Sunday, December 4, 2011
A GOOD HOLIDAY APPETIZER: SMOKED ALMOND MUSHROOM PÂTÉ
I made this the other day for my husband's photography students (they were having a little party at the end of the course), and I'd like to share it with you for holiday entertaining. It's adapted from my book, The Fiber for Life Cookbook. This type of vegetarian pâté appeared in mainstream magazines in the early 80's and became deservedly popular party fare. I think it must have originated with this Blue Diamond® Almonds recipe, which is listed on their website as one of their "classic" recipes.
For the book, I modernized (and veganized, and lowered the fat) it by omitting the butter, using fewer almonds and more mushrooms, and using slightly more authoritative seasoning. This time I decided to use smoked-hickory almonds for even more flavor, and it worked beautifully-- it's even more delicious, I think.
BRYANNA'S SMOKED ALMOND MUSHROOM PÂTÉ
Yield: 1 1/2 cups
Very easy to make!
Very easy to make!
1/2 medium onion
1 large clove garlic, peeled and crushed
3/4 lb fresh white or cremini (brown) mushrooms, cleaned and thickly-sliced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
1 cup hickory-smoked almonds or any smoked almonds (sift off any excess powdery coating)
1 Tbs dry sherry
Fresh parsley or rosemary or thyme leaves
chopped hickory-smoked almonds
Process the onion and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the mushrooms through the top with the motor running, until they are all chopped. Spray a large nonstick, hard-anodized or cast iron skillet with a little oil from a pump sprayer and heat it over medium-high heat. When it's hot, add the chopped vegetables, salt, thyme and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid exudes from the mushrooms, and then has pretty much evaporated again. Remove from heat.
While the mushrooms cook, clean and dry the food processor bowl and blade.
Place the smoked almonds into the cleaned and dried food processor and process them until they almost become a paste. With the machine turned off, scrape them from the sides toward the inside and then add the cooked mushroom mixture and the wine. Process the mixture until quite smooth, stopping the machine to push the mixture towards the blade if necessary.
Pack the mixture into an oiled shallow bowl, cover and chill. When cool, serve in the bowl, or invert the mound onto a serving plate. Garnish as desired and serve with crusty artisinal bread, crackers, rye crisp, and/ or raw vegetables. (If you make this ahead of time, or have leftovers, keep it covered and refrigerated.)
Nutrition (per 1/4 cup): 158.5 calories; 64% calories from fat; 12.4g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 237.5mg sodium; 369.5mg potassium; 7.7g carbohydrates; 3.6g fiber; 2.6g sugar; 4.2g net carbs; 7.0g protein; 3.5 points.