Happy New Year! I hope you all are doing well, staying healthy and weathering this pandemic. 2020 Has been a rough year, there is no glossing over that. My hopes and wishes for everyone is that 2021 will be a year of health and happiness and prosperity for you all. The holidays this year were different to say the least, most of the time was spent alone, well thank goodness I have Jenna Rose, she is always good company, even when she is sleeping which is most of the time. I baked cookies for friends and clients and Jenna and I delivered them, on Christmas Day a dear friend came over and I made dinner. She is vegetarian, I wanted to make something special and thought a Wellington would be nice so I researched and zeroed in on 4 recipes, I took bits and pieces from each, added my own touches and voila, a delicious mushroom Wellington. It may sound imposing but actually its quite simple, especially when you can buy amazing pre made puff pastry (Dufour’s). The filling can be made in advance and putting it all together before baking is a simple process. The port wine reduction is in my opinion what takes this over the top.
Dessert was a roulade, I used Erin Mcdowells recipe on Food52 and for the first time ever I had a beautiful roulade without any significant cracks. I saved her recipe for both chocolate and vanilla sponge, and both recipes are keepers. Its a simple non fussy dessert, chocolate sponge with a whipped cream filling served with a warm fudge sauce. I was on the fence about the dessert until Christmas morning, after deciding to give this a go I literally made it in the morning and served at dinner. Quick and easy!
Mushroom Wellington With Port Wine Reduction
Port Wine Reduction
1 shallot chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 1/2 c good port wine
1 1/2 cup mushroom stock
1-2 sprig of fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbs butter
Chop shallot and garlic and saute in olive oil until soft and tender. Add the port and mushroom stock, season with sat and pepper and put the sprig of thyme in. Bring to a boil on high heat and then reduce to medium and continue to gently boil until it is reduced to about 1 cup of liquid, it should be thick and look like syrup. Pour through a sieve and save the shallot and garlic you will use that for the Wellington. I recommend making this the day before serving. When ready to serve add to a sauté pan and cook it reducing even more so that it is thick and yields a bit more than 1/2 cup, add the butter.
3 leeks, cleaned well and sliced ( only white and light green parts) save the rest for stock but clean it well, leeks are full of grit.
16 oz of assorted mushrooms, sliced. I used Baby Bella, cremini, oyster, chanterelle
1 packet of frozen spinach drained, all the liquid should be squeezed out.
2 oz cream cheese or soft goat cheese
1 heaping cup fresh bread crumbs
Reserved shallot and garlic from port wine reduction
6-8 tbs butter
1 sheet puff pastry
1 egg beaten with a splash or water or cream for egg wash
Put most of the butter in a heavy skillet and melt on medium high heat. Add the leaks and sautés until softened, add the mushrooms and continue to sauté until there is no liquid and the mushrooms are lightly browned. Remove to a bowl.
Add remaining butter and the breadcrumbs and toast until golden brown, add to the bowl with the leeks and mushrooms. Add the drained spinach, reserved shallot/garlic from reduction and cream cheese and mix until all ingredients are incorporated. Lay a long sheet of plastic wrap on your work surface and spoon the mixture onto it shaping into a log, Wrap it well and refrigerate at least an hour preferably overnight.
Putting it together
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out the chilled puff pastry, place the log on the short end with a 2 inch overhang. You should have enough pastry so that the ends can be turned in so the filling does not fall out. Brush the edges with the egg wash. Bring the 2 inch overhang up on the log and start rolling until the end. Place on parchment lined baking sheet seam side down. You can make shallow cross pattern on top being careful not to slice through all layers of the puff pastry or decorate with cut out leaves or whatever you like. Brush with egg wash and bake for about 45 minutes or until the Wellington is golden brown. Serve with the reduction.