Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Mushroom and Ricotta nut bake

To start off, I thought I’d let you know what I cooked for the centrepiece for Christmas dinner. It’s a special kind of nut bake which we only ever have on Christmas day, thus it is always highly anticipated. It's a lot more moist than your average nut roast, and extremely tasty. The nuts, mushrooms and onions are best chopped in a food processor. Expect to make a mess with the breadcrumbs and chopped nuts. I always make a mess anyway!

Mushroom and Ricotta nut bake

Serves around 6

Allow at least an hour for the whole thing, cooking time is around 45mins.

2 large onions, finely chopped

1 crushed garlic clove or a teaspoon of minced garlic

200g mushrooms, finely chopped

300g cashew nuts, finely chopped

200g fresh white breadcrumbs

A whole standard tub of ricotta cheese (this is usually around 235 - 275g)

1 tsp of dried thyme (I like a little more as thyme is my favourite herb)

½ tsp of ground nutmeg

2 tsp soy sauce

Salt and black pepper for seasoning

Olive oil for frying

Oven at 180C (350F)

*Fry onion and garlic in the oil for a few minutes until softened, then add the mushrooms and cook for a further 5 or so minutes, stirring occasionally.

*In a large (Large!) bowl stir together the breadcrumbs, cashew nuts, thyme, nutmeg and then mix in the ricotta.

*Add the mushroom and onion mix along with the salt and pepper and soy sauce and stir thoroughly until it looks evenly distributed.

*Spoon the mixture into a greased 1L cake tin (I used 9”, though I think I would have preferred 8” for a thicker bake).

*Bake for 40-45mins.

Note: You can also add some fresh cranberries as a layer in the middle or on the top.

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