Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Daring Cooks June, 2010 Challenge - Pâtés and Bread

Our hostesses this month, Evelyne of Cheap Ethnic Eatz, and Valerie of a The Chocolate Bunny, chose delicious pate with freshly baked bread as their June Daring Cook’s challenge!

Chicken Liver Pate

Makes 3 cups

Ingredients (serves 12)

1 Kilo chicken livers
200g of duck or bacon fat
400g butter, at room temperature
4 large eschalot (French shallot), peeled, finely chopped
1 cup brandy
Salt & ground pepper
Juice and zest of one orange
2 cloves of roasted garlic (roast whole in the oven 180 for 20 minutes, then squeeze out flesh)
1 sml teaspoon sugar
80g unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup fresh continental parsley roughly chopped

When making chicken liver pate, it is crucial to buy very fresh livers. Choose livers that have moist and shiny flesh without any dry patches. Remove from the packaging, place on a plate, cover with foil and keep in the coldest part of the fridge. Use within 2 days. To clean the livers, use a small sharp knife to remove and discard any white sinew. Some livers have greenish patches which must be trimmed or they can give the pate a bitter flavour. Place the trimmed livers in a colander, rinse gently under cold water and then drain. Pat dry with paper towel.

Melt butter and fat in a large heavy bottomed pan on a low to medium heat. Do Not Burn. Add the Eschalots and ½ the Garlic. Brown slightly then add livers and sauté for 3 minutes. Add brandy, orange remaining garlic, salt pepper and sugar. Continued sautéing on a medium heat for 15-20 minutes or until the livers are just off pink in the centre. Transfer to a food processor add parsley and blend until just smooth.

Spoon the pate mixture evenly into ceramic or glass ramekins or small dishes, and use the back of a teaspoon to smooth the surface. Set aside. Place the unsalted butter in a small saucepan and place over medium heat until it just melts. Pour the butter evenly over the surface of the pate. The butter will solidify and prevent the pate from discolouring (due to oxidation) and will lengthen keeping time. Once the butter sets, cover the pate with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight to set and develop the flavours. The pate can be stored for up to 5 days in the fridge. Serve with toasted thinly sliced baguette (French stick), mini toasts, crackers, or with slices of nashi fruit or pears.

Check out the site for the baguette recipe.

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