Chicken and mushroom pies with creamed ricotta and cauliflower crust
Pastry free pies like this chicken and mushroom and like the good old shepherd’s pie are a cooks answer to a quick healthy dinner. I loved this pie when I made it as I was so surprised at the delicious creaminess of the cauliflower and the match it was for the tasty chicken and mushroom combination. The key to this creaminess is the use of firm ricotta cheese. If you are not a fan of cauliflower you can substitute pumpkin, sweet potato or broccoli.
creamed cauliflower Ingredients
- 1/2 head cauliflower, trimmed and broken into florets
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 1/2 cup water
- 100g firm ricotta cheese
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 200g button mushrooms or similar, sliced
- 200g chicken breast meat, diced
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon corn flour
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons thick natural yoghurt
- 2 handfuls of spinach
- Salt and pepper
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 firm 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 yoghurt, 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 minutes until the cauliflower is golden. This can also be done under the griller, cooking them for about 10 minutes.