Sunday, February 18, 2007

Belated Valentine's Dinner: Mushroom Wellington With Patty-Pan Squash and Potatoes

The mushroom wellington is a variation on this recipe from The major difference is that I used phyllo dough brushed with olive oil (5 sheets per wellington roll thingy) instead of puff pastry, since I couldn't find a vegan puff pastry. Also, I substituted olive oil for margarine, sweet onions for shallots, soy sauce for salt, and a mixture of crimini, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms for button mushrooms in the mushroom mixture. I also chopped up the fake beef strips and cooked them with the mushroom mixture so they'd take on the flavour (instead of adding them afterwards). I did the sauce a little differently too: I made a mushroom stock out of about a half cup of mushroom mixture boiled in about 1 1/2 cups of water with a little soy sauce and a good splash of wine, then thickened with a roux of flour and olive oil. The trick when using a roux is to have it at about the same temperature as the stock you're adding it to, and to stir while you're adding it. It comes out nice and smooth that way.

Side dishes were patty-pans, which I sliced and fried in some margarine and sprinkled with salt, pepper, and a little fresh lemon juice; and mini red potatoes, which I boiled in a little salted water and then tossed with margarine and chopped fresh parsley.

It was a delicious dinner, if a bit involved to make. The mushrooms take on a rich meaty flavour when combined with the onions and soy sauce, so they really are a good substitute for beef in this dish.

I also made a special dessert:

...vegan truffles.

Alas, they were kind of an experiment, and somewhere among the alchemy I lost track of how much of what I put in when. Next time I'll write things down.

I made two kinds: the ones rolled in ground macadamia nuts are plain, made with dark melting chocolate, non-dairy "cream" (like Rich Whip), and margarine; and the ones rolled in powdered sugar and cocoa powder are dark melting chocolate and peanut butter.

They were tasty, and if you're feeling intrepid, I highly recommend googling up a truffle recipe and having at it with whatever vegan substitutes you can find.

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