Oh how I miss the amazing French pâté that was served and sold everywhere in Paris. It wasn't a specialty item or only served on holidays. It was more like the Ranch dip of Europe. OK, maybe that's exaggerating a bit, but I decided to try my hand at making this luscious item so I can enjoy it more often stateside. Now that I'm back in health conscious LA, I went with a meatless version that focuses on wild mushrooms as the main ingredient.
Mushrooms are another one of those perfectly Parisian items for me. Once fall hits, I get excited to see the wide range of mushrooms on display from girolles to cèpes, and chanterelles to pleurote. Many of these varieties can be found in the U.S., as well as other countries around the world. This recipe works with whatever mushrooms are native and available near you. I also included some dried mushrooms as they add a very robust taste for those that love the woodsy taste of mushrooms as much as I do.
The serving style of pâté is as varied as its ingredients. Cook and serve it cold in a rectangular or oval dish and you have a terrine. Place pastry around your pâté, and you have pâté en croûte. Seeing as everyone is always pressed for time, I say simply mix your ingredients together and serve your pâté in a beautiful porcelain dish of your choosing after refrigeration.
Another thing to love about pâté is that you can make it a day or two before serving and the flavors actually further develop while you leave it alone in the refrigerator. And what can be better than saving time in the kitchen to spend more hours with friends and family.
- 16 ounces of mixed wild mushrooms like shitake, cremini, oyster
- 1 ounce dried mushrooms like porcini
- 4 ounces minced shallot
- 4 ounces goat cheese (use vegan whipped cream cheese if vegan)
- ½ lemon
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter (use dairy free if vegan)
- ½ teaspoon of Piment d’Esplette
- 2 tablespoons of Balsamic vineagar
- 2 tablespoons of truffle oil
- 4 ounces of toasted walnuts
- salt and pepper to taste
- toasted baguette slices to serve or gluten free bread
- Place the dried mushrooms in hot water for 30 minutes.
- Melt the butter in a large, heavy skillet. Add shallots and cook until translucent, nearly brown, being careful not to burn them.
- Clean fresh mushrooms with a lightly moistened paper towel. Slice and add them to the pan along with the fresh thyme. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook 10–15 minutes, until dry and browned.
- After the 30 minutes has elapsed, drain the dried mushrooms and pat dry. Add the dried mushrooms to the skillet, along with the juice of the lemon and the piment d’Espelette. Stir to combine.
- When all the liquid has evaporated, remove from heat and add the balsamic vinegar, goat cheese and 1 tablespoon of the truffle oil.
- While the pan mixture is cooling, chop the walnuts in the food processor. Add the contents from the skillet to the processor and combine until mixed but still slightly chunky. Place all contents in a bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight.
- The next day, add the rest of the truffle oil and serve on toasted baguette slices with cornichons.