We recently discovered that we get the Food Network. So I turn it on every now and then. As long as they aren’t showing something too overtly non-vegan, I can usually put on my vegan goggles and pretend everything they are making is vegan and cruelty free. It’s like vegan food cosplay.
The other day I saw Ina Garten making crab strudels using phyllo dough. It looked easy so I decided to make my own. Instead of crab, I used what we had in the fridge which happened to be shiitake mushrooms and an eggplant.
The creamy part of this comes from cashew cheese, though I think the roasted eggplant played a part too. When I began mixing everything together, it straight up looked like raw pork or sausage. I’m still not sure if this was cool because it wasn’t actually pig, or not-cool because it looked like it. *shrugs*. I continued with it anyways because I was in too deep at that point. Kinda like Walt in season one of Breaking Bad.
This recipe makes two strudel logs (about 18-20 pieces) and was easy to make. The phyllo dough was a bit annoying at first until I said *screw it* and stopped caring if the layers weren’t perfectly placed over each other or if some pieces broke. It all worked out in the end.
The end result was pretty bad ass. Again, much like Walt from Breaking Bad. It tasted like cream of mushroom soup or stroganoff encased in a buttery flaky crust. I couldn’t really pinpoint the eggplant in each bite…everything just kinda blended together into a comforting creamy and savory taste in my mouth.
Creamy Mushroom and Eggplant Strudel
- 9 oz of shiitake mushrooms with tough stems removed (this is about 2 1/2 to 3 cups)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 of a medium yellow onion
- small eggplant (peeled, sliced into disks and ends cut off)
- 2 stalks of green onion, chopped
- 2 tbs cashew cheese (click here for the recipe)
- 10 sheets of phyllo dough
- melted vegan butter to brush on phyllo layers
- bread crumbs
Throw the mushrooms, garlic, onion and eggplant into a food processor and pulse until it’s crumbly and resembles stuffing. Stir in the green onions. Transfer to a lightly oiled or buttered pan and cook on medium high for about 10-12 minutes cooking away most of the liquid. As it cooks, season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and stir in the cashew cheese. Let it cool so it can be handled safely. I stuck it in the fridge while I worked with the phyllo.
Lay out a piece of phyllo. Brush with melted vegan butter and then sprinkle with bread crumbs. Repeat this four more times, laying each phyllo sheet on top of the other. It’s okay if they aren’t perfectly lined up or if some crack. Then take the mushroom/eggplant mixture and form a log about an inch or so wide on one end and roll it up. Seal the roll with melted butter. Brush more melted butter on the outside and sprinkle with bread crumbs.
Score the strudel into 1 1/2 inch pieces and bake at 400 degrees for about 20-30 minutes. The phyllo should be golden and crispy.
This would make a great party appetizer or snack. Or just eat it straight up by itself like we did.