Two recipes from Fy-Anna, the Racy Chef
Here are two recipes from Overthestabledoor’s own chef Fy-Anna – two winter warmers that are filling and comforting on these dark cold evenings.
Fy-Anna’s Sweet Potato and Mushroom Cheesy Gratin
4 cloves of garlic
Salt and pepper – a pinch of each
150ml of olive oil
3 large sweet potatoes
250g mushrooms – sliced.
Fresh rosemary and thyme – chopped.
200g goat’s cheese – crumbled.
100g parmesan – grated.
Preheat oven to 180˚C /gas mark 4.
Blend the garlic, salt, pepper and oil – place in a large container.
Finely slice the sweet potatoes and add the slices to the container. Add the chopped herbs and leave to infuse for 10 minutes.
Line a large 2cm-deep baking tray or Pyrex dish with baking paper. Put the potato mix in the tray, layering the slices, adding the sliced mushrooms in between. Press the mix into the corners and press down so it is squished in as tightly as possible.
Cover the surface with a sheet of baking paper and cook for 35 minutes.
Take out of oven and use another tray to press down on the gratin to squeeze out any juices. Tip the trays to drain anything away.
Take off the top piece of baking paper and top with the crumbled goat’s cheese and parmesan.
Return to the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden and bubbly.
Cut 6 pieces and serve up with a fresh green salad.
Fy-Anna’s Cheesy Veggie Pie
1 packet Jus Roll premade puff or shortcrust pastry.
Large knob of butter
About a tablespoon of plain flour
A huge amount of grated cheddar or a mix of cheddar and another hard cheese like parmesan or Red Leicester – grated
About 400ml milk, preferably semi-skimmed or whole
1 pack of button mushrooms
You can also add frozen peas if you like or other green veg like broccoli, green beans or other vegetables like sweet potato.
Oil or butter for frying
Salt and pepper
1 egg – beaten.
Preheat oven to 180˚C (or whatever is marked on the pastry packet).
Take pastry out of the fridge about 20 minutes before you want to use it.
Get out a pie dish or smaller dishes for individual pies – the recipe will make enough for one big pie or 3-4 small pies (if you’re making individual pies, you may need extra pastry).
Chop the leeks and the other veg. Fry these until soft and slightly browned in butter/oil (unless using frozen peas).
Make a cheese sauce:
Heat the butter until melted in a saucepan then add flour, about a teaspoon at a time, and beat it over the heat with a wooden spoon until it forms a thick paste. If it looks too crumbly, melt in a bit more butter.
Add the milk a little at a time, keep stirring and keep the heat up but not so hot that the milk boils!
You can use a whisk if the sauce gets lumpy – whisk vigorously.
The sauce is done when its thick, creamy and coats the back of the spoon.
Add a teaspoon of mustard powder and decent amounts of salt and pepper for flavour.
Off the heat, stir in the cheese until melted.
Taste the sauce to see if its cheesy enough.
Mix the veg into the sauce and add the frozen peas.
Fill your dish or dishes but leave a couple of centimetres at the top so the sauce won’t touch the pastry.
Open out the pastry, cut to size and add pastry lids on the pies.
Brush tops with a beaten egg for a golden glaze.
Bake for about 35 minutes but keep an eye on it as it depends on the size of the pie and how effective your oven is, so it may be done sooner.