Chefs from some of the greatest restaurants on earth are joined by gastronomes, celebrities and passionate foodies to share childhood food memories and the recipes that inspired them to experiment in the kitchen... a memory bank which reminds us home cooking can be fun, thrifty, save money and amaze your friends.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Matthew Drennan - Food Writer - London, UK

Matthew Drennan is the award-winning editor of delicious. magazine. He trained as a chef in his native Cork, Eire and after cooking in some of London's top restaurants, he spent 5 years writing and creating recipes for national publications, including Me and Family Circle; before becoming food and drink editor on the Marks and Spencer Magazine, and then launching Ready Steady Cook Magazine.

After working freelance for several further publications such as BBC Good Food and Waitrose Food Illustrated, he became editor of delicious. He has published an admirable portfolio of recipe books including Sensational Soup and Weber’s Little Barbecue Book.

"People have asked me if my passion for cooking came from my mother (Betty Drennan). I guess it did, but in an indirect sort of way. When I was growing up my mother cooked a meal for seven people three times a day and held down a part-time job. It didn’t exactly leave much time for ‘passion cooking’. She was a meat and two veg kind of gal. When Mum was busy at the weekends catching up on household chores I began to bake for the family, teaching myself how to cream cakes, make pastry and whisk meringues. So it was more her lack of time to cook that inspired me to have a go in the kitchen and led to my career as a chef and subsequently a food writer and editor of delicious. magazine. With the family all grown up, Mum now has become the adventurous cook she always wanted to be and is now inspired by the magazine I edit.

But, while Mum’s dinner wasn’t always the most creative meal, it was always the best. Flaky tuna and egg pie was one dish she cooked often and was always a winner with the family. With its crisp pastry and hot, creamy filling, it’s easy to see now why kids loved it, and to be honest, I still do."

Flaky Tuna and Egg Pie
Matthew Drennan

Serves 4

  • 50 g butter
  • 50 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 600 ml hot vegetable stock
  • handful freshly chopped parsley
  • 4 hardboiled eggs, roughly chopped
  • 1 x 400 g can tuna in sunflower oil, drained
  • 500 g puff pastry
  • a little milk, for glazing

Preheat the oven to 210°C.
Melt the butter in a medium-sized frying pan and stir in the flour. Cook for 1 minute, stirring continuously. Gradually add the hot stock, stirring all the time, then cook for 5 minutes until thickened. Season well and stir in the parsley. Pour into a large, shallow container to cool quickly. Add the eggs and tuna to the sauce, then chill for 20 minutes.

Cut the pastry in half, then roll out one piece on a lightly floured surface until it measures 28 cm x 20 cm. Place on a baking sheet. Roll out the other piece to around 1 cm larger than the first piece. Spoon the filling on top of the base, leaving a 1-cm border all around, then cover with the other piece of pastry and press the edges with a fork to seal. Trim off any excess pastry. Brush the top with milk and bake for 30 minutes until golden and risen. (You can also make small, individual pies.)

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