I was talking to my friend Michael in Chicago earlier to today and telling him that I'd had my staff over (past and present) for a little after-work holiday celebration. It was fairly simple, crudités with a green goddess dip (yes, I love the Green Goddess), potato croquetas with saffron aioli (from the other holiday party menu, but if you have a good thing going, why not?) and my mushroom pâté which I serve in the traditional manner with crackers, cornichon and other little pickly things. He said the pâté sounded delicious and asked for the recipe, but since its something I just kind of throw together I had to think about it. It took a few minutes to process through it and here it is:
2 tablespoons of butter
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely chopped
12 ounces button mushrooms, slided
4 ounce cremini mushrooms, slided
1/3 cup mixed dried wild mushrooms, reconstituted in boiling water
1 tablespoon dried thyme
2/3 cup pecans, chopped
8 ounces of cream cheese
truffle oil (optional)
In a large skillet heat the butter and garlic until it sizzles. Add the chopped onion and cook until it is softened and clear. Add the button and cremini mushrooms and saute until softened. Add the thyme and dried mushrooms, with a little bit of their water if necessary, and continue to cook until most of the moisture is evaporated. Add the pecans and toss to toast. Set aside and allow to cool for a few minutes.
In a food processor, combine the cream cheese with onion/pecan/mushroom mixture, 1 teaspoon of salt, freshly ground black pepper to taste, and a drizzle of truffle oil (if using). Process until fairly smooth and cream cheese, mushrooms and onion and thoroughly mixed. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Line a nicely shapped dish with plastic wrap, fill with pâté and cover with additional wrap if necessary. Chill for seveal hours or overnight to allow flavors to blend. Remove from fridge and allow to come to room temperature before serving. Invert dish onto serving platter, remove plastic and garnish with cornichon, pickles, and crackers.