Every year I hear stories about friends who have invited guests for a holiday dinner and are asked at the last minute if they can bring a friend, only to learn that that friend is a vegetarian. My advice to hosts is to always have ingredients for a salad on hand, as well as hearty vegetable side dishes like string beans with shallots and almonds or a vegetarian stuffing that also serves as a side dish for the other guests. This weekend I made a vegetarian menu of Mushroom cutlet with fresh herb matzoh stuffing served with a good amount of mushroom velouté. Funny enough, I made this dish as a Passover selection in my restaurant, but most of the people who ended up ordering it were non-meat eating Catholics.
The mushroom cutlet has a meaty texture from the mushrooms with a “milanese-type” crust so even your meat eater will want this. The stuffing is very light and the entire meal can be made without using lactose products.
3 cups of chopped shiitake mushrooms cleaned and rough chopped
2 chopped spring onions
2 tablespoons of EVOO
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup of matzoh meal
1 1/4 cup of ground walnuts
Place mushrooms and scallions in a food processor and mix. Drizzle with EVOO and salt. Then add matzoh meal and pulse until forming a thick paste with the consistency to form into patties.
Ground 1/4 cup of walnuts and blend with ground matzoh meal for breading. Shape 4 to 5 oz patties into cutlet form and dredge into crumb mixture and coat. Complete all 4 to 6 patties and set aside to pan fry. They can be cooked in advance and heated in oven prior to serving.
5 sheets of matzoh, broken into pieces
2 cups of garden stock (1 to pre-soak matzoh, then another cup to add after adding the eggs; add little by little as you might not need all of it.) Preheat the oven to 375 to bake your matzoh stuffing.
1 grated carrot
1/2 cup of finely copped celery
1/2 cup of finely chopped spring onions
1/2 cup of ground matzoh meal
1/4 cup of fresh chopped herbs (Greek oregano, chives, sage, wild fennel)
2 tablespoons of EVOO
Preheat the oven to 375° to bake your matzoh stuffing.
Combine all ingredients and mix until forming a thick batter the consistency of muffin mix. Add more stock if it’s too thin. Taste the batter and add more salt and pepper to taste.
Oil a 9 inch pan with EVOO and add matzoh batter. Bake for 30 minutes.
The mushroom velouté
This velouté is made from three simple ingredients. Sautéed mushrooms, shallots, and garden stock. Purée them together in a blender and add salt and pepper to taste. No thickener is needed since mushroom emulsifies naturally.
Serve this dish with a full-bodied red wine for your holiday guests. Try the Cabernet Sauvignon blend from Kesser Vineyards New York State, Finger LakesShare on Facebook