Todays cookbook has definitely been one that fits into the category of neglected. It’s Pieminister by Tristan Hogg and Jon Simon, and when I bought it I knew, absolutely knew that I would from that day on bake pies every week and be like the perfect 50’s housewife: pinny on, oven gloves in hand holding a steaming hot pie that would cool on (where else?) the kitchen windowsill. I even imagined having a Homer like person in the family to wolf it all up before dinner. Oddly enough, this scenario never materialised and the cookbook went on the bookshelf to gather dust. I get these strange little fantasies in my head every now and then with a cookbook, but it soon passes and it becomes just another cookbook in my collection. This cookbook does have some pretty amazing looking recipes in it, all pies of course, ranging from sweet and savoury. Its divided into seasons, and the recipes have really creative and interesting names such as ‘Lucky Ducky Pies (duck confit pie), ‘Poussin Boots’ (chicken pie) and ‘The Hedonist Pie’ (chocolate pie) which make them seem even more appealing than pies already are. A lovely friend of mine from school days came round for dinner, so I decided to finally give Pieminister a go, despite the fact that the weather has been smashing and is not really traditional pie eating weather. But conventions were made to be broken, and if I’m ever going to break with convention then I can tell you it will only ever be with cooking. I chose Hunters Chicken pie which takes all the elements of the pub dish hunters chicken and chucks it into a pie. So you’ve got chicken in a creamy, mustardy sauce, onions slowly cooked into a BBQ relish, all topped with cheese and then encased in puff pastry. I love hunters chicken and can now say that I also love Hunters Chicken Pie! Its not as in your face as the pub dish, but much more subtle and the creamy sauce combined with the melted cheese is a winner. And theres bacon in the sauce too, which can only help make this pie an absolute diamond. Plus, what can I say about piping hot puff pastry other than that it is magnificent with pretty much anything. (If you need more convincing on this subject, make ham and cheese empanadas and consider yourself convinced). I didn’t even consider making my own puff pasty from scratch, just buy it from the chilled section in the supermarket. Top chefs in top restaurants do this, so don’t be a martyr, and just do it the easy way. If you want to create thousands of layers of butter from scratch be my guest, but believe me no one is going to think its a good idea. Leave it to Jus-Rol.
It also got the thumbs up from V, who could barely contain her pleasure at this pie, so I consider this recipe a great success and will absolutely be using this cookbook again. Once the boyfriend comes back I’ll also be cooking this recipe once more: cheese, bacon, pastry, he’ll bloody love it! And you have V to thank for getting this picture on here, I was already chowing down when she yelled ‘Oh my god, you haven’t taken a picture for your blog, quick TAKE A PICTURE!’, it was quite the drama! Hence the fork shaped hole in the pastry, sorry!
I’ve now also had my new cookbooks delivered, which has given me plenty of reading material and ideas. The USA cookbook is filled to the brim with amazing authentic sounding recipes, it has 25 pages alone dedicated to pancakes, waffles and muffins so whats not to love? Only problem is picking what to cook out of these books as I want to cook them all! Supper Club is a beautiful book full of stunning pictures, and as well as recipes gives tips on how to set up an underground restaurant. This tempted me for all of about 5 seconds until I remembered I don’t really like strangers and can’t stand small talk (if all you can think to talk about with someone is the weather, just don’t bother talking at all, its less insulting), so setting up a mini restaurant in your home is really something you should only do if you will talk to anyone and don’t mind randoms snooping round your bathroom cupboard. And want to wait on people hand and foot. I don’t think so, even the boyfriend doesn’t get such treatment when I cook for him so why should total strangers? But the recipes are definitely worth giving a go. Have only flicked through The Book of Jewish Food but the food sounds so varied and delicious. Its not just cheesecakes, bagels and smoked salmon, let me tell you! It also includes a huge amount of history and culture of Jewish people and already I’m learning so much. I thought I knew plenty about the Jewish faith before this, but apparently idolising Larry David and watching Charlotte convert from Christianity to Judaism on Sex and the City isn’t educating me on the subject, so I’m happy to be enlightened.