Posted by: acooksca | 10/25/2009

Exotic Mushroom and Almond Terrine

Mushroom Almond Terrine

Mushroom Almond Terrine

In the Paso Robles Public Library you will find cook books of local recipes. Several, such as Almond Country Cuisine: a recipe collection from simple to gourmet, published by the Paso Robles High School PSTA, highlight a favorite crop of the valley. Although this area now gets more press for its vineyards, Paso Robles once was referred to as The Almond City.

This recipe uses ground almonds to help bind and add a little rich nuttiness to a baked terrine of exotic mushrooms. Choosing a mixture of mushrooms such as oyster, shitake, portabella and brown field adds depth to the flavor. This terrine, like many pates or custards, is baked surrounded by hot water. The purpose of baking in a water bath is to cook the terrine with an even heat without a crust forming along the insides of the pan.

You will want to make the terrine a day or two ahead so that the flavors meld well and the texture firms enough to remove it from the pan in one piece. It is easy to make, flavorful and eye catching with its tumble of garnishes. You can also use sliced grapes as a garnish… another Paso Robles icon.

Serves four as appetizer

½  cup raw almonds in the skins
1 Tablespoon butter for coating the pan
¼ cup thinly sliced shallots (about 2 large)
1 Tablespoon roughly chopped garlic
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons sherry wine
½ lb. mixed wild mushrooms roughly chopped
1/3 cup cream
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
2 Tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
2 Tablespoon dry bread crumbs
1 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon butter
½ cup mushrooms torn in large pieces
¼ cup flat leaf parsley leaves left whole

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter the bottom and sides of a 2-cup terrine, miniature bread pan or other small 2-cup oven proof baking dish. Have on hand a slightly larger baking pan that will hold the terrine in a hot water bath while it bakes.

Heat a large sauté pan over med-high heat. Add the almonds and toast, stirring occasionally, in the dry pan just until brown, about 4 minutes. Remove to cool. Add 2 Tbl. butter, shallots and garlic to the pan and sauté until soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in the sherry. Add the chopped mushrooms to the pan and cook, stirring so they don’t stick, for several minutes until mushrooms pieces begin to brown.

In a food processor, finely chop half of the toasted almonds. Reserve the rest for garnish to be used later. Add the mushroom mixture, cream and egg. Process to a puree,  about 10 seconds. Add the thyme, parsley, bread crumbs, salt and pepper to the processor and, using the pulse button for a few quick pulses, mix just until combine. Pour puree into the buttered pan. Cover with a lid or buttered piece of foil.

Place the terrine in the slightly larger baking pan. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil and gently pour the water into the larger baking pan, surrounding the terrine in a water bath about 2/3 up the sides of the terrine. Place in the middle of the over and bake undisturbed for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and let cook for 10 minutes more (mixture might not be completely firm, this is fine). Remove the terrine for the water bath and cool. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or over night before decanting. The terrine can be made 2 days ahead of serving.

To serve, tip the terrine over and it should easily fall away from the pan. If not, dip the pan in a bowl of warm water and run a knife along the insides of the pan. Place the mushroom terrine on a large serving platter. Heat the butter in a small sauté pan until it begins to brown. Add the torn mushrooms and toss for one minute, until just warmed. Remove from heat. Combine the mushrooms, reserved toasted almonds and the flat leaf parsley leaves and spoon on top of the mushroom terrine to garnish.

Serve terrine with water crackers, sliced baguette or crostini.


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