I've mentioned the Garlic and Mushroom Pies in a past blog post, but noted recently that I had not yet shared a recipe or blogged about it in much detail. My Garlic Mushroom Pies were the first pies to sell out at the cafeteria. It was also the first pies to sell out at the couple of food and crafts Fayre's I've attended. I've learned recently because of my absence at a vegan food fayre this month, one of the other vegan stalls has decided to recreate a version of my vegan Garlic Mushroom Pies - I guess I should see it only as a compliment; not just that a fairly newish vegetarian cafe in South Wales has also started making tarts with garlic mushroom filling - I guess I'm a trend setter.
I think its quite funny how I came to create these Garlic Mushroom Pies and its something I'd like to share with those of you still reading my blog (Thank you). I would have people coming into the cafeteria, sitting down and without even looking at the daily chalked boards: ordering Jacket potato topped with buttery garlic mushrooms. My staff would look at them and think when was it the last time you were here?! Certainly not a loyal customer as the previous owners sold the cafeteria to my landlords three - four years ago. It hasn't been on the menu for yonkie years.
I don't mean to sound snobbish, but I am a serious vegetarian cook and jacket potato for me is homely food that anyone can make. Its also a easy peasy back up for those mainstream eateries that don't have many suitable options for vegetarians and vegans. Well you won't find jacket potatoes topped with salads on the menu here. I also don't understand some people, they don't come by an independent family run eatery for months, then come back a few years later expecting the same grub on the menu. This is not a high street food chain.
Anyway, enough of the rant. It got me thinking, instead of turning away these potential customers (albiet they may not be back again in another three - four years) what could I do to encourage them to stay and try something new and different. Well I thought I'd merge garlic mushroom and potatoes in a pastry casing. The response from my regular loyal customers of all diets has been fantastic. It also shows how much people have becomes adventurous, I remember a time when people used to turn their noses up at garlic, accuse people of having garlic breath and blurt out their stereotypes of the French. The opportunity to travel abroad has definitely opened up some peoples eyes and palettes to different worldwide cuisines and versatility of ingredients such as the garlic that is the star of this pie.
Whenever these pies are featured, they do really sell out and unlike the original Jacket Potato with garlic Mushroom which were drenched in butter, l these are suitable for vegans and those who avoid dairy. They are so popular and are on the menu every two weeks. Usually at the start of the week when I have loads of mushrooms left over from Saturday Vegetarian Breakfast.
If too much garlic worries you. You can tame it a little by adding in a couple of cooked and diced potatoes to the mix, this would also sup up some of the juices and stop the pie from getting a soggy bottom. The trick really is to make the pastry bottom a little thicker than the lid.
Garlic Mushroom Parsley Pies
Makes 6 - 8pies
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bulb of garlic, peeled and crushed
400g - 600g chestnut mushrooms, cleaned, halved or quartered if large
1 teaspoon dried parsley or I tablespoon freshly minced parsley
Optional: 200g peeled, cubed and cooked potatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
In a wide pan, heat the oil in a large pan and sauté the garlic and sauté for 1 minute before adding in the mushrooms. Keep the heat high and cook the mushrooms, stirring frequently until softened.
Stir in the parsley optional potatoes and seasoning to taste. Stir to combine well, then remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.
Now make the pastryYou have three choices for the pastry.
For ease, you can use shop bought puff pastry or shortcrust pastry – in which case pour the filling into a casserole and top with the pastry and cook according to packet instructions.
Or you can make your own shortcrust pastry. For recipe follow here.
Or You can make you own hot water crust pastry. Follow here for the recipe. For individual pies, see here.
Preheat the oven to gas mark 5.
Fill the pastry and top with lid.
Bake for 30 - 40 minutes depending on the size of your shortcrust or hot water crust pastry pie(s). Allow to cool, before serving.