Monday, August 1, 2016

Country Mushroom and Nut Pâté

Serves 8
Recipe from Epicurious
Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen

This mushroom appetizer was a big hit at a recent gathering of friends.  I made it using fresh chanterelle mushrooms that my husband found in the woods.  You can use regular mushrooms or even shiitake mushrooms.  This dish is great for a party because it can be made a day or two in advance. 

3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 ½ pounds mushrooms, sliced
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
¾ cup whole or slivered almonds, toasted
¼ cup hazelnuts, toasted**
2 Tablespoons peanut oil
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
3 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Assorted crackers or French bread baguette slices, for serving

Line a 1-quart bowl or loaf pan with plastic wrap, extending over the sides.  Set aside.
Melt the butter in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the mushrooms, onion, and garlic; sauté until the liquid has evaporated and mushrooms are golden brown, about 20 minutes.  Set aside 1 cup of the mushroom mixture.  Cool slightly.
Coarsely chop the almonds and hazelnuts in a food processor; remove 2 Tablespoons of the nut mixture and set aside.  Continue chopping the rest of the nut mixture, slowly adding the peanut oil until the mixture is well blended.  Add the mushroom mixture that is still in the skillet, cream cheese, salt, cayenne, and thyme to the nut mixture in the food processor.  Blend thoroughly.  Transfer this to a large bowl and mix in the parsley, the reserved mushroom mixture and nuts.  Transfer to the prepared bowl/loaf pan and smooth the top.  Cover and chill at least 4 hours or overnight.  Turn the pâté out onto a platter.  Peel off the plastic wrap.  Surround with crackers or baguette slices.


**To toast hazelnuts and remove their skins:  Heat the oven to 350 F.  Spread the nuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.  Toast the hazelnuts 12-15 minutes.  Pour the nuts onto a clean kitchen towel.  Gather the towel around the nuts and rub together until most of the skins have come off.  (Don’t worry about getting off every bit.)

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