There is something special about eating mushrooms in late autumn, they conjure up fantasies of foraging around a forest floor thickly laden with colourful leaves. Earthy, deep and flavourful, mushrooms are some of the most delicious ingredients, providing us with a multitude of dishes. This pate is a firm favourite and makes a spectacular party dip, light hors d'oeuvres or fabulous treat. You can use any mushrooms with a robust flavour but chestnuts do rather well, easily available and no need for foraging! Made up to a day before, the flavours deepen beautifully. Serve with any good bread, crisps or crackers.
Recipe (makes about 450g)
250g chestnut mushrooms
250g Philadelphia or any good quality full fat cream cheese
half a clove garlic, finely sliced
1 tbsp chives, finely chopped
salt and black pepper
Thinly slice and saute mushrooms until golden brown and all their liquid has evaporated. Add garlic and brown with the mushrooms for a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Place mushrooms and chives into a food processor, blitz until finely chopped. The mushrooms should still be slightly warm. Add cream cheese and blend until smooth. Season to taste. The pate will be a little softer at this point, so refrigerate until set. Allow to come to room temperature before serving. Sprinkle with extra chopped chives.