Sunday, July 12, 2015

Faux Gras (David Lebovitz)



David Lebovitz is one of my favorite cooking go-to bloggers for cooking ideas or just to read of his adventures in France. Recently, he posted this recipe for lentil and mushroom pâté (or Faux Gras) from the (grossly over-titled) book

Très Green, Très Clean, Très Chic: Eat (and Live!) the New French Way with Plant-Based, Gluten-Free Recipes for Every Season

Seriously. Someone needs to learn to cut words.

So, since my doctor has been nagging me about meat, it seemed like a fun thing to try out. Lebovitz  posted his own version on his blog, and I made some minor tweaks of my own out of necessity, (a mix of walnuts and pecans because I didn't have a full cup of either, an additional clove of garlic, using the liquid from brandied cherries instead of brandy, adding a little white wine to the cooking mushrooms), but otherwise I stuck to his recipe.

Is it the buttery, meaty goodness of foie gras, the Butter of Meat? Nope. Is it fantastically delicious and healthy? Yep. Here's the recipe from David Lebovitz's blog:

Faux GrasMakes 6 to 8 appetizer-sized servings
Adapted from Très Green, Très Green, Très Chic by Rebecca Leffler
Lentils double in volume when cooked, so 1 cup (160g) of dried lentils will yield close to the correct amount. They usually take about 20 to 30 minutes to cook until soft, but check the directions on the package for specific guidelines. If avoiding gluten, use tamari instead of soy sauce. For a vegan version, replace the butter with the same quantity of olive oil, for a total of 1/4 cup (60ml) of olive oil. The cognac or brandy is optional, but it does give the faux gras a little je ne sais quoi.
  • 12 medium-sized button mushrooms (100g, about 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter, salted or unsalted
  • 1 small onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 cups (400g) cooked green lentils
  • 1 cup (140g) toasted walnuts or pecans
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage or flat leaf parsley
  • optional: 2 teaspoons Cognac or brandy
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Wipe the mushrooms clean. Slice off a bit of the stem end (the funky parts) and slice them. Heat the olive oil and butter in a skillet or wide saucepan. Add the onions and garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions become translucent, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they’re soft and cooked through, another 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat.
2. In a food processor, combine the cooked lentils, nuts, lemon juice, soy sauce, rosemary, thyme, sage or parsley, Cognac (if using), brown sugar, and cayenne. Scrape in the cooked mushroom mixture and process until completely smooth. Taste, and add salt, pepper, and additional cognac, soy sauce, or lemon juice, if it needs balancing.
3. Scrape the pâté into a small serving bowl and refrigerate for a few hours, until firm.
Serving: Serve the pâté with crackers, hearty bread, or small toasts. A nice accompaniment is shallot marmalade or just a few pickles alongside.
Storage: The spread will keep for 4 days in the refrigerator. It can frozen for up to two months, well-wrapped.



Bon appétit, Chowbaccans!