Better than a bought one (+recipe)

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Young folk need not survive on takeaways or ready-meals - teenager Claire Gourley shows us how.

A good bacon and egg pie is a Kiwi staple. Photo / Supplied
A good bacon and egg pie is a Kiwi staple. Photo / Supplied

Teenager Claire Gourley is the sort of young woman who gives you faith that the world will be in safe hands when we shuffle off to the home for the bewildered. She's taken part in the Global Youth Leaders conference, won speech competitions, presented on TV and judged events. She is also an accomplished cook, with a television show (Claire Cooks in Studio 2 on TV2) and website (itsmyturntocooktonight.com). She has now published the old-fashioned paper version, a cookbook aimed at inspiring teenagers (and younger kids, or first-time flatters) to get into the kitchen to create good food, quickly.

Claire, with her mum, well-known food writer and nutrition educator Glenda Gourley, has created recipes that are tasty, healthy and will take less time to prepare than a run to the takeaway bar. Both women are determined to make sure that kids are not helpless in the kitchen - and that they can even cook for their parents and family. Claire claims not to be a foodie, but loves to eat and hang out with her friends.

Her take on the Best-Ever Bacon and Egg pie (Appetite has featured others in the past, but it is a firm Kiwi favourite) adds vegetables and is ideal for cutting up for school lunches or a quick tea between school and evening practices. Encourage the kids to play with variations based on what you have in the fridge or vege garden.

Best-ever bacon & egg pie

A traditional bacon and egg pie is really high in fat because it is usually just pastry, bacon and eggs - a guaranteed artery blocker or thigh thickener! This version not only tastes better, it also has heaps less fat because I have added other foods that are virtually fat-free, plus I use less pastry by not having solid pastry on the top.

4 general-purpose potatoes, unpeeled
2 sheets ready-rolled flaky pastry
4 slices of lean bacon
3 tomatoes, sliced
1 cup frozen peas
6 eggs

Here goes ...

1 Cook the potatoes.
Pierce the potatoes and cook in a microwave on high power for 10 minutes or until softened (they do not have to be completely cooked because they will cook more in the oven). Alternatively, cut them into even-sized pieces and boil for 15-20 minutes or until tender. See my YouTube video for how to boil potatoes.

2 Prepare the pastry.
Line your dish with pastry. Trim the edges and/or the sheets of pastry to make it cover a 20 x 30cm dish about 1cm below the top. Save the leftover pastry for the top.

3 Assemble.
Remove the fat from the bacon and slice into strips. Cut the cooked potatoes into chunks. Place the potatoes, bacon, tomatoes and peas into your baking dish. Break in the eggs, spacing them evenly around the pie. Pierce the yolks with a knife. Cut the leftover pastry into strips 1 cm wide. Make a lattice pattern across the top. You can be rough - don't worry, it'll look okay when it's cooked!

4 Bake.
Bake at 180C for 40-50 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and the pie is set. You will know that it is not cooked if, when you lift up a corner of the dish, there are still runny juices.

5 Great news!
You can buy low-fat pastry sheets which are up to about 40 per cent less fat than normal - and they still taste good so check them out.

* Reprinted with permission from Who's Cooking Tonight, published by Penguin Group NZ, RRP$36. Copyright © Glenda & Claire Gourley 2010

Be in to win this cookbook

We have one copy of Who's Cooking Tonight by Claire Gourley to give away.

To enter the draw, email your contact details to life@nzherald.co.nz with "Who's Cooking Tonight" in the subject line by noon, Thursday February 10.

- NZ Herald

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