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John Whaite's Mushroom, spinach & ricotta Yorkshire pudding
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This is something of a cross between pizza and toad in the hole, with my favourite ravioli lling on top. The key to the Yorkshire pudding is to ensure the pan is ferociously hot before you pour in the batter; otherwise you’ll just end up with something that resembles a rubbery bathmat.
For the batter
2 tbsp sun ower oil
225ml full-fat milk
4 large eggs
115g self-raising flour
1⁄2 tsp fine sea salt
For the filling
400g spinach, washed
1 tbsp sun flower oil
50g unsalted butter
400g chestnut mushrooms, finely sliced
1 small onion, finely sliced
1⁄4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
125g pecorino cheese, finely grated
100g mozzarella, torn into small pieces
Fine sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 250°C/230°C fan/gas mark 9. For the batter, put the oil into the base of a medium roasting dish (about 30×20cm) and put into the oven to get very hot.
To make the batter, put the milk and eggs into a jug and beat together. Toss the our and salt in a bowl and add a generous splash of the liquid ingredients. Whisk to form a smooth, thick batter, then slowly pour in the remaining liquid, whisking as you go. By this time the oil should have got very hot in the roasting tray, so drop a little of the batter in –
if it sizzles, the oil is ready. If not, leave the tray in the oven until it is hot. Pour the batter into the tray and return it to the oven. Bake for 20–25 minutes, until the Yorkshire pudding has puffed up and is deep golden around the edges.
Meanwhile make the lling. Heat a dry frying pan over a high heat and add the spinach. Cook, stirring, until the spinach wilts down, then tip it into a sieve set over a bowl. Add the oil, butter, mushrooms and onion to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms soften and colour – you need to ensure all excess liquid has evaporated from the pan. Remove the pan from the heat.
Squeeze the excess moisture out of the spinach and discard its liquid. Put into a bowl with the mushrooms and onions and add the nutmeg, ricotta and pecorino cheese. Season to taste.
When the Yorkshire pudding is golden and puffed, remove it from the oven and scatter the lling over it – you might need to press the pudding down in the centre if it has ballooned up completely. Scatter the torn mozzarella on top of the lling. Return the tray to the oven for 10–15 minutes, until the mozzarella cheese has melted. Serve immediately.
Comfort by John Whaites. Published by Kyle Books, photography by Nassima Rothacker