Chicken and Leek Pies

“This is my partner’s favourite item off my catering menu.  For most events I make a huge batch of them and they fly off the plate.  I also do different fillings including Moroccan Lamb, Massaman Beef Curry and Mushroom for my vegetarian clients.  Having a pie maker makes life much easier as long as I can stop people from eating them before they make it to the venue.  Enjoy!”

Ingredients

  • 2 large leeks
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 500g chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 cups diced mushrooms
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 100g Parmesan cheese
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsn plain flour
  • 3 sheets short crust pastry
  • 3 sheets puff pastry (egg wash optional)

Method

  1. Rinse and dice leeks, dice garlic and fry in a pan with olive oil until soft.
  2. Add diced chicken thighs and simmer until meat is cooked through.
  3. De-glaze with white wine and add diced mushrooms.
  4. When wine has been cooked off add stock, Parmesan cheese and lemon juice and simmer for 15 minutes.  Season to taste.
  5. Sprinkle flour over mixture and stir to incorporate.  Let mixture cool completely.
  6. If using a pie maker cut round out of the shortcrust pastry for the base and puff pastry for the tops.  Spoon filling in and cook to manufacturers instructions (usually about 7 minutes)
  7. If cooking in the oven line the base of a pie tin with short crust pastry, spoon filling in and top with puff pastry.  Brush egg wash over the top and cook until pie is golden brown.

Decadent Chocolate Orange Cake


“Confession time.  I’m addicted to chocolate!  Okay, not such a world-changing declaration but it does mean I’m constantly looking for the perfect chocolate cake recipe.  This one is one of the most decadent and rich recipes I’ve made so far.  The addition of the sugared orange rind and juice add a great flavour and texture to the cake and the hit of chocolate ganache and butter-cream leaves me in chocoholic heaven.  One piece is never enough so make sure it’s a big one then hit the gym.  Enjoy!”

Chocolate Orange Cake

  • Rind from 3 oranges
  • 100g castor sugar
  • 225g Butter
  • 350g dark chocolate
  • 600ml orange juice
  • 400g dark brown sugar
  • 3 tbs vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 400g self raising flour
  • 1/4 cup dutch cocoa powder
  1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees and butter and line a 23cm cake tin.
  2. Peel the rind off the oranges, cover with water and bring to the boil.
  3. Drain and repeat another two times.  On the fourth time add 100g of castor sugar to the rinds and boil until most of the water is gone leaving the rinds in a sugar syrup.  Place rinds in a food processor and blitz into small pieces.  Set aside.
  4. Put butter and chocolate in a saucepan and heat while stirring on medium until both have melted.
  5. Juice the oranges and add bottled juice to 600ml.  Mix into chocolate mixture with sugar, vanilla and orange rinds.
  6. Let the mixture cool then add eggs and whisk well.
  7. Add flour and cocoa and stir until combined.
  8. Pour mixture into prepared tin and bake for 45 – 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Orange Butter-cream

  • 200g icing sugar
  • Grated rind from 1 orange
  • 125g butter
  • 125g cream cheese
  1. Process icing sugar in a food processor until all the lumps are gone.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and beat for 2 minutes.

Chocoalte Ganache

  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/4 cup Cointreau
  • 375g dark chocolate
  • 75g butter (at room temperature)
  1. Bring cream and Cointreau almost to the boil and remove from the heat.
  2. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and add to the hot cream.  Leave to sit for 1 minute.
  3. Stir the mixture until combined.  Chop the butter into small pieces and stir into chocolate until melted.
  4. Pour into a bowl and leave to cool on the bench (Don’t refrigerate or it will become too hard to work with).

Putting The Cake Together

  1. Cut the cake in half and spread the butter-cream on the bottom half.  Place the other half on top.
  2. Spread 3/4 of the ganache over the top and sides of the cake.
  3. Fill a piping bag with the remainder of the ganache and pipe swirls onto the cake.
  4. EAT!

Mexican Mole Sauce


“As part of my catering menu I have a Mexican BBQ inspired by Aaron Copland’s symphonic work El Salon Mexico featuring chicken in a Mole Sauce.  This traditional Mexican sauce contains about 20 ingredients and usually includes such things as smoked chillies, capsicum, tomato, peanuts, chocolate and even grated avocado seed.  My recipe takes most of its ingredients from the grocer and pantry so you shouldn’t have too much trouble sourcing them.  If you can’t get smoked or dried chillies, fresh ones will suffice.  To serve I usually barbeque chicken thighs then combine them with the sauce in a pot and serve hot with tortillas, corn salads, guacamole, sour cream and salad veggies. This recipe makes quite a large volume of sauce but it freezes really well so you can spice up your dinner whenever you want.  Enjoy!”

Ingredients

  • 4 red onions
  • 4 capsicums
  • 8 tomatoes
  • 5 dried chillies
  • 5 smoked chillies
  • 10 red chillies
  • 12 cloves garlic
  • 4 tbsp diced coriander root
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 4 tsp chilli powder
  • 8 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 tsp cloves
  • 4 tbsn sesame seeds
  • 4 oranges
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 8 tbsn peanut butter
  • 4 cups dark beer
  • 8 tbsn dark brown sugar
  • 4 tsp salt
  • 100g dark chocolate

Method

  1. Peel and quarter onions, quarter tomatoes and de-seed and quarter capsicums and bake in a 220 degree oven for 45 minutes or until capsicums are soft.
  2. Process onions, capsicums and tomatoes until smooth and put into a large stock pot.
  3. De-seed and chop chillies and fry until fragrant with garlic and coriander root.  Pound with a mortar and pestle until broken down.  Add to stock pot.
  4. Dry fry or roast the almonds until lightly coloured.  Add to stock pot.
  5. Dry-fry chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, and cloves until fragrant.  Add to stock pot.
  6. Juice 4 oranges and grate the rind from 2. Add to stock pot.
  7. Add all the remaining ingredients except the dark chocolate to the stock pot and bring to the boil.  Turn down and simmer for an hour stirring occasionally.
  8. Let the mixture cool slightly then process in batches in a food processor.
  9. Bring back to a simmer and add the chopped chocolate.  (For a smoother sauce pass mixture through a drum sieve.)
  10. Serve with cooked chicken or turkey.