Thursday, July 22, 2010

Gray goo

Have you ever made something that looks repulsive but tastes delicious?  I think to most people my morning smoothies have a strange tinge, but are quite tasty.  The combination of green leaves, red strawberries, and blue fruit doesn't combine to some beautiful color, that's for sure.

The food I made the other night might take the cake though.  It's what I would imagine liver pate to look like...

The pic isn't great, but it's basically gray goo.  A spreadable gray goo, similar to hummus in consistency.  What makes it gray?  Mushrooms!  I'll admit when I made this recipe and peered into my food processor, I was a bit put off.  How could something that looks like that, taste good? 

Luckily it was quite tasty.  I've been eating it in pitas with lots of veggies and it's tasty delicious.  It would also probably taste good as an app with veggies or pita chips, you would just have to convince your guests that you weren't serving them death...

The recipe is from Veganomicon with a few personal tweaks.

Walnut Mushroom Pate
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried tarragon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 lb cremini mushrooms, chopped
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 3/4 cup cooked cannellini beans [this is not a full can!!]
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp cold water, might need more depending on other ingredients

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for 3 to 5 minutes until translucent, then add the garlic, thyme, tarragon, salt and pepper, and cook for another minute. Next add the mushrooms and cook for 7 to 10 minutes until they are very soft, lowering the heat if necessary to prevent them from burning.

While the mushrooms are cooking, place the walnuts in a food processor or blender and process until very fine. Add the cooked mushroom mixture to the walnuts in the food processor, along with the balsamic vinegar, beans, and nutritional yeast. Process until smooth, adding the water 1 tablepspoon at a time as needed. Continue to puree the ingredients until the pate resembles a smooth, thick and spreadable paste. Scrape mixture into an airtight container and chill for at least an hour before serving, to allow the flavours to meld.

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