Posts Tagged ‘egg’

Mini Silverbeet, Egg & Ricotta Pies

In Baking, Egg, Pastry, Pie on September 5, 2012 at 6:49 am



I’ve had a pie craving all winter (especially since I discovered this new pastry method) yet I just haven’t had the time or occasion to make all the pies I wanted to. However, a small series of events (visiting my parents, a shared lunch) meant that I finally got my chance. I made a batch of this ricotta using raw milk from my parents’ farm with an idea in mind of making spinach and ricotta pie. Once I’d made the ricotta, returned to Auckland and actually got around to cooking, I decided that making numerous small pies would be an infinitely better idea, especially for a shared lunch! I also figured that silverbeet would made a good substitute for spinach, seeing as I still have lots of silverbeet in my garden. And then, top it all off, I saw a recipe that included whole egg yolks with the ricotta and spinach which made me think of Italian Easter Pie, similar to this improvised version I made a while back.

I was really pleased with the end result – though definitely was a bit short on the silverbeet filling. I still have some pastry left, so may even make a couple more pies tonight!

If you are keen on making these, the method is quite simple.

Make pastry using this method and recipe, or else use bought pastry (Ek!)

Set pastry aside.

Take a head of fresh spinach or silverbeet (or use equivalent frozen), rinse and steam briefly for a few minutes until wilted. Drain and squeeze out excess moisture. Chop with kitchen scissors or a knife. Set aside.

Peel and chop 1 green onion and a garlic clove. Sautee until softened in a little olive oil. Add silverbeet to pan, along with some salt and pepper, chopped herbs (I just used parsley) as well as a pinch of nutmeg. Remove from heat, cool slightly and beat in 1 egg. Mix ricotta (around 300-400 g, depending on your ricotta – mine is super thick) with some chopped herbs, salt and an egg.

Oil some ramekins (I used 3 around 11 x 6 cm in size) using a small bowl of oil and a pastry brush. Divide pastry dough into small balls to match size and number of ramekins –  it’s likely there will be some leftover pastry, so store in the fridge or freeze or for later use. Roll out on a floured bench until thin. Line ramekin with pastry, trimming off any excess. Fill with a layer of silverbeet, then ricotta, then silverbeet again. Make a small well in top of silverbeet. Separate an egg and place egg yolk in well. Roll out enough pastry to make a lid for the pie. Crimp edges together and brush with olive oil. Do the same for the remaining ramekins.

Cook for roughly 45 minutes in a preheated 180 degrees oven. Eat and enjoy!


Goat’s Cheese Souffle

In Egg, Souffle on July 13, 2012 at 6:06 am

Sincerest apologies for yet another period of absence! What can I say, other than I have been busy as usual and quite without time to cook. I’ve been craving a souffle for a while, but kept putting it off. It’s one of those foods that you associate with entertaining and don’t bother to make yourself, even though it’s relatively straightforward. I got this recipe out of a new cookbook that belongs to my mother. It’s a beautiful gigantic thing put out by the Australian Womens Weekly. I couldn’t be bothered making the creamed spinach sauce which they suggest to go with it, but I imagine that would be a delicious accompaniment.

30 g butter

3 tbsp flour

approx. 1 cup milk

4 eggs, separated

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

approx. 150 g firm goat’s cheese, crumbled

Preheat oven to 220 degrees. Oil the souffle dish(es) and place on a baking tray. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, add flour. Cook, stirring until the mixture bubbles and thickens. Gradually add milk, stir until thickening. Add cayenne pepper. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in egg yolks and goat cheese. Cool for 5 minutes. Beat egg whites in another bowl until soft peaks form, fold the whites into the cheese mixture in two batches. Be very gentle when mixing! Transfer the mixture to dish(es). Bake until the souffle is puffed up and risen and browned slightly.

Devilled Eggs

In Egg, Entertaining, Snacks on April 27, 2012 at 9:23 pm

Dressed Devilled Egg close up - apologies for fuzzy photo! Good morning photography is hard...

