Saturday, September 22, 2007

Mushroom Paté

A straightforward starter that never fails to delight, this rich deeply flavoured vegetarian paté is amazing served with lots of toasted brown bread.

The paté can be blended to complete smoothness, or you can elect to have a rougher finish by applying a little lighter touch on the ‘pulse’ button of your whizzer. The brie adds a delicious roundness to the flavour and texture: personally I prefer to remove the rind to avoid too much tart ammonia getting in the way. Serve with plenty of warm buttered toast.

I've made this with a heaped teaspoon of chopped black truffle instead of the cépes and it's really rather cheeky.


  • 250g mushrooms, chopped roughly
  • 50g butter
  • 100ml red wine
  • Cépes, a fistful, soaked in 50ml hot water
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 100g brie
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 30g breadcrumbs
  • Nutmeg, a generous pinch freshly ground
  • 75g butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp curry powder
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt

Drain the cépes, straining and reserving the liquid, and chop them. Melt the 50g of butter in a small pan, adding the onions and garlic to cook over a medium heat for 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cépes and sauté for a minute then add the wine and turn the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes, covering the pan. After this, remove the lid from the pan and turn up the heat to cook the mushroom mixture, reducing the liquid until the mixture is just moist, not wet. Remove from the heat to steam and cool.

Place the breadcrumbs, nutmeg, curry powder, brie, salt, pepper and 25g of melted butter in a food processor or blender, adding the cooked mushroom mixture. Blend until smooth, using the soaking water from the cepes to add moisture if required. Taste the blended mixture and adjust the seasoning if necessary, then spoon into ramekins. Chill for at least 2 hours, and then serve with warm brown bread toast. You can also serve lemon wedges with this, for a tart touch. The recipe keeps happily in the ‘fridge for a couple of days and freezes like a dream.

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