Monday, June 1, 2015

Stop me before I cook again...

Today I found myself more or less by accident, cooking and baking up a storm. All set to make the Ottolenghi Broccoli and Gorgonzola pie, I also noticed I didn't have a nice little something for afternoon tea.  

So I made a carrot bread while I was thinking about the pie.  I'd noticed the grated carrots in the freezer while I was finding the broccoli and leeks for the pie, and remembered I meant to use it for bread.

So, more cooking than intended took place. The carrot bread was fine, not too difficult, from my old Amish cookbook, simple reliable stuff.

And the Ottolenghi pie was as anticipated, very labor intensive, involving gorgonzola (I subbed another blue cheese, just as good) and frozen puff pastry, which I never used before, having not had much interest in premade crusts.  But I thought oh well, I'll try it.

And since I had to bake it blind first, I scrambled to find something to take the place of dried beans which I didn't have any of, and used lentils, which worked fine, on top of the parchment paper. 

In case this para is a mystery to you: when you bake a pie shell empty, i.e. blind, you have to weigh it down a bit so it doesn't balloon up and all over making it impossible to fill.  So something that won't cook but will just sit there is the ticket. Often that means dried beans, but I didn't have any.  Then it's fun trying to remove the beans and parchment paper after the blind baking is done and the pastry has done its best to puff out over the paper trapping it..

Meanwhile, back at the stove, or cooker. as brit cooks charmingly put it, do they call a cup a drinker, I wonder, but I digress,  the broccoli is boiled and cooled, the leeks are sauteed in butter, but I did half and half olive oil and butter.  

Then you're in a whirl of making the sauce involving various herbs, which I had to run out and cut, and the cheese, and a beaten egg, and a mixture of cream, I subbed plain yogurt, and some water and other things, it's a blur now.  No pix of the process, too many implements and surfaces and materials flying about!

The shell was actually quite fun to roll out, and then had to be in the freezer for a while, before being baked blind, then cooled, then it was filled with the leeks, the sauce, and the broccoli being sort of added on top. Then the pie lid, fitted on, and pressed around the edges to make it filling proof, was brushed with the egg to glaze it, and it went in to bake.

And came out looking amazingly like the picture in the book. Except they have a nicer dish.

 It's browner than it looks in my pic, and is amazingly filling. This will be about a week's food!  maybe a helping will cross the street to friends, who already got a nice couple of slices of the carrot bread.

And Handsome Son is coming over this evening briefly, so maybe he'll bear off a helping, too.  

Me, I needed a little rest after that activity.   I threw myself into the recliner with a slice of carrot bread, little spoonful of sour cream spread on top, and a strong cup of English breakfast tea. Beats me how cooks put on weight, considering the mileage I put in for this pie.  It's an aerobic activity. 

Then later for supper,  a serving of pie with a nice merlot.  Filling isn't in it!  this stuff could hold off an army.  As usual, I wonder if it freezes..


  1. That.Looks.Fabulous.
    Good gracious, if I was going to envy anyone in this life, I do believe it would be your neighbors!

  2. It really looks fabulous! Send me a slice! And ditto to the above!


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