You know that quote, which in essence says that anything is poison if you eat too much of it? Well, today poison was hazelnuts. I am quite afraid that I might keel over in a moment. They are just so wonderful. Living in Bangor, it’s difficult to get good nuts or produce unless you mail-order it or get it from a local farm, so I was quite glad when I received these hazelnuts from a family friend, along with a book on hazelnut cookery.
This recipe is wonderfully rich-I mean, there’s kind of a half stick of butter in it… Moderation is key here folks! By the earlier paragraph you can see I don’t actually follow this statement on a regular basis. Once in a while, but not when hazelnuts happen to be present.
Yesterday afternoon I spent doing archery for gym class. The class before me had done archery as well and in it were some of my fellow english students. They decided that they would place sticky notes all over the targets with literary terms on them. That way we could shoot the literary terms that we would soon be having a quiz over. This was quite enjoyable. It is great fun to take aim at euphemism, anastrophe, hendiadys, and the like. In fact, because of this experience, I nearly began this blog post with a long dramatic description of me, running through the woods to escape from euphemism and synecdoche and shooting any literary term that tried to attack with my bow and arrow. Eventually, I would make it out of the woods and be rewarded by none other than this wonderful paté. Basically, it seemed like too much for the beginning of blog post, thus I give you a toned down version of it in the middle of the post. Plus, now that I give the reasons behind my strange ideas, they don’t seem quite so bizarre, right? Perhaps not, but no matter, because I can still eat my hazelnut pâté and be quite content.
Now that that’s over, I should actually talk about the food. This is a very good recipe, if you don’t (like I did), eat the majority of the mushrooms from the pan so that you have maybe half the amount necessary for the pâté. Though I did this, I still thought it was quite good, though it lacked a little mushroom flavor. One note about this: It takes quite a while to process the hazelnuts, so be patient! Keep going because they will eventually form a paste. It also is recommended that you serve the pâté with toasted baguette, crostini, or sourdough bread, and though I’m sure this tastes wonderful, crackers, pretzels, carrots, celery, and just about anything else will taste good with too.
Mushroom Hazelnut Pâté
From “Oregon Hazelnut Country” by Jan Roberts-Dominguez
Makes about 2 cups
1/4 cup butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
3/4 pound mushrooms, sliced
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper (I just used everyday black pepper)
1 cup lightly roasted and skinned hazelnuts (I didn’t bother skinning)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (preferably hazelnut oil)
Melt the butter in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, mushrooms, salt, thyme, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and most of the pan juices created from the mushrooms have evaporated. Purée the hazelnuts in a food processor to form a grainy paste. With the motor running, add the oil and whirl until creamy. Add the mushroom mixture, and continue blending until smooth. Serve with crostini or fresh slices of a crusty baguette. It keeps in the refrigerator for 2 weeks or longer.