Tuesday 1 April 2014

Recipe: Spinach, Mozzarella and Walnut Parcels

Am I too late to jump on the Mother's Day bandwagon? I don't actually buy into the whole commercialised "Mother's Day" thing, I'd just rather let my Mum know how much she means to me by doing something special for her whenever I feel like it, instead of buying a card or flowers one day a year. Even so, I thought I would cook lunch for her, after being inspired by watching Jamie Oliver. I don't normally cook proper meals as such, only baking yummy things like cupcakes, mainly because, well, cake.

 I forgot the ingredients that Jamie used though, so I had to improvise and come up with my own version. I decided to make a pastry parcel filled with spinach, mozzarella cheese and walnuts. They tasted really good, and the pastry was lovely and flaky. My mum's a vegetarian, so all you carnivores will probably want to look away in disgust. You could always fill your pastry parcels with ham or chicken (make sure it is cooked first). Or how about a sweet pastry parcel, filled with chocolate or fruit? I might have to try that soon ;)

These are so easy to make, even I managed fine. Seriously. I once got confused making an apple crumble, and ended up with the apple on top. If I can cook these, anybody can.

You Will Need:

  • Filo Pastry (buy some ready made, it's a faff to make)
  • Spinach
  • Mozzarella
  • Chopped Walnuts
  • Melted Butter
Add some olive oil to a large frying pan and preheat to a high temperature. 

I wilted my spinach first, by putting it in the microwave for a minute. If you're using ingredients like chicken, I'd recommend cooking it before adding it to your parcel. 

Lay out one sheet of filo pastry on your work surface, and brush melted butter around the edges. This will help the pastry stick together, and prevent your fillings from spilling out. I bought my filo pastry from Sainsburys - you get a very generous 12 sheets for under £2. Better than spending hours making it a la Great British Bake Off (ain't nobody got time for that). 

Place your fillings at one end of your pastry sheet, and roll it up in the pastry. Fold in the ends to seal your parcel. 

Make several of them and line them up, ready to fry in the frying pan. 

Fry until the pastry has turned golden brown, remembering to turn your parcels at regular intervals. Mine took about 15-20 mins to cook (you can either cook them separately, or at the same time). 

Plate up and enjoy the molten gooey cheese encased in crispy pastry. Mmmmm... Serve on their own, or with a salad, or chips (chips go with everything, right?).

I'd love to hear if you try any variations of this recipe. Hope you all had a lovely Mother's Day!

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