Le Caviar des Champignons de Prairie
The field mushroom is the best variety to use for this dish. It has a better flavor for grilling or cooked dishes than the white cultivated variety.
4 oz. (125 g) butter
1 cup (6 oz., 185 g) chopped onion
1 lb. (500 g) field mushrooms with stalks,
trimmed and finely chopped
1 cup (2 oz., 60 g) soft whole-wheat (wholemeal) breadcrumbs
1 garlic clove, peeled
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/3 cup (3 fl. oz., go ml) Marsala,
sherry, or dry vermouth
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon cornstarch (corn flour)
1/2 cup (4 fl. oz., 125 ml) heavy or sour cream
1 teaspoon sea salt
Large pinch of freshly ground black pepper
4 oz. (125 g) curd cheese
Large pinch of ground mace
Pinch of ground thyme
Heat the butter in a saucepan and gently sauté the onion until light brown, then add the chopped mushrooms. Literally boil them down until almost all their moisture has evaporated, then add the breadcrumbs.
Blend the garlic with the lemon juice, Marsala, and parsley in a food processor or blender and stir into the mushrooms. Boil for 5 minutes.
Combine the cornstarch and cream together in a bowl. Stir this into the mushroom purée to thicken. Simmer for 5 minutes, season with salt and pepper, then cool.
In a bowl, beat the mushroom purée well with the curd cheese. Add the mace and thyme, and stir thoroughly.
Arrange the pate on individual serving plates. Chill, then serve with hot, fried bread cut into triangles or fingers.
For a white pate, use cultivated white mushrooms, but wash them well and blanch in water and lemon juice beforehand. This pate is an ideal filling for tomatoes, zucchini (courgettes), or little pie shells.
For a Mediterranean flavor, decorate your pate with black olives, walnut halves, and marinated button mushrooms.
The Flavors of France:
Fabulous Vegetarian Cuisine for Every Occasion
By Jean Conil and Fay Franklin
Photography by Andrew Elton
Harper Collins Publishers
190 recipes; 84 full-color photographs
Recipe reprinted by permission.
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This page created December 1998; modified November 2006
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