Hosting a Halloween party? Actress and foodie Nicola Millbank shares two suitably spooky recipes to try out this month. Here’s how to make chicken, leek, pancetta and mushroom grave pies and something for the grown-ups – eye ball vodka jellies!
Chicken, leek, pancetta and mushroom grave pies
- Serves 2
Ingredients1 95g pack of streaky pancetta cut into strips
2 large leeks, chopped into half moons
3 sprigs of lemon thyme, leaves removed
The meat of 2 pre-cooked chicken legs of half a roast chicken, shredded
1 tbsp of plain flour
1 tbsp of fat free greek yoghurt
800ml of boiling water
Salt and Pepper
1 sheet of ready rolled puff pastry
1 free range egg, beaten
In a heavy based pan, fry the streaky pancetta in a little olive oil until crispy then remove onto kitchen towel to drain the excess fat.
In the same pan, tumble in the leeks and thyme and cook in the pancetta fat until 5-7 minutes until soft but still green in colour.
Add the pancetta back in along with the shredded chicken and a tablespoon of plain flour and stir until fully combined. Turn up the heat, add the water, season with salt and pepper and allow to bubble away for a couple of minutes.
Remove from the heat, add a tablespoon of greek yoghurt and stir through. Place a sieve over a bowl and pop the mixture in the sieve to drain the excess liquid (use this as gravy later!)
Pop the drained mixture into individual pie pots and allow to cool fully.
To make the gravestones, you'll need the two, preheated flat baking trays. Using the end of the puff sheet, cut out two gravestone shapes and place in-between two pieces of greaseproof paper, sandwiched in-between the two trays, this makes sure they stay flat. Cook for 15-20 minutes until golden and remove to cool.
Now the mix is completely cool, brush the rim of the pie pots with the egg wash and cut two circles of puff pastry, roughly the same size as the pots. Cut a slit approximately the same width as the grave stones 3/4 of the way up the circle (this will make your life much easier later on) then press them onto the pot. Press down with a fork and lightly score the pastry in a crisscross. Egg wash the pastry and pop in the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden.
Using an edible pen or icing write RIP, on the gravestones and slide them into the slits on the pasty lid and serve with cress around the bottom of the graves.
Eye ball vodka and grape jellies
- Serves 2
Ingredients300ml of red grape juice
100ml of vodka
4 gelatine leaves
1 can of tinned lychees
A handful of fresh blueberries
In a pan, heat the vodka and grape juice until warm but don't let it boil. Squeeze out the gelatine leaves and add to the pan, stirring until fully dissolved.
Pop a blueberry in the middle of each lychee to create 'eyes' and pop 3 per person into a glass. Pour the jelly mixture over the eyes and allow to full set in the fridge overnight.