I have received so many emails asking for a showstopping vegan centerpiece dish for Christmas dinner. And I found a great one.
It comes from Great British Chefs. I tried making it last night and managed a beautiful result after two tries. Not bad.
Since it is a British recipe the measurements are a bit tricky but there aren’t a whole lot of ingredients so it’s not overwhelming. The only ingredient you may not find on your typical supermarket shelf are the chestnuts. I got mine from Whole Foods.
I used a small pizza pan (although any size will do) as my rectangular baking trays were not wide enough. I also used parchment paper to line it.
Pepperidge Farm makes a nice puff pastry. Be sure to read the instructions on how to handle your pastry to keep it from drying out.
I used a large plate and small sharp knife to make my pastry discs (saving the leftover bits).
BY KAREN BURNS-BOOTH
640g [roughly 22.5 oz] of puff pastry, vegan, ready-rolled
400g [roughly 14 oz] of mixed seasonal wild mushrooms
12 cooked chestnuts
4 shallots, peeled and finely diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 tbsp of thyme leaves, fresh
2 tbsp of Madeira, or sherry
300g [10.5 oz] of silken tofu, cut into small cubes
1. Preheat the oven to 220°C / 425°F / gas mark 7. Line a large round baking tray such as a pizza sheet.
2. Place all the filling ingredients into a large wok or pan with a lid and cook with the lid on over a low to medium heat until the tofu has melted and all the filling ingredients have cooked down to a thick sauce type texture. This will take about 10 to 15 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
3. Cut out two large discs to fit the baking tray from the rolled pastry. Place one disc onto the lined baking sheet.
4. Pile the filling ingredients into the middle of the pastry disc and then sit the other pastry circle on top of the filling, crimping the edges with your forefinger and a knife to make an attractive pattern
5. With a sharp knife make pattern on the pastry lid such as a sunbeam or diamond.
6. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the pastry is a deep golden brown and is puffed up.
MORE FROM VIVIAN
Here’s another option. I tried this out with some small vintage oval glass baking dishes I picked up.
Place the dishes upside down on puff pastry and trim around it to get the shape.
Fill the dishes 3/4’s full with the filling.
Cover with the puff pastry and trim it again so the pastry is sitting just inside the top of the dish, against the filling.
Decorate the tops with leftover pastry such as diamonds and circles to form a holly pattern.
Bake together on a tray at the same temperature as above until the puff pastry is brown.
Serve either directly on the plates or scoop out the contents with a large spoon and place it in an attractive manner.
Just add baby carrots, brussel sprouts, and vegan mash potatoes with gravy for a deluxe Christmas dinner.
Images and recipe by Karen Burns-Booth