"Like many of Shannon's customers, I've followed her cooking wherever she went. Admittedly, there was a dark period in my life where I would dress up in different disguises and go to the local pub five times a week so I could sit at the bar and eat this pâté by myself – slowly, because I never wanted it to end. Jokes aside, this dish is what ultimately won me over in terms of Shannon's sorcery. I'd never experienced anything like it. Needless to say, if you had me at gunpoint forcing me to choose, this would be my ultimate favourite dish. This pâté lasts for ages in the fridge. We recommend saving some for the week ahead and spreading it on absolutely anything (crackers, veg, sandwiches), or mixing in some sour cream for a creamy mushroom dip, or using it as a pasta sauce - it's so versatile! ~ Mo Wyse.
250g firm tofu, cut into 8 pieces
1 fresh bay leaf
Vegan beef stock
60mL (1/4 cup) olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
50g (1/2 cup) pecans or walnuts, roughly chopped
15g (1/2 cup) dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 125 ml (1/2 cup) warm water
440g button mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 tsp thyme leaves, plus extra sprigs, for garnish
60mL (1/4 cup) Pedro Ximinez sherry (see note)
2 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs white truffle oil
1 tsp sherry vinegar
Melted (vegan) butter, to cover
Toasted bread slices, to serve
Place the tofu, bay leaf and enough stock to cover in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer on low for 5 minutes.
Drain the tofu and press with paper towel for about 10 minutes to remove excess liquid.
Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until caramelised, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and pecans, and continue to cook for a further 2 minutes.
Strain the porcini mushrooms and set aside the liquid. Add the porcini and button mushrooms to the pan along with the thyme, cook for a few minutes then deglaze the pan with the PX sherry.
Add 80mL (1/3 cup) of the dried mushroom soaking liquid and cook until completely reduced. Season well with salt and pepper.
Transfer the ingredients to a blender and add the soy sauce, truffle oil and sherry vinegar. Blend until completely smooth.
Fill ramekins nearly to the top with pâté cover with melted butter and add a thyme sprig.
Set aside in the fridge for at least 2 hours to firm up.
At Smith & Daughters we serve our pâté with slices of toasted baguette.
Note: You can substitute brandy for PX Sherry if you’re unable to get your hands on it.
Credits: This is an edited extract from Smith & Daughters: A Cookbook (that happens to be vegan) by Shannon Martinez & Mo Wyse published by Hardie Grant Books RRP $48.00.
Photo Credits: This is an edited extract from Smith & Daughters: A Cookbook (that happens to be vegan) by Shannon Martinez & Mo Wyse published by Hardie Grant Books RRP $48.00.