Big news. Ugly Fruit is moving. Ok, well actually, no, the blog is staying right where it is. I, the IceCreamMonster behind Ugly Fruit, am moving. Time to leave the green green grasses of Switzerland for a new, different, smaller place. Yes, I am moving back to Iowa.
Quick background....even if it is a bit late......
Most readers (those who don't know me in real life) may not know (as I've been pretty hush hush personally speaking here) that I've been living in Europe for 3 years now. Some time studying in Milan and the rest of the time in Switzerland working as a watch designer. It's been a fantastic experience and I love Geneva all the way to the bottom of my little curled toes. However, it is a time of flux and change. Big things. New things. Exciting things. Scary things.
I have left my full time, monthly salaried, 5 weeks of vacation a year job in the heart of Europe to go back to the US (a little sigh) to be a starving artist, I mean, independent jeweler. And as sad as it is to leave, I am so excited for what the future holds, as well as being near my family again rather than visiting only once a year, endless books in English, and being able to find Pace picante salsa and baking powder at 11pm at the grocery store. For every perk of going there is some longing in leaving. I'll miss my daily fresh croissants and endless bread choices at Migros. The amazing view, no matter where you go and tiny jaunts across the lake in little yellow boat. My fantastic fanatic foodie group and the belly bulging taste tingling dinners we had. So much. Big sigh.
So, where does all of this intro lead us? To the party I threw this week, a BYOC* if you will. I had 3 bottles of champagne, 2 rose, and too many reds and whites to mention and what with the international move and all it was well past time to try and finish them all.
That's where everyone else came in. Despite the freakish tsunami like storm there was a good turn out and my foodie friends (Kiriel and Rosa) didn't fail to delight with the offerings they brought.
Ever since England I had been dying to try my hand at the mushroom pate I had tasted. This soiree was the perfect opportunity. This is not one of the most attractive dishes, hence the lack of photo, but it is incredibly delicious and vegetarian (not vegan) friendly.
Mushroom Pate (found somewhere on the internet and changed a bit)
4 T. olive oil
3 C. (about 3 large onions) chopped onion
3 cloves garlic minced
1 lb. mushrooms sliced
1 t. fresh thyme chopped
1/2 t. fresh rosemary chopped
1/2 t. fresh sage chopped
1/2 C. herbed bread crumbs
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese
2 C. ricotta cheese
salt and pepper to taste (I also added a gratuitous amount of garlic powder)
Saute onions and garlic in oil until onions are soft. Add mushrooms and herbs and continue to cook until the mushrooms begin to release their juices. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Stir in the bread crumbs.
In a food processor, combine the Parmesan cheese, cream cheese and the ricotta cheese. Process until combined. Add the cooled mushroom mixture and process until the mixture is pureed smooth. Add salt and pepper (and garlic powder) to taste.
Butter a 2 qt. mold and put a piece of parchment on the bottom. Pour in the mushroom mixture. Tamp down to remove any air bubbles.
Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes at 400°F. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Cover the top with a piece of wax paper and place weights on top. Refrigerate at least 24 hours.
To serve: Remove weights, peel off wax paper and blot any excess surface juices. Turn out onto a platter. Serve with crackers and fresh veggies.
*BYOC - Bring Your Own Cheese...in this case I supplied the booze and wanted people to bring a few nibblys to balance it out. Also, FYI, if you ever want a super good turn out for any sort of event....FREE BOOZE...but you already knew that ;)