Try the Grey Stuff, it’s delicious! Monsieur and Mademoiselle, I am certain this semi-raw vegan medicinal mushroom pate most will earn the ardent approval of Lumiere. Read on to learn the culinary wizardy!
Be our guest! Be our guest!
Put our service to the test
Tie your napkin ’round your neck, cherie
And we’ll provide the rest
Soup du jour
Hot hors d’oeuvres
Why, we only live to serve
Try the grey stuff
Don’t believe me? Ask the dishes
Beauty and the Beast (BntB) is one of the most anticipated film this year, and it’s not hard to see why – featuring Emma Watson, crystal-eyed Dan Stevens, musical epiphanies from Alan Menken, and a storyline that is a tale as good as time indeed. In the culinary scene, it is not surprising then that there have been many BntB-themed restaurants and pop-ups rolled out. Most of their menus are based on the scene and music lyrics of ‘Be Our Guest,’ where Belle was treated to a feast in the long-forgotten castle and the Beast’s hideout.
Today I’ll like to focus on the dish “Grey Stuff,” which is the most ambiguous dish in the scene. Most places seem to interpret it as a dessert. Red Rose Taverne in Disneyland, CA, offers a Grey Gateau – white chocolate mousse and red velvet cake with a raspberry center. Similarly, Town House Kensington in London presents a white chocolate mousse (that is not even grey; blasphemy!) in a pretty Mrs Pott’s teacup. However, if you study the film closely, the ambiguous Grey Stuff is served along with the hot hors d’oeuvres. Hence I believe it is most likely a savoury dish, not sweet.
So let me present my savoury delicious interpretation of Grey Stuff – medicinal mushroom pate served on a raw sprouted vegan baguette. The pate is made with portobello mushrooms, one of the most flavorful for a pate – sauteed with onions and herbs de provence, and deglazed with white wine and sherry vinegar. Chaga powder is optional but it helps amp up the immune-boosting qualities of this superfood pate while also adding a greater depth of flavour. Once cooked, the mushrooms are blended with soaked sunflower seeds and ground chia to give it a fluffy pate consistency. A pinch of miso is all that is needed for to enhance this umami-rich spread, perfect on bread, crackers or to go with your salad. I have tried various ways of setting mushroom pate – with agar powder or Irish moss. This one, with ground chia, is by far the best consistency, not to mention a hidden dose of plantbased protein and omega 3s! Try it, it’s delicious!
As for the raw sourdough baguette, I’ll save the recipe for another day. Tentatively, it is made with sprouted buckwheat, zucchini, ground flax or chia and kvass or kefir as a sour starter.
- 134 g (2 cups) portobello mushrooms
- 75 g (1/2 cup) sunflower seeds, soaked 2 hours, drained and rinsed
- 16 g (2 tbsp) finely diced red onions
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 tsp sherry vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp dry white wine
- 1/2 tsp herbs de provence or thyme
- 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp or 1 pc dried shiitake powder
- 2 tsp chia seed, ground into powder
- 1 tsp chaga powder
- 1/2 tsp chickpea miso
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) water
- Heat olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and cook for 10 minutes on low or until extremely soft. Add dry white wine, sherry vinegar, pepper, salt and dried herbs. Cook another 5 minutes to allow the flavours to mingle and meld. Transfer the mixture to a blender, add the remaining ingredients except ground chia. Blend until very smooth and creamy, then add in ground chia seed to thicken. Transfer to a clean glass jar and store refrigerated for up to a week.
- Serving Suggestion: Spread the portobello mousse on baguette slices. Place thinly sliced cucumber on top to give it more texture, and add sliced apples or pears for sweetness, if desired.
- Yield: approx. 300 g.