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Mushroom Pecan Pate

Again, another recipe from the amazing Mushroom Cooking Class hosted by Milennium’s Executive Chef, Eric Tucker. Such a genius. I tested this pate at our weekly wine and cheese event at work, and everyone glowed and praised it’s wonder. It’s rich like a foie gras, but much kinder to everyone. This is not a low-fat dish. It pairs really well with crackers and fruit. I suppose it would pair well with cheese, but I’m not really trying to promote cheese-eating here. Oh, and it’s fantastic with a nice pinot noir or a good quality malbec. I haven’t tried it with white wine, but I think it would need a strong white, as the flavour would overpower a sauvingnon blanc.


4 shallots, minced

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon sucanat (I used brown sugar with lovely results)

2 cups crimini mushrooms, sliced thin (1 cup crimini and 1 cup yellow chantarelle also worked nicely for me as an alternative)

1 cup black chantarelles, cleaned and minced (I used morels as an alternate, with great success)

1 tablespoon dried candy cap mushrooms, rehydrated in 1/2 cup of boiling water and minced. Save the water!

1 tablespoon fresh minced rosemary (Chef Tucker called for a teaspoon, but I like rosemary. A lot.)

2 teaspoons fresh minced sage

3 tablespoons brandy or bourbon (also, a sweeter non-peaty scotch works great)

1 cup toasted pecans

1.5 cups mushroom stock (or use vegetable stock that is very hot, and put 1-2 tbsp of dried porcini in it)

1/4 cup vegetable shortening

2-3 tablespoons of agar flakes (not powder – the proportions are not interchangeable)

2 tablespoons tamari

2 teaspoons black truffle oil or 1 black peringord truffle (I don’t have truffle oil, so I used porcini oil instead. It was nice, but not as good as using the real truffle)

1 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg

black pepper and salt to taste


1. Carmelize the shallot and garlic over medium heat with the sucanat / sugar and olive oil.

2. Add the mushrooms, rosemary and sage. Saute until the mushrooms are wilted, then pour on the brandy / bourbon / scotch and flame. Shake the pan until the flame dies down.

3. Add the pecans, stock, the remaining 1/2 cup of candycap water, vegetable shortening and agar and stir vigorously. Simmer for 15 minutes until the agar is dissolved.

4. Add the tamari, truffle (or truffle oil), nutmeg, salt and pepper. Remove from heat.

5. Pour the mixture into a blender (I use a smoothie blender, not a cuisinart for this step, to get the mixture well pureed). Puree until very smooth.

6. Line a rectangular glass dish with saran wrap, then pour the pate mixture into the dish. Refrigerate for 4 hours.

Pickled mushrooms, Milennium-Style.

I got this recipe when I recently attended Millennium’s Mushroom cooking class. Executive Chef Eric Tucker provided the recipe and instruction, as well as some alternative choices for mushrooms, should the exotic ones be unavailable. This recipe is pretty easy, and next time I make it, I’m going to double or triple the amounts so I can can the mushrooms for future snacking. You can either serve them after a 4-hour marination at room temperature, or store them refrigerated in sterilized canning jars for 2 weeks before they’ll be ready for use. After that, they’re pantry-ready.


1 1/2 cup white wine vinegar or rice vinegar (I use the same vinegar one would use for sushi rice: nice and tart, with no seasoning added)

2 cups water

2 bay leaves

5 whole cloves (alternatively, you could use 2 tsp ground cloves, but the effect really isn’t quite as delicate)

Salt as needed

2 cups Clamshell mushrooms, broken into individual shells (or substitute with quartered crimini mushrooms)

2 cups King Trumpet mushrooms, cut into 1/2″ thick scallops (or substitute with sliced oyster mushrooms)

1 cup olive oil

1 clove garlic, sliced into thin slivers

4 dried chili arbol (the traditional long chilis are fine, though one or two aji chilis would make a lovely substitution)

1-2 sprigs fresh thyme

4 black peppercorns (I substituted white peppercorns, as I had no black whole peppercorns. It turned out great)


1. Combine vinegar, water, bay leaves, and cloves in a large saucepan. Chef Tucker mentions to use a non-reactive saucepan, we use a large cast-iron saucepan and find that it does the job swimmingly.

2. Add salt to this mixture, enough to match the salinity of sea water. It’s more than you think.

3. Bring to a boil, add mushrooms and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain the mushrooms, discard the liquid. When they are dry, place in a bowl or into sterilized canning jars.

4. Heat the cup of oil in a sauce pan with the garlic, chile, thyme and peppercorns. When the garlic starts to fry, remove from heat and pour the mixture immediately over the mushrooms. Enjoy!