Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Roasted Vegetable and Feta Filo Pie

So as you may of spotted from the title this is yet another vegetarian inspired meal. I am not vegetarian, far from it in fact, but of late I seem to be making more vegetarian inspired meals during the week. I guess this cannot be a bad thing as it is  a great way to add to the recommended 'five a day' mantra but also that in this current climate of austerity and prices of food seemingly more and more expensive especially fresh fish and meat, vegetarian meals can be a great alternative. For me personally, I think there is a certain challenge of making a great tasting vegetarian meal and if it also happens to be reasonably healthy and kind to the pocket then that's just tickety-boo.
This is great for a family of 4 for dinner or lovely as a lunch for friends or as a brunch alternative. It tastes great, looks brilliant and is surprisingly filling. 

Roasted Vegetable and Feta Filo Pie - Makes enough for 4 people
  • 1 Aubergine, diced into chunks 
  • 1 Courgette, diced into chunks
  • 6 Chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large red onion, diced into chunks
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and diced into chunks
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and kept whole 
  • 4 sprigs of thyme
  • Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 handful of parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 50g of Feta cheese, crumbled  
  • 6  ready to use filo pastry sheets
  • 1 egg
I accompanied this dish with a side of braised little gem lettuce
  • 2 little gem lettuce, leaves removed and washed
  • 1 knob of butter
  • freshly ground sea salt
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade/gas mark 6. Prepare the vegetables for the pie as above then place into a large roasting tray. Add the thyme, garlic (slightly bashed), salt, pepper and olive oil then mix it all together. Roast in the oven for 45 mins or until the vegetables have softened and have picked up some colour. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Remember to remove the sprigs of thyme, this is also a great point to add the ground cinnamon and mix into the roasted vegetables. Meanwhile oil a roasting tin, then line with the filo pastry sheets being sure to leave some excess hanging over the edges. With the filo avoid tearing the sheets as the filling may leak out and also avoid layering up too thick a layer of filo on the bottom of tin as this may lead to uncooked pastry. Next tip in the cooled vegetable mixture and spread out, then crumble over the feta. Carefully take the ends of the filo pastry and drape over the filling. Break the egg, mix the contents well and use it to wash over the top of the pie. Place back in the oven on the bottom shelf and bake for 30-45 mins or until the pastry is golden. 
For the little gem lettuce, place in a heated pan along with the butter and salt and cook until the leaves have just started to wilt then remove from the heat.
Divide the pie into portions and serve with a side of the little gem then enjoy!

I hope you enjoy this meal as much as I do, please let me know how you get on by leaving a comment or emailing kitchenclonc@gmail.com
Thanks for stopping by, until next time.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

The First Post! Spiced Butternut Squash Soup

With the weather being as atrocious at it has been of late I decided last night to make a simple yet classic winter soup that is as comforting as it is filling. Butternut squash is beautifully sweet and therefore can really take some spice which I believe go perfectly together. 
To lift this humble soup I made a straightforward herb oil which adds an extra dimension of flavour and fantastic visual contrast between the bright yellow of the soup and vivid green of the herb oil. 

Spiced Butternut Squash Soup - makes enough for 2 for a main or 4 as a starter

  • 1 medium size onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 stick of celery, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • pinch of  dried chilli flakes (to personal taste)
  • 2 sprigs of lemon thyme
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and chopped
  • 500ml-750ml vegetable stock 
  • freshly ground sea salt and black pepper to season
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
Herb oil - to dress the soup (optional)

  • 2 sprigs of thyme, leaves only
  • small bunch of coriander 
  • small bunch of parsley 
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and fry off the onion, garlic, carrot and celery until softened. Then add the chilli flakes and thyme followed by the butternut squash and continue to cook until the squash starts to pick up some colour. Dependant on the size of the squash you have you'll need to add more or less of the vegetable stock to cover. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer then cover with a lid.
When the squash is soft and yielding remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly then blend with a hand held stick blender until smooth. After this stage I like to pass the soup through a sieve to get a smoother texture but if you don't sieve the soup you get this lovely rustic finish but remember to remove the thyme sprigs. To finish stir in the ground cinnamon. 
If you fancy the herb oil just add all the ingredients to a suitable container and blend with the hand blender until you have a vivid green oil. Which you can use to drizzle over the soup.
Serve with some lovely bread and cheese for a fantastic heart warming dinner.

Thanks for reading my first post! Hopefully the more I blog the better I will get and so too will the photos!