Salami, pepperoni, prosciutto, bacon, sausage, terrine—yes please!
But for being such an avid patron of charcuterie, I have made very little of it myself. The one exception is pate. I make it every December. And usually a few times in between.
For me, pate is a special treat. Like savory frosting—totally over the top, and totally worth it. I like to make it for special occasions. And eat the leftovers for breakfast with toasted baguette and apples.
Warning pate makers: there are quite a few people out there who just do not like pate. So in order to avoid awkward situations and potentially hurt feelings, be careful who you serve it to. Once I brought a plate of homemade pate and cranberry relish to a dinner party, and except for the gluttonous three servings that I had myself, I took it all home with me. On another occasion, a friend gagged after he took a heaping bite full, claiming he thought it was hummus. Pate is not hummus.
But in the right crowd, pate can be the perfect beginning to a celebratory meal.
This is a great country pate recipe that I got from Martha Stewart Living, many years ago. The original recipe calls to serve it with baguette and maple syrup apples. Very good, but I prefer it with something a little tarter, like preserved cherries, or rhubarb compote.
Chicken Liver Pate
2 sticks unsalted butter
¾ # white mushrooms, sliced
½ # chicken livers
1 t paprika
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup sliced scallions
1/3 cup white wine
- Melt 3 T butter in a large sauté pan.
- Sauté mushrooms, liver, garlic and scallions until the livers are cooked through. About 5 minutes.
- Add wine, garlic, paprika and 1 t salt. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes, until the mushrooms are really soft.
- Remove from heat and let cool completely.
- Process in a food processor or blender with the remaining butter and 1 ½ t salt.
- Transfer it to a serving dish and cover tightly with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic touches the top of the pate.
- Keeps for about a week in the fridge.