Welcome to The Young and Hungry.
Before I start with my first recipe, I’ll introduce myself to you: I’m Tory, I’m from Wellington and I’m a vegetarian with a passion for desserts, so now you know what to expect from my recipes. However, I do eat fish so there may be some fish recipes included every now and again.
As you may have already read in the “About” section, I’m not the only author of The Young and Hungry, you will hear from my friend Nurul later on as we’ll post twice a week each starting from next week.
My first recipe is Mushroom Pot Pies from “Vegetarian Cooking, a Commonsense Guide”, a recipe book I’ll use fairly frequently.
I will add my own commentary to the method in italics, as well as some notes at the start or end of each recipe that are helpful or interesting about my experience of the recipe.
A leek (white part only) (I used half an onion instead)
A couple of crushed garlic cloves
Large field mushrooms, peeled and diced
1 cup cream
1 sheet puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
Salt and pepper
Note: Meat such as bacon can be added to this recipe if you feel it’s necessary to ruin a perfectly good pie with meat.
Preheat oven to 180 C . Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan. Sauté the leek/onion and garlic over medium heat for 5 minutes or until the leek/onion is soft and translucent. Transfer onto a plate.
Heat another tablespoon of oil in the frying pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, stirring frequently for 5-7 minutes or until the mushrooms have released their juices and are soft and slightly coloured.
Add leek/onion and garlic mixture into frying pan with mushrooms. Add thyme and salt. (Fresh thyme can be used but I used dry thyme from a packet). Here I also added a sprinkle of ground chilli, something I do often in my cooking, as I love a bit of a kick, it is not on the recipe and is optional but I personally find it adds to the flavour.
Turn up the heat to high and add cream.
Stirring occasionally, cook for 7-8 minutes or until the cream has reduced to a thick sauce. Remember to taste as you go and add more salt and pepper if you feel it needs more, because I add chilli, I usually don’t use pepper.
Divide mushrooms into ramekins or ovenproof bowls, I had enough mushrooms for two pies but if you want to make a bigger batch, add more mushrooms. Cut the pastry into rounds about the same size as each ramekin.
Brush the rim of each ramekin with some beaten egg yolk, place the pastry rounds on top and press down on the pastry to seal. Brush the tops with the remaining egg yolk.
Place the ramekins on a baking tray and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden. Serve hot.
Note: This was my first time making these pies and I found, when I took the pies out of the oven and cracked open the pastry, the creamy mushroom mixture had separated slightly so some of the oil from the cream was visible and although not visually appealing, it didn’t seem to effect the flavour of the pies. I’m not sure if there is a way to prevent this separation, let me know if you know.