FIFA has kicked off with a bang and I am eagerly waiting for England’s first match to watch my favourite Wayne Rooney tear the nets apart. I proudly say I support England despite their poor World Cup records. So, this time around I am going all out to support my team. My next recipe is a game night themed recipe, but this time we are going versus the Italians for the first match in this tournament. For the English Mini Shepherd’s Pie I am not going with the classical way, but giving it a twist with chicken tikka spices, after all “Chicken Tikka Masala” is the most loved and the national dish of England. With the appetizers like these, Win or Lose this game is going to be a knock out!
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 30 mins
Serves: 6 persons
English Mini Shepherd’s Pie –
400 gms of chicken mince (substitute it with lamb, beef or soya granules as per your preference. Note – cooking time may differ depending on the type of meat/protein)
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp. of ginger garlic paste
3 tbsp. of tomato puree
1 tsp. each of garam masala, red chili powder& jeera powder
¼ tsp. of turmeric powder
A few sprigs of coriander leaves, finely chopped.
2 tbsp. of cream
4 medium sized potatoes, boiled and mashed
2 tbsp. of butter
1 medium sized red bell pepper, cut into strips for garnish
Salt to taste
• Pre-heat the oven at 160 degrees. Heat 2 tbsp. of oil in a pan. Add the onions and ginger garlic paste and sauté till soft. Add the chicken mince and stir continuously till the meat is almost cooked.
• You will notice the chicken will ooze out juices while browning them. With a help of a slotted spoon remove ¾ of the juices from the pan.
• Add all the spices mentioned above along with a good pinch of salt and sauté for 5-8 mins on medium flame.
• Add the tomato puree and mix well. Remove from fire and add 1 tbsp. of cream and blend it in the cooked chicken mince. Let it cool for 15-20 mins and add the finely chopped coriander leaves and fold it in.
• Add 1 tbsp. of cream and butter and a pinch of salt to the mashed potatoes and mix well. Pipe this mixture in a piping bag with a flat nozzle.
• To assemble the pie, line a muffin/cupcake tray with butter paper. Spoon the cooked chicken mince mixture and press it down well. Pipe in the mash potatoes over the chicken mince and place the strips of red bell pepper making it look like the national flag of England.
• Lightly brush with butter and whack it in the pre-heated oven at 160 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Allow it to rest for 5 minutes once out of the oven and then demould and remove the lined butter paper. Serve hot.
Italian Bruschetta Trio –
Ingredients & Method :
Use one loaf of any crusty bread for base, I have used a loaf of baguette bread.
The trio of pesto sauce, slice of mozzarella cheese and spiced tomato mix on a bruschetta makes it resemble the colors of the Italian national flag.
For the spiced tomato mix – Deseed and finely chop 1 large tomato, add a tsp. of chiliflakes, a dash of Tabasco sauce, squeeze half a lime juice, a pinch of salt, castor sugar and pepper, a light splash of olive oil. Combine these ingredients together and mix well. If you like herbs like oregano or thyme go ahead and add them for extra punch of flavors.
For the Pesto – a handful of basil leaves, 3-4 cloves of garlic, 1 tbsp. of grated Parmesan cheese, 3 tbsp. of olive oil and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Blend it well in a mixer grinder till everything is coarsely grounded together.
Cut slices of the bread and rub a clove of garlic on the sides of the bread. Lightly drizzle olive oil over the slices of bread. Place a slice of mozzarella cheese in the center of the bread and apply the pesto on one end and spoon the spicy tomato mix on the other side. Place it in the oven for 3-4 mins at 150 degrees; the cheese should start to melt by now.
Remove it on a platter along with the mini pies and serve hot.
Call over your friends for this England vs. Italy match and surprise them with this versus themed platter. Keep cooking and go olé olé olé !
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Article & Images by: Harsh Dixit
Four Seasons Recommends -
Four Seasons Blush is a great accompaniment for spiced foods and tomato or cheese based dishes, making it a perfect match for both the English Mini Shepherd’s Pie and Italian Bruschetta Trio. Enjoyed best at 8-10° C.