Make your own scrumptious snack with this recipe for Herby Mushroom Pate

25g Dried Porcini Mushrooms
125ml Water
30g butter
15ml extra virgin olive oil
250g button mushrooms – wiped and sliced
1 smallish onion – chopped
2 garlic cloves – crushed
30ml good quality brandy (or use a sweet masala wine or sherry) If alcohol not allowed use 15ml Balsamic Vinegar
4-6 sprigs fresh thyme – leaves stripped off and stalks discarded
125g mascarpone cheese at room temperature
250ml fresh flat leaf parsley loosely packed – chopped finely should measure 15-20mls
1/2 Lemon – Zest finely grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
30g Butter for sealing the top of the finished pate

How to
(You need about 20 to 30 minutes to prepare the dried porcini before continuing with the recipe)

Prepare the dried mushrooms by placing them in a small bowl and pouring over the water. I swirl them around in the water a bit(this should loosen any grit that is on the mushrooms) then push them into the liquid to ensure they all are covered.

Leave to soak for about 20-30 minutes. Once they are reconstituted gently remove the mushrooms from the water making sure you don’t disturb the water too much. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible then finely chop up the mushrooms. Strain the liquid through a coffee filter paper to remove any grit that might have been on the mushrooms then freeze the liquid for use in casseroles, soups, stocks etc.

Heat butter and oil in a large heavy-based frying pan over medium heat

Add onion and stir fry until limp and translucent

Add fresh and reconstituted porcini mushrooms, garlic and thyme, turn heat up and cook until mushrooms are tender and all liquid has evaporated

Add the brandy and cook quickly until the liquid has evaporated

Remove from heat then process or blend the mixture just until it is a coarse texture

Add mascarpone, lemon zest and parsley and process until smooth

Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper

Transfer to a large ramekin or similar sized bowl.

Melt the final 30g butter in a microwave on high for a minute so that the solids seperate from the liquid and settle at the bottom of the bowl. Strain off the golden clarified fat and discard the solids

Pour the clarified butter over the pate to thinly cover the top then place in the fridge to set for a few hours or overnight (Once it is cold you can cover with cling film until ready to serve)

Serve at room temperature with crusty bread or crackers

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