I’ve been trying to eat more interestingly. It’s really easy to get some faithful recipes that you put on rotation so that you know, after a long day of officing, and commuting, tidying up and being a good friend, and doing all of the other thousands of things we all have to do every day theres something easy and familiar we can whip up and eat without thinking whilst we watch Don’t Tell The Bride.
To avoid that every Saturday my boyfriend and I sit down with cook books and plan a whole week of recipes. On weeks we know we’re going to be super busy we plan big trey bakes like lasagne to last for a couple of days. When we ave time to experiment we take full advantage. The planning what to eat each night is part of the stress, I think. So having it all ready to go on a piece of paper makes everything easier.
Sometimes a recipe will need a certain amount of something, but we’ll buy a little more just because of how a supermarket packet of it comes. Which is, I think, how we were left with some mushrooms and seaweed we hadn’t planned for at the end of one week. I’m glad we did because this is something I’ll 100% be making on purpose, and not out of ‘the mushrooms are starting to look sad’ necessity.
The mushroom and seaweed combination is amazing, because they each remove the other’s problems. Seaweed can sometimes be dry and uninteresting. Mushrooms can be too wet to pair happily with pastry. Together, the seaweed absorbs and any liquid the mushrooms want to produce as though they were made to be together.
What you need:
- 150g fresh mixed wild mushrooms (and any more you fine lurking at the back of the fridge that still look reasonable)
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 packet pre made shortcrust pastry
- 70g (lactose free) cream cheese
- 20g dried seaweed (I used a little extra to have as a side dish)
- 1 finely chopped red onion
- splash of olive oil
It’s really easy:
- Pre heat the oven to 200 Degrees.
- grease the dish or tin you want to make the pie in with oil and then a light dusting of flour. Line with the pastry and blind bake for 10 minutes to give the pastry enough rigidity to stand on its own. Be certain you leave enough pastry to cover the pie later. After 10 minutes remove from the oven and set aside until you need it. Don’t turn the oven off!
- Begin be rehydrating your seaweed. Put the dried seaweed in a bowl or heatproof jug and pour boiling water over it, ensuring it’s covered. Leave for about 10 minutes until the seaweed has more than doubled in size and has gone from crispy and springy. Set aside to drain well.
- Cut the dirty bottoms of the mushrooms and wash them thoroughly. Wild exotic mushrooms can be grainy if you don’t wash them carefully, so spend a little time on this. Roughly dry with a tea-towel.
- Once they’re clean, cut the mushrooms into halves or quarters. You want to ensure that there are still large mushroom pieces in your pie, and mushrooms always shrink when they’re cooked.
- Peel your garlic. I find garlic crushers clunky and inefficient, so i prefer to use a greater to get my garlic as small as I can. However you do it, chop/grate.crush your garlic up finely.
- Add the chopped red onion and fine garlic to a large pan with some olive oil and heat gently, stirring occasionally, until they have both softened and only just begun to brown.
- Turn up the heat a little and add the dried mushrooms and continue to sir until the mushrooms have also begun to colour.
- Quickly add the hydrated seaweed and the cream cheese and stir together to make sure everything has a good coating of everything else.
- When everything is mixed together and ready to go, spoon it into the waiting pie crust.
- Use the left over pastry to make a top for the pie, if you have trouble making the sides and lid hold together brush some oil onto the edges to help them hold together.
- Use your fingers to go around the edges to make sure there’s a good seal all around, and use a knife to make a hole in the top to allow steam to escape.
- Lightly brush the entire top of the pastry with oil (or milk if you rather) this helps is turn a lovely golden colour in the oven.
- Put into the already hot oven for 15 minutes. Check on it after 10. If the pasty is looking too golden already cover with foil to stop if from burning.
- When the pasty is golden all over remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before eating. I had mine with a side of seaweed but any kind of salad would be good.
- The pie easily serves 4, but since there are 2 of us, it served very happily as lunch the next day.