Wild Mushroom Pate

15 08 2010
I was catering a party last week and served this Wild Mushroom Pate. It was a huge hit. It looked so much like real pate that I had to convince the guests that it was truly vegetarian. A little goes a long way.

1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms or a mixture of dried chanterelle or morels with porcini

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1 pound fresh mushrooms, such as portabello, shiitake, baby bella, cremini; thinly sliced and tough stems discarded

4 cloves garlic, finely minced

2 tbsp oyster sauce

1/2 tsp chinese chili sauce

1 dash agave

6 oz cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup chopped chives

Place the dried mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with 2 cups boiling water. Let sit for 30 minutes, then pour the liquid through a strainer lined with paper towel. Reserve the liquid. Rinse the soaked mushrooms and squeeze out any excess liquid.

Heat a 12-inch saute pan over high heat until hot. Add the butter and, when it begins to brown, add the soaked dried mushrooms, the sliced fresh mushrooms, and garlic. Saute until the mushrooms release a lot of their liquid, about 5 minutes. Add the reserved mushroom soaking liquid, oyster sauce, chili sauce and agave. Cook over high heat until all moisture disappears. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

Transfer the mixture to a food processor and process until smooth. While running, drop small amounts of cream cheese through the feed tube and continue to process until all the cheese is mixed in and the mixture is completely smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Line the bottom of a 7-inch tart pan, with removable bottom, with parchment paper and butter the sides. Transfer the pate to the prepared pan and press a layer of plastic wrap over the surface. Refrigerate. (You can also just put the pate in a small decorative bowl.)

To serve, remove the sides of the tart pan and sprinkle the pate with chopped chives. Serve with crackers or sliced baguette.


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