This is without a doubt my children’s favourite meal. The sort of thing you whip up on a tuesday night, amidst a very busy week, when the food delivery is due past dinner time and the only thing you have in the fridge is a packet of “brick” pastry and a few eggs…
Brick pastry is a very thin, paper like pastry sold in some supermarkets and in most asian or mediterranean shops. It is used to make dainty meat or veg parcels or tasty rolled up and fried sweets. I try to always keep some in the back of the fridge… NOt to be confused with filo pastry, it is sold flat in large circles.
At home, when we were young, we would eat those “Brick a l’oeuf” with a green salad and a sprinkling of cumin. No spice goes better with a simple egg than cumin! Take my word for it.
The instructions are easy peasy: take a sheet of brick, put it into a deep plate or a bowl so the sides are slightly raised. Break one or two eggs in the middle dip. Sprinkle some cumin and fold the sides up like a parcel.
Warm some rapeseed oil in a shallow pan and fry each parcel on both sides until the white is cooked but just before the yolk has set! This is the only skill required: The yolk needs to be runny so it oozes out when you cut up the parcel… Mop with the pastry and some salad leaves.
Brick a l’oeuf
Enjoy a very simple pleasure.
I enjoy good looking vegetables! A butternut squash is this very handsomely shaped squash, looking like an oversized acorn and sporting a smooth, soft brown skin. It has a nutty taste and here is a recipe where it literally shines!
If you’ve never come across it, do look out for one; it is called “la courge musquée” in French, a delightful name for a delicious vegetable, I think.
- Several sheets of filo pastry
- One diced butternut squash
- Creamy goat cheese, 1 big slice
- Olive oil
- Salt, mace and pepper to season
- Optional: a drizzle of acacia honey to finish off nicely
First roast the cubes of butternut squash in a tray with a bit of olive oil and pinch of salt: Best to rub it all in with your fingers. Roast for 30 min at 180°.
Then put two folded layers of filo into individual tartlets pans and crunch them up a bit with fingers dipped in oil – yes, there is a lot of fingers work here!
Lay the roasted butternut in the middle, put a slice or dollop of very fresh and very creamy goat cheese. Sprinkle with mace and a hint of pepper.
Put under the grill for about 10 min until the cheese has softened and the edges are crispy.
Drizzle with a tiny bit of acacia honey and serve hot!
Best wine match is a muscat de Rivesaltes or Beaume de Venise but any creamy white will do.
Stall in Borough Market
|Alternative recipe done with red sweet pepper
Butternut squash, diced (1 cupful)
Ground mace 1tsp
Pepper and salt
Soft goat cheese
Rub the diced butternut with the olive oil and some sea salt flakes.
Roast for 15 min until soft, at 200°C.
Put several layers of filo brushed with little oil into a pie dish or an individual tartlets pan as here.
Chuck in some roasted squash with torn bits of cheese. Fill it up nicely.
Sprinkle with mace and black pepper.
Put under a hot grill until the cheese has melted and the filo turns a nice golden colour. Watch out for it tends to burn quickly!
Serve straight away as filo sheets tends to soften as they cool down and I love a crispy light base for this.
Nutrition notes: Filo is a great and tasty alternative to the usual pastry base for tartlets. I use it all the time for convenience and nutritional reasons. Half the pastry and twice the taste! What’s not to like?
This is a simple dish full of the tastes and colours of summer, for when you only have 20 minutes in the kitchen.
Filo pastry (several sheets)
Passata a small glass
30 or so Cherry tomatoes
Lay several sheets of Filo into a pie dish. I use about 5 or 6 of them and overlap each layer. Brush with a bit of olive oil.
Mix the tofu and 1/2 a tub of ricotta or 125 g. Blend in one egg, a small glass of Passata or crushed tomatoes. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Pour the mix inside the pie and arrange the halved cherry tomatoes on top. Decorate with a generous amount of cured anchovies. Add some basil, coriander and a few sun-dried tomatoes if you have them. Fold the sheets edges back onto the pie and sprinkle with a small spoonful of olive oil before putting in a hot oven (250°C) about 20 min.
A low fat dish full of good quality protein (in the tofu) and vitamins, it is perfect if you are watching your waistline pre-bikini season and the taste is VERY indulgent!
I love using filo instead of more robust pastry in my pies because you get the taste without the calories and it looks dainty and festive on the table.