“This is a perfect dish to bring to a party or to savor with a nice drink in front of the fire with a loved one.” —Matt
pâté, jam, cheese, & baguette
I believe this dish, in spite of being a cold one, really represents warm, comforting flavors: earthiness, richness, and sweetness. It is so simple, yet wonderfully complicated, and it can be a playful balance of flavor if done correctly. It has made an appearance on every chef table menu I have done at the restaurant.
I am a big proponent of Hudson Valley cheeses. Currently I use Vulto Creamery’s “Ouleout.” If you would like a less pungent cheese, a decent triple cream would do, like Nettle Meadow’s “Kunik” or Old Chatham’s “Kinderhook.”
The baguette should be sliced and toasted, after being brushed with olive oil and moderately salted.
I often accompany this dish with Meyer lemon-Saison vinaigrette dressed on the plate, which gives just the right acidity to brighten the dish, and I love to mop up the dressing with a fully loaded baguette.
The components of this dish are: chicken liver pâté, brandied prune and raisin jam, washed rind farmstead cheese, toasted baguette, and Meyer lemon-Saison vinaigrette.
BRANDIED PRUNE & RAISIN JAM
Yield: 1 cup
1/2 cup prunes, deseeded and chopped
1/2 cup raisins, Thompson
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 ounce brown sugar
2 tablespoons sugar, granulated
1 tablespoon molasses
1/2 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon brandy
1 tablespoon sweet vermouth
1/4 teaspoon cloves, ground
1/8 teaspoon juniper, ground
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons water
1) Combine all ingredients, and bring them to a simmer. Then, reduce them to medium heat. Let them cook until the raisins are fully plumped and the liquid has reached a syrupy consistency, about 30 minutes.
2) Spoon into a Mason jar or a similar vessel, and refrigerate until needed.
CHICKEN LIVER PÂTÉ
Yield: 1 pint
1 cup chicken livers
1/4 cup duck fat (or lard), more as needed
1 tablespoon butter, cubed
2 tablespoons thyme, chopped
1/4 cup shallots, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper, ground
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, ground
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons brandy or sweet vermouth
1) Soak the chicken livers in milk for 30 minutes. Strain, then rinse them, and let them stand to dry for a bit. Heat the duck fat and butter to medium-high heat, then add the livers, being sure not to crowd them in the pan. Get a nice, hard sear on one side before flipping them; cook them on the other side until a nice sear is accomplished but the livers are not quite done.
2) Remove the livers from the pan, but leave the fatty liquid. Add shallots, thyme, garlic, and spices; stir to coat evenly. Let the mixture cook until the shallots are halfway done and just beginning to turn translucent. Add brandy, and let it simmer for a bit, scraping the fond off the bottom of the pan as you do.
3) After about a minute, add cream; then, let it reduce, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan occasionally until the mixture has thickened slightly.
4) Scrape all ingredients off the pan along with the livers into a strong blender. Blend thoroughly, scraping the sides when necessary. Repeat this until it is as smooth as it can get.
5) You can remove gritty parts by passing the pâté through a fine sieve, but a strong blender can often do the trick. Taste the mixture and adjust the seasoning if desired. Remember: An item will appear saltier when it is hot, so items that are to be served chilled will appear a bit too salty when warm.
6) Spoon the pâté into a Mason jar or a similar vessel. Refrigerate for just 15 minutes or so, just enough to cool the surface of the pâté. Meanwhile, heat 1/4 of a cup or so of duck fat or lard until melted. Spoon a layer of the fat over each ramekin, sealing the pâté, then refrigerate until needed. This method of storage, when done properly, can hold the pâté for up to six months.
MEYER LEMON SAISON VINAIGRETTE
Yield: 1 cup
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup Saison beer, or bier de garde
1 tablespoon shallots, minced
2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
1/2 tablespoon mustard, whole grain
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 lemon, juice only
1/2 Meyer lemon, minced, seeds removed
1 teaspoon parsley, minced
2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of black pepper, ground
Tiny pinch of cayenne
1) Wisk oils then the beer slowly into all of the other ingredients. Refrigerate until needed.
The Hop: Craft Beer and Artisanal Fare
554 Main Street, Beacon