While hunting for some South African recipes, I came across Cook Eat Live Vegetarian, an outstanding food blog featuring seasonal vegetarian recipes. Not only are all the dishes very detailed, but creator and writer, Natalie Ward, also features food inspired by her travels to Cape Town and the surrounding areas. We paired some of our favorite South African wines with her Mushroom Vol au Vent, an interpretation of a main course she had at Overture in Stellenbosch, and viola! A dish to die for.
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Mushroom Vol au Vent Recipe
(Makes 3, vegetarian. Adapted from Bertus Basson)
Prep time: 30 mins (not including defrosting)
Cooking time: 20-25 mins
- 1 roll/block puff pastry (defrosted in the fridge overnight)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 100 ml milk
- 500 gr mushrooms, sliced
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tsp thyme
- a big splosh or 2 of sweet sherry or brandy
- 3 sml pots (375 ml) Greek yoghurt
- salt & black pepper
- 3 tbsp cream cheese
- a big handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped plus leaves for garnish
- milk to thin sauce if necessary
- a couple of thin slices of black truffle, finely julienned (optional)
Whisk together, the egg, sugar and milk with a fork for the glaze and set aside. Roll out the puff pastry on a floured board to a 12 x 12 inch square about 2-3 mm thick. With a sharp knife cut into 9 equal squares 4 x 4 inches each. Three rows of three (see picture above).
Stack three squares on top of each other, brushing with glaze in between each layer. Repeat so you have three stacks of three. Put these in the fridge for about 15 minutes to chill. Preheat oven to 180 C and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
Remove from the fridge and trim the edges with a sharp knife. Brush the top with the glaze (if you haven’t already) and use a round cutter or glass to cut a circle in the centre of each square about half way through the pastry. Place on the lined baking tray and bake for 20-25 minutes until puffed and golden brown.
Leave to cool then remove the circle from the top of each one. “I kept mine to top each one off, like a little hat.” Now hollow them out by removing as much of the pastry as possible from inside.
For the filling: Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan over a medium high heat and cook the onion and a pinch of salt for about 4 minutes until softened and starting to brown, then add the garlic & thyme and cook for a further minute. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook until nicely browned.
Add a couple of sploshes of sherry and cook out for a minute then add the yoghurt, stirring to combine. Season well with salt & black pepper and cook to reduce the sauce slightly and intensify the flavour. Turn off the heat and stir through the cream cheese and chopped parsley. Taste for seasoning.
“I wanted my filling quite thick and creamy, if you would like it more like a sauce, just add some milk at the end until you are happy with the consistency.”
To serve: Heat the vol au vent for a few minutes in a warm oven, place on your serving plate, fill with the mushrooms, top with the pastry circle and garnish with the slivered truffle and parsley leaves. “I served this with a simple green salad dressed with olive oil & lemon juice.” Roasted Brussel sprouts and celeriac are lovely too if they are in season where you are.
Wines to Pair:
A unique elegance and balance: the Chardonnay contributing elegance, and the Pinot Noir fruit and flavour intensity. This vintage is refined, with a firm acidity and an abundance of ripe fruit on the bouquet and palate.
Cederberg Buttektraube 2010 $18.99
A well-balanced wine with an exotic yet delicate character, laced with a crisp acidity. Expressive floral aromas, hints of dried mango, apricots and honey.
Bataleur Chardonnay 2007 $49.99
(91 Points Wine Enthusiast, 90 Points Wine Spectator) The Estate’s flagship wine. Specific barrel selection to produce a fine wine with both finesse and elegant complexity.