Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Curried spinach and mushroom tarts

I have this knack to do things wrong. Its not a very frequent thing (although if you ask Ro, he would say its a recurring event), but since you cant ask him, I'm just going to go ahead and say its not always that I do idiotic things. I have the inane ability to tear packets and boxes without reading instructions. I rip them apart the wrong way which in turn makes it impossible to seal them back and then I have to hide it from Ro (who is annoyingly systematic and precise) so I don't get a dose from him. I attribute it to my 'no patience' trait which I don't know who I inherited from..mum, dad??? a little help here???

So the latest to the list are these mini tart tins. Every day for the past couple of weeks I used to pass by it in Sainsburys and notice that it was on a roll back- 3 pounds for 4 mini pans- but I could never decide whether or not I wanted it. I mean you get the sweet and savoury pre-made tart shells to buy so why bother to make them from scratch, was my logic.
Until one fine day I woke up and decided it would make a grand (also, unnecessary) addition to my already existing pans and pots, and also I could make tarts from scratch, show off a bit and blog it. Afterall how difficult is it to store 4 small tart tins. So off I went to Sainsburys and what do I see? Its no longer on a roll back but the damn thing now costs 5 bucks for 4 tins. Without even flinching (ya all that logic went down the drain) I put them in my basket, since by then I was already psyched about wanting tart tins and making some tarts for dinner that very day. 

I was also instantly lazy to make pastry from scratch so I picked up ready rolled pastry, did a tiny skip and headed home with my bounty. The tarts came out well, to say the least. In fact super duper well and I am very proud of my acquisition, although Ro later pointed it out to me that they weren't dishwasher safe, oh well bummer! But since he does the dishes anyway, I gave some gyan about how they are 'never' dishwasher safe. He bought it since he has no clue about tart tins :) :) :)

So yes, I do stupid things like that. But thanks to this trait of mine, you now get to see these yummy spinach and mushroom tarts. They are more quiche-like, and is a great breakfast item. Ro is now in the 'i am sick of bread for breakfast' phase and so I am trying to make some fun breakfast items for him. I hope he snaps out of it soon, because I sure am running out of ideas. Spinach and mushrooms are a fav combination of mine and I end up using it in pasta bakes, stir fries and such. Give it a go, and if you don't like it, you can come back and leave hate comments ;)
Makes 5 to 6 small tarts
Shortcrust pastry- 1 sheet (recipe follows)
Shallots- 2 medium, thinly sliced
Button mushrooms- 150 gms, cleaned and sliced
Spinach- 100 to 125 gms, washed and chopped roughly
Garlic- 2 tbsp, chopped fine
Curry powder- 1/2 tbsp
Eggs- 2 large
Cheddar cheese- 1/4 cup, grated
Milk- 3/4th cup
Butter- 1 tbsp
Salt and pepper- to taste

