Ways to Enjoy Your Harvest
A duxelles is a traditional French preparation of sautéed chopped mushrooms and shallots that can be used in anything from sauces to stuffing. Here I have turned it into a pâté to be served with crackers or bread as an hors d’oeuvres. Aside from shallots, there is no better pairing with mushrooms than cream and sherry so all are included as supporting players to the main character, the stage-hogging shiitake. To give it an extra-creamy texture, you can add softened cream cheese at the end or leave the mushrooms to take the final bow by themselves.
Shiitake Duxelles Pâté
- ½ cup minced onion or shallot
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- 12 ounces shiitakes, stems removed, chopped coarsely
- 2 stems of fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried
- 1 tablespoon sherry
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
- ¼ cup cream cheese (optional)
Put about 1 tablespoon of oil in a wide sauté pan and put on medium heat. Add the onion or shallot and garlic and cook until slightly browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt and continue to cook. When the mushrooms have released most of their liquid and are starting to brown, add the sherry and stir, scraping the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the cream and thyme and continue to cook until the mixture has thickened to a near paste. Remove from heat, add Parmesan and adjust seasonings to taste. If adding cream cheese, cool the mixture a little then fold the cream cheese in until well blended. Serve with plain crackers or bread.