Saturday, May 15, 2010

Lazy gourmet

It's that time of the month again. I mean, the time when my fridge is bare and I find myself hungry but too lazy to go out and buy dinner. I have to make do with what I had: 3 eggs, 2 local sweet potatoes, half a can of green peas, about a cup of pureed tomatoes and a packet of vegetarian chicken -- seitan if you will. After scratching my head for a few minutes (more like 30 mins) I decided to make my version of a chicken pot pie. I had no frozen puff pastry on hand and didn't feel like making it from scratch (told you it was a lazy night) and I was trying to reduce my carbs to shed some pounds so I decided to use the eggs to bind the chicken, peas and sweet potato together. It's kinda like mix between a pot pie and a terrine.  A pierrine?

Sweet potato and (veg) chicken, you frown? Yeah, well I was wondering myself how that would turn out but I had no choice. So I lightly steamed the potatoes till they were just a little tender -- just about 10 mins. Make sure it's not so tender that a fork can pierce right through it. I wanted it still firm. Skinned it and sliced it into 2mm thick slices.

I then roughly cut the chicken (1 cup) into 1 inch pieces. I lightly toasted it in 1 tbsp olive oil, seasoned it with black pepper and some paprika. Added about 2 tbsp tomato paste and mixed in all on the heat for about 5 mins. I used a cylindrical cake pan with a loose bottom for this. Grease the pan. Layer half the sweet potato to form a nice base. Grease the tops of the potato base with melted butter so they'd stick. And then piled in the chicken onto the potato. Top the chicken with the remaining sweet potato.

Beat 2 eggs and season with salt and pepper. Add in the green peas. Pour the egg + peas mixture into the cylindrical pan (onto the chicken) and let the egg flow down and all over the chicken and potatoes. Bake for about  30 mins. Take it out, sprinkle some parmesan cheese over the top and bake again for about 15 mins. Oven temperature should be about 180C. Remove and let cool.

The egg actually worked quite well in encasing the ingredients; although you might want ttry pastry if you have some or are feeling more industrious than me. Once you remove the dish from the oven, let it cook completely, remove  the loose bottom of the pan and serve. Goes well with pesto or sauce or even yoghurt.

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