Confession time:

I made an oopsy with this recipe.  A friend dropped in, and I wasn't concentrating, so instead of boiling 240 mLs of the cream, I boiled the whole darn lot of it!  And guess what?  It worked perfectly.  I put it in the fridge for 6 hours, then whipped it till soft peaks, stirred in the fruit - ét voilà, perfectly beautiful blackberry fool.  So maybe do it my way, and make it easy on yourself


Use a good quality white chocolate like Lindt; it's a beautifully thin and well-tempered chocolate so I was able to just break it up with my fingers - no knives involved :-)

I used frozen fruit as it's not blackberry season here, and it's very difficult to get blackcurrants at any time.  It took about 10 minutes to get to 'slump' stage

Use whatever fruity liqueur you fancy, or a couple of teaspoons of vanilla extract

bring the cream to a boil

pour the hot cream over the white chocolate

gather your fruity ingredients

into the saucepan for some slumping :-)

bubble bubble toil and trouble - till slumped

6 hours later - spoon in the syrupy fruit

stir gently through the chocolate cream

and ... eat with a golden spoon - tee hee

© Sherry M.

Thursday 13 May 2021

Sardines on Toast AKA Simon's Sardine Sandwich

I love sardines, but hubby doesn't so I eat 'em when he's not around.  I mean really, what a sook :-)  I used to eat these often in my childhood, and I really liked the ones in tomato sauce.  Yep, I know, ironic since I'm not a huge tomato fan.  I also used to love those tiny lambs' tongues that came in a can.  I was the only one of the four siblings who ate such things.  My sister was a vegetarian when she came out of the womb, and still is, all these years later.  

This recipe is from The Artists' and Writers' Cookbook, edited by Natalie Eve Garrett.  Simon Rich is the author of this one; no idea who he is.  I think I've mentioned before that I don't know any of the afore-mentioned artists and writers, so it's all a bit Greek to me.  And the recipes are ... well, odd to say the least.  Oh, I see now: he is a writer of humour, short stories and novels.  Well, I guess this 'recipe' was a bit of a joke, though he swears he loved it when his grandparents made it for him. 

"you shall have a fishy on a little dishy"    La la la ...

Serves 1:


1 English muffin (I used wholemeal)

a dollop of mustard (I used homemade whole grain), to taste

1 can of sardines (he used King Oscar), in extra virgin olive oil

1 red/Spanish onion, finely chopped - but you won't need much

a wee bit of ground black pepper and a small squeeze of lemon juice - optional - my idea

a sprinkle of fresh parsley and chives, finely chopped (optional, also my idea)


Toast the muffin

Spread mustard (sparingly unless you love it) over both halves

Lay the sardines over the mustard

Now throw on the onion (and add the pepper and lemon juice if using), then sprinkle greenly with parsley and chives



Simon says (ha ha) that his tin of sardines holds 12 little fishies; I used Spanish organic sardines (120g./4 oz) which were deliciously plump and mild in flavour and not too salty!  And gave the perfect amount of fishy business

This is ideal for a quick lunch for one; you can add more herbs, or  some greenery, or some preserved lemon, or radish, whatever takes your fancy.  Oddly, while going through some previous posts this week, I noticed I had made a very similar dish a year ago! - sardines and preserved lemon on toast.  What a co-incidence.  Anyway, this is a tangy, salty, fishy brunch or lunch dish.  Enjoy with a shot of vodka :-)  Well, maybe not at lunchtime.  And here's to the eighth year of my blog which was on 6 May! 

gather your ingredients

on go the mustard and plump sardines

sprinkle with onion and pepper and herbs

© Sherry M.

Saturday 1 May 2021

In My Kitchen - May 2021

Well, so much for best-laid plans; I had lots of things to tick off my to-do list this week, but you know - mice and men ...  So this is a super quick IMK post from me.  I'm as sick as a dog at the moment, with an out of the blue flu thingy.  Mr P. has bought me many boxes of tissues, and tins of soup!  And made me tasty dinners to whet my appetite - grilled salmon and salad, roast chicken (from the shop) and salad and so on.  He does have a large repertoire of dishes in his cooking arsenal, but my flu-ridden body just ain't up to it.

So, let's talk - as someone (Joan Rivers?) used to say.  Here are a few things from my kitchen.  Looking forward to seeing yours.

In My Kitchen:

a (shop-bought) painted white chocolate koala for Easter

I bought this from a swish patisserie/baker for Easter.  We loved this chocolate koala, but their Easter buns were a bit suss.  Expensive too!, but I ended up throwing half of them out.  Darn!  Back to the el cheapo versions next year.

yep true to label!

I buy a bottle of this every year.  Somewhat shamefacedly I have to admit that last year's bottle sits unopened in my pantry, along with several different varieties of EVOO.  For my American readers, you can buy Cobram Estate Evoo too, as they have an olive grove in California.  (At a different time of year to Australia obvs. for the first harvest oil.)


On our way down the coast to an art exhibition (and my sister's birthday dinner) last weekend, we stopped in at Poppy's chocolate shop.  Those freeze-dried lychees are the bomb!  And I adore chocolate freckles, so they didn't last long.

goodies from the Brisbane Pickle Co.

As it was Mr P.'s birthday this month, he received a lovely food hamper from friends, including these interesting specimens.  Our mate Lucy who owns a wonderful providore shop called Mumbleberry down the local village, packed these up for him.  She knows our tastes, as we head there once a week usually.

my teenage granddad heading off to war in 1915

And here's my curveball, which I love to put up every April for Anzac Day.  This is Bertie, my granddad, who clearly lied about his age!  He went to Gallipoli, was blown up in a Turkish bombardment and then sent to England to recover.  He lived with the pain for the rest of his life, and was in and out of the Repat Hospital many times over the years.  Thank goodness he survived; otherwise you wouldn't be reading this from me :-)

That's it for this month.  Join in please, all you beautiful lovelies, as the wonderful Emmy from her Youtube channel EmmyMade calls her faithful viewers.  I love Emmy - those teeth, that hair, that smile ...


And here's my usual reminder; sorry to the regulars who know it off by heart.  IMK posts are about your kitchen (and kitchen garden) happenings over the past month.  Dishes you've cooked, preserves you've made, herbs and veg in your garden, kitchen gadgets, and goings-on.  You get the picture.  And don't forget your curveball!  Throw in whatever you fancy.  The link is open from the first to the thirteenth of the month.  Let me know if you need help with adding your post, or if you would like it added manually by me after the 13th (if you're running late). Here's how to join in:

Options for adding your post to IMK:

1. Add via the Add Link button at the bottom of this post.  Instructions can be found on the sidebar of this page, under the Add your IMK link OR:

2. Comment on this post, providing a link to your post so I can add it manually to the list below OR:

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