Happy 2017!!! I spent much of the past few weeks celebrating Christmas and NYE with my mom and sister who were visiting us from India. Now that they've gone back to India, the house feels quiet even with our beloved pets, both of whom who can be loud at times. We ate a lot of good food, took a few trips, saw a few movies but most of all, it was great to spend some one-on-one time with my mom who I get to see once, perhaps every two years.
One of the things, my mom and I like to do is, snack. We snack a lot and if there was one way to mark the start of the new year here, an appetizer or some sort of snack would be fitting. And so I have an easy hazelnut and walnut based pâté flavored with mushrooms, tea and a few aromatics for you.
To make a nut based pâté, you'll need a blender with a bit of oomph to grind those nuts down and the powerful new Ascent blender from Vitamixdoes just that! With a few short pulses in a few seconds, I ended up with an impressive smooth and creamy nut based paste that was ready to be absorb the umami of the mushrooms and tea. The only annoying part was having a little patience to let the pâté stiffen a little in the refrigerator but that is something I can live with.
Note, that I've said portabello/portabella mushrooms in the ingredient list, it honestly just depends on what you can find, the male mushrooms have the "bello" while the females have the "bella" in their names. It shouldn't make a big difference in taste.
vegetarian pâté (with mushrooms, nuts and tea)
makes: about 1 1/2 cups
1/2 cup (76 grams)hazelnuts
1/2 cup (46 grams) walnuts
1/4 cup (59 ml) melted unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons black tea such as Darjeeling
1/4 cup (59 ml) boiling water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup sliced shallots
2 teaspoons garlic cloves minced
1/4 lb chopped crimini mushrooms
1/4 lb chopped portobello/portabella mushrooms
2 tablespoons thyme leaves
4 to 5 black peppercorns
1 teaspoon sea salt
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Place the nuts on baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes until they just start to release the aroma and turn light brown. Remove from oven and transfer the nuts to the blender along with the melted butter. Pulse the nuts for a few seconds until they start to form a coarse powder. You might need to scrape the sides of the jug, just in case the nut bits move up to the sides.
2. Add the tea leaves to the boiling water in a small bowl and allow to steep for 4 minutes. Strain and discard the leaves, reserve the liquid.
3. Melt the 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add the shallots and cook until they just start to turn translucent, then add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms, thyme and peppercorns and salt. Cook for about 6 to 8 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Transfer the contents of the skillet to the ground nuts and the reserved tea liquid to the blender. Place the lid and pulse until you get a smooth and creamy mixture. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Transfer the pâté to a clean air-tight container and refrigerate for at least four to six hours before use. Serve the pâté with slices of fresh bread such as a baguette.
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Vitamix, however all opinions expressed are solely my own.