Make Ahead

Potted Mushrooms

November 26, 2010
Author Notes

The English like "potting" things. Gardenias, orchids, eccentric uncles, and food such as potted shrimp, potted crab, and potted eels. These culinary pots are often served with high tea. They're a sort of English take on the French confit because the various ingredients are preserved (potted) in fat (butter). I've been making potted shrimp for years but decided to make potted mushrooms this past Thanksgiving.- Kevin —Kevin

Test Kitchen Notes

These potted mushrooms are a fun and tasty play on a traditional pate. Rich with butter and flavored with sherry and thyme, the mushrooms make a wonderful potted spread for entertaining. Serve with toast points or made into individual canapes, garnished with fresh herbs, they'll be the surprise favorite at your next party. Plus, the mushrooms will keep up to four weeks in the refrigerator -- perfect to have around for a surprise guest. – Jennifer —The Editors

  • Makes about 1 cup
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, separated
  • 8 ounces button mushrooms, separated
  • 8 ounces baby portobella mushrooms, separated
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots, separated
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced leeks (white part only), separated
  • 4 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, separated
  • pinch salt
  • Black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons dry sherry, separated
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
In This Recipe
  1. Finely chop the button mushrooms, half the shallots, and half the leeks in a food processor. Scoop into a lint-free kitchen towel roll it up, and twist tightly over the sink to squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
  2. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat, then add 2 tablespoons butter. Swirl to melt and add chopped mushrooms, sprinkle with salt, and add a few grinds of black pepper. Stir to coat with butter. Increase heat to medium high. Cook until the mushrooms on the bottom begin to brown - about 2 minutes - stir and repeat three more times.
  3. Add 1/2 thyme and 2 tablespoons of sherry and cook until sherry evaporates. Scoop into a medium mixing bowl.
  4. Repeat steps 1 - 3 with shitake and add to first batch. Mix in lemon juice.
  5. Melt remaining butter and pour it into mushrooms. Stir with a fork to mix thoroughly. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  6. Refrigerate at least 4 hours to let flavors meld. Allow to warm for 1 to 2 hours before serving on crackers or slices of thin toast.
  7. This will keep three to four weeks refrigerated and can be frozen. Eat with thin slices of toast or crackers. (I prefer toasted Pepperidge Farm Very Thin White Bread, cut into squares.)

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