Hearty winter pie without the guilt of pastry
Chicken and mushroom pies with creamed ricotta and cauliflower crust Serves 2 INGREDIENTS: For the creamed cauliflower: ★ ½ head cauliflower, trimmed and broken into florets ★ 1 tsp butter ★ ½ cup water ★ 100g firm ricotta cheese ★ salt and pepper
For the filling: ★ 1 tbs olive oil ★ 1 onion, diced ★ 200g button mushrooms or similar ★ sliced 200g chicken breast meat, diced ★ 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves ★ 1 tbs corn flour ★ 1 cup chicken stock ★ 2 tbs thick natural yogurt ★ 2 handfuls of spinach ★ salt and pepper
METHOD: Place the cauliflower, water and butter into a small pot fitted with a lid and cook the cauliflower over a moderate heat until tender, allow to cool before blending it with the ricotta until creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Heat another pot with the olive oil and sweat off the onions until softened, about 8 minutes, add in the mushrooms and cook the mushrooms until all of their liquid has been cooked out. Add in the diced chicken and the thyme leaves and continue cooking until the meat turns white. Stir in the corn flour and the chicken stock and simmer until the sauce thickens. Cook the sauce for 2 minutes and then turn off the heat adding in the yogurt, spinach and adjusting the seasoning by adding salt and pepper. Preheat the oven to 200C. Spoon the chicken and mushroom mix into two oven-proof dishes or into a casserole dish and then spoon on the creamed cauliflower, covering the chicken and mushroom mix. Bake for 20 min until the cauliflower is golden. This can also be done under the grill, cooking for about 10 min.
PASTRY-FREE PIES AREA COOK’ S ANSWER TO A QUICK HEALTHY DINNER