Mushroom and Leek Loaf
As requested in the thread below, here is this recipe.
Mushroom and Leek Loaf
It's pretty labor intensive, and has a pate-like consistency and a rich flavor, due to the butter and cream, but it's very good and makes a nice dish to serve for vegetarians.
2 large leeks
1 1/2 pounds mushrooms
4 tbsp butter, plus more for the loaf pan
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup dry vermouth
2 tbsp. lemon juice
grated zest of 1/2 lemon
3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
3 tbsp. snipped fresh chives
1 tbsp fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups cream
Trim off the roots and the dark green tops of the the leeks. Separate several of the large outer leaves from the leeks, reserving the insides, rinse them and blanch in a pot of boiling water for 3 minutes. When they are wilted, drain and refresh them in cold water. Drain them again and pat them dry on paper towels.
Butter a 6 cup loaf pan. Cut aluminum foil OR parchment paper to fit the bottom and sides, butter both sides, and line the pan with the foil/paper. As an inside lining, lay the leek leaves across the pan over the foil/paper, overlapping them as necessary to cover any gaps. Let the ends hang over the sides.
Preheat the oven to 375. Chop the mushrooms fairly fine (if you use a food processor, do this in batches and be sure not to overprocess them). Finely chop the reserved inner leeks to measure about 1/2 cup. Melt the butter in a large pan over medium-low heat and saute the mushrooms, leeks and garlic, stirring often, for about 10 minutes. When they cook down and their liquid evaporates, add the vermouth and lemon juice. Continue cooking until the mixture is reduced to a thick, dark mass, about 15-20 minutes. Season to taste with lemon zest, herbs, salt and pepper. Stir in the flour, blending it well, and set aside off the heat.
Beat the eggs together in a large bowl and stir in the cream. Loosen the mushrooms with a spoonful of cream, then mix in all the mushrooms, stirring to make it smooth. Carefully pour the mixture into the prepared pan and fold the leek leaves over the top to enclose the mushrooms. Place the pan in a larger pan filled with boiling water to reach halfway up the sides. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour. Let the mushroom cool on a rack for 10-15 minutes before unmolding. Remove the foil/paper on top, turn the pan onto a serving plate, and remove the foil/paper on the sides.
To serve, slice the loaf into slices with a serrated knife. Serve it warm or at room temperature. Makes 12 servings.
The dish was very tasty, but I have a couple of suggestion for the recipe itself:
1) The time estimates seem low -- it took a lot more time for my mushroom moisture to evaporate than 10 minutes. For me, it was more like 30 minutes -- maybe it was just my pan or I had the heat on too low.
2) I would clarify the instruction below. Exactly which outer leaves was I supposed to use? The ones I had just trimmed off? Or the outer skin of the white part, whose inside I was reserving?
"Trim off the roots and the dark green tops of the the leeks. Separate several of the large outer leaves from the leeks, reserving the insides, "
3) I would go through the recipe and replace all the "they" "them" "their" etc. words with the exact item you are talking about. So, instead of "them," I would say "the leek leaves" or something like that. There were times when I was following the recipe, that I wasn't sure what was being referred to.
4) I might add an estimate of the salt required. Salt is something you have to be careful of not adding too much -- so I tend to be very hesitant with it. I salted the mushrooms to taste, but I worried that it wouldn't be enough once I added it to the eggs.
It would have been nice to have an initial guide of how much salt would be needed. Then, I could have adjusted up and down to my taste.
I got a lot of complements on the dish.