For the ultimate vegetarian Christmas meal these mushroom and chestnut parcels are rich, tasty and look fantastic too. Start by preheating your oven to 200°C, 180°C in a fan oven, gas mark six.
In a large sauté pan heat one tablespoon of olive oil and a knob of butter over a high heat then add two chopped shallots, a clove of crushed garlic, 250g (8oz) of roughly chopped forestiere mushrooms, 125g (4oz) of roughly chopped shiitake mushrooms and a teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves. Sauté for six to eight minutes until golden and any liquid has evaporated. Season well with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl.
Once cooled, add a teaspoon of wholegrain mustard, 100g (3 1/2oz) of cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped, the zest of half a lemon and a squeeze of the juice. Stir together well and set aside. The combination of hearty mushrooms, zesty lemon and the bite of wholegrain mustard give this filling real punch.
Next roll out a 500g (1lb) block of puff pastry on a floured surface into a square approximately half a centimetre thick and 30-40cm then cut into four. Divide the mushroom mixture between the pastry squares, piling up into the middle. Next slice a 125g (4oz) Camembert cheese and divide between the four parcels, laying on top of the mushroom mixture.
Once you've done this, brush two opposite edges of the pastry with beaten egg before bringing the pastry corners to the middle, squeezing gently and sealing the edges to form parcels. Doing this will give you a perfect seal and to give you a golden finish when the parcel's baked, simply brush all over with beaten egg.
Place the parcels on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes until golden and well risen.
The pastry is light and crisp. These parcels are going to make your guests feel thoroughly spoilt: mushroom and chestnut parcels.
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