Yesterday evening I had a deep craving for devilled eggs, but by the time my I’d hardboiled the eggs, all motivation disappeared. However, this morning when I saw the hard boiled eggs waiting there for me, I decided I might as well go ahead. Devilled eggs for breakfast? Why not! A bit unconventional perhaps, but there you go. I’d had devilled eggs on the brain for a while, as we had intended to make them for Theresa’s tea party. However, the hardboiling of the eggs on that occasion didn’t quite work out, so we ended up making eggs sandwiches instead.

As usual, I looked to Smitten Kitchen for a recipe. I was relatively faithful to it, except that I only used 6 eggs and simplified the topping. It was a surprisingly quick process, and I would really recommend these as an easy appetizer for a dinner party or when entertaining. However, I would definitely advise hard boiling the eggs the night before – that way if the eggs don’t peel well you have time to whip something else up in its place!

My photos can’t quite compete with Smitten Kitchens, but I was pretty happy with the result. I think for presentation purposes, using a piping bag really helps! (As opposed to trying to spoon the mixture in)

Eggs ready for dressing!

Undressed Devilled Egg

Dressed egg on lettuce leaf from the garden

Savoury Pie – with Spinach, Handmade Ricotta, Prima Donna Maturo, Basil and Egg

In Baking, Cheese, Egg, Main meals, Pastry, Pickles & Preserves, Pie on February 3, 2012 at 1:40 am

Savoury Pie - with Spinach, Ricotta, Prima Donna Maturo, Basil and Egg

I got an idea to make this pie from my Italian cookbook – which had a recipe for a savoury Easter pie, and the ingredients included ricotta, grated parmesan, beet leaves, artichokes and eggs. I decided not to follow the recipe because I lacked too many of the ingredients, but I ran with the general concept.

I will refrain from giving exact ingredient measurements, because I didn’t really use any, but rather made the recipe up as I went along. I began with about half a packet of leftover frozen spinach – defrosted it in the microwave, squeezed out excess water and sauteed it in frying pan with generous amount of extra virgin olive oil. I had thought to do onion and garlic beforehand (I put them in almost EVRYTHING savoury) but forgot. To the spinach, I added basil and some thyme from the garden – washed and shredded. I removed the pan from the heat, then added what was left of my handmade ricotta – about 100-150g? I completed the filling with about 90g of prima donna maturo – grated – which I bought from the Dutch cheese sellers at the Dargaville Farmers Market.

Prima Donna Maturo, Thyme, Basil and Handmade Ricotta

Sauteed spinach

Then I made the pastry, trying to stick with the authentic method described in my cookbook. Instead of using a bowl, I just mounded around 2 cups of white flour on the bench – maybe a bit more – making a well in the centre. I poured in olive oil and a little bit of water, and started to work the flour into a pastry dough, adding more oil and water as necessary. I eventually ended up adding an egg as well. It made the pastry quite springy, and I was worried that the pastry was going to be too tough – but it actually turned out to be well suited to this pie, and wasn’t tough at all!

Once more or less the right consistency, I split the dough in half and rolled out to a circle. I put this in my small, greased pie dish, and trimmed the edges until they were neat. I filled the pastry shell with the ricotta mixture (I found the amount of mixture a bit much, I only needed about half of it in the end – will have to find something to do with the rest!). I then made a circular dent in the middle of the pie and cracked an egg into it. I covered the top with the remaining pastry.

Egg with filling in pastry shell

Topped with pastry

Finally, I brushed the pie top with an egg, then left it in a preheated oven (180 degrees celsius) for about 35 mins. I left it to cool a little before before cutting. I devoured my (very generous) slice with some of my homemade tomato relish.

Pie fresh out of the oven!

Pie - with my epic slice removed!

I was very excited by how well the egg cooked!

Served with my homemade tomato relish!