Cheese, Rosemary and Garlic Puff Pastry


‘T was the day after XMAS and all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse…

Seriously, it was a morning after some holidays (and holiday meals) and all I’ve had left in the refrigerator was leftovers – some cheese and sheet of ready-made puff pastry dough. Apparently, this was enough to prepare a very quick (less than 5 minutes) and very tasty salty pie for breakfast.

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Ingredients:

  1. ~70 gr of hard cheese (Kashkaval, Parmesan or Grana Padano)
  2. 100 gr of soft Goat Feta cheese
  3. 100 gr of Sour Cream (9%)
  4. Small sheet of ready-made puff pastry dough
  5. 1 garlic clove
  6. 1 branch of rosemary
  7. 1 egg

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Beef Pie with Eggplant and Pine Nuts


I wanted to prepare this recipe for a long time, but somehow didn’t find the time for it. Recently, when cleaning the small table in the living room, I got my eyes on it, and decided that it was time.

What can I tell about the result? Very tasty (in a distinct Mediterranean style). Meat and eggplants is a fairly common combination. Sometimes we even add some eggplant into kebabs/cutlets to make them more juicy. So, this dish doesn’t offer anything “conceptually” new. The upside is that it is really tasty. Even the lack of spice doesn’t affect the result, since the eggplants make good companions for the meat. If someone wants to spice this up, adding cumin or thyme could work really well here. This is a very quick and tasty dish, that could be prepared for dinner in a very short time.

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Ingredients:

(For baking form, 28 centimeters in diameter)

1 pack of puff pastry dough sheets (much better if it is with butter)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion
500 gr, ground beef
800 gr. eggplants pulp (approximately 4 medium-sized eggplants)
3 tbsp. pine nuts
Salt, Pepper

2 tbsp. bread crumbs
Butter for “greasing” the baking form
1 egg

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Macaroni and Cheese Mini Casseroles


One of the advantages of this variant of the classic dish is that its lighting fast. For example, while baking it one can prepare a salad and serve it to the table. (In my case, this was a quick breakfast idea)

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Ingredients:

(For two personal “pies” illustrated above)

75 gr. dry short pasta (do not cook it beforehand)
75 gr. / ml. milk
75 gr. low-fat sour cream*
75. grated cheddar**
Some salt, a pinch of nutmeg (or red/chilli pepper), pepper

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Pumpkin, Sweet Potato and Mint Pie


The basis for this pie is made of a Pâte Brisée dough, and the filling is made of pumpkin, sweet potato, cheese and some mint leaves. Care to try?

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Ingredients:

The following list of ingredients will work for a baking form (for a tart), 28 centimeters in diameter.

Dough:
200 gr. flour
100 gr, cold butter cut into small cubes
0.5 tsp. salt
150 gr. sour cream

Filling:
20 gr. butter
1 large onion
250 gr. pumpkin
350 gr. sweet potato (*)
250 gr. feta cheese
2 eggs
200 gr. low-fat sour cream
100 gr. Kashkaval (or similar) cheese
100 gr. hard yellow cheese (could be some kind of Cheddar with additives)
1.5 tsp. dry mint leaves

(*) alternatively, only pumpkin can be used – take 600 gr. in this case

Process:

Lets start with preparing the dough. Mix the flour with the salt. In a food processor add the butter to flour with salt and “beat” it into small crumbs. Transfer the crumbs into a bowl add most (not all) of the sour, mix the dough and form it into a small ball. If needed, add the remainder of the sour cream. Please note that there is no need to mix this into a completely uniform mass. This kind of dough doesn’t react well to over-mixing, as it becomes too firm. All we need is to form it into a firm ball. In the end, wrap the ball with a plastic wrap and put in refrigerator for, at least, 30 minutes.

Now to the filling: take a bowl and grate the pumpkin and the sweet potato on a fine grater. Take another bowl and grate all the cheese on the same grater into it. Finely chop the onion.In a large frying pan, dissolve the butter and fry the onion while mixing, until transparent. Add the grated pumpkin and sweet potato, mix and simmer this on high heat for 5-7 minutes until the vegetables change their color and soften. Remove from heat and chill.

If you are preparing this pie and plan to serve it the next day, you can take a long break at this point and leave both the dough and the filling in a refrigerator.

After chilling the fried vegetables, mix them with all other filling ingredients and add salt (if needed). In my case, the feta cheese was salty enough, so additional salt was not required. Might not always be the case.

Take the dough from the refrigerator, sprinkle with flour and roll it (make sure the size of the rolled dough “sheet” is matching the baking form you are going to use. It is easiest to roll this kind of dough between two sheets of baking paper. Insert the rolled dough “sheet” into the baking form and trim the edges.Cover the dough with a sheet of baking paper, put some load on top of it (for weight) and bake for 20 minutes on 190 C.

Remove the load and the baking paper, pour the filling into the form on top of the dough and bake for additional 45 minutes until the filling obtains slightly brownish color.

Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature. The pie is ready for serving at this point, although it can be even better if tasted cold from the refrigerator.

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If you liked this salty pie, check out the Sweet Pumpkin Pie recipe:

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Did you like this recipe? Do you think that you are going to cook it anytime soon? Have you already tried it?

Please leave us comments about your experience…..

Sweet Pumpkin Pie


This pie was originally conceived in September 2010. When working on it, the filling was actually prepared by our (then) 2.5 years-old daughter.

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Ingredients for the pie base:

270 gr. flour
150 gr. cold butter
25 gr. sugar powder
A pinch of salt
6 tablespoons of ice-cold water (*)

Ingredients for the filling:

400 gr. pumpkin puree
10 gr. (small pack) of vanilla sugar (or 1/2 tsp vanilla essence)
7-8 tbsp sugar
4 eggs
1 full spoon of  starch
Juice of half a lemon
Orange peel from two oranges

Pie baking form – 28cm is diameter.

Pie Base:

Sift flour with salt and sugar powder. Cut the butter into small cubes. Mix them all together and with a knife create a formation similar to bread crumbs (this can be done inside a food processor using a blade attachment). Put the resulting crumbs into a bowl, add the water and stir the eventual dough (quickly). For the dough into a ball shape, wrap with kitchen cellophane wrap and put into the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

The Filling:

I did not weigh the pumpkin, therefore I can only talk about the amount of the resulting mash.

Cut the pumpkin into small pieces and cook in a covered pot over low heat until tender, about 30 minutes (without salt or sugar, you can add a tablespoon of water). Turn the resulting tender mass into a puree with a blender until smooth. Let the puree rest until it reaches room temperature.

Add all the remaining ingredients stirring them in until the sugar is dissolved completely and a uniform mass is obtained.

Splash the pie baking form with a bit of oil. Roll the dough to the size of the form, put in shape and cut off the edges. In order to avoid the possibility of liquids from the mash soaking into the basis, I baked the basis for 20 minutes (under weight) at 200C (392F).

Pour the filling at the baked foundation and cook for 30 additional minutes at 180C (356F). In the end, the filling should be have an “elastic” touch (you can see my fingerprint in the photo below, as I checked it ahead of time – be careful).

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Leave in the refrigerator for a night before consumption. Make an effort not to eat it all at once 🙂

*My way of making ice-cold water: pour room-temperature water into a cup and add some ice cubes from the freezer.