Monday, 22 September 2014

Mushroom Pies

Looking into the fridge the other day, contemplating what to cook for dinner. Mushrooms! I had 4 large brown, gorgeous looking mushrooms which caught my eye.  One of my all time favourite summer mushroom recipes is a sort of mushroom Streudel made with phyllo pastry, but because it involves sour cream I don't cook it too often. I am still wanting to throw off a few kilos, so I am trying to be a bit careful.
I did a search in the fridge to see what else was lurking there that needed to be used immediately and what I came up with lead me to this -  Mushroom Pies. Mushrooms are great for vegetarians because they contain essential vitamins and minerals and are a good source of protein; And are low calorie,

I use mushrooms almost every week. If they are not being chopped into a salad, then I am adding them to eggs for omelette, into casseroles, blended to make dips and on their own, lightly cooked with lots of black pepper.

Incidentally over the past week I have been reading about raw foods. I was interested in seeing how a mix of water and cashew nuts blended together would make a creamy sauce; one that could be added to any casserole or stew to give it a nice creamy consistency. Time to add this to my mushrooms to make a pie filling. I also had a little bought puff pastry that I was desperate to use up and this helped enormously as I was in a screaming hurry to get some food on the table.

I used a combination of the beautiful large brown mushrooms, and a mixture of things I had in the fridge; you can use whatever you have but this combination worked really well. You could add cooked broccoli, frozen or fresh peas, finely chopped carrot etc etc.

This is what I made and it was pretty delicious. I made enough for 4 servings, but it would be easy to add extra ingredients or less, depending on how many people you want to serve. My little pie tins took 1 whole sheet of puff pastry each. Depending on the size of yours, you will have to calculate how many you need.

Little Mushroom Pies (with whatever)


5 large brown mushrooms chopped
1 brown onion finely chopped
1 stick of celery finely chopped
1/2 a leek finely slice
2 cloves garlic minced
1 cup raw cashew nuts
1/2 cup water
1 tbls olive oil
salt and pepper
fresh thyme and parsley chopped finely
4 sheets of ready made puff pastry (I used Pampas)
a little butter for greasing the pie dishes
a little water for the pastry edges
  • Take pastry out of the freezer and defrost ready for making pies.
  • Place the cashew nuts and water into a blender or if you are using a hand held stick, into a bowl and blitz until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a frying pan and cook onions until soft, add garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  • Add leek, celery, salt and pepper and cook for a further 3 minutes. Turn the heat up a little and add chopped mushrooms and cook for 6 minutes.
  • Cut out your pastry for a top and a bottom to suit your pie tins. Grease pie dishes while you are waiting.
  • Add the creamed cashew and water mixture and stir until all is coated. Adjust seasoning and add chopped parsley and thyme and stir in well. Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to cool.
  • Heat oven to 200ยบc Fan forced.
  • Line pie tins with pastry, add filling. Using a pastry brush, brush the edges of the pastry with water and add the pastry tops, pressing down along the edge to seal or pinch them to make a scalloped pattern. When all pies are completed, take a sharp knife and add a small v shape in the middle of the pastry to allow steam to escape.
  • Place in the oven and cook for 20 -25 minutes, until pastry is nicely brown and has risen well.
Serving 4 people: estimated cost $8, that is $2 per head, add more if you serve with extra vegetables or salad.

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