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Rukmini Iyer’s one-pot dishes: cheddar cobbler and mushroom pie

I love slow-cooked one-pot dishes – the flexibility of a few minutes’ chopping, and then at least an hour of free time before dinner. While this mu

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I love slow-cooked one-pot dishes – the flexibility of a few minutes’ chopping, and then at least an hour of free time before dinner. While this mushroom pie was in the oven, I used that spare hour to paint a wall and then had something excellent to eat after my exertions. One of my favourite things to do with leftover bread is to make a bread-and-butter pudding, whether sweet or savoury. In this lovely cheddar kimchi cobbler, you slow-cook fennel, leeks and onion, flavoured with ginger, garlic, sesame oil and Korean red pepper flakes, stir through spring greens, then top with a rich, savoury custard, cheese and bread, which crisps up beautifully in the oven.

Cheddar kimchi cobbler (pictured above)

I call this a kimchi cobbler because the flavours are reminiscent of the seasonings you’d use to make the classic Korean pickle, so if you have some kimchi about, by all means stir it in with the rest of the greens for an added flavour hit. Korean red pepper flakes are readily available online, but you could substitute with smoked paprika and chipotle chilli flakes.

Prep 15 min
Cook 1 hr 30 min
Serves 4

2 small leeks, finely sliced
2 round bulbs fennel, finely sliced
1 onion, peeled and finely sliced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely grated
2 inches ginger, peeled and finely grated
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru)
200g spring greens, finely sliced
1 tbsp soy sauce
400ml creme fraiche
200ml milk
1 tsp sea salt
75g cheddar, grated
300g baguette, sliced or torn into pieces

Heat the oven to 150C (130C fan)/300F/gas 2. Tip the leeks, fennel, onion, garlic, ginger, sesame oil and red pepper flakes into a large roasting tin, mix well, then transfer to the oven to cook for one hour.

Blanch the spring greens in boiling, salted water for three minutes, then drain and set aside. (This can just be a bowl of boiling water that you tip the greens into.)

Once the vegetables have had an hour, remove the tin from the oven and increase the temperature to 220C (200C fan)/425F/gas 7.

Stir the spring greens and soy sauce through the cooked veg. Whisk the creme fraiche, milk, eggs and salt in a large bowl, then stir through half the cheese. Pour half of this savoury custard mixture in with the greens in the tin, and gently mix to combine.

Tip the bread into the bowl with the remaining custard and stir to coat. Arrange the bread evenly over the vegetables and pour over any leftover custard.

Scatter the remaining cheese over the top and bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. Serve hot.

Mushroom and pomegranate pie

Rukmini Iyer’s crisp-topped pomegranate and mushroom pie
Rukmini Iyer’s crisp-topped mushroom and pomegranate pie.

The pomegranate molasses gives a tart sweetness to this dish, and I love the textural contrast of the mushrooms and puy lentils against the crisp, scrumpled pastry top.

Prep 15 min
Cook 1 hr 30 min
Serves 4

500g chestnut mushrooms, halved if small, quartered if large
4 portobello mushrooms, cut into 4 pieces
3 large banana shallots, peeled and fairly finely chopped
45ml (3 tbsp) olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tsp flaky sea salt, plus extra to scatter over the pastry
100ml pomegranate molasses
tbsp pomegranate seeds
250g cooked vacuum-packed puy lentils
7 sheets filo pastry (suitable for vegans)
2 tbsp olive oil

Heat the oven to 150C (130C fan)/300F/gas 2. Tip the mushrooms, shallots, oil, garlic and sea salt into a large, lidded casserole dish or roasting tin, and gently stir to mix (you may need to use your hands.) Cover with the lid (or tightly with foil) and put in the oven to cook for one hour.

Take the dish out of the oven, remove the lid or foil, and increase the heat to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6. Stir the pomegranate molasses, the pomegranate seeds and the lentils through the mushrooms.

Lay one of the seven sheets of filo over the mushrooms, then scrunch up the remaining six pieces and arrange them evenly over the top. Use a pastry brush to brush the oil all over the filo peaks and troughs, scatter generously with sea salt flakes, then return to the oven for 25-30 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown and crisp. Serve hot. This is a meal in itself, but you could have some lightly dressed rocket or spinach on the side.