Saturday, April 11, 2009

Chicken pie from Holmen Culinary Laboratory

By guest writer Malin Kjelsrud

Making a pie was a new experience for me and my fiancee Dagfinn, so we decided to use our good friends Ketil and Astrid as guinea pigs. Our dear friend Tor (owner of this blog) was unfortunately away, otherwise he’d been tortured through this too.

First, we started making the pastry: Lots of softened butter, flour, and water worked for 10 minutes, and through this you’ll experience a good workout for stiff rheumatic hands (if you have).

Squeeze the pastry into a flat disc, gracefully, until it get its ideal shape and try to keep those swearing words inside when you discover how difficult this operation really is.

Then, place it in the oven for 5-10 minutes to make the surface of the dough hard.

Then, to the filling. Fry some bacon, mushrooms and onion seasoned with a little sugar, salt and lemon pepper. Tear the soft, grilled chicken roughly, dice the paprika, add corn, broccoli and peas – mix all together thoroughly. (OOPS! We forgot the green olives).

Place all into a baking tray, dissolve a stock cube in a little boiling water, add 6 eggs, cream and milk, heaps of garlic, chili, paprika-powder, salt, sugar, more lemon pepper (we just love that stuff), grated cheese, and pour it all over. Then comes another tricky bit; making a lid on the pie.

The plan was, as you may see, to make an “Apple-iPie”, hence the paper here. Destiny perhaps took this as a bad omen, because the rest of the lid turned out more like modern abstract art, and it was close to impossible to see. If we hadn’t been so blasphemous and chosen apples for the filling instead, it might just have been more successful.

The finished pie was in the oven for about the time it took for 4 people to share a bottle of cheap champagne.

Inspired from the Quesedilla with sauce at “qba”, a Grünerløkka (Oslo) based café, we decided to make our own Mexican style sauce. Guessing the ingredients is a good start.

First, chop green olives (which I just recently started to like; before it has always been considered to be an emetic aid, and this time we didn’t forget them), pickled jalapeños and some very hot “Green Chili Pickles” into really tiny pieces. Add Créme Fraiche, cream , lemon juice, sugar, salt, pepper, garlic, and we had to add more cream as the Créme Fraiche of course made the sauce too dense.

Serve in a beautiful porcelain dish together with a gorgeous salad in an expensive bowl. See illustration left. Irony aside, what really is expensive in our kitchen is the japanese knives. (May say something about our priorities, or really, the reminiscences of our previous “lives”.)

Then, while waiting for dinner, scare your guests with tales of how you created everything (elaborate wildly!) while the dish is finishing, and relish later watching their visible relief when it actually tastes quite good.

Serve with some good red wine. Be biblical and start off with the wine the guests brings, it is probably more expensive and better than yours. “Corallo” - vino da tavolo rosso, from Italy was our guests splendid choice. When empty, serve some leftovers from earlier: “Monterio” - temperanillo 2005, vino de la terra de castilla/Spain.

Later on, we had the Australian “My world” which at about 8 pm. tastes like three stars, but around 11 pm. had been upgraded to as five star claret.

The dessert was a half-fabricated carrot cake served with coffee and a Braastad cognac which happened to still exist in our cupboard. (Nothing particular to say about that, the dessert was merely okay). But what you may make with the cognac is to make not an Irish coffee, but a “Norwegian coffee”. Then just replace the whiskey with cognac, which we didn’t do this time, but it tastes better. We speak from experience.

An idea for next time is to make the pie the day before. Then everything sticks more together and tastes even better, which we found out at lunch today.

Malin Kjelsrud is born 1972 and is a painter and writer. She is mother of two, loves South Park. She is engaged to be married to composer Dagfinn Koch.

For more information see her website

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