Mushroom and Chestnut pate

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With their predilection for popping up out of nowhere it’s not surprising that mushrooms have gained a reputation for magic. Long time blog followers will know I’m not above accepting a little supernatural assistance when it’s offered, or of resorting to the dark arts of extra butter and cream when it’s not. But don’t let your senses deceive you, this recipe has less dairy than a teaspoonful of mist, yet is filled with creaminess to the core.

This illusion is accomplished with chestnut puree, which loads and blesses the mushrooms with body and silken texture. If you don’t want to pulp your own, you can glean a plump packet of pre-made puree from Waitrose.

 

Mushroom, chestnut and caramelised onion pate

  • 400g mushrooms
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 small leek, white parts only
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Bouquet garni (sprig of rosemary, thyme and a bay leaf tied up with string)
  • 75g chestnut puree
  • 1tsp Dijon mustard
  • Oil  for frying
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
Finely chop the onion and fry over a medium-low heat with a little oil until tender and starting to colour. Add finely diced leeks, garlic and the bouquet garni and continue to fry until onions are very soft and browned all over. Remove the bouquet garni.
Slice the mushrooms and fry in a separate pan over a medium-high heat until well browned all over.
Combine the caramelised onions, mushrooms, chestnut puree, mustard and soy sauce in a food processor and blend until smooth (or leave a little chunky if you prefer). Add salt and pepper to taste.
Allow to chill overnight, and reserve in an airtight container for up to a week.

 

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