Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Wild Mushroom and Pecan Paté

This is not my own made up recipe, but it's so delicious I had to share it with everyone.

I made up a version of this last night using what I had on hand. I thawed out some duxelle I had in the freezer of oysters and A campestris, then I added some of those delicious A albolutescens, and a package of chanterelle duxelle I also found in the freezer. I had the cheese and I always have tons of farm fresh eggs since I own chickens, and picked the fresh thyme out of the garden. I ran out of pecans so had to substitute walnuts which I had on hand and the result was excellent. I usually use primarily chanterelles as I love the flavor of them but this is a really good mushroomy flavor that could have been used for ravioli stuffing or little mushroom turnovers or just about anything. When I have tons of chanterelles, I make up a loaf of this, cut it into smaller pieces once cooled and then warp in foil and freeze for use over the winter months. It keeps very well and is equally as good cold as warm. You don't have to make the beurre blanc sauce but when I take it as a dish to a potluck or party, I always include the sauce...that makes it oh so magnifique! Bon appetit!

Wild Mushroom and Pecan Paté

6 cups chopped mushrooms (a mixture of domestic, chanterelles and dried boletes)
1 cup hot water
1 onion minced
1/2 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 thyme sprig chopped
8 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese (Emmenthaler)
1 cup ground pecans

NOTE: I chop the mushrooms first in a Cuisinart and then do the onions after.


Reserved mushroom soaking liquid
Reserved mushroom cooking liquid
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup dry sherry, Madeira or dry white wine
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup unsalted butter chilled

Soak the dried mushrooms in the hot water for 30 minutes. Drain, reserving the soaking liquid for the sauce. Discard any tough stems. In a heavy sauté pan or skillet, cook the onion in the butter over low heat until the onion is soft. Add the mushrooms, salt and thyme. Cover, raise the heat, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring several times. Remove from the heat, transfer the mushroom mixture to a strainer and press out as much of the liquid as possible. Reserve the liquid for the sauce. Allow the mushrooms to cool. Mix them with the eggs, cheese and pecans. Add additional salt to taste. Pack into a buttered 9 by 3 inch loaf pan and cover with foil. Place the loaf pan in a larger pan containing boiling water. The water bath should come halfway up the side of the loaf pan. Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 1 hour or until the pate is firm and slightly puffed. Allow to set for 20 minutes. Meanwhile prepare the sauce.

Place the mushroom liquids into a heavy, nonreactive pan. Reduce over low heat until syrupy, with only 6 or 7 tablespoons remaining. Cut the cold butter into 8 pieces. Over low heat, stirring constantly, add 1 piece of butter at a time to the liquid mixture. If the sauce seems too tart, add more butter or cream. Unmold the pate and serve with the sauce poured over. The pate may also be served cold. Serves 8-10.

NOTE: I cut this into thick slices and freeze them individually for later use throughout the winter months. If you try to reheat the sauce it most likely will separate so just put it in a warm place to soften.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Stuffed morels

I was holding on to some nice big stuffers for just this use.

I made up a stuffing I use for potstickers using: ground pork, chopped raw shrimp, spring onions, garlic, minced ginger, water chestnuts, and cilantro then bind it with one beaten egg, soy sauce, sesame oil, and oyster flavored sauce and mix it all up and stuff the morels cutting off the stem at the base of the mushroom to make the hole as big as possible. I use a chopstick to make sure the stuffing makes it all the way to the tip of the mushroom. Once they are all stuffed, I place them on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper and place in the freezer until each mushroom is individually frozen and then I transfer them to ziplock freezer bags. When I'm ready to cook them, I preheat the oven to 365 and put them on a sheet pan and straight into the oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes I drizzle melted butter with garlic over them and bake for an additional 5 minutes and serve. Wow, that's good eating!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Wild Trout With Morel Sauce

Last weekend I went up into the foothills of the Tobacco Root Mountains to a cool little beaver pond that holds tons of nice little pan size trout.

I affectionately refer to this as the "dinner pool" for when I have out of town guests who always seem to ask if we can go catch some trout for dinner. So, I reserve this special spot for just that. So Maggie, the wonder dog and I went up the hill so to speak and caught some nice trout for din din. The flies and ants were driving me nuts so I didn't stay too long, but the fishing, as always was superb. I was armed with my 2 weight fly rod and a box of elk hair caddis which I know they can't resist. There are a lot of little tiny dinkers in these ponds but there are some decent ones too. By decent I mean 10-12" which in my opinion is the perfect size for the pan.

I decided to do the fish in a flour and cornmeal dredge and pan fry them in butter and grapeseed oil. Then I made a creamed morel sauce with madeira and cream to pour over the fish. As a side as if we needed any more fat in our diet, I did a batch of fried morels in a flour and egg dredge and finished off in ...... yes, you guessed it, more butter!

Man, that was good.... now when are those boletes going to start to pop? I'm waiting....... Bon Appetit!