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Daring Cooks June 2010|Pâté

Paté

Bon été!  It’s time again for marvelous munchies with the Daring Cooks.  And the flavor of the month is fantastic pâté!  But before we get in too deep, a word from our sponsors:

Our hostesses this month, Evelyne of Cheap Ethnic Eatz, and Valerie of a The Chocolate Bunny, chose delicious pâté with freshly baked bread as their June Daring Cook’s challenge! They’ve provided us with 4 different pate recipes to choose from and are allowing us to go wild with our homemade bread choice.

Delicious indeed! However, a warning may be in order here. If you’re a vegetarian or just totally gross out! when the conversation turns to offal, best look away now. Myself, I am not a gizzards girl. No thank you tripe! That’s very kind but you can keep your liver! After trying this (alarmingly easy and cheap) pâté, I am a changed woman…in the sense that if you blend it all up with some fab spices, wrap it in bacon, cook it for an hour and then let the drippings soak back into the meat, I’m in.

We had a choice of four pâté and I went with what I think of as “classic French,” the beef/pork liver. Did I mention this stuff is cheap? The most expensive thing was the bacon, at about $2.50. The liver cost less than $1, and the pork fat and ground pork each cost about $1.50, but I had to buy enough to make 5 or 6 recipes of the stuff. What didn’t get used is in the freezer, where it will stay to pâté another day. I halved the recipe below, which was quite easy, and made two french onion soup bowls full. One note on halving this one – I think I over baked it a bit. I cooked them for the full hour and a half, and they could probably have gone for just one hour. But even if the pâté didn’t spread quite as well as I would have liked, it still spread just fine and had no trouble getting itself all eaten.

Time was short on this challenge and, even though I long to make a baguette, pâté seemed on the decadent side all on its own. Instead, some vegan lavash got made. This excellent recipe was a Daring Bakers challenge from a while back and has become a staple, especially when company comes around. It went nicely with the pâté and, thanks to the lightness of the lavash (we like to call them “crackers”), a lot more paté likely got consumed than if there had been baguette. (The baguette is staying on the “to make” list, because I am making a baguette some day…)

If Three Spice Liver pâté pictured here doesn’t tempt you to try one, visit one of the other gorgeous, skillful, yummy, dazzling and brilliant (I know it’s kind of cheating to always be linking to Audx’s blog, but there’s a pig head in this post! How am I going to resist that?) Daring Cooks to see some of the other recipes below in action.

Thanks to the effervescent Evelyne and the valorous Valerie for bringing us such a lovely challenge. I will credit you when I tell my step-mom that I finally love liver!

Three Spice Liver Pâté

Yields one 25 by 12,5 cm (10 by 5 inch) terrine or loaf pan

1 lb / 454 grams pork liver (or beef or combination)
1/2 lb / 227 grams ground pork
1/2 lb / 227 grams pork fat (or pork belly)
2 cloves garlic
2 shallots
1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp / 2 ml cinnamon
1/2 tsp / 2 ml coriander (ground or crushed)
1/2 tsp / 2 ml cumin
3/4 tsp / 3 ml salt
1 tbps / 15 ml coarse freshly cracked peppercorns
2 tbps / 30 ml cognac
2 bay leaves
1 package of bacon

Preheat oven to to 350ºF (180ºC).

Cut liver and pork fat into small pieces and add to food processor. Add ground pork, garlic, shallots, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper. Grind until smooth.

In mixing bowl, incorporate the meat and liver mixture with the cognac and eggs.

Line bottom of baking or ceramic pan with overlapping pieces of bacon. Place a bay leaf on the bottom and then fill with meat/liver mixture. Cover top with another bay leaf and then overlapping pieces of bacon.

Place in oven in the larger baking pan and add enough water to cover 2/3rds of the pan containing the meat/liver mixture. Bake for about 1-1.5 hrs.

The pâté will contract and the juices will be on the bottom. Allow to cool and soak up the juices. Remove any excess bacon and discard the bay leaves.

