So many of us find ourselves eating alone or as a couple and, as a result, so many of us reach for convenience solutions. What if we cooked for ourselves like we were cooking for someone we loved? This is what this site is all about. Some of the food is healthy, some isn't, all of it is made with love.
Wednesday, 5 November 2014
Lentil and Mushroom Pie
Lentils are the kind of food which could almost convince me to become vegetarian. They are a great source of folate but also filling and substantial. Paired with mushrooms, it is the taste of delicious autumnal earthy flavours.
I've used a butter pastry on the top but if you are vegan, substitute the butter for dairy free margarine.
I've frozen one of these raw and will let you know how it reheats!
Lentil and Mushroom Pie - Makes 2
Note please use gram or ounce measurements, they're not exactly the same.
75g, 3oz Green lentils
1 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic
100g, 4oz Mushrooms
1 vegetarian stock cube
A couple of sprigs thyme
A couple of sprigs parsley
1 tsp cornflour (cornstarch)
A large splash of brandy
For the pastry
50g, 2oz plain (all purpose) flour
10g, 1/2oz cornflour (cornstarch)
40g, 1 and 1/2oz butter or dairy free margarine
Milk for brushing (optional)
Boil the lentils in water for 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to a simmer and simmer until cooked. Be aware some packs recommend cooking for ages but they're often cooked in only 30 minutes in total. Just check and stop when cooked.
In the meantime, finely chop the onion and fry in the oil until softening. Finely chop the mushrooms and add to the onion. Add in the garlic and sweat down then add a splash of brandy and crumble in the stock cube.
When the lentils are cooked, drain them reserving some of the liquid. Add the lentils with a tbsp of the cooking liquid. Mix the cornflour with some water then mix into the lentils and bubble until thickened, add in the chopped thyme and parsley. Add a bit more liquid if you want more 'gravy'.
Pour into two individual pie dishes or ramekins and allow to cool.
Sorry, this is a bit of labour of love isn't it? But you can always make the first part ahead.
When ready to progress, blend the flours with the butter in a food processor (or rub together in a bowl). Add in enough cold water to bring together (it's always less than you think).
Kneed lightly, then roll out and top the filling. Add a little vent hole and top with any decoration. Brush with milk if using then bake in an oven at 180oC, 350F, Gas Mark 5 for approx 30 minutes or until the pastry is browned and crisp.
Serve with green vegetables.
What's great about using some cornflour in the pastry as, even when you don't use lard (which is traditionally used to make pastry 'short' textured and crumbly) it makes it deliciously fragile and melt in the mouth. This is because it reduces the amount of gluten in the pastry so you can enjoy this crumbly pastry even if you're vegetarian or vegan.
You can substitute the white flour for some or all brown flour if liked but it will give a slightly different result.