Mutton & Cheese Pie

‘Pie’ is nothing but a baked dish of fruit, or meat and vegetables, typically with a top and base of pastry.

I recall to share a few posts on tarts ( Fruit Tartlets, Cherry tomato & poppy seed tartlets, Blue Cheese & Walnut Tartlets, Caramelized Lemon Tart ) in the past. Pies, which fall almost in the same category of tarts, but with a lid, are pretty interesting baked items too. Here I share with you the recipe of a savoury pie filled with mutton and cheese which also happens to be my first ever post on pie.

‘Mutton & Cheese Pie’ reminds me my good old days in Utrecht, Holland, where I got exposed to different kinds of baked items. Quite a few times I tested the savoury pies in small street-side baking shops there for which I grew an instant linking. It has been almost 4 years since I am back from Europe and after such a long time, finally managed to try one of my favourites among those pies, by my own. However, as a substitute of lamb meat, I used mutton along with Cheese, the latter being an addition and innovation from my side. One can skip adding cheese at will,  since simple mutton pies are also pretty delicious.

Mutton & Cheese Pie

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Thin Crust Veg Pizza with Mushroom, Bell pepper, Onion & Cheese

Many a fortnights back, I shared with you the recipe of home -made thick crust pizza with bell pepper, bacon and loads of cheese (link). Here I am back again with the story of another pizza, a bit different from its predecessor. This time it is a veg pizza with no meat, but with mushroom and onion as add on. It is a bit different in another aspect too being a thin crust which means the pizzza base is much thinner almost like a roti. Actually, if you really ask me, I must admit having a soft corner for the thin crust ones which gives a really light feeling with the bite. In fact in authentic pizzerias, across Europe and particularly in Italy, I found that they really mean Pizza by thin crust and prepare the base rolling and tossing the dough by hand. Another point to mention here regarding the cheese. I have always been skeptic about choosing the right kind of pizza cheese in India. However, I am pleasantly surprised by the Britannia cheese which is amazingly good and served as a great topping. So as the winter is in its fullest, make your own pizza with all the colours and play innovative with corns, broccoli, tomatoes and whatever you like.

Thin Crust Veg Pizza with Mushroom, Bell Pepper, Onion & Cheese

Thin Crust Veg Pizza with Mushroom, Bell Pepper, Onion & Cheese

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Tomato stuffed with mushroom, sweet corn & cheese

I am very fond of stuffed foods and often keep experimenting on them. They can be served well as  quick handy snacks and even as appetizer before settling into the main dishes. Earlier I shared with you one such recipe of Stuffed Mushrooms. Now It is the turn for stuffed tomatoes. I have so far found some Greek recipes where tomatoes get stuffed with meat minces. Here instead I give it a complete vegetarian treatment and fill the tomatoes with mushrooms, corns and cheese. Hope you will like it.

Tomato stuffed with mushroom, sweet corn & cheese

Tomato stuffed with mushroom, sweet corn & cheese

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Fish Cordon Bleu

Cordon bleu is a cutlet in which a thin slice of pounded meat is wrapped around cheese, then breaded and pan fried or deep fried. Various meat can be used for this purpose, such as chicken, veal, ham etc.

But as the name reveals I replaced meat with fish fillet and made a fish cordon bleu. I used Atlantic Cod fillets which can be replaced well by our favourite ‘Bhetki’ fish. The combination of fish with molten cheese made it so exquisitely delicious that is hard to explain in words. So better to prepare and try yourself. 😉

Fish Cordon Blue

Fish Cordon Blue

Ingredients to serve 2-4 :

  1. Fish fillet – 1 (approx. 150 gm)
  2. Onion paste – 1½ tbspoon
  3. Ginger – garlic paste – ½ tbspoon
  4. Green chilli paste – 1 teaspoon (optional)
  5. Lime juice – 1 tbspoon
  6. Black pepper powder – ½ teaspoon
  7. Salt to taste
  8. Mustard sauce or “Kasundi” – 1 tbspoon
  9. Grated cheese – 3-4 tbspoon
  10. Chopped Parsley – 2 tbspoon (heaped)
  11. Egg (beaten) – 1
  12. Breadcrumbs to coat
  13. Flour – 2-3 tbspoon
  14. Oil for pan fry

Procedure :

Clean and take out 4 medium size thin fillets of square or rectangular shape out of the large fillet. Try to cut them in equal size as they are going to be sandwiched with one another.

Fish fillets

Fish fillets

Marinate the fillets with the ingredients from 2-7 for at least 2 hours.

