I found the basis for this recipe on the web and did my usual modifications to spice it up a bit. We served it for our Friday night group and it was an instant hit. It takes a little more effort than a typical simple spread, but is every bit worth the effort.
- 2 oz. (4 Tbs.) unsalted butter
- 1 large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced into half moons
- 4 fresh thyme sprigs or about 1 tsp. of dried thyme
- 12 oz. cremini (baby bella) mushrooms, diced.
- 8 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, diced (2 cups)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp.Porcini powder
- 4 Tbsp. dry sherry
- 1 cup walnuts, toasted
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice; more to taste
- Cayenne pepper. (Add a little to taste if desired.)
- 3 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and roughly chopped
- Thinly sliced scallion greens or chives, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Put the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven until they become lightly browned and aromatic. Be careful not to burn them. Remove them from the heat and set aside to cool. (If you start with whole walnuts, rather than chopped, you'll be less likely to burn them.)
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and add the onions & thyme. Raise the heat and cook the onions, stirring frequently, until they are translucent.
- Lower the heat and continue cooking until the onions caramelize. Stir the onions frequently, you want them to caramelize to a deep rich brown, but not burn. This will take about 15 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and thyme and stir them in to combine.
- Season with about 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. of black pepper. Raise the heat to medium to high, and continue cooking. Stir occasionally, until the mushrooms have released their liquid and the liquid has evaporated. This will take about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Stir in the sherry, scraping the pan to remove the browned bits of fond. Cook about a minute or two until most of the sherry has been reduced. Remove the pan from the heat and cool to room temperature.
- When cool, transfer about half of the mushroom and onion mixture to the food processor. Add the toasted walnuts, garlic, lemon juice, porcini powder, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper and process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the container as needed.
- Taste and adjust seasonings adding salt, pepper, lemon juice and cayenne as desired.
- Add the remaining mushroom and onion mixture and the chopped eggs. Pulse until coarsely chopped and well combined. Again, adjust seasonings to taste.
- Serve with a sprinkling of chives or scallion greens if desired. This is especially good on dark rye bread.