MUSHROOM CHARDONNAY PATE
For Steve’s birthday I said I’d make anything he wanted – his own private stash all to himself. It didn’t take long to respond. MUSHROOM PATE! Then Mushroom Pate it was! He ate it plain, on sliced baguette, and even on a toasted ciabatta bun with pickle, mustard and sliced ripe, juicy tomato!
Next time make more!
Makes 1-3/4 cups
1 stick margarine – I used Dairy Fresh brand all vegetable margarine
- The harder the better, whichever margarine you choose. When the pate chills, it will firm up commensurate with the firmness of the margarine.
1-1/2 lbs. fresh white button mushrooms, rinse well, trim bottom stem up about 1/4 inch, dry in colander – when dry cut into cubes
- Choose firm mushrooms with very few brown spots. The fresher the better. Old mushrooms are smelly and lacking in water.
2 sm. yellow onions (about 1/2 lb. total), peel and cut into chunks
1 t. salt
fresh ground black pepper – I use lots
1/2 c. Chardonnay (white) wine
1-2 T. fresh lemon squeeze, strained
1/4 t. nutmeg
Garnishes: lemon zest, mustard of choice and dill pickle slices or cornichons (sliced or chopped), fresh grind black pepper
1- In food processor place onion chunks and almost half of the mushroom cubes. Pulse till mealy. Push down insides with spatula. Pulse a few times more to even out the cut. Mealy, not mushy. Transfer to bowl and repeat with remaining mushrooms.
2- In extra-large skillet, over medium heat, melt margarine.
3- Add mushroom and onion mix all at once. Stir to coat with melted margarine.
4- Add salt and pepper. Stir, then cook, uncovered, till water starts oozing from the mushrooms (that’s the proof that they’re fresh; the proof is in the water). Cook that way, stirring occasionally till the water reduces by about one half. It takes a while, so be patient. About a half hour.
5- Now add wine. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally for about another half hour. Mushroom should begin pulling away from the skillet and clumping together.
6- Add lemon juice and nutmeg. Stir throughout. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking till mushrooms darken considerably. Adjust for salt.
7- Using potato masher, mash in the skillet to make a little pulpy. transfer to covered container and refrigerate till firm.
8- Serve with slices of French baguette, toasted or plain or broiled with plant parmesan cheese topping. Or crackers of choice. Accompany with garnishes as instructed or your own selections.
Notes: Toward end of cooking time, when pate is clumping up stay at the stove to keep stirring it. Once the liquid is gone the mushroom can brown and then burn easily, which is what we don’t want.