Friday, August 12, 2011

Spinach and Mushroom Cups

Thinking about these cups has made me hungry all over again. Couldn't paste the pictures here, but my friends on FB have already seen them.

Taste-wise they were the perfect blend of crunchiness from the short-crust pastry, creaminess from the spinach white sauce, meatiness from the mushrooms, and the spiciness from the jalapenos... It was almost perfect!

I have been dying to share the recipe. So here it is.

For the short crust pastry
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 2 tbsp chilled butter
  • 1 pinch salt
  • chilled water as needed
For the Spinach sauce
  • 1 small bunch spinach
  • 1 green chilli
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 small bunch parsley
  • salt and lemon juice to taste
For the spinach white sauce
  • 1 tsp of the above sauce
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1/2 cup thick cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
For the filling
  • 2 tbsp chopped jalapenos
  • 1 cup chopped oyster mushrooms (soaked in warm water for 1/2 an hour)
  • grated cheese as required (I used Parmesan, but you can use any cheese as per your taste)
First make the short crust pastry. Take the plain flour in a wide bowl and add the salt to it. Put in chopped pieces of chilled butter. Rub the butter in the plain flour with your fingertips, till the flour resembles bread crumbs. Now add chilled water in small quantities till you get a nice and firm dough. Cover the dough in cling film and refrigerate for half an hour.

Meanwhile, make the sauces ready. For the yummilicious dark-green spinach sauce, first blanch the spinach. Boil hot water in a pot, and place the spinach in it for 30 seconds only. After 30 seconds, transfer the spinach to cold water. Leave it there for the next two minutes. Now blend the spinach with all the other ingredients for the green sauce to a puree. 

Make the white sauce. Heat the butter in a wok. While it is melting, add the plain flour and stir it well. Add cream in small portions, stirring continuously to avoid the formation of lumps. Finally add the milk, salt and pepper. If you think that the sauce has become too thick, adding a little water makes it of dropping consistency. Add one tsp of the spinach sauce to it to give it a lovely light green color.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Roll it out into a thin sheet. Cut small circles from it, larger than the diameter of the tart tin you are going to place it in. Grease the tart tin with a little butter or oil and line the pastry in it. Poke a few holes in the pastry so as to let air escape.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Centigrade for about ten to fifteen minutes till the pastry is golden brown and crisp.

Remove from the oven and let cool for ten minutes. Now put a small layer of mushrooms into the pastry cup. Top that layer with a thin layer of grated cheese. Next put a layer of jalapenos. Once again layer with cheese. Finally pour a layer of the spinach white sauce and then top it off with the spinach sauce. You can make delightful patterns with the spinach sauce as it looks fantastic on the backdrop of a light green sauce. Makes for a great presentation.

Bake once more in the oven for ten minutes and serve hot!

Happy Cooking!

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