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Broccoli, Cauliflower Cheese & Spinach Pie




Every once in a while we toy with the idea of going Vegetarian, but I confess, I like a good steak every now and then and Todd enjoys his chops.  He is also a real Pie Man.  He loves a meal of pie and mash.


He likes steak pies the most, but the other day I treated him to a delicious vegetarian pie . . .  Broccoli, Cauliflower Cheese & Spinach Pie.   With its shortcrust pastry base and puff pastry lid, he didn't miss the meat at all.  He is quite fond of a nice dish of Cauliflower Cheese. Myself, if you put it into a crust I am all over it like a rash.  I love ANY kind of pie! 



This is a really easy make.  You first boil or steam the broccoli and cauliflower until crispy tender.  You will want to drain them very well when done.  If you leave too much water in the vegetables, you will risk diluting the sauce.  That's why I cook them first and then leave them to drain well while I do the cream sauce.  I use this handy collapsible colander.  I love it as when I am done with it, I can fold it flat and tuck it away.  With a small kitchen like mine, space is at a premium!  If you want to steam it however (which means less risk of soggy vegetables) I highly recommend this handy food steamer which is easy to use, easy to clean and easy to store.


There is also spinach leaves in the filling, but you don't have to use it if you don't want to.  Personally I really love spinach and try to get it into as much as I can.  It is really good in this pie and adds colour and fibre.




The cheese sauce is really flavourful and uses two kinds of cheese, a strong cheddar and some Stilton.  I love the flavour of Stilton cheese.  You can use either the blue or the white. Both work well.  One thing with blue cheeses is you don't need very much of them to have a flavour impact.  I also infuse the milk with some onion, cloves and a bay leaf prior to making the sauce.  They add a subtle flavour that really add a lovely boost of flavour to the sauce.



I am afraid I always buy my Puff Pastry.  Shop bought is really quite good, and it is such a faff to make from scratch, but if you really are keen on making your own, then fill your boots!  A Rough Puff will also work well and I highly recommend this recipe which is a lot easier and less time consuming than making Puff pastry from scratch.



I served it hot with plenty of vegetables on the side.  Yes, it was a vegetable mix of carrots, broccoli and cauliflower.  Normally I would have served green beans or peas.  I just didn't happen to have any on the day. 


I also served it with mash for Todd because for Todd a pie isn't a meal unless it has a nice fluffy pile of mash on the side!  He is such a Pie and Mash man!


Yield: 4

Broccoli, Cauliflower Cheese & Spinach Pie

prep time: 20 minscook time: 40 minstotal time: 60 mins
A delicious vegetarian pie that even your meat lovers will enjoy.  Plan ahead as the filling needs to be cooked ahead and chilled before putting the pie together.

ingredients:


For the filling:
1 broccoli crown, cut into small florets
1 cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 small onion, peeled and studded with 3 cloves and a bay leaf
2 cups whole milk
salt and black pepper to taste
3 TBS flour
3 TBS butter
120g grated strong cheddar cheese (1 cup)
30g crumbled Stilton cheese (1/4 cup)
dash hot pepper sauce
handful of washed and trimmed fresh baby spinach leaves

You will also need:
1 sheet of short crust pastry
1 sheet of all butter puff pastry
1 egg yolk, beaten with 1 tsp water

instructions:

Cook the cauliflower and broccoli in boiling lightly
salted water until crispy tender (about 2 minutes), drain well and set
aside. 

Place the milk into a saucepan
along with the onion, which has been studded with cloves,  and the bay
leaf.  Bring just to the simmer point (bubbles around the edge of the
pot) and take off the heat.  Let sit for 15 minutes to infused.  Strain
into a glass beaker.

Melt the butter in a large
 saucepan.  Whisk in the flour and cook for about 2 minutes.  Slowly
whisk in the strained milk a bit at a time until it has all been whisked
 in.  Cook, stirring constantly until the mixture bubbles and thickens.
 Whisk in both cheeses, until the cheese is melted and thoroughly
amalgamated.  Season to taste with salt, pepper and hot sauce.  Stir in
the spinach leaves, if using.  Stir in the cooked cauliflower and
broccoli. Set aside to cool. 
Preheat your
oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6. Place a baking sheet in the oven to
heat.  Using the short crust pastry line a pie dish. (I have an oval
one, but a 9 inch round pie dish will work.)  Spread the filling into
the pie dish.  Dampen the edges of the pastry. Top with the sheet of
puff pastry.  Trim off any access all around the dish, pressing the two
pastries together to seal.  Brush the top with the beaten egg yolk and
cut a vent to allow the steam out.

Place onto
the preheated baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30
minutes until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. 
Cut into wedges to serve.
Created using The Recipes Generator




I probably should have showed you this yesterday for a Meatless Monday, but alas I just wasn't on the ball.  In any case I hope you will give this tasty Vegetarian pie a try and that you will enjoy it!  Bon Appetit! 



QuickEdit
Marie Rayner
4 Comments
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4 comments:

  1. Love the 2 crusts:) And I could easily eat all veggie:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh me too Monique! Nice way to get in some of your five a day too! xo

      Delete
  2. Stilton - what a great idea!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Pat, it doesn't take a lot to make a great flavour impact either! ox

      Delete

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