Sunday, 21 August 2011

Leek, Mushroom and Spinach Pies

Following on from my post on the dinner for eight the other night, this is another of the appetisers that I served that night. After serving the Bacon wrapped apricots and the chicken version of Nachos, these mini pies came out.

When planning the menu, The Lovely Wife was concerned that we were only serving one dish for the main meal. And the salad of course. She felt the table would be a little bare and that somehow our guests would not have enough food or enough choices. We decided to overcome that with lots of appetisers and these pies were to be the substantial appetisers that would not only taste good, but help in filling up out guests as well!

I was a bit apprehensive about making these mini pies as I felt that they may be a little time consuming. The Lovely Wife had originally suggested my Vol au Vents but I knew that although those would be well received, it would definitely be time consuming in cutting out the rounds, baking them, filling them and then baking them again.

Lining muffin pans with pastry seemed to be a simple solution and it turned out to be far easier, far faster and no less delicious. This is what I did.

3 cloves garlic - chopped
1 medium onion - chopped
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
400g Button Mushrooms - sliced thinly
3 leeks - sliced thinly
200g spinach
3 eggs
2 Tbsp Sour Cream
Black Pepper
Puff Pastry Sheets
Blanche the spinach and then chop roughly. Set aside. Sautee onion, garlic, oregano and basil together until onions are tender. Add in the mushrooms and leek and cook till tender. Add in the spinach and toss well. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl. Beat the eggs and pour into the mixing bowl together with the sour cream. Mix well. Season with salt and black pepper.

Line a muffin tray with the puff pastry and then spoon the mixture evenly into the pastry, about 2/3 full. Bake in a preheated 200C oven till pastry puffs up nicely and the mixture has set.

In retrospect, the could probably have been a little bit more filling for the pastry but it was very tasty as it was. The puff pastry lent a nice flakiness to the filling and the eggs were not too overpowering or even noticeable.

A very tasty and satisfying appetiser indeed and even something that could be used as an accompaniment for the main meal. My little princess really enjoyed the pies and both my son and her wolfed down a couple over breakfast the next morning.

I have to admit that in terms of presentation and appearance, Vol au Vents would have been the much better choice but in terms of speed and ease of execution, these just cant be beat! Call them mini pies or call them quiche, fill them with whatever you like. This is something I will file for frequent use as the possibilities for these mini pies/quiches are really quite endless!

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