Hello everyone! How is your Halloween prep going?
Marc the bf is incredibly busy as Halloween is his peak season, being a prosthetic and special effects makeup artist. If you are in need of last minute Halloween touches for your costume, do check out his realistic, reasonably priced prosthetic pieces (click here) << not for the faint hearted though! Still in time for Halloween delivery for those in the UK. 🙂
I on the other hand don’t normally give much thought to Halloween, but this year I wanted to put in a little bit of extra effort. I made a Halloween themed bento last weekend consisting of a mushroom wellington laced with ‘cobweb’, nori spider, baked courgette / zucchini skull and crossbones, and clementine Jack-o’-lanterns, finished with some gory looking tomato sauce ‘blood’.
The mushroom wellington was the most complex and labour intensive component but you can make it in bulk and in advance. Here is the recipe:
Ingredients (Makes about 5 wellingtons)
- 2 sheets of rolled puff pastry (I used 2 x 320g Jus-Rol pastry – or substitute with vegan pastry)
- 400g cremini / brown / chestnut mushrooms, quartered
- 1 tsp of fennel seeds
- 1 tsp of dried tarragon
- 1 tsp of dried parsley
- 1 medium sized onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 100g of ground almond
- 200g cashew nuts
- 5 tbsp of Panko
- 2 tbsp of soy sauce
- 2 tbsp of vegetable stock
- a few twists of salt and black pepper
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 egg, beaten (for egg wash, optional – omit for vegan wellington)
1. Heat olive oil in skillet. Add chopped onion and minced garlic and let it brown and caramelise slightly for about five minutes on medium heat.
2. Add mushrooms and herbs and and cook for another five minutes. Then add vegetable stock and soy sauce and let it simmer down for another two minutes. Season with salt and pepper as you are doing this. Remove from heat and set aside in a mixing bowl, retaining all the juices and liquid.
3. Break cashew nuts into smaller pieces and add to mushroom mix. Add ground almond and Panko to the mix. Using a hand blender, blend until smooth. To prevent cashew pieces from flying around while you blend, you can place a clean tea towel over the bowl as you are doing this. Taste mixture and season if needed.
4. Transfer mix into a container and chill in fridge for 30 minutes to an hour.
5. Once chilled, remove from fridge and separate into 5 parts.
6. Cut rolled pastry into five 15cm x 15cm squares. Gently place one portion of the mix in the middle of the pastry square. Draw up all four corners of the pastry until they meet in the middle, and then press down to form a flattened pyramid. Pinch the edges to seal. You can decorate your wellington using leftover pastry. I cut out thin strips of pastry to form the cobweb details.
7. Brush the wellington with beaten egg to give it a nice smooth finish. Transfer to baking paper and bake on gas mark 7 for approximately 40 minutes until pastry turns golden brown.
8. Cut into quarters and serve. You can serve approximately 10 people (maybe even more!) with all this food! Alternatively, you may freeze the filling to use some other time.
Credits: The bf made the wellington. I merely decorated it. 😛 The idea to turn the wellington into cobweb comes from my cousin who goes by the alias ‘Chipmunk’.
Happy Halloween everyone! 🙂