Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Spinach & Egg Pie

This is from Paul Hollywood's website where you can see a photo of the finished pie. It is absolutely delicious.

We feel as if the world is a small place and we are all alike. Until, that is, we begin baking with British recipes!

For one thing the measurements, beginning with the oven temperature, can be mystifying. This conversion chart helps considerably!

Notes:
  • We doubled the amount of spinach which would have been nearly enough to match the result that we saw in the picture. 
  • See what you think of the eggs nestled in the pie. I loved the idea but when we were eating it the result was if one was tucking into a delicious meal and then stopped by a roadblock of boiled egg. I mean, we like boiled eggs but it just didn't work for us. So next time we'll just skip that bit.

Spinach & Egg Pie
Serves 6

Ingredients

For the shortcrust pastry
- 275g plain flour
- Pinch of salt
- 135g cold butter, diced
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 tsp lemon juice

For the filling
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 225g frozen spinach (double this)
- 5 medium eggs
- 200g cream cheese
- 100g mature cheddar cheese
- 1 tbsp chopped chives
- Pinch of salt
- 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 medium egg - beaten for egg wash

Preheat the oven to 200C, gas mark 6. (400°)

Mix the flour and salt together. Rub in the butter until it looks like breadcrumbs. Mix the egg with the lemon juice and 2-3 tbsp of cold water. Make a well in the centre of the mixture and pour in the egg mix. Use a knife to mix together and form a dough. If the dough is too dry add a splash more water.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead to form a smooth dough. Wrap in cling film and leave in the fridge to chill for at least 15 minutes.

Gently heat the oil and then cook the onion and garlic until soft. Transfer to a bowl. Add the frozen spinach to the pan and increase the heat. Cook, stirring often until all the spinach is soft and all the liquid released has evaporated. Add the spinach to the onion and garlic and leave to cool.

Beat two of the eggs with the cream cheese. Add the cheddar and chives, and then season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add to the cooled onion and spinach mixture.

Roll out 2/3 of the pastry not a 30cm circle and add to a lined 21cm loose bottom cake tin. Roll out the remaining pastry to a 24cm circle. Spread the filling over the base. Make 3 evenly spaced depressions in the filling. Crack the remaining eggs into each of the depressions.

Brush the rim of the pastry with egg wash and place a lid on top. Press the edges to seal. Trim off any excess pastry. Brush the top with egg wash. Make a steam hole in the centre of the lid. Bake for 50-55 minutes.

Can be eaten hot or cold.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Pork in Green Sauce

I love to make a Roasted Pork Shoulder for Christmas. And I love to make Pork in Green Sauce with the leftovers. The tangy sauce perfectly complements the rich pork. Wrapped in a flour tortilla, it is one of my favorite meals. I haven't actually tried eating it every week, but I feel as if I could.

The leftover pork means I'm halfway there, but for times when I haven't been hosting a big celebration then the Carnitas recipe below does the trick. It is fairly simple and hands-off, though it does take some time.

The Green Sauce is a variable that I always wish I could buy somewhere but I've never found a prepared version that isn't either blazing hot or weirdly viscous (ick). And it isn't as if I'm super picky because just about any version I've made myself works great. I've got links below to a couple of good ones.

CARNITAS
Make this, add green sauce, and wrap in a flour tortilla. 
[Via Homesick Texan, adapted from Diana Kennedy]

Step 1
3 pounds of pork butt
1 cup of orange juice
3 cups of water
2 teaspoons of salt

Cut pork into strips (three inches by one inch), add to a large pot with the liquids and salt. Bring to a boil and then simmer uncovered on low for 2 hours. Do not touch the meat.

Step 2
After two hours, turn heat up to medium high, and continue to cook until all the liquid has evaporated and the pork fat has rendered (about 45 minutes). Stir a few times, to keep pork from sticking to bottom of pan.

Step 3
When pork has browned on both sides, it’s ready (there will be liquid fat in the pan). Serve either cubed or shredded (pork will be tender enough that just touching it will cause it to fall apart).
Serves 4-6


GREEN SAUCE

I tend to pick up whatever Mexican cookbook that comes to hand and find a green sauce. As long as it has tomatillos I'm happy.

There are two you can try right here. The green sauces from this Chilaquiles recipe and this Rick Bayless recipe for Tacos of Tomatillo Chicken are both delicious. See which you like best.