Sorry for my very late post of the festive meal I made over two weeks ago now. To be honest though the ingredients aren't all that festive, it just somehow managed to have a festive, sort of special feel to it at the time which, was very nice. I found this lovely recipe for Vegetable Strudel in last month's Morrison's magazine and I instantly wanted to try it. I'm very glad I did as well as it turned out lovely. It has a quite unusual, unique flavour but, it is very tasty and although, I am well aware on the 1st of January 2013 noone is considering what they will be eating for this years Christmas Dinner but, it honestly would make a great option for Vegetarian's at Christmas as an alternative to the normal nut roast. You could also really have this dish at any time of the year though and you could make whatever alterations you wish to it to fit more with what ingredients are in season when you make it.
There are lots of ingredients but, they all somehow manage to work really well together. It is the goats cheese though which, really makes this dish, it is delicious and works perfectly with the other flavours of the dish and the filo and it just brings everything together. I found that everything cooked perfectly following the recipe and timings however, the apple was still a little crunchy which, I was fine with but if you wouldn't like that you could always maybe cook it a little in some boiling water beforehand to soften it a bit.
I have never worked with filo pastry before either which, I was quite excited about and I think I managed to actually do an alright job of it. The pastry was cooked perfectly as well so I know Paul and Mary would be proud. (Great British Bake-Off Superfan here, I do apologise). I served the strudel with some roast parsnips, cranberry sauce and brussel sprouts as I was being festive at the time and I also served it alongside some Creamed Leeks. Oh my, creamed leeks are incredible. If you have never had them before you have to try them, just sweat some chunks of leek in quite a bit of butter ;) and then simply add a good drenching of single cream. Very healthy ofcourse, it was Christmas afterall. Now you could just serve it with anything really, cous cous, roast vegetables, carrots, cauliflower cheese. Anything.
Recipe (Serves 8 people apparently, mine served 4 :/, I'm a bit chubby with my portion sizes though.)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 leek, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 red pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
200g cooked fresh chestnuts, finely chopped
150g fresh breadcrumbs
2 eating apples, peeled, cored and diced
small handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
3 eggs, beaten
220g filo pastry
125g soft goat’s cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/180ºC fan/Gas 6. Heat 25g of the butter and all the oil and cook the onion, garlic, leek and red pepper for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened but not coloured. Remove from the heat and stir in the chestnuts, breadcrumbs, apple, herbs and eggs until well combined. Season.
2. Unroll the filo and cover with a damp cloth to stop it drying out. Melt the remaining butter. Brush a sheet of pastry with butter, cover with another sheet and repeat until you have six layers. Spread half the stuffing across the centre of the filo, dot over the goat’s cheese, cover with the remaining stuffing and wrap it all up. Lay seam side down on a baking sheet, tucking the ends under. Brush with melted butter.
3. Brush 3 more sheets of pastry with butter and scrunch on top of the parcel. Cover the strudel with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for a further 20 minutes until golden. Serve with whatever accompaniments you like.
If you are making it around Christmas or you are just a big Cranberry fan you could also serve it with the Cranberry and Orange Sauce it suggests on the website. I only didn't as I thought with the million different ingredents I was already buying for the actual Strudel I ought to cut back somewhere, else my weeks wages would all be spent on cooking one meal. If you would like to try it though you can find the recipe here.
I hope you enjoy!
Thankyou for reading!
Love Courts x