Brandied Mushroom Paté

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My friends tell me I make a wicked chicken liver pate. In fact, it feels as if I have been making it forever since every Christmas, for the last 20 years, I make chicken liver paté for my family and guests. Since I also care about my vegetarian friends I recently served a very tasty mushroom pate. The most raving reviews I received from the meat-eaters since this paté is so tasty, flavourful, almost addictive.

It’s very easy to prepare and you can store it in the fridge for up to 48 hours before serving. It’s the ideal appetizer to any dinner since it’s less heavy than a chicken liver pate. My guests honoured it as a starter and as an after dinner canapé served with “koumantaria” and brandy. I’m telling you, it’s amazing.

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Ingredients

  • 1 Tbs dried porcini mushrooms
  • 60 grams (4 Tbs) unsalted butter
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 700 grams Portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • ¾ cup brandy
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 100 grams “Philadelphia” type cream cheese
  • 100 grams goat cheese

Method

Put the dried porcini mushrooms in a bowl with 2 tablespoons boiling water. Let them soak until soft, and then chop finely reserving their water.

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic with a pinch of salt and cook a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft. Increase heat to high and add sliced mushrooms. Cook for 3-4 minutes until mushrooms are cooked and begin to brown. Add the brandy, thyme leaves, salt and pepper. Leave to cook until the brandy is almost evaporated and not many juices remain in the skillet.

Put mixture in a blender or food processor. Add the parsley and pulse until everything is nicely ground. Add the cheeses and pulse again. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust if necessary.

Transfer mixture in ramekins and decorate with extra thyme leaves and freshly ground black pepper. Store in the fridge covered with plastic wrap. Bring to room temperature before serving, although straight out of the fridge is also delicious.

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