Pierogi – Mexican Inspired

    • I have been trying out new fillings for pierogi – all with chicken – here is the second.
    • This was on the menu in a restaurant in Kraków that I went to a few years ago  I did not choose this but noted it down.
    • The filling is  made with cooked chicken as usual and  I have found that chicken thighs make a tastier dish than chicken breast.
    • I cooked the chicken as for  rosȯł – chicken soup.
    • You can mince the chicken and beans but I used a mini-chopper, which gave a great smooth filling.
    • This makes a lot of filling so I  have given instructions for 500g of flour for the dough.
    • The amount of chilli will vary depending on how fresh your chilli powder is and your tastes.
    • Use paprika instead of chilli if you do not like food hot.

Ingredients – Filling

  • Tin Kidney beans – drained
  • 250 – 350g cooked chicken
  • 2- 3 teaspoons chilli powder  (to taste or paprika)
  • 1 tablespoon of melted butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Method – Filling

  • Mash the beans well or use a mini chopper.
  • Mince the chicken or use a mini chopper.
  • Combine the chicken and beans.
  • Add the melted butter and the egg yolks and mix well.
  • Add the chilli and season to taste.

To Serve

  • Serve with melted butter.
  • Serve with onions – char cooked in butter.
  • Serve with onions cooked with chopped peppers – can also add some chopped fresh chilli.
  • Serve with melted butter with chilli flakes add – NOT tested.

How to make pierogi

Ingredients – Dough

  • 500g pasta flour or plain flour & 2 tablespoons of fine semolina
  • 300ml water
  • 1 -2  tablespoons oil – sunflower or light olive
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 egg yolks

Method – Dough

    • In a jug or bowl mix together the water, oil and the yolk.
    • Put the flour and salt into a large bowl and make a well in the centre.
    • Pour in the liquid from the jug and initially use a knife to mix this into the flour and then use your hands to mix the liquid and flour to get a ball of dough.
    • Turn this out onto a floured board and knead the dough for a few minutes until you have a smooth ball.
    • Cover and leave to rest for about ½ an hour.
    • *
    • Cut the dough into quarters.
    • Prepare a large tray and cover it with a clean cotton or linen tea towel and sprinkle this with flour.
    • On a floured board roll out the dough a quarter at a time until you have a sheet of thinly rolled dough.
    • Cut out circles using a 7 cm diameter cutter.
    • The excess dough can be re-mixed and rolled out again.
    • Around a half tablespoon of filling is put on  each circle and then they are folded over and the edges pinched together to make a good seal.
    • You learn from experience how much filling to put in as too much will make it hard to seal them and if not properly sealed they will burst on boiling.  Do not worry if you have a few mishaps – it still happens – even with experience – it is hard to salvage one that has gone wrong – just accept that there will be a few that you do not cook.
    • Place the sealed pierogi on prepared tray until they are all made, do not let then touch each other.
    • *
    • To cook the pierogi

    • Use a large pan of boiling water to which you have added some salt and a drizzle of oil.
    • Drop the pierogi in one by one and allow them to boil.  I usually do about 5 to 6 at a time.
    • As they cook they will float to the surface, let them boil for 2 minutes and then remove them with a slotted or perforated spoon and put into a colander above a pan for a few seconds to drain and serve with melted butter.
    • Continue boiling batches in the same water.
    • If you want to make all the pierogi to serve together then you need to get a large oven proof dish.
    • Melt lots of butter in the dish.
    • Keep the dish warm in a low oven.
    • As you take out the cooked pierogi add them to the dish and coat them with the melted butter.
    • Keep on adding more as they cook.

Bean & Pepper Soup

This soup was inspired by the vegetables in my Tuna & New World Salad 

Ingredients

  • 1 tin of Beans – Cannellini, Pinto or Mixed – drained
  • 4 tomatoes – skinned & chopped
  • 1 small tin of sweetcorn – drained (or cooked frozen sweetcorn)
  • Yellow or Orange Pepper – chopped
  • 2 red chillies – chopped fine
  • 1 bunch of spring onions – white and green parts chopped
  • 1 litre of vegetable stock
  • 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Method

  • Fry the onions, tomatoes and peppers in the olive oil.
  • Add the sweetcorn and chillies.
  • Add the vegetable stock.
  • Bring to the boil and then simmer for around 20 minutes.
  • Add the beans and simmer for another 15 – 20 minutes.
  • Add the lemon juice.
  • Season to taste.

Tuna Salad – Mostly New World

  • This salad is based mostly on vegetables that came from the New World.
  • It is very colourful.
  • The proportions are not so important – I have given what I used.
  • It is best to use a different colour for the pepper to the chilli so you can tell the difference.

