Monday, April 4, 2011
½ ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 cup boiling water
¼ cup butter (½ stick)
1 pound fresh cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced, tough stems discarded
1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
½ teaspoon hot sauce
½ teaspoon sugar
6 ounces cream cheese
Salt and pepper
¼ cup chopped fresh chives, parsley or cilantro or a mixture
Edible flowers, like society garlic flowers, optional
Crackers, thinly sliced French bread, or crostini
1. Place the dried mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with 1 cup boiling water. Let sit for 30 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the soaking liquid. Pour the liquid through a coffee filter or a double layer of paper towels in a sieve (to catch the dirt from the dried mushrooms). Reserve both the mushrooms and the water.
2. Heat a 12-inch sauté pan over high heat. Add the butter and when it begins to brown, add the softened dried mushrooms, the fresh mushrooms, and garlic. Sauté until the mushrooms begin to wilt and squeak, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the reserved mushroom water, oyster sauce, hot sauce, and sugar. Cook over high heat until all the moisture disappears. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
4. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and process until smooth. Cut the cream cheese into bits and add it to the mushroom mixture along with 2-3 tablespoons of the herbs. Process until very smooth, adding salt and pepper to taste.
5. Line the bottom of a 6½ or 7-inch springform pan with parchment paper and butter the sides.
6. Transfer the pâté to the prepared pan, and press a layer of plastic wrap over the surface. Refrigerate.
Note: You can also put the pâté in a pretty bowl.
7. To serve, run a knife around the edge of the pan, remove the sides and bottom of the springform pan. Peel off the parchment paper by flipping the pâté on to your hand, paper side up. Then flip the pâté right side up onto a flat serving plate. Decorate with the reserved herbs and the flowers. Serve chilled or at room temperature with crackers, baguette slices, or crostini and, for the gluten free, rice or lentil crackers.
Adapted from Hugh Carpenter and Teri Sandison’s Fast Appetizers