Gardens and Puff Pastry with a Side Order of Steak and Chips

8 Nov

Bushy Garden Oct 2011

It´s that time of year here when you need to “put the garden to bed”.  Before you tuck it in for the winter, you can hack back the summer growth and give it a little room to breathe.

The interent and phone were down most of Sunday and all day Monday.  Frustrating but being “incomunicado” forces you to get up off your nether region and do something!  Gardening was the answer.

After a morning of hard work in the garden, we needed something to reward ourselves with – what better than steak and chips?  Steak is a rare treat for us, so we tend not to mess around with it too much.  A little massage with olive oil and seasoning, and onto the grill pan.  Chunky potatoes cooked in olive oil, and a little English mustard mixed with mayonnaise do it for me.

I had some leftovers from making my Chicken, Mushroom and Bacon Pie (recipe to follow another day) , so decided to make an easy dish to go with the steak and chips.

I cut what remained of the puff pastry into two rectangles and lightly cut (but not all the way through) another rectangle about one cm inside the outer edges of the pastry.  I brushed the pastry with milk and baked at 200ºC for about 15 minutes until puffed up and golden. When the pastry had cooled down I pushed in the middle section of the rectangle to leave a hollow space.

Save on the washing up and have a starter and main on the same plate

With very little oil I fried 4 thinly sliced mushrooms with 2 crushed cloves of garlic until soft then added 2 heaped tablespoons of chopped bacon.  I then added 1 heaped tablespoon of plan flour and stirred until it was cooked through.  I gradually added splashes of milk (about 5 or 6 in total), stirring all the time until I had a thick sauce and then filled the pastry cases with this.  I put them back into the oven on a low heat until I was ready to dish up the rest of the meal.

Bald Garden Nov 2011

A lovely glass of El Coto Rioja went down well with this and we sat outside for 15 minutes in the last of the afternoon´s sunshine admiring out work and drinking a good strong coffee.  It was a good day.


41 Responses to “Gardens and Puff Pastry with a Side Order of Steak and Chips”

  1. thecompletecookbook November 8, 2011 at 11:16 #

    What an awesome and well deserved meal Tanya – you can see how hard you worked in the garden.
    🙂 Mandy

    • chicaandaluza November 8, 2011 at 12:11 #

      I think Big Man worked harder, but I´m very good at “managing process” 🙂

  2. Mad Dog November 8, 2011 at 11:45 #

    The chicken, mushroom and bacon sounds really good with steak and chips – it made me feel hungry 😉

  3. cookinginsens November 8, 2011 at 12:24 #

    That pastry is fabulous! Thanks also for the tip on creating the hollow. I’m definitely going to try this!

    • chicaandaluza November 8, 2011 at 12:45 #

      It works too for vol au vents – cut out your rounds, then lightly press a smaller round inside without cutting all the way through then when baked, push the centre in!

  4. gardenfreshtomatoes November 8, 2011 at 13:21 #

    What a lovely day…and meal! Mushrooms and bacon? Oh, I am SO there….
    Out of curiosity – what time is sundown up there at this time of year?

    • chicaandaluza November 8, 2011 at 13:28 #

      Mushrooms and bacon were made for each other! The sun goes down now behind our mountain (but lasts a little longer round the other side) at about 6pm and by 6.45pm it´s dark now 😦 It starts to get light around 7.30am with the sun rising about 20 minutes later…although that is getting later each day now obviously. What about where you are?

      • gardenfreshtomatoes November 8, 2011 at 16:39 #

        Official sunrise at 6:25 this morning, but enough light to see by 6.
        Sunset at 4:30, and dark by 5:15. 😦
        By the solstice, we’re night-dark by 4…

      • chicaandaluza November 8, 2011 at 16:41 #

        My great grandmother´s favourite day of the year was 21st December as after that the days get longer!

  5. Karen November 8, 2011 at 13:28 #

    A nice reward after a day of hard work.

  6. Just A Smidgen November 8, 2011 at 14:33 #

    This looks like a beautiful hearty dish for supper, love the puff pastry and how you hollowed it out… has my imagination going!

    • chicaandaluza November 8, 2011 at 16:17 #

      You could fill it with apples or jam then cream, custard, yogurt….!

  7. chaiselongue1 November 8, 2011 at 14:52 #

    They’re like enormous vol-au-vents! What a great idea….for me that would make another meal, though! Your garden looks ready for winter now – well done!