Ingredients

  • 1 tin of Tuna – drained
  • 1 avocado – peeled and sliced or chopped
  • *
  • 1 tin of Beans – Cannellini, Pinto or Mixed – drained
  • 4 tomatoes – chopped
  • 1 small tin of sweetcorn – drained (or cooked frozen sweetcorn)
  • Yellow or Orange Pepper – chopped
  • 2 red chillies – chopped fine
  • 1 bunch of spring onions – white and green parts chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste.

Method

  • In a large bowl mix all the vegetables except the avocado.
  • Pour over the lemon juice and olive oil and season.
  • Put the ingredients into a large serving dish.
  • Put the avocado and tuna on top and mix in slightly.

Dish is Cadiz by Meakin – 1964 – 1970

Black Bean Soup

  • This is a soup I make regularly and I love the colour contrasts.
  • It is a vegetable soup with black beans.
  • Black beans are also called turtle beans and are a variety of the common bean.
  • You can make it slightly different every time by altering some of the vegetables.
  • I use tinned black beans, which is easier but you can always cook them from dried beans – just takes longer.

Ingredients

  • 3-4 sticks of celery
  • 1 onion
  • 2 -3 carrots
  • 1 courgette 
  • 3 -4 tomatoes
  • 1 tin of black beans
  • 1½ litres of vegetable stock
  • 1-2 tablespoons of butter
  • ½ teaspoon of paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon of chilli flakes
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Method

  • Chop the celery into fine slices.
  • Chop the onion into small pieces
  • Chop the carrots into small cubes.
  • Place the tomatoes into boiling water to remove the skins.
  • Chop the tomatoes into small pieces.
  • Chop the courgette into small pieces. 
  • In a saucepan melt the butter and gently cook the celery and onion for a few minutes.
  • Add the carrots and tomatoes and the stock.
  • Add the paprika and chilli flakes.
  • Mix well together.
  • Bring the soup to the boil and them simmer with a lid on the pan for around 20 minutes. 
  • Drain the beans from the tin and add these to the soup.
  • Season to taste,
  • Simmer for another 15 – 20 minutes.

Tuna Salad with French Beans

  • One of my friends from Leeds came round yesterday with freshly picked produce from her allotment.
  • Green & Purple French beans were amongst them.
  • I topped and tailed these and steamed them.
  • Sadly the beautiful purple ones loose their colour and are just a slightly darker green than the others.
  • I served some of them with buttered dried breadcrumbs – à la Polonaise and
  • Used the rest, cold, in this tinned tuna salad with other ingredients I had in my store cupboard and freezer. 
  • The proportions are not so important.

Ingredients

  • 1 tin of tuna chunks- in brine or oil
  • Crisp lettuce leaves 
  • Steamed French beans
  • Cooked peas
  • Cooked sweetcorn – frozen or tinned
  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Method

  • Chop the French beans into small pieces.
  • Mix these with the peas and sweetcorn
  • Drain the tuna from the brine or oil and break up the chunks.
  • Mix the tuna with the cooked vegetables.
  • Add the lemon juice and mayonnaise and mix well.
  • Season to taste.
  • Shred the lettuce leaves.
  • Arrange lettuce leaves over a large plate plate or a shallow bowl.
  • Place the tuna mixture on top of the lettuce leaves.
  • Chop the hard boiled eggs into small pieces and sprinkle these over the top of the tuna mixture.

White Bean Potato & Sorrel Soup

  • Spring is upon us, though it is still cold.
  • Sorrel started to grow in my pots a few weeks ago – the first green to grow in my herbs.
  • I saw this recipe, which used rocket and thought I could use sorrel.
  • It is delicious.

Ingredients

  • 1 onion – finely chopped
  • 2 celery sticks – finely chopped
  • 300g salad potatoes – eg Charlottes – cut into small pieces
  • 1 litre chicken stock – can be from concentrate, cube or powder
  • 1 can white beans – butter, cannellini or haricot – drained
  • 50 – 100g sorrel leaves – chopped
  • 50g of butter
  • Salt & pepper

Method

  • In a heavy based saucepan melt the butter.
  • Add the onions and celery and cook on a low heat.
  • Stir occasionally and cook for around 10 minutes.
  • Add the potato chunks and season with salt.
  • Cook for about 5minutes.
  • Add the chicken stock.
  • Simmer gently for about 15 minutes.
  • Check with a knife that it slices easily through the potatoes.
  • Add the beans and cook for around 15 minutes.
  • Season to taste.
  • Add the chopped sorrel, stir well and serve.

Over the Moon – Beans

  • Butter Beans – Phaseolus lunatus – are also known as Lima beans  as they originally came from Peru and Lima is the capital city.
  • Phaseolus lunatus – means beans shaped like a crescent moon.
  • The Polish name –  Fasola pȯłksiężycowata  – also means beans shaped like a crescent moon.
  • This is a very old recipe for butter beans.
  • The dried beans would have been soaked overnight before being boiled till soft and then used to make this dish.
  • Nowadays you can use tinned butter beans to quickly make this delicious dish.

