Posts Tagged ‘Pastry’

If you have some ready-rolled puff pastry in the freezer and a few leftovers in the fridge you can make an easy and delicious tart for supper. My friends might have been more impressed if they hadn’t seen me assemble it in 3 minutes flat before turfing it into the oven! Try this with anything you fancy on the top, though a bit of cheese is a must.

Onion & Taleggio Tart – to serve 4

  • 6 smallish onions
  • 50g butter
  • a sheet of ready-rolled puff pastry (about 200g)
  • 120g Taleggio
  • thyme

Peel the onions and cut into wedges. Put them into a shallow pan with the butter and cook over a fairly low heat until they are soft, golden and sticky. This will probably take about 40 minutes or so.

Heat the oven to 220ºC/Gas 7. Unroll the pastry onto a lightly floured baking tray. Score a border about 2cm from each edge and prick all over with a fork.

Tip the onions on to the pastry, pushing them almost to the border. Brush the rim with some melted butter or some of the onion butter if there is some left in the pan. Slice the cheese thinly, then break it into small pieces, and distribute these through the onions. Scatter over some picked thyme leaves. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden.

Serve with a green salad.

Wine Suggestion: this calls for a white wine from the mountains: try an oaked Chardonnay from the Jura or if you want something amazing look out for the “Vigna della Oche” Riserva from Fattoria San Lorenzo in the Marche, Italy; a fantastic and truly amazing Verdicchio – a white wine that lasts a decade or two and just becomes more and more complex and complete.

(Original recipe from Nigel Slater’s Appetite, Fourth Estate, 2001.)

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Fear not, for this is not a complicated pastry recipe. In fact it is an absolute doddle as it uses two ready-made puff pastry sheets which are exactly the right size. No rolling required!

No-fuss puff-pastry mushroom pie – to feed 4

  • 5 medium onions
  • butter or oil
  • 350g firm mushrooms
  • a small handful of chopped thyme or oregano
  • 200g crème fraîche
  • 425g puff pastry
  • a little beaten egg or milk to glaze

Roughly chop the onions and cook slowly with butter or oil over a low heat for about 20 minutes, until golden and soft. Slice the mushrooms and add to the onions, adding more butter or oil if needed. Leave them to turn golden and tender but stir now and then so they don’t stick. Season with the chopped herbs and stir in the crème fraîche with some salt and pepper. Make sure it is creamy rather than runny by bubbling it for a couple of minutes to thicken.

Heat the oven to 200ºC/Gas 6. Lay one puff-pastry rectangle on a lightly floured baking sheet and spread the mushrooms and onions over, leaving a rim around the edge. Brush a little egg or milk around the rim, lay the second sheet on top and squeeze the edges together well to seal. Brush with some more of the egg or milk, then cut a couple of small holes in the top.

Bake until puffed up like a cushion and nicely browned – about 25 minutes. Check the bottom to make sure it’s crispy underneath.

Serve with a green salad.

(Original recipe from Nigel Slater’s Appetite, Fourth Estate, 2000.)

Wine Suggestion: We would suggest a medium bodied but well structured white wine with minerality such as a good Chardonnay. We had the benefit of trying a 2004 Cullen Margaret River Chardonnay which was youthful, fresh and superb; full of personality and minerality while still being effortless and elegant.

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It’s another Irish Food Bloggers Association Cookalong and this time the theme is Irish. We were tempted to do an Irish stew but thought that was a bit obvious, we thought about beef and Guinness but that’s not all that original either and then to make things more difficult we invited a vegetarian for dinner.  It was then that we thought about using some Irish cheese as the base for a dish and after eating many variations of cheese and pastry all week we came up with this. Irish potatoes, leeks and a west Cork Cheddar all baked up in a pie. Delicious!!

Serves 4-6

  • 650g waxy potatoes
  • 750g leeks
  • 50g butter
  • 200ml creme fraiche
  • 180g Bandon Vale Vintage Cheddar, grated
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • 500g puff pastry
  • beaten egg for glazing

Heat the oven to 200C.

Peel the potatoes and cut them into slices. Boil in plenty of salted water until tender (it’s ok if they go a bit mushy).

Meanwhile, throw away the very green bit of the leeks and slice the rest into rings. Wash really well in cold water to get rid of any grit.

Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the leeks. Cover and cook over low-medium heat until tender – about 20 minutes.

Mix the  leeks, potatoes, creme fraiche and cheddar and season well with salt, pepper and a little bit of nutmeg.

Roll the pastry into two rectangles (about the size of your baking sheet).

Pile the potato mixture into the middle  of one sheet and leave a good rim around the edge. Brush the edges with beaten egg and lay second piece of pastry over the top and press the edges down, pinching firmly to seal. Trim off any excess.

Brush all over with the egg and cut 3 or 4 slits along the width of the top.

Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden.

(Original recipe from Nigel Slater Tender Vol 1 – A tart of leeks and cheese)

Wine suggestion: A full-bodied white was nice with this. We had a Santenay Blanc followed by an oaked Semillon from the Clare Valley.

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