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Christmas Nibbles - Mushroom Rolls with Chilli Jam

These vegan ‘sausage' rolls are packed with strong umami flavours and the pearl barley gives them texture. Serve warm with colourful chilli jam for a perfect Christmas canapé. 

Mushroom and Pearl Barley ‘Sausage’ Rolls

Prep and Cooling Time: 1 hour 15 minutes | Cooking and Baking Time: 1 hour

Dietary: Vegan | Makes 24 rolls

Ingredients

  • 80g pearl barley
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 celery sticks, diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 500g button mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 100ml white wine
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp shoyu
  • 50g breadcrumbs
  • 4 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 40g black pitted olives, chopped
  • 20g fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 sheet ready rolled puff pastry (320g)
  • Olive oil for brushing
  • Pinch of paprika for sprinkling on top

Method

  1. Cook the pearl barley in plenty of water until tender which takes about 30 minutes, drain and leave to cool.
  2. In a large frying pan fry the onion and celery in the olive oil for 10 to 15 minutes until soft and golden.
  3. Add the chopped mushrooms and garlic. Fry for a few more minutes until the mushrooms release their juices.
  4. Stir in the Dijon mustard, paprika, smoked paprika and thyme, then the white wine, black pepper, shoyu and the cooked pearl barley.
  5. Cook on a medium to high heat for 5 to 10 minutes, or until all the liquid has evaporated.
  6. Allow to cool slightly, then place in a food processor and blitz on short bursts until roughly blended. Don’t over-blend, make sure you leave plenty of texture.
  7. Mix in the breadcrumbs and ground flax seeds, chopped olives and parsley and a squeeze of lemon. Add more shoyu and black pepper to taste. Leave in the fridge to chill.
  8. Divide the mix into 2 and roll into 2 long sausages the length of the puff pastry. Place the long sausages in the freezer for 1 hour until solid, but not fully frozen.
  9. Preheat the oven to 200C/180CFan.
  10. Line a large baking tray with baking parchment.
  11. Cut the sheet of puff pastry in half down the length. Roll each piece out to make them slightly wider so they will be wide enough to cover the sausage rolls with overlap.
  12. With the long side of the puff pastry facing you, place the sausage onto bottom half of the pastry and fold over the pastry to cover the sausage. Press the overlap of pastry together, trim, then roll the edge over and crimp with a fork all along the bottom edge to help seal and look decorative. Repeat with the other pastry and sausage roll.
  13. Cut each sausage roll into 12 even pieces.
  14. Place the 24 rolls onto a baking tray with room between them, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with paprika.
  15. Bake for 25 minutes in the pre-heated oven until golden.

Chilli Jam

This chilli jam is savoury, sour and hot - if you want it milder take the seeds out of the chillies. You will need sterilised sealable jars, with vinegar-proof lids, such as Kilner jar or clean jam jars. To sterilise jars either put through the hottest wash in a dishwasher or place washed jars in a warm oven for ten minutes. The chilli jam will keep for a year if you jar it in a sterile environment. Once open the jam will keep in the fridge for about a month.

Why not pot into pretty small jars for deliciously different Christmas presents? 

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cooking Time: 40 minutes

Dietary: Vegan, Gluten free | Makes 1.5 litres

Ingredients

  • 8 cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 8 cloves
  • 8 star anise
  • 8 long fresh red chillies (150g) roughly chopped
  • 1kg Jam Sugar (make sure that you use Jam Sugar (which has added pectin) rather than Preserving Sugar (which doesn’t) or your jam won’t set as well)
  • 400ml apple juice
  • 500ml cider vinegar
  • 150ml Certo Liquid Apple Pectin

Method

  1. Place the chillies in a food processor and blitz until finely chopped.
  2. Place the spices, chopped chillies, jam sugar, apple juice and cider vinegar, liquid pectin together in a large saucepan.
  3. Heat gently until the sugar starts to dissolve.
  4. Bring the chilli jam to the boil, stirring gently, then leave it at a gentle boil for 20 minutes until reduced by 1/4.
  5. Take the saucepan off the heat and allow it to cool slightly for about 10 minutes before pouring into your jars. The jelly will set gradually and won’t look thick at first, but the added pectin means it will set well.
  6. Ladle into your hot sterilised jars. Then seal tightly with a sterilised lid or a rubber sealed top. Don’t shake your jars as it takes time to set.

Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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