Chestnut Paté en Crôute
A deceptively simple recipe that makes an impressive centrepiece, as well as tasting very good. Serve with a rich gravy, roasties and whatever vegetables you like.Thanks again to Rose Elliot, the Goddess of Veggie food, for the lovely recipe!
2 onions, chopped
1 piece of celery, finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
100g/3½oz button mushrooms, sliced
Half a tin of unsweetened chestnut purée (a full tin is 435g so you want just over 200g) OR the equivalent of whole cooked chestnuts, mashed up (the ready-cooked vacuum-packed variety are widely available). You can also combine puree and chopped whole chestnuts for a mixed texture. Merchant Gourmet brand is good and widely available and sells both
1-2 tbsp shoyu/tamari soya sauce or 1 tbsp dark miso
1/2 tsp allspice or 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp brandy
½ oz fresh soft breadcrumbs – wholemeal or white
Salt and lots of freshly-ground black pepper
1 sheet of Jus Rol ready-rolled puff pastry (rectangular, not round)
Soya milk to glaze
1. Preheat the oven to 230°C/450°/Gas Mark 8.
2. Fry the onions and celery in the oil in a large saucepan, covered, for 10 minutes. Add the garlic and mushrooms, cook for 2-3 minutes.
3. Mix in the chestnut purée, soya sauce/miso, breadcrumbs, brandy and seasoning until everything is well amalgamated.
4. Unroll the pastry from the packet and place carefully on a lightly-oiled baking sheet. Pile the chestnut mixture lengthways down the middle third of the pastry.
5. Make diagonal cuts 1cm/½ inch apart on the pastry on either side of the chestnut mixture. Fold these up alternately to make a lattice covering it - see the photograph!
6. Trim the ends – you could make leaves from these left-over pieces and stick on top with water. Brush the pastry with soya milk.
7. Bake for 5 minutes, then reduce the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6 and bake for a further 20-25 minutes.
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