Pastry recipe adapted from here
Plain flour- 200 gms
Baking powder- 1/4 tsp
Salt- 1/4 tsp
Cold butter- 100 gms, cut into cubes
Cold water- 3 to 4 tbsp/ as required
Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl.
Add the cubes of butter and rub it into the flour, using your hands. It should resemble coarse bread crumbs.
Add the cold water bit by bit till it all comes together and you get a soft pliable dough.
Cling wrap it and place in the refrigerator while you get the filling going.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a frying pan and sauté onions and garlic till soft and fragrant, for about 4 to 5 minutes on medium heat.
Add the curry powder and mix thoroughly.
Throw in the chopped mushrooms and sauté till all the water evaporates and is dry.
Finally, add the spinach, salt, a few twists of pepper and cook till the mixture becomes semi-dry in consistency. It shouldn't be too dry, but all the water from the spinach should have disappeared.
Transfer to a bowl and keep aside to cool.
Break the eggs into a bowl and whisk lightly.
Add the milk, season with enough salt and pepper and whisk the mixture well. Keep aside.
When ready to bake, pre heat oven to 180C and lightly grease the tart tins with butter or oil.
Take the dough out of the refrigerator and roll it out on a lightly floured surface.
Cut out circles large enough to fit the tart tins and carefully place the pastry into the cases. Crimp the sides if required. Don't press it in too hard, taking them out can be a problem.
Add about 2 tsp each of the filling into the tart tins, spread it around and pour the milk-egg mix on top of the filling till about 3/4th full.
Repeat till all your filling and milk is used up.
Sprinkle the cheese on top of the filling and place all the tins on a baking tray.
Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or till the eggs are cooked through. 
Once done, cool on a rack for about 15 minutes and then carefully unmould.
They taste the best on the very same day, but I stored them in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days and used to reheat in the microwave for about a minute or two. Was perfectly fine!
Notes: You can either roll out the large ball of pastry and then use a lid or bowl to cut out circles or make small balls from the dough and roll it out to the size of the tart tins. If you already have rolled out pastry, then the first method works best.
Although I bought ready made pastry, I have used Maria's pastry recipe before and it is very easy and works great.
Use any filling of choice, eg, shredded chicken, sausages or even paneer. Paneer and spinach is a great combo BTW!
Store leftover dough, cling wrapped, in the freezer. Thaw completely in the fridge compartment and use as required.
Instead of milk, use double cream for a more richer filling.
Curry powder can be replaced with any meat/chicken masala.


Satrupa said...

An absolute treat to the eyes ..... and it may sound very weird but I luv the green board :)

shema george said...

lovely recipe, beautiful snaps and i absolutely love those mini tart pans Nisha...:)

Noemi said...

Mmmmm... Delicous! :)
This recipe is very cute! :)

Prathima Rao said...

Mouthwatering filling!!! Cheesy & delish!! The newly acquired tart tins were sure put to good use ;)
Prathima Rao
Prats Corner

divya said...

I am drooling here seeing your picture..Very appealing..

Vijayalakshmi Dharmaraj said...

very nice innovative dish...
Today's Recipe : 2 Minutes Chocolate Cake

Suja Manoj said...

Great innovative dish,love the clicks dear

Dolly Sharma said...

I loved reading your post as always. I love your writing and your posts always make me smile. Tarts look just irresistible and now I want to go looking for those tins.

Me And My Sweets said...

Amazing pics and the recipe sounds amazing! I must make a tart myself very very very soon!

ANU said...

beautifully done and inviting!
SYF&HWS - Cook with Spices

South Indian Cooking

(SIC) Series

Turmeric n Spice said...

You r funny ! I love the story you gave Ro about the tart tins never being dishwasher safe ..... Lol!!
Am a lot like you ripping packages ( and throwing it instantly ) and regretting it the next moment. And my better half is so meticulous that's it's not even funny and ya I relate to the gyan session that follows !!

The tarts look amazing - I don't want to buy tart tins and now u r making me want it !! Soon the want will become a need !! Bookmaking this for sure :))

Turmeric n Spice said...

You know " almost teen" i.e - my daughter reads your blog and she says witha lot of concern in her voice " what if Ro read this post" lol I thought that was too cute and had to share !!

Akila said...

Awesome clicks... Interesting recipe.. Bookmarked

Cardamom Hills said...

There is not one ingredient in this recipe tat i dont love....absolute winner....spinach, mushrooms and egg.....love love love this dish and the photo is gorgeous

Priya said...

Real feast for mushroom lovers like me, those tarts looks absolutely incredible.

Sonia said...

Hi There, Wow...this recipe is looking wonderful and so good. I'm loving it so much...!!! A very well made post with beautiful pictures.Today I was out of ideas and was wandering what to make. Got the answer now :) I can't wait to try it on my island. Thanks for sharing awesome recipes. Have a wonderful week ahead. Love & Regards, Sonia !!!

Lawyer Loves Lunch said...

OMG, these look so adorable and delicious! I made a frittata with similar ingredients lately but the pie crust just makes it look so much better. Must try your version soon!