Chrysta 10 min. 15 min.

To my surprise, two good friends of mine opened a bakery concept here in Los Angeles that is so amazing I wish I had thought of it!  The B1 Breadshop, with two locations in Downtown Los Angeles and Abbot Kinney/Venice, California, has limited its focus to organic breads and viennoiserie (think: croissants) that are a high quality but also affordable.  I had the amazing opportunity to meet my friends at the bakery the other day, and what ensued was carbohydrate-infused happiness.

In the midst of catching up, I was given many things to sample.  I had the most deliciously flaky apple turnovers, buttery croissants, some of the best coffee I’ve had all year (and in a french press to go cup, if you can believe it!).

 

 

 

After a satisfying visit, my friends sent me on my way with an almond croissant and a baguette to go.

 

 

 

 

Little did they know, almond croissants are among my favorite foods.  I devoured half on my way home (how did I have room??).  The second half I had for breakfast the next day after a lovely hike in Solstice Canyon in Malibu.  This hike is what you would call guilt-induced exercise 🙂

When I got home, I was famished.  I remembered that I had a delicious B1 Breadshop baguette waiting for me.

I knew I needed protein and carbs, so I decided to make a “pâté” plate with cornichons, but make a vegetarian version I had seen made a few months ago.    I decided to expand this to a sweet and savory bread plate, accompanying my baguette with fresh cream butter topped with Maldon sea salt flakes, and my homemade strawberry preserves. (use this recipe but omit the cornstarch) 

 

 

 

 

Eaten plain, eaten with veggie pâté , or eaten with butter and jam, this bread was amazing.  And at $3 a loaf for an organic baguette, I’ll be getting my bread once a week from these guys!

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe: Vegetarian Lentil and Porcini Mushroom Pâté

Back in July, I had the pleasure of watching Nancy Rose Eisman do a vegetarian demonstration at Surfas.  She demo’d a recipe for a a lentil pate that was deliciously meaty even though it was meat-free.   The porcini mushrooms  are responsible for the meatiness in this dish.

Pâté and I are new friends.  I had never had it until 5 years ago, from a pâté loving boyfriend I had at the time.  Now I’ve come to love most pâté, and was surprised that this vegetarian vewas so good.

I took some creative liberties with the recipe and crafted more precise instructions than the original (it’s what pastry chefs do:  add precision).  This new recipe gives the pâté a smoother texture and a richer flavor.

This recipe hit the spot, and definitely resembled pate in look texture, and taste.  Pâté doesn’t really photograph well–these aren’t “sexy” photos:  but it will give you a guide for what you want to see.

 

 

 

Ingredients:

1 Cup (1 ounce) of dried porcini mushrooms

1 1/2 Cup of very hot water (to rehydrate the mushrooms)

2 tbsp + 1 tbsp of olive oil

3 tbsp minced shallots (about 2 medium sized shallots)

2 Cups of cooked brown lentils   (1 C dry lentils cooked in 1 1/2 C broth or water)

3 tbsp of unsalted butter

1-2 tbsp of porcini mushroom broth (reserved soaking liquid)

salt and pepper to taste (measurements are in the recipe, below)

 

Directions:

1. Cook and Cool lentils: Bring 2 tsp of salt and 1 1/2 Cup of water or vegetable stock to a boil.  Rinse dried lentils and add them to the boiling stock.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, or until lentils are tender.  Drain remaining water, if any.  Pour lentils onto shallow dish or large plate so that they can rapidly cool:  about 30 minutes.  (Chef’s Tip:  the deeper the vessel, the longer it takes items to cool)

 

2.  Prepare Mushrooms:  Pour 1 1/2 Cup of very hot water into a bowl.  Add the dried porcini mushrooms into the water and soak for 15 minutes.  After 15 minutes, drain mushrooms and set aside the liquid. *(You can re-use this broth for other recipes)

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.  Saute Shallots and Mushrooms:  In 1 tbsp of olive oil, sauté the shallots over medium heat until they are lightly browned.  Add another 1 tbsp of olive oil and add the porcini mushrooms.  Sauté for 2 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

4.  Prepare the pâté:  In a food processor, combine the cooled lentils, shallots, porcini mushrooms, 3 tbsp of butter, 1/4 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.  Pulse until the hulls of the lentils are not able to be seen in the puree.  If the mixture comes to a ball, but you can still see the lentils, add the porcini stock 1 tbsp at a time until mixture is smooth.  I ended up using 2 tbsp of stock and 1 tbsp of olive oil.

 

 

 

 

5.  Eat and enjoy!  You can eat this pate cold or room temperature, but it spreads best at room temperature.  You can keep it (in a plastic bag or covered dish) for up to a week.

Butter and Homemade Jam:  C’mon!          Look at this bite!  

Vegetarian Pâté with cornichons     and a tasty bite