Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Ham & Cheddar Pastry Pocket

So here's the scene: I'm off work feeling pathetic with a cold, and the boyfriend's been at work all day. I feel obliged to rustle something up, and a quick look in the fridge reveals, to my dismay, only leftovers. Half a sherry & honey glazed roast ham, a handful of mushrooms and the end of a block of cheddar - in retrospect, a goldmine!
These savoury pastries are just calling for a bit of bling, but are just perfect simple and homely as they are.

Top tip: If you haven't made a roast ham, you can buy ham ends for next to nothing at most local food shops. Unseasoned ham may require some extra spices; maybe try nutmeg, mace or allspice.

Makes two pastry pockets.

INGREDIENTS:

Cold Roast Ham - 3 thick slices
Closed Cup Mushrooms - 5
Cheddar - 1 small handful, grated
Onion - 1/2
Plain Flour - 2 tbsp
Salted Butter - 25g
Pre-rolled Puff Pastry - 1 sheet
Milk - 50mls

1. Roughly break up the ham slices with your hands, and set to one side. Slice the mushrooms, and then halve the slices.

2. Peel and dice the onion. In a frying pan, melt the butter and sauté the onion until softened.

3. Add the flour, and mix in. Stir fry for another minute. Toss in the mushrooms, and cook until heated through.

4. Gently add the milk, continuously stirring. Only add enough milk to create a thick(ish), gooey consistency - it should not be liquid.

5. Add in the ham and grated cheddar, and heat through until the cheese has melted. Add salt and pepper to season.

6. Cut the sheet of pastry in half to give two rectangles. Place half the of the filling into the middle of each sheet, and fold over so the edges meet. Press down the three meeting edges with a fork to seal, and make a small slit in the top with a sharp knife to let the steam out as they cook.

7. Brush each pastry pocket with a little milk to glaze, and pop in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees Celsius for about 30 minutes, or until the pastry is crispy and golden brown.

Serve hot on their own, or with some winter vegetables.

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