Many times I find my friends struggle when it comes to meat free Christmas options. Somehow it seems more difficult during the festive season to come up with vegetarian dishes. I think it’s quite appropriate though to consider some precious animal lives. Especially when getting into the Christmas spirit.
This little appetizer has a ‘meaty’ texture and contains a decent amount of protein. A perfect meat substitute. You can make it in a classic terrine container. Depending on the size, you might need more mushrooms. This recipe will make you twelve cupcake size portions.
- 600 gr. mixed wild mushrooms
- 30 gr. dried mushrooms (porcini)
- 300 gr. cooked lentils
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons bouillon powder or 1 stock cube
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons agar agar powder
- 2 cooked beets
- bunch of fresh parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar.
for the cranberry sauce:
- 200 gr fresh cranberries
- 150 gr coconut sugar
- 1 organic orange
- 1 apple
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 star anis
- tiny pinch of salt and pepper
- 2 cups water
Soak the dried mushrooms in boiling water for 20 minutes. Drain them and save the soaking water. Finely chop the onion and the mushrooms. Squeeze out the soaked mushrooms and mince with your knife. Sauté the onions in some olive oil until soft and translucent and add two cloves of minced garlic. Stir well and add fresh and soaked mushrooms. Add dried thyme. Wait until they are dry and golden brown before adding salt. First they will release lots of water. When all the liquid has evaporated, they will start getting color and crisp. Stir well. When the mushrooms are golden brown, add a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, salt and a generous amount of pepper. Add the cooked lentils and stir. Have a taste and adjust the seasoning. Turn off the heat and stir in freshly chopped parsley. Put aside.
Heat up the soaking water of the mushrooms. Add stock cubes or bouillon powder. Bring to a boil and add salt and pepper to taste (depending on how salty your stock is) Add two teaspoons of agar agar powder. Cook for one more minute and turn off the heat, but don’t let it cool because it will turn into gelatine.
I used silicon cupkake forms, but you can use a loaf tin, rice bowl or turban. Fill your container of choice with the mushroom filling and press down to pack them tight. Pour in the hot jelly broth and tap the container gently to spread the broth evenly (or move arount with a fork) Let cool to room temperature. Cover with foil and place in the fridge. You can store the terrine in the fridge for up to four days. Make sure to bring the dish up to room temperature before serving.
The cranberry sauce:
Bring two cups (500 ml) of water to a boil. Add the coconut sugar, cranberries, cinnamon, star anis and peeled and diced apple and cook for a few minutes. Add orange zest and juice of one orange and cook the sauce until it is thick and jam like. That may take a while (about 30 minutes) Turn off the heat and remove the cinnamon sticks and star anis. Let cool and blend until smooth. Serve at room temperature.
Serve the sauce on the bottom of the plate and place the terrine on top. Garnish as you like (parsley, chopped roasted chestnuts. Be creative)