Posts Tagged ‘pastry’

s a u s a g e r o l l s

April 12, 2011

Sausage rolls are up there with my favourite nostalgic childhood treats. A big bowl of them with heaps of ketchup. There’s nothing better! I was a vegetarian for 14 years (I recently started eating meat again) and OH how I have missed these delightful pastry morsels! I used good quality pork sausage meat from a local organic butchers and they turned out really well. Add your favourite herbs or use different vegetables in the mix; it’s completely up to you.

 

 

S A U S A G E R O L L S

1 tbsp olive oil

600g pork sausage meat

1 cup fresh breadcrumbs

2 packs ready-rolled fresh puff pastry, halved lengthways

1 large fennel bulb, finely chopped

1 small red onion, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

small handful each of fresh sage and parsley, chopped

pinch nutmeg

1 egg, lightly beaten

fennel seeds

salt & pepper

 

Preheat oven to 200°C.

L I N E enough baking trays with greaseproof paper.

In a frying pan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat and  then S W E A T the fennel and onion for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook for a few more minutes until the fennel is soft and the onion translucent. Set aside to C O O L .

In a large B O W L combine the sausage meat, fennel mixture, breadcrumbs, fresh herbs and nutmeg. Season lightly with salt and pepper and get your hands into the bowl and S Q U E L C H it up well.

Spoon the mixture into a P I P I N G bag without a nozzle, and pipe the filling down the centre of each length of pastry. Use your own judgment regarding how thick you want the sausage rolls to be, but make sure there is enough pastry on either side of the filling to fold over and seal the edge. A 10 pence piece in diameter for the filling should be about right. Brush a little egg along one edge, roll it up and gently press to secure.

Using a S H A R P knife, slice each roll into smaller sausage rolls, about 4cm wide. Place them on the baking tray with space between each, and brush with the beaten egg. Make sure the rolls are seam side down to hide the ugly bits and prevent them splitting open when baked. Sprinkle with a few fennel seeds.

C H I L L the trays of rolls in the fridge for about 15 minutes then pop into the oven for about 20 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.

Makes about 25, but we ate them so quick I couldn’t keep count!

 

 

 

s p a n a k o p i t a

February 20, 2011

 

This is a family recipe and one that I remember from my very early childhood. If you want your kids to eat spinach, this is the way forward. When I was a kid, my mum would ask me and my brother what we wanted for dinner on our respective birthdays, and 9 times out of 10 we’d shout “cheese and spinach pie please!”. It’s probably evolved over the years, but this is the version I have scribbled in my notebook at the moment. A seriously tasty dish, it’s about time I shared it on here.

 

cheese and spinach pie

 

 

S P A N A K O P I T A

500-600g fresh spinach leaves

5 large free range eggs, beaten

2 packs feta cheese, crumbled

2 packs filo pastry (about 8 sheets)

5 spring onions, chopped

450ml sour cream

butter, melted

nutmeg

salt & pepper

 

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Firstly, W I L T the spinach with a tiny splash of water in a big pot on a medium/high heat. Keep the lid on, and turn the leaves over once or twice to wilt them evenly. As soon as they’re wilted, remove from the heat and leave to cool in a drainer. Once cooled sufficiently, squeeze out the excess liquid as much as you can and then chop roughly.

Prepare the F I L L I N G by combining the beaten eggs, feta, sourcream, chopped wilted spinach,  and spring onions in a large bowl. Using a fine grater, grate a good 1/2 tsp of nutmeg over the mixture. Season with a bit of salt and pepper, but not too much as the feta is quite salty. Mix well.

B R U S H a large square or rectangular overproof dish with some melted butter, just enough to coat the base and sides. Take one sheet of filo, brush it all over with butter, and layer it into the base of the dish, with a good third to half of the pastry hanging over the side of the dish. Repeat with another sheet of pastry, but position it so it hangs over the other side. Use about 5 or 6 sheets for the base, positioning them so every edge has some pastry hanging over. Remember to brush each layer with butter as you go!

F I L L the dish with the mixture. Then, one edge at a time, fold the overhanging layers of pastry over the top of the dish, like a parcel. Get one more sheet of pastry, butter half of it width-ways, and fold in half so the butter sticks it together. Butter it again and lay it on top of the pie to give it a tidy surface. Using the pastry brush, poke the edges into the side of the dish. If one sheet halved is not enough to cover the top of the pie, just repeat. Drizzle a little butter onto the top, and brush it all over. this will give the pie a lovely crackly golden top.