    • chicaandaluza November 8, 2011 at 16:18 #

      They were. Really we should just have had one of these with a salad…but we didn´t!

  8. Tandy November 8, 2011 at 14:53 #

    that sounds like a perfect day 🙂

    • chicaandaluza November 8, 2011 at 16:18 #

      It´s good when you can look at what you´ve done and see the results of your labours 🙂

  9. spicegirlfla November 8, 2011 at 15:20 #

    I’m loving your idea of how you serve your chips! I think I’ll treat my son to that!! and since it’s just myself and my son at home and I ALWAYS make too much food, I love getting tips on recreating meals with leftovers. Great idea!

    • chicaandaluza November 8, 2011 at 16:19 #

      I make too much too. Big Man says I should be employed in Army Catering 🙂 Which reminds me to do a post on a leg of lamb which I then turned into meatballs and shepherd´s pie…!

  10. ChgoJohn November 8, 2011 at 15:41 #

    You did have a busy day and that was a perfect reward for your hard work. I must admit, though, that I didn’t know there was another way to cook a steak. Yours sounds perfect to me! And such a great way to use up left-over puff pastry! That sounds delicious!

    • chicaandaluza November 8, 2011 at 16:20 #

      It was a mammoth meal…but we were hungry! And yes, a perfectly cooked steak doesn´t need much doing to it does it?!

  11. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide November 8, 2011 at 17:07 #

    Steak is a rare treat here too and I agree keeping it simple is the way to go.

    • chicaandaluza November 8, 2011 at 17:58 #

      I think it will be a while until we have it again 😦

  12. TheDorsetFinca November 8, 2011 at 18:30 #

    Wow your garden looks extremely tidy! I love the Autumnal tidy up of the garden… there’s something very therapeutic about it!

    • chicaandaluza November 9, 2011 at 09:04 #

      It´s great when you can see the results – very satisfying!

  13. Michi November 9, 2011 at 13:45 #

    Mmmmmmm, I love a good steak! And your garden looks wonderful! Do you also grow a few winter veggies and fruits on the side?

    • chicaandaluza November 9, 2011 at 15:31 #

      We don´t grow much over the winter – potatoes, onions, garlic and some winter lettuces…oh, and the artichokes usually keep sprouting!

  14. JamieAnne November 9, 2011 at 16:05 #

    You saved me some right? Nom…nom…nom

  15. sportsglutton November 9, 2011 at 23:33 #

    Oh my goodness. The man/glutton in me say this is what I want for dinner every night!

    • chicaandaluza November 10, 2011 at 09:48 #

      It´s good to be naughty every now and then!

  16. Bluejellybeans November 10, 2011 at 00:34 #

    ¡Qué rico todo!
    Y el jardin os ha quedado estupendo para el invierno. ¿plantas algunas flores durante el invierno o lo dejas asi para que la tierra descanse?
    Lo que más me ha gustado ha sido lo del hojaldre con champiñones. Simply genius!
    Thanks for sharing!

    • chicaandaluza November 10, 2011 at 09:49 #

      Creo que este año vamos a dejar las cosas tranquilitas en el jardín, pero tenemos una poca de verdura en el huerto – cebollas, ajos, acelga, apio…entonces hay siempre algo que hacer!

  17. Florence November 10, 2011 at 08:56 #

    Excellent reward after all of your hard work. It is always satisfying after you have been working hard all day and think “I’ve had a good day”!!
    Florence x

    • chicaandaluza November 10, 2011 at 09:50 #

      It needed to be done. We´ve planted some cuttings too of honeysuckle, clematis and wisteria so fingers crossed 🙂

  18. TBM November 10, 2011 at 16:44 #

    Yet another great meal. My mouth is watering!

    • chicaandaluza November 10, 2011 at 22:56 #

      Thank you – hope you´re settling well into your new life 🙂

  19. thefooddoctor November 12, 2011 at 09:12 #

    That is a job well done and a meal well deserved 🙂

    • chicaandaluza November 12, 2011 at 10:17 #

      We do seem to have been doing all the “physical” stuff lately – wood loading and garden cleaning. I guess it´s that time of year. Soon we can nest for the winter!


  1. Oh My – Chicken Pie! « Chica Andaluza - December 2, 2011

    […] an idea of what to do with any leftover puff pastry, check out this tasty recipe. Like this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

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