I know this is a little early, but I’m now all ready for Christmas dinner. I either have, or have ordered, everything we need. Bearing in mind we are vegetarian, the menu looks like this:
Asparagus soup (made from local asparagus in June and frozen)
Steamed Scorzonera (provided the ground isn’t so frozen that I can dig it up on Christmas morning)
Cashew, brazil and walnut nut roast strudel, with roast potatoes, brussels sprouts, carrots, bread sauce and mushroom sauce. (I confess that none of this is from the garden)
Christmas pudding with brandy sauce or cream (this isn’t from the garden either)
Trifle (with apple from the common and mixed fruit from the garden and hedgerows)
Cheese and biscuits (well I might make some crackers or oatcakes)
There is likely to be an interval of some hours between pudding and trifle 🙂
Recipe for the Strudel
olive oil, chopped onion, about 300g nuts (walnuts, brazils, hazelnuts, cashews, etc), 2 eggs, parsley and chives (fresh if possible – or alternatively use spices, see text), nutmeg, salt & pepper, 1 packet filo pastry sheets
Heat the oven to 190 degrees C, grease a baking sheet or line with greaseproof paper.
Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion gently till golden. You can add a clove of garlic (crushed) if you like.
Grind half the nuts in a food processor and chop the other half so you have a chunky mixture that will bind together.
Mix together the onion, nuts, beaten eggs, herbs and season well. If you haven’t got herbs you can use dried or switch flavours and instead of herbs add spices such as coriander and cumin (but dont mix the herb version with the spice version!).
Layout the filo pastry on a suitable surface and use as suggested on the packet. Use three or four layers, lay the nut mixture on top of it, fold over the top bit of pastry, then tuck in the sides, then roll it up to form a strudel. If you find it easier, make a number of smaller, individual strudels for your guests, using fewer sheets of filo for each.
Place carefully on the baking sheet, brush with egg, milk or water, (top with sesame seeds if you fancy) and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown. Remove from the oven and stand for 5-10 minutes before transferring to the serving dish.
I’m serving it with Sarah Brown’s mushroom sauce, which is magnificent 🙂