Chicken Pot Pie Galette – The KRCW Good Food Pie Contest Winner

Pies have never really been my thing. I’m sure this makes me un-American, and now that I’m living in the UK — another pie-obsessed nation — it probably makes me un-British as wellness. It’s not the pies themselves, I think it’s the pastry. Although something made with flour and butter should, by its very nature, be high on my list of likes. I really don’t understand it. All of that aside, I decided to make a pie. And if you’re going to make a pie, you may as well make an award-winning pie, right? A pie that beat out 400 other sweet and savory pies in seven categories. I mean, if you’re going to do something, you may as well do it right.

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Pan-fried Salmon with Marinated Beets, Asparagus and Horseradish Cream

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If you’re like me, you look at every opportunity to cook for other people as an opportunity to create, experiment and just generally flex your culinary muscles. Not necessarily to show off, although I will admit to the odd twinge of pride when things work out how I hoped, but just because the thrill of creating – and then devouring – something new is almost as exciting as getting to share it with people you love. Knowing me as he does, my husband usually prefaces announcements of expected guests with, ‘Just keep it casual. Make something simple. Don’t go overboard.’. But sometimes keeping it simple is exactly what you need to do to create a masterpiece.

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Zhoug: Another Chili Paste from Jerusalem

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Chili pastes are all the rage these days with the Asian varieties like sriracha taking the biscuit for most people. And I can’t disagree, sriracha has depth of flavor rather than just pure heat and makes the best. chicken. wings. ever. But stepping a bit further west to the Middle East, the condiments stashed at the back of Jerusalem are full of interest and intrigue and there’s more plenty of spice for chili lovers too.

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Tomato and Basil Focaccia

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Bread is a funny thing. It’s the stuff of life and the one thing I probably couldn’t live without, but the thought of making it at home fills me with dread. Maybe it’s the time and effort you have to put in which, in an instant, can all be for nothing – a minute too long in the oven, a forgotten pinch of salt, so many little things that could be fixed in cooking are irreparable when you’re baking.

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Five Spice Gammon, Sesame, Honey and Chilli Potatoes and Grilled Pak Choi

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So apparently, the difference between gammon and ham is that gammon is cured as part of a side of bacon (and then smoked or not) and ham is removed from the carcass and smoked or dried. I have never heard the term ‘gammon’ in the US, but I guess it must exist. Here in the UK we quite often buy small gammon joints and roast them in the oven, covered at first and then uncovered to brown the fat. It’s pretty standard fare, but it’s always tasty. This ham was different. I wanted to cook it differently, flavor it differently, do something so that it would be a bit more special. A bit of a treat. Enter the barbecue.

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Beans, beans, the magical fruit…

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Baked beans are a British institution. They’re served on toast, on baked (or to give them their proper English name: jacket) potatoes and, of course, they are a vital part of the one meal no Brit can live without: the full English breakfast. By why should they be bland and full of preservatives? Why shouldn’t they be coated in a thick, rich sauce full of spice and smoke? I think they should.

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