Mushroom Pâté Spread

milk braised pork

Having a stash of Wine Forest Dried Mushrooms around assures luxury within reach. This sumptuous blend of shallots, dried mushrooms and other goodies is super-simple to make, and even better to have on hand before, during and after a special occasion, even if that occasion is an afternoon snack.

Serves 4 - 6

1½ oz. bacon (about two slices) , cooked, drained and chopped

3½ cups dried or ½ pound (approximately 2½ cups) mixed re-hydrated mushrooms, chopped

(dried lobster mushrooms are not recommended for this recipe because the flavor profile is not as earthy)

½ cup reserved mushroom broth  

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 Tablespoon duck fat or olive oil

6 Tablespoons minced shallots

2 cloves garlic, minced

1teaspoon Brandy

2 Tablespoons parsley, chopped

2 Tablespoons sour cream

¼ teaspoon Worchestershire Sauce

salt and pepper to taste

Rehydrate and finely chop your favorite or lonely straggler mushrooms from your pantry stash, reserving that cup or so of drained mushroom broth after soaking. Save any extra chopped mushrooms to sauté and blend into some scrambled eggs, vegetables, pastas, casseroles, sauces, stews or to top some toasted bread.

Heat the olive oil or combination of olive oil and duck fat in a sauté pan. Add the shallots and garlic and cook over medium heat until translucent, about five minutes. Add the rehydrated dried mushrooms and gently sauté, adding the mushroom broth, until cooked to tender, about 15 minutes over medium heat. This timing will depend on the types of mushrooms you use. If including dried chanterelles, you may want to give them a five minute jump on the cooking time of the other mushrooms. Dried mushrooms have wonderful intensity of flavor. We want to take advantage of that, and keep these nice and moist while cooking and to prevent them from becoming singed or shriveled. Remove from heat, cover, and allow to cool until warm.

Transfer the contents of the pan to a food processor or blender and pulse to blend. Add the bacon, brandy, sour cream, Worchestershire Sauce, chopped parsley, salt and pepper. Continue to pulse and process until smooth and spreadable. Using different types of dried wild mushrooms such as porcini, morels, grey morels, mousseron, black trumpet, chanterelle, yellowfoot and candycap will result in combinations of flavors and textures, all delicious.

To serve:

Serve at room temperature to slightly warmed on some toasts.

Tips and Techniques

When soaking and cleaning your dried mushrooms, process them separately so each has enough time soaking and is cleaned in a fashion appropriate for each mushroom. Some dried mushrooms may have more grit hiding in them than others.

Have some extra? Heat it up to toss with pasta, grace your scrambled eggs, or lux up hot steamed vegetables.

Substitutions and Variations

Substitute in any dried mushrooms you have, keeping in mind that a combination of textures is pleasing. Softer re-hydrated mushrooms like porcini, musseron, morels and yellowfoot will contrast nicely with more firm ones such as chanterelles and black trumpet mushrooms.

Omit the bacon and duck fat for a vegetarian version.