So we start March with a mixed bag of weather and so it will continue I guess. On the menu one doesn’t quite know whether lighter foods are needed or to stick with winter warmers. Inspired with the celebration of St David’s Day I have turned to Leeks for inspiration. Innovation and inventiveness is always the order of the day and of course simplicity. This dish may be topped with a pie crust or filo pastry.

I have to confess that for speed I have often reverted to using Cream Cheese as a base for a White Sauce negating the roux and classic method. It also gives that little bit extra unctuousness. It can be used for Cauliflower Cheese, Lasagne, Pasta Sauces – let your imagination run wild indeed. Pasta bakes or Vegetable bakes.

A variety of Pestos in the cupboard are also very useful to add that little extra flavour. What else I wonder do you keep in your cupboards. Tomatoes – chopped are a good stand by as well as Passata and Tomato Paste. Stock cubes always. I also like a   selection of soups to use as a base for other sauces. With management and planning I reckon to have supper on the table within an hour or less. Sometimes I do preparation for the next night at the same time as preparing and cooking the meal in hand.


Chicken & Leek Pot

8 Skinless & Boneless Chicken Thighs

1½ lbs trimmed Leeks – cleaned and thickly sliced

1 Large Garlic Clove – peeled and crushed

10 oz Potatoes – thinly sliced (you choose if you want to peel)

7 ozs Cream Cheese with Garlic & Herbs

3 fl.oz White Wine

¼ pt Chicken Stock

2 tsp Cornflour

  1. In a flameproof and oven proof dish. Warm some oil and add the Leeks and Garlic. Cook gently without colour to soften.
  2. Put the Cheese, Wine, Stock and Cornflour into a blender and blitz together
  3. Arrange Chicken Thighs on top of the Leeks then pour the Cheese mixture over.
  4. Layer the potatoes slices on top and cover lightly with oiled greaseproof. Add the lid and bake in a medium oven for about 1¼ hours until Chicken is cooked. Remove the greaseproof and turn up the heat to brown the potatoes or place under a hot grill.
  5. Serve with seasonal vegetables or Salad