To make the filling, mix together the grated cheese and chopped parsley in a bowl.

Now coat one side of a fillet with ½ tbspoon of mustard sauce, spread half of the cheese filling over it, then sandwich it with another fillet. Prepare the other one following the same way.

Coating the fillet with mustard sauce & cheese feeling

Coating the fillet with mustard sauce & cheese feeling

Sandwiching the fillets

Sandwiching the fillets

Now spread the flour and breadcrumbs in two separate plates.

First coat the sandwiched fillet with flour, then dip in the beaten egg and finally coat with breadcrumbs.

Now heat oil in a pan over medium heat and shallow fry both sides of them till golden brown.

Fish Cordon Blue is ready to fry

Fish Cordon Bleu is ready to fry

Fish Cordon Blue is ready to serve

Fish Cordon Bleu is ready to serve

Transfer them on a paper towel and then cut diagonally in gentle hand.

Serve hot with mustard sauce , chopped parsley and salad.

Note :

  1. You can also deep fry the fillets. Always maintain the oil temperature moderately hot.

Chilli Cheese Nuggets

Chilli cheese nuggets used to be my favourite snack while I was living in Germany. There it was readily available in supermarkets to be baked into oven. Here in Netherlands, though one can find different croquettes with cheese, meat or vegetables, chilli cheese nuggets seem to be missing. So to reinstate the taste of melting cheese in my mouth with crispy fried breadcrumb coating, I thought to give it a try at home.

Selection of proper cheese for this recipe was a challenge at the beginning. Netherlands is a heaven for cheese lovers and one is amused to find the vast collection of cheeses here. Initially I tried this recipe with good quality cheeses but without much success. Finally I succeeded with “processed cheese”. The emulsifying salts, present in processed cheese, results in a product that melts without separating when cooked. However for natural cheeses (especially cheddar and mozzarella), they tend to separate into a lumpy, molten protein gel & liquid fat combination with prolonged heating, which is not desirable for this recipe. Rest of the process was rather simple and easy to be followed. You can enjoy this mouth-watering snack with a hot cup of tea/coffee.

Chilli cheese nugget

Chilli cheese nugget

Ingredients for 60 pieces. :

  1. Processed cheese slices – 400 gm.
  2. Big chilli or Jalapeno – 3
  3. Egg – 3
  4. Black pepper powder – 1 teaspoon
  5. Paprika – ½ teaspoon
  6. Salt to taste
  7. Breadcrumbs to coat
  8. Oil for deep-frying

Procedure :

Remove the seeds from the chillies and finely chop them.

Chopping the chillies

Chopping the chillies

Roughly chop the cheese slices and transfer to a heat proof bowl or steel pan. Set the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water and heat until melted completely to liquid, stir occasionally.

Cheese slices

Cheese slices

Liquid cheese

Liquid cheese

Remove it from the heat and stir in the chopped chillies.

Now line the bottom and sides of a square/rectangular shape plastic box with cling film and transfer the liquid cheese mixture into it, smooth the top.

Mixing chopped chili with liquid cheese

Mixing chopped chillies with liquid cheese

Cheese mixture ready to go into the refrigerator

Cheese mixture, ready to go into the refrigerator

Chill it in the refrigerator for 3 hours to form a cheese block.

Now cut the cheese block into cubes of your desired size.

Beat eggs in a bowl, mix salt, pepper and paprika.

Cheese block

Cheese block

Cheese block cut into cubes

Cheese block cut into cubes

Dip cheese cubes in egg mixture and then coat with bread crumbs. Repeat the process once more and chill in the refrigerator for 30-40 minutes.

Nuggets are ready tor fry

Nuggets are ready to fry

Heat sufficient oil over medium-high heat and deep fry the nuggets.

Transfer to a paper towel to absorb excess oil and serve hot.

Hot chilli cheese nuggets are ready to be served

Hot chilli cheese nuggets are ready to be served

Note :

  1. Chilli cheese nuggets can’t be baked in oven. In that case cheese will melt fast while the outer coating will remain uncooked. But you can shallow fry the nuggets uniformly instead of deep-frying.
  2. You can shallow fry the nuggets and refrigerate them in an air tight container or plastic bag for a long. Take them out from the refrigerator  and bake in the oven when needed.
  3. If you want to make the dish completely vegetarian then make a flour/cornflour batter instead of egg.

Herb Muffins with Smoked Cheese

I already shared with you the recipe of Spicy Chicken Muffins which I liked a lot. Since then I got enthusiastic about savoury muffins and started looking for them. Suddenly I came across an interesting recipe in my baking book as they told the story of a muffin with herbs and cheese in it. The recipe is very simple and quick to make. If you don’t dislike the flavour of herbs, this muffins will not disappoint you.

