Wild Mushroom Pate
1. 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped, plus more for garnish
2. 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3. 2 1/2 pounds assorted mushrooms, such as cremini, shiitake, portobello, and white button, cleaned and chopped into medium pieces, plus small mushrooms, halved, for garnish
4. 6 scallions, white and pale-green parts, finely chopped
5. 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped, plus more for garnish
6. 1 1/2 tablespoons salt, plus more to taste
7. 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8. 1/3 cup dry sherry
9. 1 lemon, juiced
10. 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
11. 1 dash Tabasco sauce
12. 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread walnuts on a baking pan. Bake until fragrant, about 7 minutes. Transfer walnuts to a bowl; set aside to cool.
2. In a large heavy skillet over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons butter, and cook the chopped mushrooms and scallions, stirring occasionally, until liquid has been released and then skillet becomes almost dry, about 20 minutes. Stir in thyme, salt, and pepper; cook 2 more minutes. Add sherry, and cook until skillet is almost dry, 4 minutes. Stir in lemon juice. Remove from heat, and let cool.
3. In a large bowl, combine the mushroom mixture with the reserved toasted walnuts, parsley, Tabasco sauce, and cream cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Line a 12 1/4-by-4-by-3-inch terrine (or use any 6-cup mold) with plastic wrap, allowing for a 4-inch overhang on all sides. Spoon the mushroom mixture into the terrine. Firmly press down all over terrine with your hands, spreading mixture as evenly as possible. Cover the mold with the overhanging plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight.
5. Just before serving, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a medium skillet, and cook the halved mushrooms just until tender, about 5 minutes. Season mushrooms with salt and pepper. Unwrap the chilled terrine, and invert it onto a large serving platter. Use a warm, wet towel on top of the mold, if necessary, to help loosen the terrine. Garnish the serving platter with the cooked mushroom halves, remaining walnuts, and thyme leaves. Serve.
Yield: 10 servings
Pairs Well With
The pate, which should be chilled for at least eight hours, may be made up to one day ahead. Serve with toast-points made from thin-sliced white sandwich bread; remove crusts, and toast until just golden.