Chicken and Leek Pasty Recipe

Pasties are the classic British portable lunch – much like calzoni in Italy – the most famous variety of which is almost certainly the Cornish pasty. They are eaten all over the UK and sold in every bakery from Land’s End to John o’Groats – the two points farthest from one another on our great island (876 miles). Considered Cornwall’s “national” dish and geographically protected – much like champagne – the pasty is thought to have been taken up outside of England’s western most county following the emigration of Cornish miners in the late nineteenth century, along with Rugby Union. As good as this spread of British culinary tradition to the diaspora is for receiving countries, I can’t help but feel the South Pacific countries have become a little too good at rugby.

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Sweet-Potato-Salad

Salad dressing can sometimes be a little problematic, in that it has an irritating tendency to obey the laws of gravity and sink to the bowels of one’s salad bowl. Allowing a well-made dressing to miss out on even a moment’s culinary action is, in my book, indefensible. Happily, chicken and sweet potato act as an edible sponge for superfluous juices and do a great job of mopping up recalcitrant drizzle. It pains me to describe a dish a ‘well-integrated’, but with every ingredient cooperating with one another on myriad different levels, it’s hard not to.

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There is good news to report! After having a conversation with Rosemary, author of Cooking in Sens, about beautiful skillets, my dad, a consummate charity shop ferret, received instructions to find me one. Not only did the ol’ chap deliver, he delivered in style – the skillet you can see below is not only in my eyes beautiful, it is made by AGA. Such a pan would normally set one back at least £60; this pan set us back £5 and is in jolly fine fettle. It appears that one may find it rather difficult to extoll the virtues of perseverance in charity shopping too much.

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So, it seems as though the time has come to accept that Christmas is just around the corner. The idea of beginning to celebrate a public holiday more than a couple of weeks in advance of its arrival has always sickened me somewhat. Alas, these days the build-up to such events begins before the preceding holiday. It has reached the point at which we always seem to be celebrating something; there should be a law which restricts the sale of themed paraphernalia to its relevant month. There is a distinct possibility that we shall soon be celebrating Christmas a year in advance.

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