Savoury recipes

Popie pasties/pie

 



I love spinach/silver beet, they just look so healthy, and they are, as they are very high in iron and b vitamins, but I know quite a few little ones who won’t go near the greenness of it so I have hidden it in pasties. I make pasties with puff pastry as there is a certain denseness and fillingness that this particular pastry gives, not to mention a lot less mess than filo! I also make this for the family as pie and it is so good there are never any leftovers!

  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees (gas mark 5)
  • 250 g spinach or silver beet
  • 1 onion (chopped finely)
  • 3 cloves of garlic (chopped finely)
  • 3 free range eggs (lightly whisked)
  • 1 cup (250 g) ricotta or cottage cheese
  • 250 g (one standard packet size) feta (crumbed)
  • ½ cup parmesan (grated)
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 packet of puff pastry (I have found a store-bought one that contains no preservatives – the Pantone range)
Cut the white part out of the silver beet or trim the stalks off the spinach. (They contain oxalates that block the absorption of all that good iron into your body). Roughly chop the leaves – don’t worry, it will all shrink down to next to nothing. Steam the spinach/silver beet until it is wilted, and put aside to cool. (Steaming helps to retain most of the nutrients).Frozen is fine to use (and easier to prepare!) – just defrost first and squeeze out the excess moisture.

Lightly sauté the onion and garlic and cook until onion is translucent.

In bowl lightly whisk the eggs, add the ricotta/cottage cheese, feta, parmesan, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Mix until combined.

Once the spinach has cooled squeeze the excess water from the leaves by pressing them between 2 plates and add to the bowl. Mix until combined.

Cut the pastry into 10 cm by 10 cm squares, wet the edges with water. Place a tablespoon of mixture into the centre of the pastry and then fold across so it makes a triangle. Press down on the open sides with a fork to seal. Prick the lids twice with a knife.

If you are feeling fancy brush the top with whisked egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Transfer to a baking tray lined with baking paper.

Bake for 30 minutes or until pastry is golden.

To make a pie version, butter and lightly flour a 20 by 30 cm baking dish. Place the puff pastry into the dish, making sure you have left enough to cover the sides.

Place the mixture inside and with the remaining pastry make a crisscross pattern on the top, wetting the sides where the pastry will meet.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until pastry is golden. (To make sure the bottom gets nice and brown, put a baking tray under the dish while it is cooking).

Set aside to cool for 10 minutes before eating, as this will make it easier to cut.

 


Cheese puffs

 

These are great as they are much easier to make than cheese muffins: all you do is dollop the mixture in spoonfuls onto a greased oven tray instead of in the muffin cups. They are also a great portion size for little mouths.

  • Preparation time: 5 minutes
  • Preheat oven to 230 degrees (gas mark 6)
  • 2 cups (100 g) tasty cheese (grated)
  • 1 free range egg
  • ½ teaspoon celtic sea salt
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 ¼ cups flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
Grate the cheese.

Put the egg, salt and milk in a bowl and beat until foamy.

Add in the grated cheese, flour and baking powder and stir just enough to mix everything.

Take a rounded teaspoonful of mixture and push it off the spoon with another teaspoon onto a tray lined with baking paper.

The puffs rise as they cook so leave some space between each one.

Turn the oven down to 220 c and bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes about 20.

To make a more adult version try adding 2 teaspoons of sweet chili sauce or 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika in the mix before baking.

To make these dairy free replace cheese with soy cheese.

 


Mum’s 5 minute cheese scones

 

I love making these because they are so quick to make and so yummy!! I have often been known to make them first thing in the morning around all the breakfast mayhem for 9.30 visitors so they are still warm to eat. They also freeze really well so great to have on hand for days when you don’t have the time to make anything.

  • Preparation time: 5 minutes
  • Preheat oven to 220 degrees (gas mark 6)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder (this is not a typo, scones need extra to make them light)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups tasty cheese (grated)
  • ¾ – 1 cup full cream milk

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add grated cheese and mix through.

Pour ¾ cup of the milk into the dry mixture.

Mix lightly together with knife until just combined.

Keep adding milk until it is just wet.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a square/round shape.

Lightly flour top, cut into 12 squares and put onto baking tray lined with baking paper for 12 to 15 minutes.

Don’t forget (like I always do) to set the oven to 220 degrees so it is nice and hot.

This is a marvellous recipe to fancy up. It tastes great with olives, silver beet, feta or sun-dried tomatoes. 1 tablespoon of pesto is also another option.

(The scones in the picture have spinach and feta cheese in them)

 


Miso mousetraps

 

This is a variation of an old favourite that I remember my mum making, especially for those long trips in the car. I have used miso instead of vegemite as it contains a lot less salt and has no preservatives. It tastes slightly different but most people, especially children, think it is vegemite.

  • Preheat oven to 160 degrees (gas mark 3)
  • Preparation time: 5 minutes
  • 1 loaf/baguette of day-old bread (I use sourdough)
  • ½ cup tasty cheese
  • 50 g brown rice miso paste (it is a dark brown colour)
Thinly slice the bread so you have manageable pieces (about 8 cm by 4cm).

Thinly spread the miso onto one side of the bread.

Sprinkle about 7 or 8 pieces of grated cheese onto each one – don’t use too much or they won’t dry out enough and will be chewy.

Place onto a baking tray and bake for 25 minutes or until the bottoms feel hard and the edges are brown.

 


Corn bread

 

 

This is so easy to make and so delicious! It is lovely and light and very moist. It’s great on its own or fresh out of the oven with butter on it.

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees (gas mark 4)
  • Preparation time: 5 minutes
  • 125 g butter or 125 ml oil
  • 1 ¾ cups corn flour
  • ½ teaspoon celtic sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 free range eggs (beaten)
  • 200 ml milk
  • A squeeze of lemon
  • ¼ cup parmesan (optional)
Melt the butter, set aside to cool.

Sift corn flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda into a bowl and mix thoroughly.

Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

Pour into a 20 cm loaf tin and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until skewer inserted into the middle come out clean.

It will keep fresh for about 3 to 4 days and can be frozen for up to 3 months.

 


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