Bonjour mes amies. Je suis un failure.
Remember in my last post I was going to blog from a french kitchen in Les Carroz?
Well, I totally underestimated the time I would be busy by, let's say, about 1,000 times. That, and a certain small person who kept stealing my i-pad to play games with his new friends.
I didn't even get time to photograph the many dinners produced, so I will endeavor to recreate in later blogs, some of the amazing food my friend Nick has been making for his guests over the years.
However, I am going to start by giving you my Paté recipe and process.
Why you ask? I know you didn't ask, but I'll tell you anyway.
On one sunny afternoon after the lunch and dinner prep was done, I asked my son if he would like to come skiing with me for an hour. The alternative was playing with a very cute blond girl........... So, I went for a walk with my camera to take some pictures of the local buildings and general ambiance.
|I had no chance|
I stopped off at one of the many cafés for a glass of wine, and decided to try a local dish. I ordered the Pork Paté, and was excited when it arrived. The presentation was wonderful, but when I bit into it, it had no taste. WTF!
|The disappointing lunch|
I'm not quite sure how they managed to do that, but it was beyond bland.
I left it unfinished and paid my bill.
Hence the Paté recipe here, which I can assure you has plenty of taste.
|Smear on crusty bread.... Yum scrum pigs bum!|
|Trimmed and washed livers|
|Boneless pork rib (1/2 lb)|
I rinse off the chicken livers (2 tubs) in a sieve and trim off all excess sinew. I also check for bile (dark green) that has not already been trimmed off. It doesn't enhance the flavor much.
While this is draining, I finely chop some shallots and saute them in half a stick of butter, until a nut brown color is achieved. I spoon the onions out of the pan and set it aside.
|onions just turning nut colored|
Add the washed and trimmed livers and the pork (cut into small pieces) to the remaining butter in the pan and cook over a medium heat. You don't need to brown the meat, so careful with the heat. While the livers are still pink in the middle, I add some garlic, salt and black pepper, and whatever wine I have left from the night before. In this case, it is Viognier, but you can add Sherry, Madeira or red wine if you want to. I also add a slug of cooking Brandy for good measure.
Cook for 5 minutes, then remove the meat with a slotted spoon and reduce the liquor by half. Add all ingredients back into the pan, including the other half stick of butter and stir together. If you can drag a spoon over the bottom of the pan and the liquid is slow to flow back, it is ready for the blender.
I add an egg yolk at this point and a 3rd of a cup of cream, then switch on the bender and stand well back.
Blend until smooth, then adjust the seasoning if necessary (more brandy). If you want a really smooth Paté, you can then pass this mixture through a sieve. I don't.
While the livers are cooking, line your molds with streaky bacon.
|Bacon lined molds|
Once blended, pour the mixture into the molds and fold over the bacon. These are now ready to set in a water bath, with the water coming half way up the molds. I cover each mold with aluminum/aluminium foil, or a flat tray if non available, just to stop the top from drying out. Cook in a pre heated oven at 300 or the equivalent gas mark (look it up) for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack until warm, and then place in the fridge, or in my case, out on the deck as it is colder there.
|Ready to cool|
You might have to run the mold under hot water to release the pate, then turn out onto a board or plated to serve.
Crusty bread is a must. I like to sprinkle lemon juice on mine, and have a few Cornichons to crunch on too.
It is easy, and well worth the effort.