Friday, 15 April 2011

Ovo abundance

Accept no substitute


The egg is the cook's secret weapon, the unsung hero in a thousand and one dishes. And if we don't celebrate it at Easter, when are we going to? Grippin´chickens and bunnies at the ready, Easter is just around the corner. Unfortunately no gold Lindt chocolate bunnies in the Algarve, and I won´t accept a Lidl facsimile. So for those of us older and wiser (and more careful of our cavities) our thoughts turn to home made culinary delights,Scotch eggs, Hot cross buns, and Folar de Pascoa,the traditional symbolic Easter bread which is almost mandatory when it comes to satisfying the insatiable Portuguese sweet tooth.

Easter is not Easter without  grippin´chickens





















Tarte de Pascoa /Savoury Easter Pie
Tarte de Pascoa is the the Portuguese version of cheese and spinach pie. This sumptuous but simple to prepare  savoury pie is almost synonymous with Easter in most European countries. Layers of spinach, cheese and hard-boiled eggs are enclosed in phyllo pastry.I have simplified the recipe by substituting puff   pastry for the more traditional Phyllo.


SERVES 6
6 eggs
200g spinach
100g Dente de leao ( dandelion leaves)
( if you don´t have dandelion leaves use 300g spinach)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion finely chopped
500g ricotta cheese
50g parmesan cheese grated
100g provolone cheese
cut into small cubes
salt and pepper
500g ready made puff pastry
28cm round pie dish

Pre-heat the oven to 200C /400F /gas mark 6
Grease the pie dish with butter then dust it with flour
Hard -boil 5 of the eggs for 10 minutes, plunge into iced water and leave to cool.
Shell and cut them in half.
In a tightly closed pan, cook the spinach and the dandelion leaves, if using, in the water that clings to their leaves after washing, for 5 minutes.
Drain the cooked spinach and dandelion leaves, squeezing out all the excess liquid.
Roughly chop and place in a bowl.
Heat the olive oil and sweat the onion until soft, then allow to cool. Add to the spinach and dandelion, stirring well. Add the Ricotta and Parmesan and mix well. Then add the provolone, salt and pepper and mix together till well combined.
Roll out about half of the puff pastry to about 1cm thick and use to line the prepared pie dish. Fill with half the spinach mixture, then place the egg halves, yolks down, evenly spaced and fill with the remaining spinach mixture. Brush the edge with a little of the remaining egg, beaten.
Roll out the remaining puff pastry to a thickness of about 1cm and place it over the filling, pressing down the edges well. Trim away any excess pastry and crimp the edges with your fingers, so that the pie is well sealed. Make a small incision in the shape of a cross in the centre of the pie to let the steam out. Brush over the top of the pastry with the remaining beaten egg.
Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes until risen and golden.
remove from the oven, allow to cool, then slice.

4 comments:

  1. Talvez seja do seu interesse ...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnnTjwMFNQk

    ReplyDelete
  2. I wish I could send you some eggs..they are pouring out of my ducks,geese,guinea fowl and hens..even the cockatiels are laying eggs..currently getting 11 dozen a week...more egg recipes please !!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I´ll try!!!!How about chocolate cake. There are plenty of chocolate cake recipes about that use at least 10 eggs. Look at my recent blogg I should cocoa- my recipe for quick chocolate mousse cake. Andrew´s favourite!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ok I must have missed that one..sounds like a plan.

    ReplyDelete