1/2 package (4 oz.) sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms, or 6 oz. whole shitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
2 packages (8 oz.) sliced cremini mushrooms, or 1 1/4 lb. whole creminis, stemmed and sliced
1/3 cup chopped shallots
2 Tbsp. butter or trans-fat free spread
2 Tbsp. fat-free, reduced sodium mushroom or chicken broth
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup reduced-fat cream cheese, softened at room temperature
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh dill
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 thin slices whole-grain bread, or untoasted black bread
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Set a baking rack on a cookie sheet. Arrange the shiitake mushrooms on the rack. Bake them 20 minutes or until dry but still somewhat flexible. (The thinnest slices may be crisp.) Transfer them to a plate and set aside to cool. (This may be done up to one day ahead, stored in a bowl, uncovered, at room temperature.)
Place half the cremini mushrooms in a blender or food processor. Add the dehydrated mushrooms and the shallots. Chop the remaining mushrooms and add to the blender. Pulse until finely chopped and moist.
Melt the butter/spread in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushroom mixture. Sauté until the mushrooms release their liquid, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the broth and lemon juice. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms form a mass, about 15 minutes.
Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl. Mix in the cream cheese and dill with a fork until well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cool the paté before using. (The spread keeps up to 3 days, tightly covered in the refrigerator.)
To serve, bring the spread to room temperature, toast or grill the bread (leave black bread untoasted) and liberally spread them with the paté.
Makes 16 servings (1/2 slice bread and 2 tablespoons paté each).
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