Day 351: Brie, Cranberry & Chestnut Parcels

One high point of this blog is the amount of time we now spend together at mealtimes. We’ve been making much more of an effort on Sundays, particularly in the run up to Christmas whilst I’m trying out festive recipes and attempting a vegetarian ‘roast dinner’. It’s definitely a tradition we’ll be carrying on next year when it’s all over.

Since I made cheese empanadas as part of The Eldest Boy’s South America homework way back at the beginning of the year, the kids have been pestering for a repeat of them ever since. So this is a Yuletide version; an alternative Christmas spring roll.

Ingredients for the pastry:

  • 24oz / 680g plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening 
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • Half tsp baking powder
  • Half tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 180ml milk, plus extra for sealing
  • 120ml water

For the filling:

  • 180g vacuum packed chestnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 x red onion, finely chopped
  • 200g Brie, cubed into small pieces
  • 200g fresh cranberries 
  • Approx 4 x Savoy cabbage leaves, very finely sliced
  • Vegetable oil (for frying)

Roast the cranberries in a good splash of olive oil and balsamic vinegar and a pinch of sugar at 200C for 15 minutes. Set aside until needed.

Mix the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and sugar in a food processor. Add the vegetable fat (shortening).

Heat the milk and water in a pan to near boiling. Pour into the food processor and whizz up until a dough forms.

Remove from the processor and knead gently.

Divide into 16, roll into balls and leave for 5 mins.

Meanwhile, fry the onion in olive oil for a few minutes until soft. Add the chopped chestnuts, cranberries and shredded cabbage and stir fry for a few minutes.

Roll out the pastry dough into 15cm wide thin squares.

Fill with the cranberry mixture and top with several cubes of Brie. Roll in a diagonal, folding in the ends (a bit like wrapping fish and chips). Seal the edges with milk and deep-fry until golden.

Serve as a traditional Sunday roast with roast potatoes and vegetables. The Man overcooked some gammon to go with his and The Eldest Boy’s.

Although worth it, these parcels were a slightly long-winded job. However, the pay off was the kids washed up and I got to sit down (finally!)

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