Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Brie, Portobello and Kale Pies

Was in a bit of a hurry assembling these,but at
least you can see they're made from scratch! 
You know I love my pies and pocket foods. Here's something I made tonight as part of an effort to not consume so much meat. It's definitely a challenge to think of something more than a salad – a meal that is substantial, yet a healthier option.

My grandmother was vegetarian, I never understood Chinese vegetarian food (dzai), where many dishes use MSG and sauces and flavorings to try to recreate the texture and flavors of meat dishes (vegetarian chicken, vegetarian pork...). I recall much of the food in various shades of brown and tan. Why not use vegetables as vegetables?

3 Tbsp oil, divided
1 shallot, or 1/8 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
3 portobello mushroom caps, roughly chopped
1 tsp sea salt, divided
1 Tbsp flour
2 cups kale leaves, washed and chopped
a few slices of brie cheese, optional if you're vegan

Believe it or not, I DO use my own blog to look up recipes, so I followed the not-so flaky pastry recipe (the second ingredients list, using vegan natural shortening), as I was going for the healthier option. 
  • The filling was pretty simple. In a frying pan, heat up half of the oil, sauté the onion and garlic for 3 minutes, until the onion is soft. Add the mushrooms and, again, cook until soft. If it looks like it's too dry, add a splash of water. Add 1/2 tsp salt and toss with the flour. Remove from pan and set aside on a plate to cool. 
  • Re-using the pan, heat the rest of the oil and sauté the chopped kale leaves until limp. Season, and place on a plate to cool. This is so the pastry doesn't get too soggy, especially if you are preparing in advance. 
  • Inside each pastry cup, add a layer of kale, then mushroom, and top with a pat of cheese. I use brie, but imagine that mozzarella, or even goat's cheese would be fantastic. 
  • Bake at 400°F (200°C) for 20 minutes. Serve hot with boiled potatoes and peas (I didn't have any, hence the salad.)

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