It's that time of year again. The next six weeks are a blur of turkey, sugar cookies, pumpkin, candy canes, and egg nog. I have been wanting to make Veggie Wellingtons for year, I always thought if I had a vegetarian friend come over for the holidays that I would make the Mushroom Wellingtons from the Cafe Flora Cookbook. Unfortunately, they take three days to make and without the motivation I don't see them happening any time soon. But, when I saw these in the New York times a few weeks ago I decided to make them for dinner one night, a weeknight even! I'm not a big fan of cutting up uncooked squash, which is recommended in the original recipe, so I subbed sweet potatoes. They turned out beautifully. They would indeed make a great main dish for a vegetarian Thanksgiving. We will be having the usual Turkey with all the trimmings, but that won't stop me from making these Veggie Wellingtons again soon.
adapted from Melissa Clark at The New York Times
4 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/8 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika or regular paprika
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 large shallot, finely chopped
3/4 pound cremini mushrooms, trimmed and roughly chopped
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 (14-to-16-ounce) package puff pastry
1 cup crumbled goat cheese
1 egg, whisked with 1/2 teaspoon water.
Heat the oven to 400 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment.
In a very large skillet over high heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add the sweet potato in a single layer and cook, undisturbed, for 4 minutes. Stir and continue to cook until golden, 7 to 10 minutes more. Stir in the syrup, thyme, paprika and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook one minute. Scrape mixture into a bowl.
Turn the heat down to medium and melt the remaining butter in the skillet. Stir in garlic and shallot; cook 1 to 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and remaining salt. Cook until mushrooms are soft and their juices evaporate, about 10 minutes. Stir in the wine and cook until the mixture is dry, about 5 minutes. Stir in the pepper and parsley. Taste and add more salt if needed.
On a lightly floured surface, unwrap the puff pastry (both pastries in a box of two). Spread mushrooms on half of each pastry rectangle leaving 1/2-inch border. Spoon the cheese crumbles over the mushrooms. Then spoon the squash over the cheese, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border (it will look like a stripe of squash lying on a bed of cheese and mushrooms).
Brush the exposed 1/2inch edges of dough on each rectangle with the egg wash. Fold in half and pinch edges together with a fork to seal; pinch the ends and folded edge, too. Transfer the pastries to the baking sheet. Brush the tops with more egg wash. Bake until they are puffed golden, and firm to the touch, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes, slice and serve.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings.