Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Rocket and Roses Roasted Chestnut and Sprout Pate with Christmas Tree Toasts

Kitchen Play List: John & Yoko ~ Happy Xmas (War is Over)
                                     Wizard ~ I Wish It Could Be Christmas...
                                     Slade ~ Merry Christmas Everybody                 
                                     Tom Jones & Cerys ~ Baby It's Cold Outside
                                     Elton John ~ Step into Christmas
                                     Little Saint Nick ~ Beach Boys 

I was given a lovely bag of fresh Chestnuts last week and after the initial glow of receiving them, they sat in the bowl. And sat. I then decided to roast them by cutting a slit into the skins and roasting them on a baking sheet in the hottest oven for 25 minutes. And they still sat. Then I begged asked My Love nicely to shell them for me...2 hours later, I was not the most popular person in this house..let me tell ya! Ooops! And when it came to the mystery ingredient item this week I was reminded that I had the roasted chestnuts to use...well maybe not that politely...Ahem! lol So the Mystery Ingredient Challenge Item this week is Roasted Chestnuts ! Wehoo! Ahem..lol 

Wonderful..roasted chestnuts...what to do? lol Eat them! Not sure I would get away with that as a recipe and it would be a very short blog...Roast Nuts...Eat Them! Nope, I had to bring out the big guns and get creative. My mind wondered off to the chestnut recipe I dislike the most which is Chestnuts & Brussels Sprouts. I have lost count how many times I have been passed this dish at meals and been reassured that it's a 'real veggie' dish. Yes..if you don't cook them in animal fat and toss in bacon too! *sighs* But then, I don't really liked my veggies dressed in butter...it takes some patience to keep saying to family members, that veggies that have butter melted onto them is not vegan! But for me it's not a vegan issue..I have just never liked them smeared in anything. And I don't like gravy either. Vegan buttered veggies and veggie gravy is just lost on me. Thinking of beautiful succulent chestnuts and sprouts ruined in this dish is saddening to me. 

How could I make a dish using chestnuts and brussel sprouts, that wouldn't leave me disappointed, that the little round balls of yumminess hadn't just been left the heck alone? I was stumped for a while and pottered about doing other things. Then the idea started to form and I grabbed the chestnuts and brussels and got cracking. And before I knew it I had a full on Christmas dish coming together. 

I love a good pate especially if it isn't full of hidden ingredients. I like the veggies used to be the star of the show and I like something a little crunchy to schmear it on lol. As I was cooking the pate and scribbling the recipe down at the same time..lol I racked my brains for a simple cracker recipe to go with it. But after a frustrating while I gave in because nothing I could think of would give me the comforting perfect other half to this pate recipe. Until I looked at my wholemeal bread loaf and my Christmas cookie cutters that I had retrieved, ready to make Christmas Cookies with with the Little Ones on Saturday...and had one of those "Doh!.." moments. lol. It was so obvious that I couldn't see it. Why make crackers when the perfect crunch could come from wholemeal toast...cut into Christmas tree shapes! Marvelous. So I fired up the toaster and started the fun task of cutting out trees. And it worked so well I was grinning all over the place and having so much fun making this dish. lol. 

Obviously you can make the trees from Gluten Free bread and still have the same effect and the pate is naturally gluten free. This pate would be good with crudites too. 

The pate had a good texture...it looks wholesome...and tastes really, really good. The roasted chestnuts mixed with the brussel sprouts, onion, garlic and parsley have a savoury richness with a creaminess too. It has texture still from the chestnuts which aren't blitzed to dust and isn't too solid or too soft. It schmears well on the trees and tastes good warm and cold. It would work well as a starter, on a buffet or as a lunch. It makes a very sizeable portion and would easily look good in small pots for individuals or in a serving dish for many. 

I only wish I had some more roasted chestnuts to make this for Christmas but getting My Love to shell roasted chestnuts twice in one week may be pushing it! lol. I am very happy with the results of this recipe and I really hope you try it for yourselves...

Rocket and Roese Roasted Chestnut and Sprout Pate with Christmas Tree
Rocket and Roses Roasted Chestnut and Sprout Pate
(Original Recipe from the Rocket and Roses Vegan Kitchen)

1 tsp of rapeseed oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
4 oz brussel sprouts, roughly chopped
2 small garlic cloves, roughly chopped
6 oz roasted chestnuts, shelled
1 heaped tbsp of chopped fresh parsley
6 fl oz of boiling water
low sodium salt to season, to taste
3 fl oz of warm water

In a skillet heat the oil and saute the onion, sprouts and garlic for 10 minutes until softened. Add the parsley and stir well. Then add 4 fl oz of the boiling water, stir well and then cover and cook for a further 10 minutes until all veggies are very tender. Season with salt to your taste and stir well. Remove from the heat and set to one side. 

In a food processor blitz the peeled chestnuts until they are of a crumb like size. It took my processor a few minutes to get them to this point. Then add the remaining 2fl oz of boiling water whilst the motor running and allow the water to blend well with the chestnuts. You don't want a puree! Just enough to soften. Leave for a few minutes for the chestnuts to absorb the water. 

This is the time when I started to toast the wholemeal bread and have fun cutting out the Christmas trees...leave to cool on kitchen towel to avoid them going soft. But the shape or use of toast is entirely your choice. ~R~  

Spoon the onion/sprout mixture into the food processor and begin to pulse the two mixes together. This will take a few moments to get going and a little spatula work. Then add the 3 fl oz warm water to the mix as the motor is running and process for another couple of minutes. 

The texture should be 'wholegrain mustardy' and then store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to serve. Reheat in the microwave if serving warm...or enjoy at room temperature.  If serving in individual pots and warm for a starter spoon into ovenproof pate pots, cover with foil and warm through in a moderate hot oven. 

I couldn't get the angle right on this shot and this is the best of them..lol But I just wanted to show how the serving platter looks with the pate, tree toasts and some parsley greenage. ~R~
Enjoy! We have...