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Although it might not seem it from the heady meaty blog posts of late, we’re doing quite well on cutting back on meat during the week, particularly now that spring has brought a little more variety back into the weekly organic veg box.

Mushrooms came in the last two boxes and, having not eaten last week’s lot, I suddenly found myself with a quarter of a kilo worth.  That’s quite a lot when they weigh so little. They were only button and field mushrooms so not interesting or flavourful enough to do a lovely risotto.  And then my mind went back to the gorgeous pâté I have bought several times at the wonderful Borough Market in south east London. Inspired by her late father and using her little brother’s recipe, Pâté Moi was developed by a plucky lass who jacked in her advertising job to make and sell this wonderful stuff at Borough Market. It truly is heavenly and, while  I haven’t eaten it for a while, the texture and subtle flavours had stayed in my mind.

So, the below is my attempt at re-creating Pâté Moi at home. Pâté à moi! It was lovely and I’m pleased I didn’t have the foresight to google the ingredients for the real Pâté Moi in advance as it forced me to find my own way.  Both recipes use button and field mushrooms and both use onions.  And that’s where the similarities end. The real version certainly doesn’t have booze in it.

We had this for dinner on Wednesday slathered on broken, toasted pitta halves drizzled with extra virgin oil and seasoned with Maldon sea salt and black peppe. Served with a large leafy/herby salad and grilled courgettes.  Because butter isn’t used to ‘set’ the pâté, as it often is with meat versions, the texture is more like a light spread.  So you can eat as much as you like without feeling like you’re effectively downing a block of butter in one sitting.

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So do what we did and just down it all in one sitting. It’s easily done.

Ingredients:

  • Couple of large knobs of butter
  • 2 shallots, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • Splash of French brandy
  • About 250g chopped mushrooms (I used a mix of button and field)
  • About 120g/3 heaped tablespoons of cottage cheese
  • Large pinch of sea salt and a few grinds of pepper
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • A large pinch of fresh thyme leaves.

Method:

In a frying pan, saute the shallots in garlic in butter on a low heat til soft, ensure butter doesn’t burn.  When soft, turn the heat up and add a splash of brandy.  Let it bubble then throw in all the mushrooms.  Stir, turn down the heat and cover with a lid and cook for about 8 minutes until the mushrooms are soft.  Remove the lid and let the liquid evaporate until the mushrooms are just moistened.  When done, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before transferring to a kitchen mixer.  Blitz with the cottage cheese and all other ingredients.  The great thing about this is that you can keep tasting until you feel you have the flavours right. We ended up adding more thyme, for example.

Once you’re happy, pack into a suitable dish, cover and refridgerate for as long as you can before devouring.  Mine was in the fridge for about an hour. Of course it will always benefit from being left overnight for the flabours to meld a bit. The great thing about this stuff is it’s so versatile.  It makes excellent picnic food, great for little pre-dinner canapes and awesome with pasta. Go nuts.