Our dear friend and her French husband keep saying that they are envious of people who make their own things. When they heard that we make our own beer, his eyes sparkled. He went on to say that he wished he could make pate. Pate!!! You are French and you should know. Making pate isn't rocket science. It is one of the easiest, almost foolproof appetizer to whip up. We got this from
Rustic pate (4 little ramekins)
455gr/ 1lb chicken livers
400gr/ 14oz softened butter
olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 small bunch of thyme, leaves only
1 large wine glass of brandy, cognac, or sherry (whichever does it for you, or as in our case whichever you have or not in the house)
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
sage leaves
Now, before I start with the recipe let me share this with you: 400gr of butter is a scary sight. I know pate is all about creaminess, and spreadability factor, but there is no way I can look at 400gr of butter, shrug, and use it. I cut that quantity as much as I could by just adding a little bit at a time till the texture of the pate became more or less … rustic (grainy, but not too).
Put 150gr of butter in a bowl, and melt slowly till it has separated. Strain off the yellow butter and set aside.
Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan, and slowly fry the onion and the garlic. Set aside. Turn the heat up and fry the chicken livers in the same pan. Cook the livers till coloured, but still pink in the middle. Pour in the brandy (again, I didn’t use the whole glass measure but that’s just because I ran out of it …). Simmer for a minute, then take the livers off the heat and tip into a food processor. Add the cooked onions and garlic. Blitz till you have a smooth paste. Add the rest of the butter (ahem, here it wasn’t all the rest – read above). Season the mixture well. Divide the pate into ramekins.
Fry the sage leaves in a little hot oil, and sprinkle over the set chicken liver pate. You’ll notice, I didn’t do this. Why? Part gimmick, part time. Spoon the clarified butter over the sage leaves. (Recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver ‘Jamie’s Kitchen’)
Leave the pate to set in the fridge for an hour before serving. What was the discovery du jour? You can freeze pate. I had no idea, but such a great tip. Although this time around there was no pate left to freeze. But good to know.
So, where do you stand when it comes to chicken livers? Love them or hate them?


WireMySoul said...

I'm not a big fan of chicken livers, but seasoned and smushed into a nice pate, I can forget what they were before and enjoy it. Thanks for this post! I'll consider making fresh pate for the next potluck I attend!

jeremy said...

Great article. Totally agree that making your own is a no brainer.

I agree with WireMySoul that many people are not into chicken livers, but I see them JUST as carriers for the flavour and texture. The REAL deal is what you put with it. Get creative.... rhubarb vodka, bourbon, elderflower, chilli & lemongrass, stilton, guinness, cranberries, honey...

Just have fun making it - invite ALL your friends, and it will taste SO much better when you're all having a laugh in your own little picnic.

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