Thursday, April 21, 2011

Merci, French Press Memos!

It's been two months and we are still without a kitchen. [STATUS UPDATE SIDE NOTE: We've ordered cabinets and they'll be arriving in 2 weeks.] I've watched a deplorable amount of television and eaten unfathomable quantities of pho, chicken fried rice, my usual order at Chipotle (there's only one combination of ingredients that I always order there), and ice cream sandwiches, interspersed with the occasional liquid dinner over the past 8 weeks. For someone who rarely ever cooks the same thing twice in one month, I've demonstrated uncharacteristic tolerance for the mundane in my diet.

I've been making guest appearances in kitchens here and there. Most recently, French Press Memos invited me, mushrooms, and meats into her kitchen so that I could make pate aux champignons and pate de campagne for my French-themed supper club.

There's not a lot that's sexy about pate. It's a whole lot of ground up ingredients, pressed into some sort of a mould or a terrine if you're lucky. But if you put them on some sourdough toast with a bit of good mustard and a little cornichon, and you've got yourself a special treat.

The pate de campagne came from a recipe posted by Cheeseslave, modified only in that I added a bit more salt (oak-smoked, at that) and that I made it with a meat grinder rather than a food processor. The mushroom pate, however, was modified more greatly, and the recipe is here:

Mushroom Pate (adapted from a recipe by Emeril Lagasse)

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
2 teaspoons minced garlic
20 oz mixed mushrooms (shiitake, portabello, etc.), wiped clean and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme
1 teaspoon salt oak-smoked salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 teaspoon truffle oil
8 ounces softened goat cheese

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until wilted and starting to brown. Add the wine, thyme, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring, until the wine is nearly all evaporated, 5 minutes. Add the parsley and truffle oil and cook for 30 seconds.

Let cool till it's cool enough to handle, because the next step is messy. Grind through a meat grinder. Stir in the goat cheese until well combined. Then grind through the finer plate of the meat grinder. Transfer to a decorative ramekin or bowl, cover, and refrigerate until set, 3 to 4 hours. Unmould by gently sliding a knife between the pate and the sides of the bowl and transfer to a plate.


  1. It's only fitting that you cook up a giant feast when the kitchen is back in order! Hang in there, twin!

  2. Thanks, Azmina. Wish you were here!

  3. So happy to have you cook with me! I was pretty skeptical of the vegetarian pate, but loved this recipe. Come back any time!

  4. Can hardly wait to try the Mushroom pate (as will many people I know). Love that your offerings are so diverse!


Word. Just say it.