I have been obsessed with chestnuts lately, and wanted to incorporate them into some kind of savory finger food for my fast-approaching birthday party. A vegetarian pate turned out to be the perfect vehicle for them. (Note: If you are making these for a smaller group, you can easily halve the recipe. This will slather quite a few pieces of toasted bread!) —theyearinfood
Warm a large skillet over medium-low flame. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil. When warmed, add the onions and shallots. Stir occasionally, making sure to not let the shallots burn, for about three minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another minute, also being careful to not let the garlic burn.
Stir in the mushrooms and saute for another five minutes. Add the Sherry and thyme and season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
When the Sherry has mostly cooked off, add the goat cheese and stir just a little to soften the cheese. Fold in the chestnuts. Remove from heat.
Spoon the mixture into a food processor, and add 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, as needed. Puree until chunky-smooth. Taste to see if more salt or pepper are needed.
Serve atop crostini or on crackers. Garnish with freshly ground black pepper, fresh thyme and parsley.
You can make this in advance - the flavors will improve if left to sit overnight. Refrigerate for up to four days.