Portobello Mushroom and Hazelnuts Pate

I love pate, but the liver contains a lot of cholesterol. Not good for health, eh. So I thought – there must be an alternative to liver pate. Why not mushrooms? This great recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Site. Pate with mushrooms, nuts and cream cheese – smoky and creamy. And it great with bagels and toasts.

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1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped (I used hazelnuts)
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 lb. Portobello mushrooms
2 scallions, white and pale-green parts, finely chopped
1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp. cognac or brandy
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
Dash of Tabasco sauce
1/2 (4 ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread nuts on a baking pan. Bake until fragrant, about 5-7 minutes. Transfer walnuts to a bowl; set aside to cool.

In a large heavy skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter, and cook the chopped mushrooms and scallions, stirring occasionally, until liquid has been released and then skillet becomes almost dry, about 20 minutes. Stir in thyme, salt, and pepper; cook 2 more minutes. Add cognac and lemon juice. Remove from heat, and let cool.

In a food processor, pulse  mushroom mixture,  toasted nuts, parsley, Tabasco sauce, and cream cheese until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight.

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