Herb Muffin with Smoked cheese

Herb Muffin with Smoked cheese

Ingredients to serve 12 :

  1. Sunflower oil or groundnut oil (for oiling) – 1 tbspoon
  2. Plain flour – 280 gm.
  3. Baking powder – 2 teaspoon
  4. Bicarbonate of soda – ½ teaspoon
  5. Smoked hard cheese (grated) – 25 gm.
  6. Fresh parsley (finely chopped) – 50 gm.
  7. Egg (large, lightly beaten) – 1
  8. Thick strained plain yogurt – 300 ml. (I used Greek style yogurt)
  9. Butter (melted) – 4 tbspoon

Procedure :

Oil your muffin tin with sunflower oil, or line it with muffin paper liners.

Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl. Add the smoked cheese and the parsley and mix together well.

In a separate bowl, lightly mix the egg, yogurt and melted butter together. Add the yogurt mixture to the flour mixture and then gently stir together until just combined. Do not overstir the batter – it is fine for it to be little lumpy.

Flour & Yogurt mixture

Flour & Yogurt mixture

Muffin batter

Muffin batter

Divide the muffin batter evenly between the cups in the muffin tin or the paper liners (they should be about 2/3 full).

Bake in a preheated oven at 200°C or 400ºF for 20 minutes or until risen and golden.

Before baking

Before baking

After baking

After baking

Remove the muffins form the oven and serve warm, or place them on a wire rack to cool.

Muffin is ready to be served

Muffin is ready to be served

Stuffed Mushrooms

Mushrooms, although often undermined by skeptics as a poor vegetarian substitute, in actual can be used in multiple culinary dishes as supplementary and even as main curry ingredient. Mushrooms can readily be made into tasty snacks as well almost in no time. When I run out of ideas on evening snacks, handy mushrooms often fill the void. This recipe talks about one of the grilled mushroom appetizers where the big hollow mushroom belly is stuffed with bread minces. Hope you will like it and add this recipe to your cooking repertoire.

Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed Mushrooms

Ingredients for 9 pieces :

  1. Button mushrooms – 9
  2. Bread Slice -1
  3. Finely grated garlic – 2 cloves
  4. Grated Parmesan cheese – 3 to 4 tbspoon
  5. Salt to taste
  6. Crushed black pepper – 1 teaspoon
  7. Chopped parsley leaf – 3 tbspoon
  8. Olive oil

Procedure :

Wash the mushrooms with lukewarm water and then remove their stems. Don’t throw away the stems, they are completely edible and they will be used for stuffing.

Now with a small spoon scrape off the side & the inside of the mushrooms and make a pocket or hole for stuffing.

Collect the fragments of mushrooms, after making the pocket, and chop finely along with the stem of it.

Remove the brown border of the bread slice and make fresh breadcrumbs from it in a blender. (You can chop the bread with a sharp knife also.)

Now mix well chopped mushrooms, breadcrumbs, grated cheese, chopped parsley, grated garlic, crushed pepper, 2 tbspoon of olive oil and pinch of salt to make the filling.

Now line the baking tray with an aluminum foil and grease with olive oil. Also lightly grease the mushrooms with olive oil.

Now start filling the mushroom pockets with the prepared filling.

Stuffing the mushrooms

Stuffing the mushrooms

At the end drizzle some olive oil at their top.

Mushrooms are ready to go into the oven

Mushrooms are ready to go into the oven

Now bake it in a preheated oven at 200ºC/400ºF for 20-25 minutes or until the top turns brown.

End product

End product

Serve hot.

Enjoy. 🙂

Note :

  1. Don’t add much salt in the filling as it contains cheese which is a salty ingredient.
  2. If you don’t found Parmesan cheese then use any good quality cheese.
  3. You can also use coriander leaves instead of parsley.

 

Cheese Straws

Crispy, crunchy cheese straws are very common snacks to have with drinks as well as with a hot cup of coffee here in Europe. They are readily available in each and every super markets here.

After making Cherry tomato & poppy seed tartlets I had some extra Cheddar cheese left in my refrigerator. Since then I was little worried about how to utilise it as it could be no longer edible if I leave it for a long time. Again started searching for a simple recipe in my baking book and ended up with this simplest one. Hope you will like it. Enjoy 🙂

Cheese Straws

Cheese Straws

Ingredients for 17 pieces :

  1. Self raising flour – 115 gm. + extra for dusting
  2. Curry powder – 1 teaspoon
  3. Pinch of salt
  4. Butter – 65 gm. + extra for greasing
  5. Grated cheddar cheese – 65 gm.
  6. Egg, beaten – 2
  7. Poppy and cumin seeds for sprinkling

Procedure :

Sift the flour, salt and curry powder into a bowl.