The recipe calls for a large amount of butter – do not skimp on this!

Ingredients

  • 2 tins of butter beans, drained
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 125g of butter
  • Large handful of fresh flat leaved parsley – chopped
  • Salt to taste

Method

  • Melt the butter gently in a large deep frying pan.
  • Gently fry the onions till soft and golden – do not brown.
  • Add the butter beans and simmer, stirring occasionally till they are soft.
  • Use a potato masher to lightly break up the beans.
  • Add some of the parsley and stir.
  • Serve with the rest of the parsley sprinkled on top.

 

Served in a dish by J&G Meakin – Cadiz – 1964 – 1970

Bean Soup

  • This is a lovely winter soup.
  • It would once have been made with reconstituted dried beans but now it is easy to open tins of beans.
  • Any white beans are good such as Haricot, Cannellini or even Black-eyed beans.
  • This can be made in a stock pot on the cooker or in the oven however I find that using a large slow cooker to cook it makes life a lot easier.

Ingredients

  • 2 tins of white beans such as Haricot, Cannellini or Black-eyed beans.
  • 3 large carrots
  • 2 onions
  • 1½ litres of vegetable stock – can be from a cube or powder
  • 150g smoked bacon.
  • 8 peppercorns
  • 3 allspice grains
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram  or 1 tablespoon of fresh
  • Butter to fry the onions.
  • Salt & pepper to season – may not be necessary depending on the bacon and stock.
  • Chopped flat-leaf parsley or chives to garnish when serving

Method

  • Chop the onions into small pieces.
  • Gently fry the onions till golden.
  • Chop the carrots into circles and halve or quarter them.
  • Chop the bacon into small pieces.
  • Drain the beans from the cans.
  • Put all the ingredients into a pot.
  • Bring to the boil and then simmer – or use a slow cooker.
  • Cook until the carrots are soft.
  • Allow the soup to cool slightly.
  • Remove about half of the beans and carrots with a slotted spoon and put them in a bowl.
  • Purée the soup left in the pan – using a stick blender is good.
  • Put the beans and carrots back into the soup and stir.
  • Bring back to the boil and simmer for a couple of minutes.
  • Garnish with chopped flat-leaf parsley or chives.

 

Royal Doulton – Tapestry soup plate – 1966 to 1988.

Pepper Soups

These are very tasty soups with a wonderful colour.

Ingredients

  • 2 large onions
  • 4 red/orange/yellow peppers
  • 100g butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic – crushed.
  • 1½ litres of chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato purée
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  • Thinly slice the onions.
  • Cut all the peppers into thin strips.
  • Melt the butter in a large frying pan.
  • Gently cook the onions until they are golden.
  • Add the garlic and peppers and cook for a few minutes longer.
  • Transfer the mixture to a large saucepan.
  • Add the chicken stock and tomato purée.
  • Bring to the boil.
  • Turn the heat down and simmer gently with a lid on the pan.
  • Simmer till the peppers are very soft.
  • With a slotted spoon remove some of the cooked peppers.
  • Roughly chop/mash these.
  • Purée the rest of the soup.
  • *
  • Put the large chunks of peppers back in.
  • Gently bring back to the boil.
  • Season to taste.
  • *
  • Serve with rye bread croutons.

 

Royal Doulton – Tapestry 1966 – 1988

Peppers & Bean Soup

Ingredients

  • As above and
  • 1-2 tins of white kidney beans drained.

Method

  • Make the soup as above up until the soup has been puréed.
  • Add the beans to the soup.
  • Bring to the boil.
  • Lower the heat and simmer for around 5 minutes (can be longer – the beans should be soft.)
  • Put the large chunks of peppers back in.
  • Gently bring back to the boil.
  • Season to taste.

Royal Stafford – Blossom Time – 1950s

Another Pasta Salad

  • When I am cooking some pasta for a meal,  I often do a bit more so I have some left to make a pasta salad the next day.
  • Small shapes are the best or you can chop larger or longer pieces up.
  • Try not to over cook the pasta.
  • Mayonnaise or mayonnaise based dressing  are best with these salads.
  • Cooked vegetables work well with pasta salads and also tinned or bottled vegetables and so this is a good store cupboard dish.

Ingredients

  • 400 – 500g cold cooked pasta.
  • 1 small tin of sweetcorn, drained (or frozen loose sweetcorn – cooked)
  • 150g of cooked frozen peas
  • 150g of cooked whole green beans – chopped.
  • 1-2 tablespoons of full fat mayonnaise
  • *
  • Salt & ground back pepper to taste

Method

  • Mix together the pasta and cooked vegetables.
  • Mix in the mayonnaise.
  • Season to taste.