Cooking at home doesn’t need to be difficult, you don’t need to be making recipes with a million and one ingredients to feed the family. Don’t get me wrong I love trying out new recipes, pushing myself to try new dishes that are out of my comfort zone and to learn new techniques in the kitchen. But honestly there are times when I really cannot be bothered. After a long day of work sometimes I just want to pop something easy in the oven, put my feet up and relax.
Then comes the big question. Do i buy an easy ping in the microwave ready meal or make something? I am not a fan of ready meals, and I am not being a snob there, honestly I am not! They are an amazing invention…if I enjoyed eating them I would buy them for nights when I am feeling like this, a few minutes in the microwave and ta-da a piping hot meal ready to eat. But if I am truly honest I generally don’t like the taste of them. When it comes to meats I am fussy about the way they are cooked and if you have ever experienced that rubbery bit of chicken one time you will know what I mean. Which then leaves me with vegetarian options and in the world of ready meals, good ones are few and far between.
If you google mushroom and cheese parcels there are hundreds of recipes. From recipes that use oyster mushrooms to wild mushrooms to chestnut mushrooms that have goats cheese or camembert, emmental or gruyere cheese.
Today I decided I would use what I have in. I always have mushrooms and cheese in my fridge they are staple items to me and i eat one or the other with most meals. Today i used white mushrooms, mixed with porcini dried mushrooms and cheddar cheese. I am using the porcini mushrooms as I have then in the cupboard. I bought them once for a recipe and haven’t used them since!
This recipe is easy as it uses condensed soup as a base sauce. Condensed soup is a brilliant handy cupboard staple. I always try and put a couple of tins on the shop when I remember as you can use it in a pie, as a base for pasta bakes and as part of the stock for risotto to give a creamy texture. There are so many possibilities. You can even add a few herbs and use it as a steak sauce. Its an easy win for long days at work when you don’t have the time or patience to make a full sauce. Plus it’s fairly priced.
Ready Rolled Puff Pastry – £1.00
1 Tin Condensed Mushroom Soup £1.00
25g of Dried Porcini Mushrooms – £1.64
50g white mushrooms – £0.10
1 tsp lazy garlic – £0.07
120g of Grated Cheddar Cheese – £0.35
Total Cost for 4 Parcels – £4.16
Cost per portion – £1.04
Need to cut the cost? Then just remove the dried mushrooms and double the amount of white mushrooms. Total Cost £2.62
Cost Per Portion – £0.65
1) Rehydrate the porcini mushrooms in boiling water for 30 minutes. Drain and squeeze out the excess moisture.
2) Unroll the puff pastry, cut into 4 equal rectangles.
3) In a bowl empty the condensed soup, add the chopped mushrooms, porcini mushrooms and garlic. Mix throughly.
4) Add a heaped tbsp of the mixture in the centre of each rectangle of pastry until all mixture has been used.
5) Top with 20g of cheese in each parcel
6) Fold the corners of the rectangle to the centre. Creating a parcel shaped pie. Brush with a beaten egg if desired to give the pastry a glossy finish (not required if you don’t have an egg in)
7) Cook in a preheated oven at 180 for 30 minutes until golden brown.
The great thing is about these parcels is that they can be made up in advance and frozen, not that they take long to make at all. Or if like me there are only 2 of your in the household you can make for 4, freeze 2 and cook 2. All you need to do is defrost in a fridge and cook as per the above instructions. To freeze I wrap in baking paper and then cover in a freezer bag with a quick sticker applied stating what it is.
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