Add the butter and rub in until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Add the cheese and one egg and mix to form a dough. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Lightly grease two baking sheets with butter.

On a floured work surface, roll out the dough to a 5 mm. (¼ inch) thick and 15 x 17 cm. (6 x 6.7 inch) rectangle.

Cut into 15 x 1 cm. (6 x ½ inch) strips. Twist the strips slightly along its length and place on the prepared baking sheets.

Cutting the dough into strips

Cutting the dough into strips

Brush the straws with the remaining egg and sprinkle half with poppy seeds and half with cumin seeds.

Bake in a preheated oven, 200ºC / 400ºF, for 10 – 15 minutes, or until golden.

Transfer to wire racks to cool.

After baking

After baking

Enjoy with a hot cup of coffee or a glass of beer . 😉

Note :

  1. If you are using plain flour, then adda ½ teaspoon of baking powder into it.
  2. You can lengthen or shorten the size of the straw according to your preference. Just roll out the dough to 5 mm. (¼ inch) thick.

Cherry tomato & poppy seed tartlets

Cakes and pastries come into my mind first whenever I think about baking whereas my small cute book of baking provides me recipes with a range a savoury items as well apart from sweet ones.

In Europe, particularly in Netherlands, you will be flooded with a variety of cheeses among which Gouda and Edam are most popular. The use of cheese in a dish enhances its richness and taste. In fact none of Italian dishes are imaginable without cheese.

The present recipe of savoury tartlets is pretty much interesting for the cheese sauce filling. Here the cheese sauce is made of Cheddar cheese, a particular form of cheese originated from a small town called Cheddar, in Somerset, UK. With a single bite in the tartlets, a miniature form of tarts, one can feel the melted warm cheese with a taste of sourness coming from the tiny cherry tomatoes.

Cherry tomato and poppy seeds tartlets

Cherry tomato and poppy seeds tartlets

Ingredients to serve 12 :

For pastry :

  1. Plain flour – 200 gm.
  2. Pinch of salt
  3. Cold butter, cut into pieces – 100 gm.
  4. Poppy seed – 2 teaspoon
  5. Cold water

For filling :

  1. Cherry tomato – 24
  2. Olive oil – 1 tbspoon
  3. Unsalted butter – 2 tbspoon
  4. Plain flour – 2 tbspoon
  5. Milk – 250 ml.
  6. Mature Cheddar cheese – 50 gm.
  7. Cream cheese – 100 gm.
  8. Salt and pepper
  9. Fresh basil leaves to garnish

    Ingredients

    Ingredients

Procedure :

Lightly grease a 7.5 cm/3 inch muffin tin (6 or 12 cups).

Sift the flour and salt into a food processor, add the butter and process until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. You can also do it by hand without using any food precessor.

Pour the mixture into a large bowl and add the poppy seeds and just enough cold water to bring the dough together.

Now divide the dough into 12 equal parts and roll them out, on a floured work surface, into 12 cm./4½ inch diameter circles. [Alternatively cut the dough in half. Roll out the first piece and cut out six 9 cm/3½ inch circles. Roll out each circles to a 12 cm./4½ inch diameter. Repeat the process with the remaining dough.] I follow the first procedure.

Now press these circles into the muffin cups.

Muffin tin filled with pastry dough

Muffin tin filled with pastry dough

Put a piece of baking paper in each cup and fill with dried beans. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Bake blind for 10 minutes in a preheated oven at 200ºC, then remove the paper and beans.

Put the tomatoes in an ovenproof dish, drizzle with the olive oil and roast for 5 minutes.

Cherry tomatoes are ready to go into the oven

Cherry tomatoes are ready to go into the oven

Melt the butter in a pan, stir in the flour and cook for 5 – 8 minutes. Gradually add the milk, stirring, and cook for further 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the cheeses until well combined.

Put 2 tomatoes in each tart case and spoon in the cheese sauce, then put back into the oven for 15 minutes.

Just taken out from the oven

Just taken out from the oven

Remove from the oven and top each tartlet with basil leaf.

Yummy tartlets are reday to be served. 🙂

 Note :

  1. If you don’t find Cheddar cheese then use any similar type of cheese which melts fast.