There hasn't been too much real cooking going on here these past few weeks. It has been HOT in Ottawa (and likely everywhere else) and we've been eating a LOT of throw-together dinners made with whatever is cold, or readily available without having to turn on the oven. This pâté is one of my favourite ways to eat mushrooms in the summer - I crave it all the time and its so easy to make ahead and keep in the fridge to snack on for a few days. I eat it with pickles and fresh bread, crackers and a cold beer, or even on a cheese board as it is here. The meatiness of the mushrooms makes it so satisfying and filling but it still feels light enough for even the sultriest of summer days. If you prefer the smooth textured pâté feel free to blend it all up once cooked.
Lemon & Tarragon Mushroom Pâté
Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 15 minutes
makes approximately 1 1/2 cups of pate
16oz white or brown button mushrooms, cleaned and coarsely chopped
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp vegetable/canola oil
1 medium shallot, minced
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup pecans, chopped fine
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp fresh tarragon leaves
Zest from 1/2 lemon (about 1/2 tsp)
1/4 cup dry white wine
Juice from 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp cream cheese
Spoon butter and oil into a heavy skillet over medium-high heat and let it get nice and hot. Once heated, add the minced shallot and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes taking care not to burn garlic. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring only occasionally, until all the liquid had evaporated and your mushrooms are nice and brown, about 6-8 minutes. Add pecans, salt, pepper, thyme and the lemon zest and let cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the white wine and let it cook off, scraping any stuck-on bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the lemon juice and remove from heat. Take 3/4 of the mixture and place it in the bowl of your food processor or blender along with the cream cheese. Blend until smooth. Pour into a ramekin or small bowl, top with the remaining 1/4 of the coarse mushroom mixture. You can eat it as-is or refrigerate until chilled. It will keep in an airtight container for 3 days. And might I suggest a slightly chilled pinot noir or a really cold dark lager to accompany this? I think you'll like it.
A delicious compliment to any summer entertaining spread! A big thank you to Kelly for joining us once again and showing us how easy it is to beat the heat with her mushroom-y treat.