As you can see, the creamy chicken liver pâté I made last weekend was a huge hit with everyone—including Tiny G’s favorite toy elephant, hand-painted from Sri Lanka. I used a recipe from Mark Bittman, and it could not have been easier. My sole complaint is that it needed more salt, hence the bowl of fleur de sel next to it. We alternated bites of pâté sprinkled with salt with baguette slathered with honeycomb and stinky cheese, and washed it all down with a little pink bubbly in front of a roaring fire.
Creamy Chicken Liver Pâte, from Mark Bittman, The New York Times, December 24, 2009.
10 – 15 peppercorns
2 allspice berries
4 coriander seeds
1/2 cup butter
1 onion, chopped
1 pound chicken livers
1/3 cup cream
1 to 2 tablespoons brandy
Bread or crackers for serving.
1. In a spice grinder or clean coffee grinder, combine peppercorns, allspice, clove and coriander seeds; grind until fine and set aside.
2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium-high heat; when foam subsides, add onion and cook until softened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add livers to pan and sprinkle with salt; cook livers on one side until they begin to brown, about 2 minutes, then flip them and cook the other side. Be sure to keep heat relatively high so that the outside of livers sears and inside stays pink.
3. Put onion, livers and their buttery juices into a food processor or blender with remaining butter, the cream, spices and brandy. Purée mixture until it is smooth; taste and adjust seasoning. [The Foodinista’s Note: Add a little more salt than you think you should.]
4. Put pâté in a terrine or bowl, smooth top and put in refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours or until fully set. Serve pâté with bread or crackers.
Yield: 8 to 10 servings.