Potato Rosti with Cream Cheese Sauce, Chicken and Mushroom Pie & Spicy Pumpkin Pie

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Starter: Potato rosti with cream cheese sauce and salmon

You will need:

Rosti

650 g sweet potatoes, peeled and grated

Salt and pepper

60 ml (4 tbsp) oil

30 ml (2 tbsp) butter

Top with

Flavoured cream cheese

Smoked salmon

Watercress

Method

  1. Rosti: Preheat the oven to 70º C and line a baking tray with baking paper and set aside. Place the grated sweet potatoes in a bowl and season with salt and pepper and mix well. Heat half the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and add half the butter.
  2. Take half the potato mixture and divide it into four, then shape each portion into a round patty about 1 cm (½ in) thick and press together firmly. As soon as the butter begins to sizzle, carefully place the patties in the pan.
  3. Cook the rosti cakes over a moderate heat for 5 minutes, or until they become crisp and golden brown underneath, then turn them over carefully with a fish slice and cook for further 5 minutes (do not worry if the patties break up as you turn them over – simply pat them back into shape). While they are cooking, shape the remaining mixture into 4 more cakes.
  4. When the first batch is cooked, transfer them to the lined baking tray and drain for 1-2 minutes. Keep them warm in the oven.  Add the remaining sunflower oil and butter to the pan, heat until sizzling and fry the remaining rosti.   Top with the remaining ingredients, garnish with herbs and serve.

Main: Chicken and mushroom pie

Cynthia likes flaky pastry and I am showing her how to make it – obviously making pastry needs a lot of love and time – but it’s worth it.

You will need:

Quick puff pastry

500 ml (2 cups) cake flour

1 ml (pinch) salt

250 g chilled butter, coarsely grated

1 egg yolk

15 ml (1 tbsp) white vinegar

125 ml (½ cup) iced water

Chicken filling

30 ml (2 tbsp) flour, plus extra for dusting

500 g or 4 chicken fillets, neatly cubed

60 ml (4 tbsp) oil

2 leeks (white parts only), sliced

150 g mushrooms, halved

2 cloves garlic, crushed

125 ml (½ cup) white wine or vegetable stock

160 ml (⅔ cup) chicken stock

125 ml (½ cup) cream

45 ml (3 tbsp) chopped fresh parsley

Glaze

1 egg yolk mixed with 15 ml (1 tbsp) water

freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Pastry:  combine the flour and salt together in a large enamel mixing bowl. Add the grated butter, gently mixing with a fork to separate the butter particles. Be careful not to break the flour particles too finely by over mixing.
  2. Beat the egg yolk with the vinegar and water and ass to the flour mixture. Mix with a fork until everything just mixes together – the mixture must still be slightly crumbly. Gather the dough into a ball – though it will not be uniform – and place on a floured surface.
  3. Roll out the dough to make a rectangle that is 2cm think. Fold in the shorts sides of the dough so they meet in the middle. And do the same with the other sides to meet into the middle. Dust the surface, dough and rolling pin and roll out the dough once more.
  4. Repeat the rolling and folding process for four times –and the dough will appear smother after each rolling and folding. Wrap with cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours before using. Line a loose fitting bottom pan with the dough, leaving enough to make a covering top.  Lightly roll out the dough without stretching it or rolling over the edges on a working surface. Bling bake for 10 minutes set aside.
  5. Filling: Preheat the oven to 220 °C. Put the flour in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and use this mix to coat the chicken. Heat half the oil in a pan, add the chicken and cook for 4 minutes until chicken is slightly golden.
  6. Remove from pan. Add the remaining oil to the pan and stir in the leeks, mushrooms and garlic. Cook for 3 minutes. Return the chicken to the pan and pour in the wine or stock.
  7. Bring to the boil and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in the cream and simmer for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the parsley and season with pepper. Divide the mixture into 4 open-proof serving dishes (we used mugs) and cool slightly.
  8. Baking the pies: Roll out the pastry until about 5 mm thick. Cut out shapes to top off dishes. Brush with the egg and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the pies are golden

Dessert: Pumpkin pie

You will need:

Sweet short-crust pastry

375 ml (2½ cups) cake flour

2 ml (½ tsp) salt

45 ml (3 tbsp) sugar

125 g (½ cup) butter, cubed

90 ml (6 tbsp) iced water

Filling

3 large eggs

500 ml (2 cups) cooked and puréed pumpkin

125 ml (½ cup) cream

125 ml (½ cup) light brown sugar

5 ml (1 tsp) ground cinnamon

2 ml (½ tsp) ground ginger

pinch of ground cloves

2 ml (½ tsp) salt

Serve with (optional)

125 ml (½ cup) cream, whipped

30 ml (2 tbsp) honey or golden syrup

Method

  1. PASTRY Place the dry ingredients in a food processor with the butter and beat until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add just enough iced water to bind the ingredients.
  2. Turn the pastry onto a lightly floured surface and gently press into a ball. Cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Remove from the fridge and allow to rest at room temperature before rolling it into a round shape. Don’t stretch the dough or roll over its edges
  3. Lightly grease a muffin pan. Roll out the pastry, line the muffin tins, prick the bottoms with a fork and bake blind (see tip) for 15 minutes until almost cooked and straw in colour.
  4.  FILLING In a large mixing bowl lightly whisk the eggs, add the remaining ingredients and stir until well combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared tartlet tins, put on a baking tray (so it stays steady) and bake for about 30 minutes or until the filling is set and the crust is browned (the centre will still be a bit moist).
  5. Remove from the heat and put on a wire rack to cool. Whip the cream until stiff and mix with the honey or golden syrup. Serve the tartlets at room temperature with the cream, if using.

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