Chicken Liver Terrine

Yields one 25 by 12,5 cm (10 by 5 inch) terrine or loaf pan

1 tbsp duck fat, or butter
2 onions, coarsely chopped
300g (11 oz) chicken livers, trimmed
3 tbsp brandy, or any other liqueur (optional)
100g (3 1/2 oz, 1/2 cup) smoked bacon, diced
300g (11 oz) boneless pork belly, coarsely ground
200g (7 oz) boneless pork blade (shoulder), coarsely ground (or ground pork see note below)
2 shallots, chopped
1 tsp quatre-épices (or 1/4tsp each of ground pepper, cloves, nutmeg and ginger is close enough)
2 eggs
200 ml (7 fl oz, 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp) heavy cream
2 fresh thyme sprigs, chopped
Salt and pepper

NOTE: If you cannot find ground pork belly or blade, buy it whole, cut it into chunks, and pulse in the food processor. You can also replace the pork blade with regular ground pork.

Preheat oven to 200ºC (400ºF, Gas Mark 6).

Melt the fat or butter in a heavy frying pan over low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, until softened. Add the chicken livers and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, until browned but still slightly pink on the inside.

Remove the pan from heat. Pour in the brandy, light a match and carefully ignite the alcohol to flambé. Wait for the flames to go out on their own, carefully tilting the pan to ensure even flavoring. Set aside.

Put the minced pork belly and blade in a food processor, then add the onion-liver mixture and the chopped shallots, and pulse until you obtain a homogenous mixture – make sure not to reduce it to a slurry.

Transfer to a bowl, and gradually stir in the chopped bacon, quatre-épices, cream, eggs, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper, and mix well. Spoon the mixture into a terrine or loaf pan, and cover with the terrine lid or with aluminum foil.

Prepare a water bath: place the loaf pan in a larger, deep ovenproof dish (such as a brownie pan or a baking dish). Bring some water to a simmer and carefully pour it in the larger dish. The water should reach approximately halfway up the loaf pan.

Put the water bath and the loaf pan in the oven, and bake for 2 hours. Uncover and bake for another 30 minutes. The terrine should be cooked through, and you should be able to slice into it with a knife and leave a mark, but it shouldn’t be too dry. Refrigerate, as this pâté needs to be served cold. Unmold onto a serving platter, cut into slices, and serve with bread.

NOTE: This pâté freezes well. Divide it into manageable portions, wrap tightly in plastic film, put in a freezer Ziploc bag, and freeze. Defrost overnight in the fridge before eating.

Tricolor Vegetable Pâté

Yields one 25 by 12,5 cm (10 by 5 inch) terrine or loaf pan

Line your pan with plastic wrap, overlapping sides.

White Bean Layer
2 x 15-ounce / 900 ml cans cannellini (white kidney beans), rinsed, drained thoroughly
1 tbsp / 15 ml fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp / 15 ml olive oil
1 tbsp / 15 ml minced fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
2 garlic cloves, pressed

Mash beans in large bowl. Add lemon juice, olive oil, oregano and garlic and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread bean mixture evenly on bottom of prepared pan.

Red Pepper Layer
7-ounce / 210 ml jar roasted red bell peppers, drained, chopped
3/4 cup / 180 ml crumbled feta cheese (about 4 ounces)

Combine peppers and feta in processor and blend until smooth. Spread pepper mixture evenly over bean layer in prepared dish.

Pesto Layer
2 garlic cloves
1 cup / 240 ml fresh basil leaves
1 cup / 240 ml fresh Italian parsley leaves
1/4 cup / 60 ml toasted pine nuts
3 tbsp / 45 ml olive oil
1/2 cup / 120 ml low-fat ricotta cheese

Mince garlic in processor. Add basil, parsley and pine nuts and mince. With machine running, gradually add oil through feed tube and process until smooth. Mix in ricotta. Spread pesto evenly over red pepper layer.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

To unmold, invert pâté onto serving platter. Peel off plastic wrap from pâté. Garnish with herb sprigs and serve with sourdough bread slices.

