The Irish food board, Bord Bia, is an organization that I follow on Facebook because of their fabulous recipes using homegrown Irish ingredients. I have duplicated many of their recipes and they have always been good, a la Conor Bofin.
Food blogs, whether authored by an individual or organization, have certainly broadened my horizons, in that many times they have discouraged my myopic and stereotypical opinions about other cuisines, pointing out those cuisines’ progression and evolution. I sincerely apologize for my ignorance, Ireland. You too England :D
That being said, I have been thrown into an almost suicidal depression this winter by the paucity of good quality food in my beloved country, the U.S. of A. I have never made puff pastry from scratch, nor have I felt the need to because when I wanted it, it was readily available in the refrigerated section of the French supermarkets. The only puff pastry I found in the supermarkets here was Pepperidge Farms and there was no butter in it.
My husband had to pry the razor blade from my hand. But let’s move on, I took a lot of pictures :) The recipe called for ham/bacon and I found a nice chunk of smoked ham at the Super Duper. I think it’s really cool that my, still green, parsley plant flowered.
Just reading this recipe, I salivated. So many good things in one place; leeks, ham, mushrooms!
I love sauteing with my Paula Deen pan! I know I’m not supposed to because she is apparently politically incorrect when it comes to “Knee-groes” or whatever she calls us :D I did buy the pan before I heard of Paula’s contretemps with the P.C. police, but I don’t think that knowing about it would have prevented me from purchasing the pan. Number 1, they were practically giving them away :D And number 2, to some extent, I felt sorry for her.
As we all are, Paula Deen is a product of her environment and we can’t pretend that these environments don’t exist, nor should we pretend that tolerance can be legislated. In parts of West Africa, children are told that Caucasians are demons whose bodies are turned inside out and that if they are not good, the white man will come for them when they’re sleeping. When I was in Burkina Faso, children always surrounded me and followed me everywhere until my husband showed up, then poof, no more kids :D I thought this was hilarious but my husband didn’t. My sense of humor has always been a lot better developed than his :)
Still, intolerance is inexcusable in any member of whatever society but I think we should tone down our indignation and righteousness in order to save it for things that matter, for example, the sanctioned shooting and murder of Black children.
Of course, after I saw that there was no butter in the Pepperidge Farms puff pastry, I didn’t expect much and I, no baker anyway, was incapable of/uninterested in making the best of a bad product. I did cut out some pastry hearts because I thought they would be cute.
Above is real puff pastry with butter. My husband’s apple pie, made in France.
No butter, not real, case closed.
In the meantime, Frugal made some wonderful looking spicy pumpkin seeds that looked interesting. I found some good quality shelled pumpkin seeds at amazon.com.
I sprinkled these with fleur de sel and piment cheveux d’ange. Really good! Check out Frugal’s recipe at the link above.
I changed the Bord Bia recipe methods a bit and maybe some quantities. For the original recipe, go to the Bord Bia Facebook link above.
Bord Bia’s Ham, Leek and Mushroom Pie
2 tbsp butter
1 onion, diced
2 leeks, thinly sliced
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 lb smoked ham, cut into chunks
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
2 cups milk
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 sheet of puff pastry
1 egg beaten with 1 tsp of milk
Melt the butter in a saute pan, then add the leeks and onion, sauteing until the vegetables are soft. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook until the mushrooms begin to release their juices. Add the ham and parsley. Season all with the white pepper, then set aside.
Make a white sauce with the butter, flour and milk; melt the butter, add the flour and stir for 1-1 1/2 minutes. Gradually add the milk, constantly stirring and continuing to cook until the sauce has thickened. Stir in the mustard, salt and white pepper, then fold the sauce into the ham mixture and pour into a pie plate. Cover the pie plate with the sheet of pastry, making a slit on the top to release the steam.
Brush the pie with the egg mixture and bake at 400F for about 30 minutes.