Sunday, 24 January 2010

Easy as Pie

Let's face it, sometimes it just has to be pie.  However, at the moment I'm suffering from a nasty cold and don't feel much like elaborate, constructional cooking so tonight I opted for an easy route to pie pleasure.  Ready-rolled puff pastry is yet another of those ingredients that the modern home cook can give thanks for and for a quick assembly job like this, it's the perfect kitchen helper.  Something of a wellington, but much less of a fancy, formal meal... more of a pixie boot, really!
Easy Mushroom 'Pixie Pie'

2 sheets ready-rolled puff pastry
4 portobello mushrooms
150g soft cheese with garlic & herbs (I used Boursin)
1 egg, beaten with a splash of water and a pinch of salt

Cut the sheets of puff pastry in half widthways, and place a mushroom on each piece.  Spread the soft cheese over the mushroom 'gills', then brush the edges of the pastry with the egg wash and fold the corners into the centre to cover the filling.  Place on a baking sheet, then brush with more egg wash.  Cook at 180ºc for 40 minutes or so, until crisp and golden.

At Christopher's insistent request, I also served some small baked potatoes (though I personally feel that potatoes and pastry is de trop.  This garlic-and-lemon spinach is all I wanted...

Garlic-and-Lemon Spinach

So easy, and so fast.  I adore spinach any old how, but this is my absolute favourite way to cook it!

1 tbsp olive oil

5 cloves garlic, or to taste, chopped
200g leaf spinach, rinsed and just shaken dry
juice of 1/2 a lemon
black pepper

Heat the oil in a large pan and add the chopped garlic.  When it is soft and fragrant, add the spinach, turning quickly in the garlicky oil, throw over the lemon juice and then clamp on the lid.  Let the spinach wilt, then give it a good grinding of black pepper and serve warm.
Cath xx

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