Recipe Mushroom, Shallot & Chestnut Parcels

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This is a dinner party or Christmas Day meal. It is pretty much totally based on this recipe on the Waitrose website, but it's not the original source for my version which I don't recall having sun-dried tomato paste but chopped sun-dried tomatoes in it. I think was a recipe from the BBC Good Food magazine or the now discontinued BBC Vegetarian Good food magazine.

Explaining the filo pastry requirements is difficult because it's been a while since we last made this recipe for one very similar) and when we did, we were in the UK and the brand we used came in a long roll of multiple layers. Each parcel needs 6 squares of filo pastry and this recipe makes 6 parcels. The instructions for the original recipe use Jus-Rol filo pastry which cames in stacks of 7 sheets that are folded over each other. It says to unroll or unfold the filo until you have a rectangle of fllo pastry 7 sheets high... You then cut the rectangle into 6 squares creating 42 squares in total. But with the dimensions of the pastry currently this will be way too small. You only need 36 filo square layers but you may have to improvise or be creative because as I have found out filo pastry is sold in different sizes in different countries, so just try to find what will work best for you with what is available... What I buy in Australia is much wider than the Jus-Rol filo pasty I used to buy in the UK. Sainsbury's tells me that the Jus-Rol filo pastry is currently 480mm by 225mm. Creating 6 squares from those dimensions could be challenging. Cutting in half lengthways would give a maximum size of 11 cm for a square which is actually too small. 15 cm is much better but you'll only get 4 squares from that giving a total of (4×7) 28 squares which won't make even 5 complete parcels. Some of the offcuts could be utilised to easily make 5 parcels, but you'd need to be very creative to make 6 and not run into problems so think about how many you can get from the filo sheets and adapt your proportions accordingly.

You then want to use about ⅔rds of the vegan butter or oil to brush 36 squares (as you go) then assembling the "circles" by laying 6 squares one on top of the other, with each layer offset by ~30° to the layer immediately below it (just aim for the 4th layer being at 90° to the bottom/first layer and layer 2 and 3 equally distributed between layers 1&4). This will create a "circle" of filo pastry to make the parcel.

But as I have found out filo pastry is sold differently in different countries, Sainsbury's tells me that the Jus-Rol filo pastry is 480mm by 225mm and contains just 7 sheets. The filo Sheets I buy in Australia are wider than the Jus-Rol filo pasty I used to buy in the UK. For example, the Antoniou Fillo Pastry I purchase in Australia comes in a 375g pack and is roughly 430mm by 280mm and has between 18-22 sheets per pack. So making 6 parcels with 6 layers with each layer ~15cm square is much easier.

How large are the parcels? Well the squares need to be roughly 15cm square. And if needed you could always marke 4 larger parcels and just cook them for a touch longer.

Ingredients
20g dried porcini mushrooms
75g Recipe - European Style Cultured Vegan Butter or 3-4tbsp olive oil
4 shallots, finely chopped
4 large cloves garlic, crushed or very finely chopped
200g crimi mushrooms, evenly sliced
150g baby Portabellini (or brown chestnut) mushrooms, evenly sliced
2-3 tbsp Madeira
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
100g fresh, roasted and peeled chestnuts, roughly chopped
25g pine nuts, toasted
450g pack spinach, washed
2 tbsp sun-dried tomato paste
~300g filo pastry sheets

Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6.
  2. Soak the porcini mushrooms in boiling water for 15 minutes, then drain and chop. You may want to reserve the liquid for another recipe, but it is not required for this recipe.
  3. Melt 25g of the vegan butter in a large saucepan (if using vegan butter) or heat ⅓ of the olive oil and fry the shallots and garlic for 5 minutes until soft.
  4. Add both sets of mushrooms and cook over a high heat for 3-4 minutes until golden and just tender.
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in the Madeira, parsley, chestnuts, pine nuts and season. Then Ieave to cool.
  6. Meanwhile steam the spinach for 1-2 minutes until wilted then squeeze out any water.
  7. Melt the remaining vegan butter or gently warm the remaining olive oil. Lay a clean tea towel on the work surface and cut the stack of pastry sheets into 6 squares, then brush each pastry square with the melted vegan butter/warmed olive oil. Next, assemble 6 squares one on top of the other, with each layer offset by ~30° to the layer immediately below it. This will create a "circle" of filo pastry to make the parcel. Repeat with the remaining filo squares to make 6 "circles" in total.
  8. Spread 1tsp of sun-dried tomato paste over the centre of each circle, followed by ⅙th of the steamed spinach. Next, spoon approx ⅙th of the mushroom mixture over the spinach. Now gather up the pastry edges and pinch together firmly to seal into a pouch shape. If needed dampen the edges with water to get them to hold together.
  9. Carefully lift the parcels onto a large baking sheet, supporting the underneath with a spatula if needed and brush with the remaining melted butter. Bake for about 20 minutes until golden.
 
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