cheese

Mushroom & Taleggio Cheese Pie

it all started with cheese.

i fell in love with Taleggio cheese since Jess introduced it to me. so i made this pie on an icy cold day while on holiday with my family last winter. it was a hit – the cheese and the mushroom and the flaky pastry are a perfect combination. you can actually see my mom slapping my brother’s hand away from it in one of the photos. it was gone in 5 minutes.

it’s also a super easy recipe to make, especially since you use ready-made puff pastry that can be bought at any good supermarket. you all know i’m not the most prolific cook – so if i can get away with making something delicious with minimal effort, then that’s exactly what’s going to happen.

taleggio can be quite difficult to find*, and the imported Italian varieties are often pretty expensive. you can substitute with other semi-soft cheeses like fontina, havarti or raclette – though i would highly recommend hunting down some taleggio if you can! if you buy an imported variety from a local deli the cheese might have quite a pungent smell, don’t be put off by that – it actually has a far milder and almost fruity taste (especially once it’s cooked). don’t use mozzarella as it would probably prove too bland in this pie.

* for local readers: you can find Taleggio at Checkers or Woolies – look for the Portobello brand.

Mushroom & Taleggio Cheese Pie

25g butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
250g mushrooms, thinly sliced (basically one punnet of mushrooms)
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (if you can’t find fresh, freeze dried would also work)
375g fresh puff pastry (a standard roll of puff pastry)
1 small packet of fresh rocket (arugula)
300g Taleggio, sliced
1 egg, beaten

- Heat the butter and olive oil in a frying pan over a high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until softened.
- Reduce the heat, add the garlic and thyme leaves. Season with pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Take off the heat & leave to cool.
- Roll out the puff pastry on a floured surface into a rectangular shape. Try to make it as long as you can so that you have enough space to spread the filling quite thinly.
- Scatter the rocket over 1 half of the pastry, then top with the mushrooms and sliced Taleggio.
- Brush the pastry edges with egg and fold the pastry in half over the filling, pressing to seal.
- Put on a baking sheet and prick the pastry with a fork.
- Set the pie aside to rest while you preheat the oven to 220°C / 425°F
- Egg wash the pastry and decorate as you fancy. Make a few slashes in the top before putting it in the oven.
- Bake for 15 minutes, until golden. Serve hot!

Comments { 33 }

Fondue Party

i’m not sure how fondue ever went out of fashion. it is a pot of melted cheese for heaven’s sake. there’s plenty of wine in there, and you stick pieces of bread into it. how is that not a good thing? an excellent thing, in fact. the first time i went to paris i overindulged in a mini pot of fondue at one of those terribly touristy restaurants on the left bank – it was wonderful, but i did feel a bit weird sitting there enjoying it by myself. there’s a good reason why a fondue set comes with 6 sticks you know. unless you enjoy eating an entire pot of cheese on your own… in which case, more power to you.

- image courtesy of cowtools

whenever the topic of fondue comes up (especially between jessica and i) we always muse that that our parents probably still have their fondue sets tucked away in a box somewhere. so many people seem to be under the impression that making fondue is a tedious undertaking, but the classic cheese fondue recipe is so simple – there are basically only 5 ingredients: cheese, wine, garlic, cornstarch & seasoning. i think it’s time to dig around in the garage and resurrect those avocado and mustard coloured beauties for some cheesy fun times.

i am also really excited by the thought of a beer fondue. cheese + beer = diana’s weakness.

- dubliner cheese fondue – image courtesy of a spicy perspective


spring green vintage fondue pot


- ingredients for a porcini cheese fondue, image courtesy of tastefood


- ruffoni copper fondue pot & old dutch copper brass fondue set

- image courtesy of uh … bob

Comments { 19 }