These are moreish! These are way too good. Once tried, you will always crave them.
We discovered these at a restaurant called El Barco, in Bude, Cornwall, England, where the chef is Spanish. We had the most wonderful evening, eating paella, but these mushrooms as an appetiser were the star of the show!
You bite through the crisp batter, are greeted by a wonderful warm mushroom followed by a warm burst of silky pate. The moment we tried them, we knew we had to emulate this at home and it was easy to do. You can use any pate that you wish, so if you are vegetarian, you could use a vegetarian pate. We generally make tempura, but there is the possibility to use beer in your batter. (I have previously blogged the beer batter mushrooms recipe). They make an impressive appetiser or are great for heavy hor d’oeuvres, which is usually the way that we have them. In the picture they are together with sechuan battered zucchini, fried padron peppers and chorizo cooked in red wine. All recipes have been previously blogged, but please message for links if you would like them!
WINE NOTE: As an appetiser course, I would pair this with French Pinot Noir, for its mushroom, forest floor meaty flavours, which of course work both well with the mushrooms and pate. However, if I was serving with several other small dishes I would give consideration to the other foods being served, perhaps leaning towards a new world Pinot Noir slightly chilled, or just drink a favourite wine.
250g /8 oz chestnut mushrooms
Approx 200g /6oz pack of pate (Ardennes/ Brussels/vegetarian)
2 cups/ 280g all purpose/plain flour
2 cups/ 500ml sparkling water
Heat vegetable oil in a deep fat fryer to 365F 185C. (or alternatively put about 3″ deep layer into large pan).
Prepare the mushrooms by cleaning with a damp cloth, removing the stalks & filing each one with pate.
Stir the water into the flour, t should be slightly lumpy.
Test the oil temp, by putting a few drops of batter mix in, which should sink slightly then rise and puff.
Dip the mushrooms one at a time into the batter and place into the fryer basket without overcrowding, or lay into the pan of oil with a slotted spoon. Fry for a couple of minutes then remove and lay on a paper towel. Serve immediately.