Last month I had the pleasure of attending Diner en Blanc with Mr. YUM and about 1,000 perfect strangers. What is Diner en Blanc? It’s a famous flash mob picnic where everyone wears white. You bring your own table, chairs, linens, dinnerware, silverware, glasses, some delicious food and plenty of vino. When you are all finished, you clean up and leave the place like it never happened. This is my idea of a perfect evening!
It was very elegant and people really went all out on their picnic choices. There was a big range between divine meat and cheeseboards and multi-course dinners. Since cooking is my thing we took the all out route. We had a meat and cheese board with olives, pate and then some other delicious appetizers to start. Our second course, Mini Chicken and Tarragon Pies served with a Spinach Ricotta Loaf. And last but definitely not least, dessert. Seaside Market has a wonderful array of divine treats so we picked up a couple different favorites. After all that food and delicious wine we were full to say the least. Good thing they had a DJ and dancing to work some of it off. It was a super fun experience and we are looking forward to the next one already.
I was just thinking…with Thanksgiving around the corner, these pies will be a great way to use some leftover turkey!
This hands down has to be the easiest pastry dough I have ever made! To be honest, it’s the only dough I’ve ever made. Don’t be intimidated, you will be so happy you tried it.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 500g (1 pound) chicken thigh fillets, cut into a little smaller than ½” pieces
- sea salt and cracked pepper
- 40g (1.4oz) unsalted butter
- 2 shallots, finely sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- ¼ cup (35g) plain all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups (375ml) milk
- 1 cup (250ml) cream
- 170g (1/3 pound) green asparagus, very thinly sliced
- ½ cup chopped tarragon
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 300g (10.5 oz) butter, chopped
- 1⅓ cups (300ml) water
- 5 cups (750g) plain all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Heat the oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over med-high heat.
- Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and add to pan in batches cooking for 4-5 minutes until golden.
- Remove and set aside.
- Melt the butter in the pan and add the shallots and garlic cooking until softened, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the flour to the pan and stir through for about 2 minutes.
- Combine the milk and cream in a bowl and gradually add to the pan, using a whisk and stirring often to avoid lumps.
- Cook for about 3 minutes or until thickened.
- Remove from heat and add chicken, asparagus, tarragon, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Taste for seasoning and add tarragon, salt and pepper if needed.
- Allow to cool completely.
- Place the butter and water in a saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the salt and flour until combined and a dough forms.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface (I use a Silpat) and knead until smooth and elastic.
- Divide in half and roll a portion out to about ¼ in. thick.
- Cut 24 x 4½ in. rounds from the pastry, rolling the remaining pastry when needed.
- Place 12 rounds on a backing tray lined with parchment paper.
- Place ¼ cup of filling in the middle of each round and top with the remaining pastry rounds.
- Cut the edges with a 4in. round cutter and use a fork to seal the edges.
- Make three vent holes on th top of each pie with a sharp knife.
- Brush with the egg and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
I’d like to thank Jen over at Butter and Sage for the use of her Diner En Blanc pictures. Mine were horrible!!