Look, I know that chocolate is a girls' best friends and all that. But for me, chocolate is a bit, well, passé. It's sweet, it gets stuck in your teeth, it's bad for the blood sugar, and every man and his dog eats it.
I've had enough of chocolate!
I say "Chocolate begone!".
I say "Give me Pate`!". And some nice Melba toast please.
Actually I seriously do prefer pate` to chocolate. I always have. There's something earthy and mysterious and lush and luxurious about pate`. Even more so when it's home made and you know what the ingredients are!
I've been making this one for 35 years. It's a special treat for my close friends and family at Christmas and now it can be your little indulgence.
Yes, I know the little livers are strange looking. But I just toss them in there with the other ingredients and stir them around until they look all brown and crunchy and then they don't bother me so much. Go on. It's worth it, I promise.
Makes 3 100gm pate's
Keeps for up to a week, refrigerated
3 x 150ml capacity ramekins or containers for your pate`
Small microwave safe jug
Small cup or second small jug
250gms chicken livers (butchers will have them or can get them in for you)
3 tablespoons butter
1 small onion
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
3 rashers bacon
3 tablespoons port (or any other alcohol like sherry, wine or brandy) or use half orange juice and half chicken stock
1/3 cup cream
Cracked pepper if desired
Using your sharp knife, dice your onion roughly. Dice your bacon too.
Set your food processor up on your bench with the normal slicing blade in place.
Arrange your little ramekins or any other container you like, along the bench ready to go. Teacups can be cute containers for Pate` as well.
Measure your port or other chosen liquids in to your small cup or jug.
Put two thirds of your butter into your microwave safe jug.
Plop the remaining third of your butter into your pan and pop it over a hotplate heated to HIGH.
Let your butter melt and when it's sizzling, toss in your chicken livers, onion, bacon, bay leaf and thyme.
Let this sizzle away for seven to ten minutes, using your large spoon to regularly move it all around. I like to let everything get a really golden crust on it, before tossing it around to brown to a mouth watering crunchy goodness on the other side.
After about seven minutes, cut one of your livers (that is the chicken livers, not yours!) in half, and check that it's browned all the way through. If so, your pate` is now ready to be smoothed to a creamy spread.
Tip the contents of your pan into your food processor. Scrape all that yummy crunchy brown stuff on the bottom of your pan in there too. Add your cream. Now's the time to add a bit of cracked pepper too, if you like.
ow pop your pan back onto your hotplate, and pour in your pre-measured liquids. If you're using any sort of alcohol, it'll sizzle and hiss madly, and this is the alcohol content burning off. Use your large spoon to scrape the pan, and loosen any leftover crumbly bits, then add this to the mixture in the food processor.
Process it all on the fastest setting for a minute or two until it looks really smooth and creamy.
Spoon your finished pate` into your waiting containers and smooth the top well.
If you're going to get stuck in to your pate` the minute it's chilled, then you can skip the next step. But it would be a brave soul that would consume that much pate` in one sitting, so I suggest you keep one for now and two for later, using the following method to seal the pate` for storage.
Put the little microwave safe jug with your butter in it, into your microwave. Cover it with a bit of cling wrap, as it will splatter as the butter heats. Microwave on 50% power until it's melted. It doesn't need to be hot.
If you've ever looked at butter melted this way, you'll notice that the clarified butter rises to the top and the milk solids to the bottom. If possible, it's the clarified butter you want to use. So let the melted butter just sit for thirty seconds or so, to facilitate that settling, then ever so carefully, pour your clarified butter over the surface of your pate`, until it's completely covered and sealed inside the butter.
Chill your little pate`s for a least two hours before enjoying them with slivers of buttered toast, little crackers or vegetable crudités.
Now that's an indulgence.
Now where's that man of mine? He promised me a foot massage in exchange for some of my Pate`. I'm not sure that's a fair offer actually. I think he's going to have to do better than that!