Carey is always looking for new flavours and adding her own little twists. This paté is so good with the Oldenburg Chenin Blanc.
200 g streaky bacon, finely chopped
50 g butter
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 sprig of thyme, finely chopped
10 g dried porcini mushrooms soaked in hot water
500 g assorted exotic mushrooms (king oyster, enoki, shitake etc), chopped
2 T (30 ml) cognac, brandy or dry sherry
+- 125 g full fat cream cheese ( add more if you enjoy a creamier pate)
Freshly ground salt and pepper to taste
2 T (30 ml) melted butter
a few small sprigs of thyme
In a large heavy based frying pan, Carey uses a 30cm AMC Cookware skillet, fry the bacon until crispy. Remove from the pan.
Saute the onion, garlic and thyme in the butter until softened and fragrant.
Add the mushrooms and saute until browned and softened.
Squeeze excess liquid out of the soaked porcini mushrooms and add to the pan. Fry for a few more minutes.
Add the cognac and simmer until the cooking liquid is almost completely reduced. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
Place the onion and mushroom mixture into a food processor together with the bacon and cream cheese. Blend until it resembles a chunky pate consistency. Season to taste and blend some more. It should be smooth with a few coarse bits of mushroom and bacon.
Spoon into ramekins use the back of a spoon to smooth out the mixture. Garnish with a sprig of thyme and pour a thin layer of melted butter over the surface of each one.
Chill for at least 40 minutes before serving. Can be prepared up to 3 days in advance.
Spread generously onto garlic bruschetta.
Replace exotic mushrooms with brown mushrooms – they have loads of flavour too.
For veggie option, replace bacon with more mushrooms.
Add fresh parsley.
Carey Boucher Erasmus is a food writer, photographer, recipe developer and restaurant consultant.
She says, “As far as I can remember, I loved being in the kitchen. I grew up watching my mother in wonder as she prepared a myriad of dishes on any given day. And when my grandmother baked, I would be the official bowl licker. I even owned a mini wooden oven and stove set and always imagined myself being a chef while “cooking up” pots of mud and grass.
When I was old enough to reach the real stove and sink, I started cooking and experimenting – from dodgy rubbery microwave chocolate cake to edible and sometimes rather delicious meals. I loved home-economics in high school and even joined a “catering society”.
After matric, I studied Food science and Nutrition at Cape Technikon where I specialised in recipe, product development, nutrition and food communication (styling, food demonstrating etc.). In my final year, I graduated with 8 distinctions and achieved the title of Class valedictorian which I was pretty chuffed about. I was ready to go out into the food industry!”