Put in the oven and B A K E for about 50 minutes. After 50 minutes, turn the oven off and leave for a further 10 minutes. This will help the filling to set a bit.

Makes enough for about 4-6 people, depending on how greedy you are…. Serve with a big fresh salad.

 

cheese and spinach pie 2

 

s t i l t o n a n d w a l n u t b i s c u i t s

December 18, 2009

 

These are becoming a December staple, and are a great alternative to the seasonal mince pie if your taste buds are more inclined towards nibbles of the savoury nature. They’re also a great addition to your festive cheese board; no need to get the cheese knife out, it’s already in the biscuit! They’re based on a pastry recipe so they’re light, flaky…. and packed full of flavour!

 

 

B I S C U I T P A S T R Y

2 cups plain flour

120g butter

130g stilton cheese

50g walnuts

2 egg yolks

 

T O P P I N G

1 egg, beaten

40g stilton cheese

50g walnuts

maldon sea salt


Preheat the oven to 175°C. To make the B I S C U I T P A S T R Y put the flour in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter in small dice. With your finger tips, rub the butter into the flour to form very fine crumbs. This takes a little patience! Chop the walnuts finely and add to the bowl along with the stilton, crumbled. Mix them into the crumbs with your fingertips. Add the two egg yolks and combine well to form a slightly crumbly dough mixture. It will fall apart easily, but should hold together enough for the purposes of rolling it out!

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry (this can be done in small batches) to approx 5mm thick. Using a round cutter or a glass which is about 5cm in diameter, press into the pastry to stamp out small rounds. Pop these onto a baking tray that’s lined with greaseproof paper.

For the T O P P I N G , firstly prick each biscuit gently twice with a fork. Brush them with the beaten egg. Chop the remaining 50g of walnuts, but not quite as fine as before. With your fingers, just crumble a small amount of stilton and walnuts over each biscuit, and then give a light sprinkling of maldon salt on top. Don’t bother crushing the sea salt too much between your fingers, it’s nice to see the larger crystals sitting on top of the biscuits.

To B A K E them, put them in the oven for about 20 minutes, until lightly golden. Place on a wire rack to cool, then store in airtight containers. They should last a few days, but that’s only if they’re not eaten first! Makes ~ 30.

 

 

c h o c o l a t e p e c a n p i e

November 4, 2009

I made this chocolate pecan pie for my birthday dinner on monday. It’s sort of an amalgamation of various different recipes because I wasn’t  happy with the ones i found!

 

 

T A R T C A S E

100g cold butter (i prefer salted!)

200g plain flour

60g caster sugar

2 egg yolks

 

C H O C O L A T E P E C A N P I E F I L L I N G

1  1/2 cups pecan nuts

125g dark belgian cooking chocolate

4 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup corn syrup (can substitute with golden or maple syrup)

1 tsp vanilla

pinch maldon sea salt

 

To make the T A R T C A S E , cut the cold butter into small dice. In a bowl rub the butter into the flour between the tips of your fingers to form what looks like fine breadcrumbs. If you have a food processor you can blitz it together in there instead, using short bursts. Add the sugar and turn through. In a separate small bowl, lightly beat the yolks with a fork. Add a tablespoon of cold water to the yolks, then stir this into the flour mixture. Bring it together with your fingers to form a dough. Knead it briefly to make  a smooth ball. Chill in the fridge for an hour or more. Roll it out to fit a 24cm tart tin (the kind with the base that pops out of it). Once it’s in the case and you’ve tidied the edges, put it back in the fridge for an extra 30 minutes of chill time. Blind bake the pastry (i line the pastry with greaseproof paper and fill it with rice) at 180°C for about 15 minutes, or until firm and lightly coloured. Leave to cool on a wire rack!

To make the C H O C O L A T E P E C A N P I E , spread the pecan nuts evenly across the base of the tart case. In a bowl, combine the sugars, syrup, vanilla, and salt. Break the chocolate up into small pieces, and place in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering hot water. Stir the chocolate until melted, then take off the heat and allow to cool a little (without letting it set!). Stir the chocolate into the sugar mixture well. When it is just warm to the touch (the eggs will cook and scramble if the chocolate is too hot), gradually beat in the eggs to form a smooth silky texture. Pour this over the pecans in the tart case. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 50-60 minutes, or until it is set.

Cut the pie into wedges, and serve with a ball of vanilla ice cream. Y U M .