28. spinach mushroom pies
Its almost the end of April and I have only blogged 28 recipes.Will my mission of 366 recipes by the end of the year be fulfilled? So many upheavals and events have prevented me from blogging on a regular basis. Two days ago I spent nearly 40 minutes composing, editing, etc a recipe and just as I was about to insert the picture, the computer just freezes. So I lost my work. It was really frustrating but today is a new day, so a fresh start, hoping that there will be no technical gliches today.
Hot flaky pies, be it cheese, chicken or vegetable are everyone’s favourite. Most normal coffee or snack places in Kenya serve pies and they are very popular. My friend and I have had umpteen number of hot cheese pies and coffee when we were in the Polytechnic. However with food prices rising, the filling in the pies is getting smaller and smaller. So I tend to make pies at home and most often Ajay’s favourite which is the spinach mushroom pie. He loves these pies and is capable of finishing all of them in no time.
Serve these pies as a dinner course or as starters, they will surely be a hit. And a secret way of getting your kids to eat their greens. I use to make the pastry at home but now take the easy path of buying ready made. The hot weather in Mombasa makes the task pretty challenging.
Spinach mushroom pies are still very popular in my household. Served with delicious salad its our lunch or dinner ever so often.
Nowadays ready cut squares of puff pastry are available in the supermarket. This makes it so much easier just to fill, chill and bake.
SPINACH MUSHROOM PIES
300 g puff pastry
4 cups of roughly chopped spinach
1 cup sliced mushrooms
6 cloves of garlic, sliced
10 almonds, cut into big pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp coarse pepper powder
1/4 cup of tiny cubes of cheddar or mozzarella cheese
2 tbsp milk
- Put some water in a medium pan to boil.
- When it is hot, add the spinach to it and as soon as it wilts, remove it into a colander. Let it cool. Squeeze out the excess water.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the garlic slices and almonds. Stir fry till the garlic turns light pink. Add the mushrooms.
- Stir fry the mushrooms for 3 to 4 mins. Don’t overcook them. Turn off the heat.
- Add the spinach and let the mixture cool. When it is cold, add the cheese, salt and pepper. Mix well.
- Preheat the oven at 180°C.
- Roll out the puff pastry into a square of 12″ by 12″, about 1/4 inch thick. Cut into 6 squares, using a sharp knife or a pastry cutter.
- Put the filling on one half of the pastry. Wet the edge of the pastry with water, using a pastry brush or your finger. Cover the filling with the empty side of the pastry. Seal the edges using the prongs of a fork, gently.
- Using a fork or knife, create small holes on top of the pie.
- Repeat the procedure with the other remaining pieces. Put the pies on a greased baking tray.Brush each pie with milk.
- Bake the pies for 20 – 25 minutes until the tops are golden brown.
- Serve hot with your favourite sauce and salad.
- Use salt sparingly as the pastry and cheese are salty.
- If you prefer chilli food, add chilli flakes to the vegetable mixture.
- Use the filling for vol au vent cases which are readily available in most bakeries or stores. Excellent as finger food.
- If you going to use baby spinach or palak, then there is no need to blanch it. Use 2 cups and add to the cooked mushrooms.
- Do not add salt to the hot mixture as it will make the vegetables sweat and therefore watery.
- For extra flaky pies, fill the pies and let them chill in the fridge for 30-40 minutes. Remove from the fridge and bake immediately.
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