Trout and Shrimp Pâté

Yields one 6×3 inch (15×7,5 cm) terrine or loaf pan

1 tbsp / 15 ml butter
1/4 lb / 4 oz / 120g medium raw shrimp, deveined, shelled and tailed (about 12 medium shrimp)
1/8 cup / 30ml Grand Marnier (or cognac, or another strong liqueur of your choice) (optional)
1/2 lb / 8 oz / 240g trout filet, skinned and cut into thick chunks
1/4 lb / 4 oz / 110g raw shrimp, deveined, shelled and tailed (any size)
3/4 cup / 180ml heavy cream
Salt, to taste
Green peppercorn, coarsely ground, to taste
Chives, for garnish

Preheat oven to 375ºF (190ºC).

In a heavy, flameproof frying pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Sauté the 1/4 pound of medium shrimp, stirring often, until pink and cooked through. Remove the pan from heat. (NOTE: These shrimp will be used to form layers within your pâté. If you feel they are too thick – like the ones in the photograph, you might want to slice them in half lengthwise.)

Pour the Grand Marnier over the cooked shrimp. Light a match and carefully ignite the alcohol, to flambé the shrimp. Wait for the flames to go out on their own, carefully tilting the pan to ensure even flavoring. Set aside.

Put the trout and the remaining raw shrimp in a food processor and pulse. Gradually pour in the cream and keep pulsing until you obtain a smooth mixture that is easy to spread, but not too liquid (you may not need to use all the cream). Season with salt and green pepper.

Butter a 6×3 inch (15×7,5 cm) loaf pan or terrine, then line it with parchment paper. Spoon in half the trout mixture, and spread it evenly. Place the flambéed shrimp on top, in an even layer, reserving 3 or 4 shrimp for decorating. Top with the remaining trout mixture.

Prepare a water bath: place the loaf pan in a larger, deep ovenproof dish (such as a brownie pan or a baking dish). Bring some water to a simmer and carefully pour it in the larger dish. The water should reach approximately halfway up the loaf pan.

Put the water bath and terrine in the oven, and bake for 35 minutes. The pâté should be cooked through and firm in the center.

Remove the pan from the water bath and let cool. Carefully unmold onto a serving platter. Decorate with the reserved shrimp, and sprinkle with chopped chives. Cut into thick slices and serve at room temperature, with crusty bread.

French Baguette

yield: Three 16″ baguettes

Starter
1/2 cup / 120 ml cool water
1/16 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 cup / 240 ml flour

Dough
1 tsp / 5 ml active dry yeast
1 cup to 1 1/4 cups / 240 ml to 300 ml lukewarm water*
all of the starter
3 1/2 cups / 840 ml flour
1 1/2 tsp / 7 ml salt

*Use the lesser amount in summer (or in a humid environment), the greater amount in winter (or in a dry climate), and somewhere in between the rest of the year, or if your house is climate controlled.

Make the starter by mixing the yeast with the water, then mixing in the flour to make a soft dough. Cover and let rest at room temperature for about 14 hours; overnight works well. The starter should have risen and become bubbly.

Mix active dry yeast with the water and then combine with the starter, flour, and salt. Mix and knead everything together—by hand, mixer or bread machine set on the dough cycle—till you’ve made a soft, somewhat smooth dough; it should be cohesive, but the surface may still be a bit rough. Knead for about 5 minutes on speed 2 of a stand mixer.

Place the dough in a lightly greased medium-size bowl, cover the bowl, and let the dough rise for 3 hours, gently deflating it and turning it over after 1 hour, and then again after 2 hours.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased work surface. Divide it into three equal pieces. Shape each piece into a rough, slightly flattened oval, cover with greased plastic wrap, and let them rest for 15 minutes.

Working with one piece of dough at a time, fold the dough in half lengthwise, and seal the edges with the heel of your hand. Flatten it slightly, and fold and seal again. With the seam-side down, cup your fingers and gently roll the dough into a 15″ log. Place the logs seam-side down onto a lightly greased or parchment-lined sheet pan or pans.

