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The Point Reyes Light

Time:2016-12-30 13:18wine - Red wine life health Click:

Light Point Reyes

Miguel Kunst


In the winter months, the promise of finding wild mushrooms is one of a few things I can use to trick myself into leaving my warm home. When I see a patch of gold peeking out from the duff, my “seasonal disorder” is all but forgotten. In this recipe, robust chanterelles give body to the paté even after being sweated, sautéed and blended. The addition of amontillado sherry accentuates the mushroom’s sweet and woody flavors and the alliums complete the holy trinity of umami. This paté is simple, light and easy to prepare. It’s good for people who like mushrooms’ flavor but fear their potentially squeaky, slimy textures. I like the flavors straightforward, but don’t hesitate to add nutmeg, fresh herbs or cheeses as your fancy dictates. If you’re wondering what to do with the rest of the sherry bottle, try mixing equal parts sherry and bourbon, a splash of orange liqueur and a dash of angostura bitters. Au chanterelle!


Serves five to six as an appetizer. Active time: One hour. Total time: 90 minutes. Cooking notes: Don’t crowd the pan. We want the mushrooms sautéing, not stewing. 

1 lb. chanterelles, cleaned and roughly chopped

1/4 lb. or 2 small shallots, roughly chopped

1/4 lb. or 1/2 one onion, roughly chopped

3 Tbsp. butter 

A generous shot of sherry amontillado 

Salt and pepper

1/2 one lemon


1. Heat a naked skillet over a medium flame; add the chanterelles and sprinkle with salt. Stir occasionally and reserve a half-cup of their liquor. Continue until no moisture remains in the pan, about 10 minutes. 


2. Add the onions, shallots and butter to the pan. Adjust heat to medium low. Sauté until onions and shallots have sweated and just their corners have begun to caramelize, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove all ingredients from the pan and set aside.


3. Pour sherry into pan and deglaze, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spatula to extract those yummy, browned bits. Add this to the mushroom liquid.


4. Put chanterelle sauté into a food processor, add half the reserved liquid mixture and blend. The texture should be like a rough pesto, cohesive but not homogeneous.


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