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Spectacular vegetarian Christmas entree?

I've been veg for 20 years, so have been around the block, but would love any suggestions for something decadent and lovely. This will accompany a traditional Xmas dinner spread (stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls, turkey, etc.) at my parents' house and be an additional course for 4 vegetarians and 2 carnivores. Two of the four are my kids, but they are relatively adventurous and also we don't really worry that much about them anyway--there will be plenty on the table.

In the past I've done spanakopita and butternut squash lasagna. Something with a tart crust or some other lovely buttery substrate is always nice. ;) Calories no concern. Not looking to go vegan here--we eat dairy and eggs. No pasta maker at that house, or I'd do a fresh ravioli.

I am a very experienced cook and pretty willing to tackle anything. This is also a nice time for something with pricey ingredients that I might not normally spring for.

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  1. I'm a meat eater, but I'm hoping a vegetarian family member will bring Field Roast's Hazelnut Cranberry Roast en Croute. I'm sure you could make a vegetarian Wellington from scratch, or perhaps a vegi strudel?

    http://www.fieldroast.com/fieldroast_...

    4 Replies
    1. re: Jeri L

      have you tried that roast? It does look good. I like the Field Roast stuff generally, though I tend to be picky about fake meat.

      1. re: loraxc

        I haven't,, but their hazelnut herb cutlets are wonderful and I expect it's same base.

        1. re: Jeri L

          We served this at Thanksgiving this year. The presentation was nice and the pastry cooked up perfectly. The taste was not that much different from the field roast we usually get (sage and butternut I think). It definitely did not wow me.

      2. re: Jeri L

        Was just going to suggest strudel. Just keep the filling fairly dry -- no watery veg like eggplant -- or the pastry will get soggy.

      3. I adore this mushroom bourguignon; it is wonderfully decadent, gorgeous and special.
        It might be too simple for you, but really it is marvelous!
        http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/01/mus...

        Also, this wild mushroom and stilton galette is a winner:
        http://smittenkitchen.com/2006/10/whe...

        I have served both at holidays to rave reviews. You can of course sub other cheese if someone is silly enough to not adore stilton!

        1 Reply
        1. re: magiesmom

          The bourgignon sounds quite tasty but perhaps not wowish enough? I'd like to try it, though!

          The galette looks awesome. Perfect suggestion--exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for!

        2. In my not so humble opinion, the best vegetarian recipes on the web are at www.vegsoc.org. This is the website of the British Vegetarian Society. They are unafraid of cream and nuts, which is what make vegetarian main courses really rich and delicious. Of course, you can find recipes without those ingredients, but they will all be imaginative, decadent and really delicious. Just click on the Christmas Recipes tab and look thru their archives for past Christmases.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Isolda

            Hmm! Have never even been to that site. Off to poke.

          2. I made this wild mushroom bread pudding for my vegetarian friends at Thanksgiving, and it was received with oohing, aahing raves:

            http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

            I used a stale baguette with the crusts on, doubled the mushrooms (and included chanterelles), increased the cheese and baked it in a 4 quart enameled cast iron dutch oven. It looked beautiful served right in the dutch oven and tasted even better. I made a rich mushroom gravy to go with it, and though it was gilding the lily, my friends loved it.

            If you want to make it even more special, you could bake it in a pumpkin, a la Dorie Greenspan's stuffed pumpkin:

            http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

            3 Replies
            1. re: TorontoJo

              I have that one in my Epciurious box! Never made it, though--I think the richness of the ingredients spooked me, but hell, it's Christmas.

              1. re: loraxc

                It's rich, but well worth it. I did use more milk and less cream with no loss of fabulousness. My friends said it was really rich, but then proceeded to help themselves to seconds. :)

                1. re: TorontoJo

                  I also make this and use only lactose-free whole milk. The lactose free milk is slightly sweeter and richer tasting, but not as fatty as cream.

              1. re: piccola

                You know, I did try that recipe once and for some reason it just didn't work for me. I was disappointed because it looked awesome.

                1. re: loraxc

                  Aw, boo! I've had good luck with it, but I did tinker with it quite a bit (as I usually do).