My blog enthusiasm has dropped this week….. It has been a difficult week!
My blog has disappeared from the Google search engine….. completely! No links to the blog home page and no connected page links either. It is there on Bing and Yahoo, but it would appear I have been deleted from Google…… delisted I assume, but with no warning, explanation or logical reasoning. I may have been hacked, but if not, I can only assume I must have broken a rule somewhere along the line. Which rule I have no idea….. All I do is blog a few recipes, connect with a few blog challenges, offer my views on an occasional gluten free product and share a little wisdom and insight into my free from life. Has anyone seen me do anything else?
It seems it is not an unusual thing to have such a calamity and if you search the net, there are lots of similar stories. My problem is that I am not particularly technically minded and can’t make head or tail of any of the advice being offered. I seem to be able to find no means of connecting with Google direct to ask whether or why I may have been deleted and the whole episode has resulted in my feeling very disheartened and quite demotivated.
This little blog of mine may not be my business, but I have spent time building it up and am proud of what I have achieved and shared. To be expelled from the club feels harsh and incomprehensible and if I am honest, I simply cannot fathom it.
With the absence of direct links to my own blog on Google, I have also found that another ‘blog’ called The Gluten-Free Alchemist has appeared. Subtly different title (it just adds a hyphen), with no posts and no content…. It seems a little odd that it has snuck on in my wake…… coincidence? I hope not!
So if anyone out there has any wisdom you can offer, please please get in touch!
Feeling pretty down, I figure pie is a good way to go. I know its been hot, but sometimes comfort food is in order, regardless of the weather and this is one of those times.
I’ve made this pie a few times now and we love it in our house. The pastry is my favourite gluten free almond pastry, which gives a crisp, short case to the generous, moist, meaty filling. Succulent pieces of chicken breast and little bites of salty bacon mingle with the sweetness of peas and sweetcorn, the aromatic aniseed-flavour of fresh tarragon and a perfectly-seasoned cheese sauce.
I’m pretty pleased with my decorated top to the pie case too. It’s amazing how well a few hearts cover up imperfections in the rolling……
Chicken & Tarragon Pie (makes 1 x 23 cm/9 inch pie)
6 rashers of back bacon – cut into small pieces
100g sweetcorn kernels
30g corn flour
280 ml milk
2 teaspoons GF vegetable bouillon powder
100g mature cheddar cheese – grated
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon – chopped
a good pinch/grind of black pepper
1 egg to glaze
Method You can make the pastry either before or after the filling, but the filling will need to be cool before putting in the pie case.
Pastry : Dough Method – by hand
- Weigh the flours, almonds, xanthan gum and salt into a large bowl and stir.
- Rub the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs.
- In a small bowl, beat the egg with the water and then pour into the crumb mixture.
- Stir the wet ingredients into the crumb mixture using a table knife until it begins to clump together.
- Bring the dough together with your hands and press into a ball. Knead very briefly to ensure ingredients are fully amalgamated.
By food processor
- Weigh the flours, almonds, xanthan gum and salt into the food processor bowl and pulse briefly to mix together and remove any lumps.
- Add the cubed butter to the mixture and pulse again until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- In a small bowl, beat the egg with the water and then pour into the food processor with the crumb mixture.
- Turn the processor on and mix until the ingredients form a smooth dough. This will not require any further kneading.
- You will want to roll the pastry out straight away (do not chill in the fridge), using a liberal dusting of corn flour on the work surface and top of the dough/rolling pin to prevent any sticking. Cut off two-thirds of the dough for the base of the pie and wrap the other third in cling film to prevent it drying out. Set aside. Alternatively, you can roll the pastry dough between 2 liberally floured pieces of cling film.
- Get ready a 9 inch/23 cm non-stick pie tin and roll out the first piece of pastry dough large enough to fill the base and sides of the pie tin.
- Carefully lay the rolled pastry over the tin with the support of the rolling pin and ease into the base, gently moulding into the sides of the tin. Make sure you leave a slight overhang at the edges as you will need this to stick to the lid.
- If there are any cracks or holes in the pastry base, use the trimmed remains to ‘repair’. – Roll and trim to size, and using cold water, dampen both the area around the crack/hole and the down-side of the ‘patch’ and gently press together, smoothing the edges with a finger dipped in water to seal and tidy.
- Place the pastry base in the fridge to chill until ready to fill.
- Filling : In a large saucepan or skillet, heat the olive oil and gently fry the chicken and bacon pieces until cooked through.
- Add the sweetcorn and peas and stir through. Cook for a further 3 to 4 minutes and then remove from the pan and drain any excess liquid. Set the chicken mixture aside.
- In a large saucepan (you can use the same one), melt the butter and stir in the flour, allowing to cook on the hob for a couple of minutes. This is the start of your roux sauce.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the milk a little at a time until all the milk is added and you have a smooth liquid.
- Place the pan back on a low heat and stirring continuously, gradually bring to the boil. You should end up with a smooth, thick sauce base.
- Add the bouillon powder, grated cheese, tarragon and black pepper and stir through until the cheese is melted and all the ingredients are well combined.
- Return the chicken mixture to the pan with the sauce and stir through. If it seems too thick at this stage, add a little more milk and stir, but be careful to ensure the filling remains sturdy as you don’t want the pie to become soggy with liquid.
- Cool the filling as quickly as you can (stir frequently) and then pour into the pie base.
- Roll out the last third of pastry dough so that it is slightly larger than the pie dish.
- Using a pastry brush and some cold water, brush the overhanging edge of pastry in the base and carefully place the newly rolled pastry dough over the top of the pie.
- Seal the edges by pressing together with your fingers or a fork.
- If you have any cracks or messy bits, you can cover these with pastry cut out into shapes. I used pastry hearts to decorate, but they also nicely covered the messy bits.
- Cut three or four small slits or holes in the top of the pastry to let the steam out when cooking.
- Place the pie in the fridge to chill for at least half an hour before baking.
- Beat the remaining egg with a fork and brush onto the top of the pie to glaze.
- Heat the oven to 190 C/375 F/Gas 5 and bake the pie for about 30 to 40 minutes until golden brown and piping hot.