Port-a-gus in a blanket
I’ve been wanting to bake something “in a blanket” for a while now, but as usual, I’m not quick to make up my mind. In the end, I couldn’t settle on just one thing, so it ended up being some smoked portabello and some asparagus sautéed in garlic – hence the very catchy name Port-a-gus in a blanket!
Normally, people expect “pigs” in their blankets, but the only place cute little piglets should be is chillin’ with their mom. So instead, I decided on my favorite new bacon-like treat: portabello mushrooms, marinated in oil, liquid smoke, soy sauce and some agave or maple syrup. This king of mushrooms is sometimes referred to as the “steak of the veggie world” due to there fantastic consistency. Most of the time you see them used whole, but don’t be afraid to slice ’em up and throw them into a smoky marinade.
And then I got to thinking, what fun is it “in a blanket” if you’re on your own? Wouldn’t it be nice to get all cozy with a friend? And what better to go with the smoky, salty portabello than mean green asparagus spears sautéed in garlic? I’ve been eating lots of asparagus lately and as I soon as I bought the ones for this recipe, I saw 2 for 1 bunches in another store and bought some more! So now I have asparagus to spare!
In an earlier post I mentioned that there are foods that are “accidentally vegan” and puff pastry, in some cases, can be one of them. Puff pastry, is called smördeg in Swedish, which literally translates to “butter dough”. The funny thing is that most of the time there is actually no butter in the dough! Now, I’m more than happy when I discover things like this, but that’s not the case for everyone. I’m quite certain that the reason for this lack of butter or milk in products where you’d expect to find them is to keep costs down. So, people feel a little misled when they learn these things, especially when a word like “butter” is part of the product name!
Then all you have to do is wrap and roll, leaving a little space between each time the pastry twists around the veggies. (A lot of people think you need to brush bread and pastry in egg in order to get a nice golden brown surface, but plant-based milk mixed with just a little oil does the trick just as well!)
Follow the instructions on your puff pastry package, or bake the veggie blankets for around 12-15 minutes at 400 F (200 C) and they will come out deliciously flaky, golden brown and ready to pop into your mouth. Well, ok, maybe my mouth is little bit bigger than yours, and you might need to take a couple of bites. However they get there, these port-a-gus in a blanket are sure to delight your tastebuds when they finally reach them!
- 2 medium portabello mushrooms, sliced
- 2 Tbsps (30 ml) - olive oil
- 1 Tbsp (15 ml) - liquid smoke
- 1 tsp (5 ml) - soy sauce
- a little of your favorite sweetener: maple syrup, agave syrup or rice syrup
- 1 bunch of asparagus spears
- 1 Tbsp (15 ml) - vegan margarine
- 1 clove of garlic
- puff pastry, cut into strips 6" x 1" strips (ca 15 cm x 2.5 cm)
- 1/4 cup (.6 dl) - plant-based milk + 1 Tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
- salt/pepper to taste
- Mix the oil, liquid smoke, soy sauce and if you are using it, a sweet liquid, in a bowl, add the portabello slices and turn to coat. Spread them on baking/parchment paper and bake at 350 F (175 C) for a bout 15 minutes.
- While the portabello slices are in the oven, heat the vegan margarine in small pan, add the minced garlic and saute for a few minutes. Add the asparagus spears and stir to coat them in the butter and garlic and remove from heat.
- Cut the puff pastry into strips. Take one asparagus spear and one portabello slice, hold them together, and wrap the pastry around them, leaving a little space between the pastry. Tuck in the pastry ends and press between the asparagus and portabello or onto another piece of pastry, and place on parchment paper.
- Mix the plant-based milk and olive oil in a bowl, and brush the mixture onto the pastry.
- Bake at 400F (200C) for 12-15 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown. Serve with your favorite dip or eat them as the are!