WILD MUSHROOM PATE (serves 30 as an hors d’oeuvre)



a 2 quart terrine, 12 by 3 by 2-1/2 inches


For the mushroom pate:

1-1/2 cups chicken broth

1 cup dried porcini mushrooms (about 1 ounce)

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter

¾ cup minced shallot

2 garlic cloves, minced

¼ cup dry Sherry

¾ pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps sliced thin (about 4-1/2 cups)

¾ pound fresh oyster mushrooms, stems discarded and caps sliced thin (about 4-1/2 cups)

1 cup heavy cream

4 large eggs

¼ cup whole almonds, toasted golden and ground fine

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves

¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaved parsley leaves

1/3 cup fine fresh bread crumbs

1-1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


For the mushroom topping:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps quartered

1 cup fresh oyster mushrooms, stems discarded and caps quartered

¾ cup whole almonds, toasted and chopped coarse

¼ cup fresh flat-leaved parsley leaves


  1. Make the pate. Butter the terrine, line it with wax paper and butter the paper.
  1. In a small saucepan bring the broth to a boil and remove the pan from the heat. Soak the porcini in the hot broth for 30 minutes, or until softened.  Remove porcini, squeezing out excess liquid, and reserve soaking liquid.  Rinse porcini to remove any grit and pat dry.  Chop porcini and put them in a large bowl.  Strain the soaking liquid through a fine sieve lined with a coffee filter or dampened paper towel into another small saucepan.  Simmer the soaking liquid over moderate heat until reduced to about ¼ cup and return to the bowl with the porcini.
  1. Preheat the oven to 350*.
  1. In a large non-stick skillet heat 2 tablespoons butter over moderate heat until the foam subsides and cook the shallots and garlic, stirring, until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the Sherry and cook, stirring, 1 minute.  Transfer the shallot mixture to a blender.  In the skillet heat 2 tablespoons butter over moderately high heat until the foam subsides and sauté the shiitake and oyster mushrooms in batches, stirring, about 2 minutes.  Add the remaining ½ stick butter, cut into pieces, as necessary.  Add 2 cups of the sautéed mushrooms to the blender and the rest to the porcini mixture.
  1. Add the cream, eggs and almonds to the mixture in the blender and puree about 1 minute, or until very smooth. Add the puree to the porcini mixture and stir in the remaining pate ingredients until combined well.
  1. Pour the mixture into the terrine and cover it with foil. Put the terrine into a large baking pan and add enough water to the baking pan to reach halfway up the sides of the terrine.  Bake the pate in the middle of the oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes.  (The pate will not be completely set in the center).  Remove the terrine from the baking pan and cool completely on a rack.  Chill the pate in the terrine, covered, at least 6 hours and up to 5 days.  Bring to room temperature before unmolding.
  1. Make the topping.  In a large skillet heat the butter and oil over moderately high heat until the foam subsides and sauté the mushrooms and almonds, stirring, until the mushrooms are tender.  Transfer the mixture to a heatproof bowl and cool.  Add the parsley and season with salt and pepper, tossing to combine.
  1. To unmold the pate, run a thin knife around the edge of the terrine and dip the terrine into a bowl of hot water for 10 seconds. Invert a large plate over the terrine and invert the terrine over the plate.
  1. Mound the topping on top of the pate and serve with toasts or crackers.


from Gourmet Magazine, January, 1997

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