Cover them with a cover or lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the loaves to rise till they’ve become very puffy, about 1 1/2 hours. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat your oven to 450ºF (240ºC).

Using a very sharp knife held at about a 45° angle, make three 8″ vertical slashes in each baguette. Spritz the baguettes heavily with warm water; this will help them develop a crackly-crisp crust.

Bake the baguettes until they’re a very deep golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove them from the oven and cool on a rack. Or, for the very crispiest baguettes, turn off the oven, crack it open about 2″, and allow the baguettes to cool in the oven.

Sandwich Loaf

Yields two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 inch (21 x 12 x 6 cm) loaves, or 18 individual rolls

For the white version
3 tsp (15 ml) active dry yeast
2 2/3 cups (600 ml) whole milk (3.25 per cent fat), warmed to a temperature of 97ºF (36ºF)
2 1/2 tsp (12.5 ml) salt
2 tsp (10 ml) butter, melted
5 1/3 cups (750g) unbleached white bread flour, + 1/2 cup (75g), for working the dough
2 tbsp (30 ml) butter, for the loaf pan

For the whole wheat version
Use the same amount of whole wheat flour, and add 1/3 cup (80 ml) of milk

To make loaves
In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast and warm milk, and whisk to dissolve. Whisk in the salt and the melted butter.

Gradually sprinkle in the flour, stirring with a wooden spoon. When the dough becomes too thick to stir, knead it with your hands, for about 5 minutes, until you obtain a smooth, homogenous dough that is soft and a little sticky. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes.

Knead the dough 20 strokes (still in the bowl), cover again, and let rest for 1.5 hour.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface, and divide in two. Form each half into a slightly oval ball. Butter your two loaf pans and transfer the dough to the pans. Cover lightly and let rise in a draft-free area for 60 minutes, or until doubled in volume.

Fill a large baking pan with hot water (simmering is fine) and place in the oven. Preheat oven to 450ºF (240ºC).

Put the loaves in then oven and bake for 10 minutes. Do not open the oven door during this time. After 10 minutes, lower the oven temperature to 400ºF (200ºC) and continue baking for about 25 minutes, or until the loaves are nicely golden. Unmold and let cool on a rack.

To make individual rolls

Go through the same process as for making the loaves, up until it is time to shape the loaves. Divide the dough into 18 sections, shape each section into a ball, and dust with flour. Butter part of two muffin tins (only butter 18 cavities), and transfer the balls of dough into the cavities.

Cover loosely and let rise in a draft-free area for 45 minutes.

Fill a large baking pan with hot water (simmering is fine) and place in the oven. Preheat oven to 425ºF (225ºC).

Put the loaves in then oven and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the rolls are nicely golden. Let cool on a rack.

4 Comments

  1. blepharisma says:

    Great job!! You know, I think if I were to do this challenge again, I’d have to play with spices a little bit more. The mix of spices in yours sound heavenly! (and thanks for the link!)
    .-= blepharisma´s last blog ..Go Team Steph! Daring Pâté and Bread =-.

  2. Mary says:

    Your liver pate looks fabulous! I didn’t make an all-liver one, but may have to now!
    .-= Mary´s last blog ..Daring Cooks make pâté and bread! =-.

  3. Maranda says:

    Hi Kathlyn! I just read your Daring Kitchen Spotlight and totally loved it! Your pate looks amazing! I made the veggie and fish versions but looking at yours makes me wish I had done the three spice.

    I hope you don’t mind if I pop over to your blog from time to time.
    Maranda´s last blog post ..Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake

  4. Kathlyn says:

    Hi Maranda! Thanks for stopping by the blog – it’s really lovely to hear that you like it. It’s pretty much on hiatus until I get out of school, but there could be some other random posts between now and then. 🙂 I will hop over to yours and check out the veggie and fish versions – I really wanted to try those too, but they looked too labor intensive. I highly recommend trying the three spice at some point. It is so easy you won’t believe it! And cheap!! Cheers – K

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