Melissa from Dollhouse Divas has these seriously sexy pies all sorted out
l’ll start by saying that I tend to cook intuitively – so apologies in advance that this recipe is not 100% precise! The good thing about this recipe though, is that it doesn’t need to be precise. You can vary quantities of most of the ingredients to suit your taste.
x1 500g bag cashews (soaked for 2+ hours)
Massel “Beef” Stock Cubes
x1 140g tub of tomato paste
Several splashes of Rice Bran or Grapeseed oil
x2 punnets of sliced brown mushrooms (or your mushroom of choice)
Fresh bunches of Oregano, Thyme & Sage
Bragg’s Nutritional Yeast
x3 cloves garlic
Soy milk for brushing (optional)
Generous splash of wine or prosecco!
Borg’s or Pampas Puff Pastry Sheets
Coconut oil spray
You will need:
A frying pan
A muffin tin
An oven – preheated to 220 degrees celcius
Cover the cashews with water and soak, preferably overnight or of you’re time-poor, at least 2 hours. This length of time won’t affect the taste – but the longer you soak, the softer the cashews and the smoother & creamier your stroganoff will be.
Slice or mince 2 cloves of garlic and set the 3rd clove aside for the moment. Cut your onion down the middle from root to tip. Finely chop one half, then slice the other half so that it stays as strips. Why? Well, the finely chopped half is to boost up the overall taste, while the onion strips will add some really great texture to the stroganoff, making a more “chunky” pie.
Drizzle some oil into a frying pan on a medium heat and fry the onions until they start to soften, then add the garlic. Just before the onions & garlic begin to brown, add your sliced mushrooms. Mushrooms can be thirsty little buggers, so you may need to add a splash on some more oil at this point. Also sprinkle on some onion flakes for extra-yummy “oomph”! Stir everything together well until mixed.
Whilst the mushrooms are cooking, blend your cashews using the water that they were soaked in. You want to aim for a creamy consistency – not too watery, but not too thick. Before you blend, add a “beef” stock cube to the cashews & water, as well as your remaining clove of garlic before blending. It’s a good idea to pre-make some stock and keep it on-hand case your mix is too thick – or you can simply add a bit more water and just throw in another stock cube. 🙂
Once the onion, garlic and mushrooms have sweated it out and reduced, add your herbs. I like to add about a palmful of each fresh herb, with the emphasis on the thyme – a personal favourite of mine!
Stir through the herbs, then add your blended cashew mix and tomato paste to taste. Anywhere from 1/2 to a full little tub of tomato paste will do the trick. You want your mix to be nice and pink, but you don’t want to overwhelm the flavour of the mushrooms. Over the top of this, sprinkle some hefty sprinkles of nutritional yeast then stir, stir, stir!
Sidebar: I use nutritional yeast in my cooking ALL. THE. TIME. For those who are unsure as to what it even is, or what it might taste like – think of it as the vegan version of parmesan cheese. It has an amazing depth of taste which seems to enhance the flavours in any savoury dish. I use it on pasta, salads, sandwiches, soups – it’s just YUM! In addition to which, nutritional yeast is super-high in B12 – which is the vitamin that traditional “nutritionists” like to tell you that you can only get from eating animals. *eyeroll*
Aaaaanyway… back to the recipe!
By this stage, things will be looking great but might be a little dry – so now’s the time to slosh in some (vegan) wine or prosecco! Yay!!! Brown Brothers Prosecco is vegan. Vegan white wine can sometimes be tricky to find. Red wine is more often vegan as the animal products are usually used in the clarifying process, which is more important in white wine than red.
Give it a good slosh or two of wine/prosecco – then waitt for the INCREDIBLE aroma which is about to punch you in the nose! My guess is maybe half – one cup of wine, or to taste. If you prefer not to use alcohol in your cooking or if you’re making this dish specifically for kids (kids LOVE this on pasta!), just use more stock to get the mix to a nice, firm-but-creamy consistency.
Once it’s all stirred through, you’re ready to fill your pies!
Prepare/defrost and separate your pastry sheets according to brand instructions. Spray a muffin tin with coconut oil spray. Cut each pastry sheet into quarters and press 1 piece of pastry in each section of the muffin tin, leaving the edges up and hanging over the sides at this point.
Spoon in your stroganoff mixture to fill each pie – one or two tablespoons should do. At this point, you will be tempted to just eat the mix out of the bowl as it will smell AMAZING – but don’t. We’re making pies here. 😉
Once your pies are filled, fold the pastry corners back over the top of each pie to cover the filling. Then brush the top of each pie with a little soy milk and place in the oven.
Bake at 220 degrees for approximately 20 minutes. You want your pies to look nice and brown, so you may need to check them to see how they’re faring. The best thing about puff pastry is that you can tell when it’s done, just by looking at it. They may need a little more or less, depending on your oven and which brand of pastry you use.
Once they’re done, remove from oven and allow to cool a little before removing from the tin.
One of the best things about these pies is that they’re equally as delicious hot or cold – so cook, serve, enjoy!
Recipie By Melissa Ambrogio