Recipe: Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot PieIn the mood for something hearty and cheap? This is your answer!

Ingredients

Two chicken breast fillets (or eight chicken thigh fillets – depending what cut of meat you prefer), one large bag of frozen cubed vegetables (e.g. corn, peas, carrots), one can of Campbell’s Cream of Chicken condensed soup, two sheets of frozen puff pastry. Salt and pepper to taste.

Method

  1. Take your puff pastry and frozen veggies out to defrost. Preheat the oven to approximately 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Clean and dice the chicken to approximately one centimetre cubes, approximately the size of the veggies. Brown chicken on medium heat in a large lidded saucepan.
  3. Add defrosted veggies to the pan and cook until warm through.
  4. Add can of Cream of Chicken condensed soup and half a can of water to the pan, and stir through. Let the mixture simmer until ingredients are hot and fully combined, then add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Transfer the mixture straight to a medium-sized casserole dish (leave approximately half a centimetre gap at the top).
  6. Cut puff pastry into strips, and arrange on top on the casserole dish in a criss-cross pattern. Brown with egg wash if desired.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven until the pastry is nice and crispy (approximately twenty minutes to half an hour) – then serve!

This should serve six people  if you dish out smaller portions with side dishes. Total cost is approximately $20AUD for puff pastry, chicken, canned soup and frozen veggies. Cheap and tasty!

Recipe: Mussels in a Thai Red Curry Soup

Mussels in Thai red curry

I picked this recipe up on my Travelicious markets tour, along with two kilos of mussels from the Sydney Fish Markets.

I’m convinced that’s actually the sign of a good food-related event, when you’re left with ideas and techniques that expand your thinking and your relationship with food.

Ingredients

Two kilos of black mussels, onion, garlic, red curry paste, coconut milk, fish sauce, brown sugar, coriander and chilli.

Method

  1. If they aren’t already, clean your mussels. This is a good Youtube video explaining how to do it.
  2. Finely dice the onion and garlic (one onion, about three or four cloves of garlic) and brown it in a large pot on medium heat. Add three large tablespoons of curry paste once the onion and garlic has browned.
  3. After a minute, add fish sauce (two tablespoons), brown sugar (one tablespoon) and coconut milk (one can). Depending how soupy you want the broth to be, you might also want to add a half cup of water as well.
  4. Add the mussels to the pot and put the lid on. They don’t all need to be submerged in the soup because the steam that will collect in the pot will cook them. Cook for approximately three to five minutes, or until all the mussels have opened up.
  5. While the mussels are cooking, chop up chilli and coriander and sprinkle it on top of each serving. Serve with a side of jasmine rice to absorb the soup.

Two kilos of mussels was enough for a filling meal for three people, and would serve four well if you had some extra sides to go with the dish. Quite quick and simple to make (approximately half an hour) and relatively cheap as well, considering that most of the ingredients you should already have in (onion, garlic, fish sauce, brown sugar), and others will only cost you about $15AUD total (mussels, curry paste, coconut milk).

Review: Sydney Fresh Food Markets Travelicious Tour

This past weekend, I joined Lauren of Travelicious Tours for the Saturday Fresh Food Markets half-day tour. As a small family-run business, the vibe of Travelicious Tours was very different to other food tours I’ve attended, as the tour group was much smaller with seven people and much more personal and intimate as a result.

Note: I joined this tour as a complimentary guest for review purposes.

We started out at 9am on Saturday, meeting at Central Station. Our small group of seven was made up of four older ladies, a younger couple in their late twenties, and myself – promoted by Lauren to the others as a blogger who was there to review the tour. I’ll take that label, and wear it with pride.

Jumping into the Travelicious minivan (chauffered by Lauren’s husband Shaun – I told you it was a family-run business!) we headed towards the Eveleigh Farmers Market, with Lauren giving the group a short history and profile of the markets along the way.

Eveleigh is the type of farmers market where the average stallholder holds numerous awards for the excellence of their produce and products. Built on what used to be former estate in colonial times, the market owners have the strictest standards in order to maintain this level of excellence, ensuring that all their stallholders are small growers who sell produce or items that are organic, local, and sustainable in nature.

Eveleigh markets

As soon as you arrive at Eveleigh Markets, you can absolutely see exactly how prestigious it must be to hold a stall there. I’ve shopped at markets before – however they have always prided themselves on quantity over quality. This is definitely not the case at Eveleigh with under 50 stallholders selling produce that looked so good that your mouth would start watering as soon as you stepped into the market hall. This actually made it quite difficult for Lauren to keep our small group together as people were constantly lured away by the promise of some tasty produce to take home.

The two hours we spent at Eveleigh Markets were designed to give us a personal connection and conversation with some key stallholders and some exclusive taste testing, while also giving us half an hour to shop to our heart’s content for organic produce. Continue reading “Review: Sydney Fresh Food Markets Travelicious Tour”