Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Chicken Liver Pate

Round the Red Brick Ranchero, we like to celebrate “the Golden Hour.”

It’s the time right before sundown when Groom and I sit down with a glass of wine or a cocktail and reconnect.

Friday nights, the “Golden Hour” becomes “Order and Structure” as we visit with my mother and let the week fade away into the weekend.

Sometimes we have an hors d’oeuvre.

Sometimes not.

This week, Chicken Liver Pate.

Smooth, buttery, hints of nutmeg and Marsala.

Quickly made and travels well.

Make French bread toasts to accompany

One bite and I’m back at the Elegant Red Brick Ranch Home of my parents, cocktail party in full swing, Ella Fitzgerald singing the Cole Porter Songbook on the stereo, lots of chatter and clinking of glasses, Pops making his infamous vodka martinis and my mother’s wonderful food passed on trays to appreciative guests.

I hate to admit it, but I’ve eaten pounds of this in my lifetime.

And as long as chickens are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, I’ll continue.

Chicken Liver Pate

½ pound chicken livers, rinsed and patted dry
1 stick unsalted butter
1 large shallot, chopped
2 good splashes Marsala
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg

Heat a medium skillet over medium high head and add butter. When foamy, add the shallots and the chicken livers. Cook until done, probably takes five to seven minutes. Add the Marsala, cook for a couple of minutes, remove from heat and season with coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper.

Put in food processor and pulse until almost smooth. Add the nutmeg and pulse until smooth. Adjust seasoning.

Makes about a pint of pate. Lasts a week in airtight container if you’re not a chicken liver pate freak.

French Bread Toasts

1 loaf French bread, thinly sliced
Extra virgin olive oil or roasted garlic oil or melted butter or nothing
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400.

Arrange slices on cookie sheet. Brush with oil or butter or leave plain.
Grind pepper over the slices.

Put in oven for about 10 minutes until done.

Remove from oven and let cool on rack. Makes about 20 -30 slices. (Depends on the size of the loaf, you want these thin).

Keep in airtight container. Do not store in plastic bags.

Click here for a printable recipe!

One Year Ago on Feeding Groom

Monday, September 7, 2009

Sweet and Dark Chocolate Sorbet with Crystallized Ginger

****** UPDATED**********************September 7, 2009

I have been thinking about this Dark Chocolate Sorbet all weekend. It was calling to me from the past!

Seriously, how can one resist when something so delicious, so easy and so divine calls.

You don't.

You do the 2009 version....with a few added ingredients that make this even more memorable.

Sweet and Dark Chocolate Sorbet with Crystallized Ginger
Adapted from
Cuisinart Recipe Booklet: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Sherbets and More!

4 cups water
1-2/3 cup vanilla sugar
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp ground chipotle pepper
1-1/2 cups unsweetened Ghirardelli cocoa powder
1 whole tablet Ibarra sweet Mexican chocolate, ground to a powder
1/2 cup crystallized ginger
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

Combine water and sugars in 3-¾ non reactive (stainless, ceramic or glass) saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Whisk in the cocoa, the ground Ibarra chocolate and ground chipotle pepper and bring the mixture to a simmer. Simmer for 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Remove from heat and transfer to medium bowl. Stir in vanilla and chill in refrigerator 2 hours.

Stir chilled mixture. Add to freezer bowl of ice cream maker and follow the instructions. With the Cuisinart model, let mix til thickened, about 30 minutes.Add the crystallized ginger and let it mix in thoroughly.

The sorbet has a soft creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer sorbet to airtight container and place in freezer for 2 hours or more. Best done day ahead.

Makes 14 ½ cup servings.

Click here for a printable recipe!

One Year Ago on Feeding Groom

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Pan Crisped Devilled Eggs on Baby Romaine

I love eggs.

Hardboiled eggs, fried eggs, omelets, scrambled eggs.

Ya’ll can keep all those half cooked runny egg things on top of pizza and pasta.

I had braces in the sixth grade.

I’m not going there again.

Now, devilled eggs?

I’d eat devilled eggs any time of the day.

They’ve been known to cure hangovers, hangnails and a broken heart.

Groom makes killer devilled eggs….green olives are the master touch. You know the kind of devilled eggs that when you’re eating them you don’t count the halves because you would probably take to your bed if you knew what a glutton you are.

This recipe adapted from The Splendid Table is a great twist on devilled eggs.

They’re elegant devilled eggs, sautéed in a bit of olive oil and pancetta drippings…and served on top of crispy baby romaine.

It’s a very grown up way to eat devilled eggs.

Which, if I haven’t mentioned lately, I love.

Pan Crisped Devilled Eggs with Pancetta on Baby Romaine
Adapted from
The Splendid Table’s How to Cook Supper by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift

8 large eggs, hard boiled and peeled
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp minced onion
2-½ tightly packed tablespoons fresh Italian parsley leaves, chopped
1-½-2 tbsp half and half
2 tsp Hellmann’s mayonnaise
1-½ tsp Champagne vinegar
A couple of good swirls extra virgin olive oil
2 good slices pancetta, diced
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

Leftover egg stuffing
A couple of good swirls extra virgin olive oil
1 generous tsp Dijon mustard
2-½ tbsp half and half
2-½ tsp Champagne vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

4 generous handfuls baby romaine

Cut the eggs in half lengthwise and remove the yolks. Put in medium bowl and set the whites aside.
Add the mustard, garlic, onion, Italian parsley, milk, mayonnaise and vinegar to yolks. Mash into thick paste and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Pack mixture back into the egg whites so filling is even with surface of the egg not mounded. You are going to have extra…this becomes the dressing.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat a couple of good swirls of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced pancetta and cook until crisp. Remove from skillet and drain on paper towels.

Add the eggs face down and cook until golden brown, takes about 5 minutes or so. Sprinkle the back sides of the eggs with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper as they cook.

While the eggs are sautéing, combine in a large bowl the leftover egg stuffing with all the dressing ingredients. Add the salad greens to the bowl and toss.

Serve the greens and place the eggs on top and sprinkle with the crispy pancetta.

Serves 4 ecstatic devilled egg lovers.

Click here for a printable recipe!

One Year Ago on Feeding Groom