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Jenise

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RCP: A cheeseless Mushroom Pate

by Jenise » Mon Nov 06, 2006 3:43 pm

Richard Atkinson's comments in the Rebecca Webb recipe thread got me to wondering how many different recipes are out there for mushroom pates, and googling turned up many.

Most were very similar to Rebecca's in using cheese as a binder. One of the oddest within the cheese realm, though, involved simmering the mushrooms in four cups of water as a first step. After half an hour the mushrooms were separated from the liquid, which was then boiled down until just 1/2 cup remained. Allowed to cool, it was then mixed with the mushrooms, cheese and herbs. Can't say I find that mentally tempting, but it's interesting to ponder.

More interesting to me was this cheeseless version. For a binder, it uses butter, and the mixture calls for a sauteed leek, which strikes me as a worthy addition though I think the eight minutes called for that part of the procedure is too long. Though it uses only the white, I'd use the green too, go half that time to preserve texture and color, and cook it separately from the mushrooms, adding back only when the mushrooms had cooled somewhat.

This recipe reminds me very much of the 'potted' technique for preserving shellfish en crock for spreading later on toast points touted by the New York Times first (I believe) celebrity chef Craig Claiborne (I have one of his old books) that has it's roots in classic French cooking and harkens back to a kinder, sweeter time when we didn't know that butter could kill.

It's printed below for your consideration.

Title: Mushroom Pate
Categories: Pate, Vegetarian
Yield: 6 servings

1 c Butter
1 med Leek, white only, chopped
2 cl Garlic, minced
1 1/2 lb Coarsely chopped mushrooms
2 tb Chopped fresh parsley
1 ts Dried thyme
1/2 c Dry white wine
2 tb Dry sherry or sauterne
1/4 ts Pepper
1/8 ts Salt
Fresh herbs, if desired
Carrot flowers if desired
Toasted french bread slices

Melt butter in a large skillet. Add leek and garlic.
Saute until leek is tender, about 8 minutes.

Stir in mushrooms, parsley and thyme. Saute until
mushrooms give off their juices, about 10 minutes.

Stir in wine or sherry. Season to taste. Cook,
stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced and
thickened, about 10 minutes. Cool mixture slightly.

Puree in blender or food processor until smooth.
Place mixture in 3-cup terrine. Refrigerate, covered,
several hours or overnight. Garnish with fresh herbs
and carrots. Serve with toasted French bread slices.
Store tightly wrapped in the refrigerator, this
intensely-flavored spread can be prepared up to two
days in advance.

If you like, substitute some of the more exotic
mushrooms that are readily available today, such as
shitake, enoki or oyster, for part of the mushrooms.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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JoePerry

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Re: RCP: A cheeseless Mushroom Pate

by JoePerry » Mon Nov 06, 2006 4:10 pm

Sounds neat! I think that I'll try this one.

My one issue, how are Sauternes and dry Sherry interchangable? :shock:
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Jenise

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Re: RCP: A cheeseless Mushroom Pate

by Jenise » Mon Nov 06, 2006 4:26 pm

Joe, they're absolutely NOT interchangeable. I should have included a warning about that, too: this recipe was most likely written with the commercially available "cooking wine" version of Sauternes in mind. It bears no resemblance to what we know as Sauternes, and tastes more like a dry sherry that's been boiled to death with a little motor oil. I should have just excised that from the recipe and left it "dry sherry", and the heck with the authenticity of the original.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Howie Hart

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Re: RCP: A cheeseless Mushroom Pate

by Howie Hart » Mon Nov 06, 2006 5:10 pm

Jenise wrote:....This recipe reminds me very much of the 'potted' technique for preserving shellfish en crock for spreading later on toast points touted....

My sister-in-law (lived her whole life in Maine) says her favorite part of the lobster is the "tomalley", which she spreads on toast points. I've had it and find it quite enjoyable, but I do prefer the tail and claws.
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JoePerry

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Re: RCP: A cheeseless Mushroom Pate

by JoePerry » Tue Nov 07, 2006 7:58 pm

Jenise wrote:Joe, they're absolutely NOT interchangeable. I should have included a warning about that, too: this recipe was most likely written with the commercially available "cooking wine" version of Sauternes in mind. It bears no resemblance to what we know as Sauternes, and tastes more like a dry sherry that's been boiled to death with a little motor oil. I should have just excised that from the recipe and left it "dry sherry", and the heck with the authenticity of the original.


Huh, interesting! I never knew there was a cooking Sauternes.


I have had Pate with a Sauternes glaze, Royale or Imperiale or some other designation, but would not use what I consider Sauternes mixed into a Shroom Pate...

Best,
Joe
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Jenise

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Re: RCP: A cheeseless Mushroom Pate

by Jenise » Wed Nov 08, 2006 1:58 pm

Yup, there was--but it wasn't even meant to be like what you and I know as Sauternes. It was a dry cooking wine, and a holdover from the prissy 50's and 60's when it wasn't seemly for women to buy alcohol (for cooking or any other purpose). We've come a long way, baby.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov

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