Thursday, November 3

Nutella and Oat Cookies

Sometimes you just need chocolate. There's not chocolate in the house at all times, but sometimes you'll resort to eating the cooking chocolate, a spoonful of milo or a spoonful of nutella... right?   Right?? (please play along with me... OK?)

This recipe I found on the interwebs and set out to the supermarket here in Manila to get it happening - the original recipe called for hazelnuts but I didn't realise until I got home, that in fact I had bought walnuts.. oops. but they still taste great!

What I like about this recipe is because I'm kitchen-aid-less (sob) these don't require a mixer and it's pretty simple to put together.  Of course these aren't really lunchbox treats but are great for afternoon tea or weekend treats - I put most of mine in the freezer in a ziplock bag for when I get that chocolate hankering... as you do.

2/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
1/2 cup nutella
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups plain flour
3 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1/4 cup roughly chopped walnuts
1/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 190 degrees c

In one bowl mix the oil, nutella, eggs and vanilla extract until smooth.

In another bowl add the oats, flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarb soda, walnuts (or hazelnuts) and choc-chips..

Pour the wet ingredients into dry.  Mix well with a spoon.

Spoon onto greased baking trays

Bake for 12 minutes, leave to cool on trays then transfer to cooling rack to completely cool.

Don't they look yummy?  They taste surprisingly not-so-bad for you - I think that's the oats..

Tuesday, November 1

Luxury Chicken Pot Pie

After a few weeks in Manila I got a good grasp of what Filipinos like to eat by what they served in restaurants, what was available in food courts and what my workmates brought to work.   Here it's about about the meat, the sugar and the butter.  Everything here's quite Americanised with an Asian twist.

I asked people if they knew about the Pioneer Woman.  To by utter shock they don't know her in my circles here!  So I set about to correct this and ordered three copies of  The Pioneer Woman Cooks through Amazon - One for the maid who loves to cook but lacks inspiration, a new friend I've met who loves the same food as me and a workmate who is Filipino/Australian and his new Australian FiancĂ© as an engagement present.

It may seem a little over the top, but I know that book is MADE for Filipino families.  They love this kind of food.  There is a fast-food outlet here that JUST sells cinnamon scrolls!

So last weekend I set about using the book with the maid and we made this chicken pot pie.  I tweaked it a little by adding some corn (there's a distinct lack of vegetables here) and used butter in the pastry because I couldn't find any shortening.. but the results, spectacular!    The maid (Khim) was overjoyed with the results, she had never made pastry before and it was a real thrill passing on some kitchen skills to someone who really really loves food.

Give this a try for your family, I guarantee you won't make it once!

1 1/2 cups plain flour
160g cold butter
1 egg
cold water
2 brown onions, diced
2 carrots, finely diced
2 stalks of celery, finely diced
3/4 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup frozen corn
2 rashers bacon, finely diced
2 cups shredded BBQ chicken
1/4 cup plain flour
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup cream
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tb ground black pepper

In a food processor process flour cold butter and egg until it resembles breadcrumbs, then add cold water little by little until the dough comes together:

Place in a ziplock bag or cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for one hour.

Meanwhile in a saucepan or pot heat some butter and ad onions, carrot, celery, corn and peas, heat and stir until the onion becomes translucent.

Add the bacon, stir well then add chicken and sprinkle the flour over the top, then stir well.

Add stock, wine and then the cream.  Add thyme and pepper and simmer for about 10 minutes before completely turning off and allow to simmer for a little bit..

Place in your pie dish whilst you make your pastry..

Preheat oven to 200 degrees c

Take your pastry dough out of the fridge and place onto a floured surface.  What I find easier if you at this time to shape your dough into roughly the same shape as your tin/casserole pot.

Roll out until about 4mm thick.  Roll back onto your rolling pin..

And roll onto your pie filling..

Cut around the edges, add some decoration with the cast off pastry and then with a fork, prick the surface of your pie, this allows it to become lovely and crispy... no-one likes soggy pastry!  Brush with some egg-wash (1 egg yolk mixed with a bit of milk)

Bake for 30-40 minutes until it's as brown as you like on top..

Dig in!  You'll wish you made two!


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