Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Super-easy, super-fast mushroom filo pie

Fancy mushrooms have been on special at the oriental market lately, so I've been stocking up, but you don't need anything so tony as these oyster, crimini, and king mushrooms for this dish--just plain buttons will be fine.  This is actually made with the leftover Vegan Brunch omelet mix and filo pastry from the other night's 30-minute meal.

Well, I have extolled the virtues of that omelet mix over and over again.  When I actually make omelets with it, I thin it down a little with water, but for pies, obviously you want it rather thick, so I followed the recipe exactly, making it in a food processor rather than the Magic Bullet, and this pie uses a little more than half of one recipe.  Among the other delightful things about this omelet mix is that it will keep in the fridge for a few days, so if you think you might be wanting an omelet or another pie or one of the other multitudinous dishes you can use this for later in the week, you can save some.

The method for this pie is from Jamie Oliver's Meals in Minutes, but the recipe is all mine, and it is so simple and fast you could chuck it together any night after work.  Also, the leftovers are delicious at room temperature or even cold...I've been eating pieces of this for lunch every day since I made it.

This pie is made in a 7-inch cast iron frying pan, but if you're not concerned about doing more dishes than you absolutely have to, of course it can be cooked in a casserole dish of comparable size.  If you want to see the original recipe, it's (among other places) over here, and to see a video of Jamie Oliver actually putting his pie together, it's here.

Super-easy, super-fast mushroom filo pie
makes 1 7-inch pie

1 tsp olive oil
1/2 small onion
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh mushrooms (any kind)
2 cloves garlic
2 big handfuls of arugula or other greens
1/2 tsp dried dill
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3/4 to 1 cup Vegan Brunch omelet mix
1/4 cup almonzano (see sidebar for recipe)
pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 375F.

Start by heating the frying pan.  When hot, add the oil, and when the oil is hot, add the onions and fry until translucent.  Add the mushrooms and garlic, turn the heat up to medium-high, and cook until the mushrooms have released their liquid and most of it has evaporated away, and the mushrooms are just beginning to brown.

Toss in the arugula or other greens, and stir fry until they are wilted and have released any of their own water.  Add the lemon juice, and stir to caramelize a bit.  Remove from heat, pour the vegetables into a mixing bowl, but don't wash the pan.

While the vegetables are cooking, prepare the filo.  Take a generous-sized sheet of parchment paper and crumple it up.  Mostly uncrumple it, and spread it out on a cutting board or counter.  You will probably have to cut your filo--how big is a bit of a judgment call; just remember that you need the sheets big enough to spread over the bottom and up the sides of the pan and partially overlap the top of the pie.  Lay three (for a small pie; four according to Jamie, who was making a larger one) sheets of filo, one after the other, over the parchment paper, overlapping at the edges in various ways - you want the top to be irregular and a little messy, not a neat square:

Brush the third sheet with olive oil, and add three more sheets.  Again, brush the top with olive oil, and do it one more time, so you end up with nine sheets total.  If you're using scraps, just make sure they're layered in various different orientations to each other.  This is a great dish for using up filo scraps.  Transfer everything, including the parchment paper, carefully to the frying pan, and mold it around the bottom to create a hollow for the filing.

The filling is just your vegetable mix added to the omelet mix with 1/4 cup of almonzano for a little bite.  Stir that together, add a pinch of nutmeg, taste for salt and pepper, and pour it in on top of the filo:

Now just take those overhanging edges of filo and fold them onto the top of the pie.  No coordination whatsoever is required, and you don't have to be neat, just cover the top of the pie with the filo and brush with olive oil:

Bake this for about half an hour (Jamie Oliver bakes his for a shorter time in a hotter oven, but because of the omelet mix I opted for a slightly longer cooking time).

Ooh, it's done!  Is this impressive for about 20 minutes' total work, or what?

You can lift the pie out by the parchment paper and either slide it off the paper and onto a plate, or serve it right off the parchment on a cutting board.  It's best if you let the pie cool a bit before serving--these spanikopeta-type dishes really are best just warm.

The texture of the filling was perfect.  My pies have tended to be flakier than the ones I've seen elsewhere, and I'm sure that's because I'm using less oil than other cooks.  Nothing wrong with a nice crunch, though!

I am so off to the store to stock up on more filo.  This is actually easier than an omelet in that you don't have to be always standing there fussing over it (particularly if you're cooking for more than one), it cooks by itself so you have time to do other stuff while it's in the oven, all or some of it can (but doesn't have to) be made ahead of time, and lusting over the leftovers will keep you up at night.

Bon appetite, my friends!


  1. I love the idea and technique, but hate mushrooms! Sometimes I wish I liked those nasty things... I'm sure I can think of an alternative, though, and this looks so good, quick, and easy, that I'll have to try.

  2. WOW!!!!! but I never heard about vegan brunch omelet mix! :(

  3. Oh my, this is beautiful! 20 minutes well spent! I have to try that omelet mix.

  4. Quite a thing of beauty, and I'm sure deliciousness as well. This would be a handy way to impress a few brunch guests, for sure.

  5. Thanks, everyone.

    Renae, I'm sure you will be able to think of an alternative to mushrooms, and put your own marvelous twist on this. Me, I think it would work well with zucchini, tiny cubes of potato, anything you'd put in a frittata.

    L'Acadienne, the omelet recipe comes from *Vegan Brunch* by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. It's an excellent cookbook, and well worth purchasing!

  6. Wow, that looks incredible delicious! I haven't used filo much because it always seems so fussy, but you make it look so easy!

  7. Thanks, Maggie - it really is easy. I'm not sure I'll ever make spanakopita any other way...

  8. hey, i finally got around to making this for christmas eve dinner and using the omelet mix IS ingenious and delicious! thanks for the idea.