Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mushroom Pâté

I'm not one who usually likes vegetarian versions of traditional meat dishes. For example, you will probably never see me eat or cook something like tofu bourguignon or seitan marsala. But sometimes, I think vegetables make great substitutes for when meat is typically present - vegetables like the almighty, "meaty" mushroom.

This recipe for mushroom pâté actually comes from my mother-in-law, and I'm not sure where she originally found it (or if she made it up herself). All I know is that this pâté is damn good, and it's always a hit when she brings it to family parties. I'm actually helping out at a dinner at Lord Hobo this Sunday (be there at 3 p.m.!), and I will most likely be making this pâté for one of the dishes...so I've been making batches at home to ensure the recipe is perfect. And, really, it was perfect when Z's mom handed it to me.

Creamy and rich just like traditional pâté (yes, I've had it before...I haven't always been vegetarian), this mushroom-filled version is chock-full of earthy mushroom flavor, complemented by some local cream cheese.

Mushroom Pâté | The Economical Eater

Mushroom Pâté
Yields: About 3 cups
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-1 tablespoon unsalted butter
-4-6 cloves garlic, minced
-2 pounds of assorted fresh mushrooms, sliced*
-1 package (about 1-ounce) of dried mushrooms (porcini are ideal)
-1/2 bar of cream cheese (I used Cabot)
-Salt and black pepper, to taste
-Dash of hot sauce or pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

1.) Prepare the dried mushrooms by soaking them in room temperature water for about 20-30 minutes, or until softened. Then, rinse the mushrooms to remove any residual grit. Set aside. (The broth from the soaked mushrooms can be saved in the fridge or freezer for later use).
2.) Heat olive oil and butter over medium-low heat. Add garlic and sauté for about 1-2 minutes (until garlic begins to cook but doesn't brown). Increase heat to medium, add all of the raw mushrooms, and sauté until all the water from the mushrooms is gone (about 30 minutes). 
3.) In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add the reconstituted dried mushrooms and the cooked fresh mushrooms and blend. Add salt and pepper, cream cheese, and a dash of hot sauce. Blend until smooth. 
4.) Chill for an hour or more before serving with crackers.

*For fresh mushrooms, a combination of white button, shiitake, and portabella works great, but you can really use almost any combination of mushrooms in this recipe.

[Print this recipe]

Mushroom Pâté | The Economical Eater

This is definitely one meat-dish-made-vegetarian that I can get behind.

If you want to add some color to this dish, feel free to garnish the pâté with some fresh chives. No matter how you serve it, though, just be sure not to skip the step to let this chill for an hour or more. The colder this pâté is, the better it is!

Are you a fan of mushrooms? If so, what's your favorite mushroom dish? One of my other favorite mushroom dishes is this Mushroom & Gruyere Quiche.


  1. Replies
    1. Awesome! Let me know what you think of it.

  2. This sounds so interesting. I love stuffed mushrooms and sauteed mushrooms. Bet I would like this!

  3. I will happily eat mushrooms every which way, but I love them simple - sauteed in a combo of olive oil and butter, with a pinch of salt. Delish! I am very intrigued by this recipe, and need to give it a try!