On Rue Tatin

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I am just back from my vacation, and have so far shopped for sandwich and breakfast items, and we have eaten at Fuddruckers, McDonald’s and just finished Chinese delivery hot and sour soup. I am helping my husband set up the computers at our school, so I am in no mood to cook! On my vacation, I read On Rue Tatin: Living and Cooking in a French Town by Susan Herrmann Loomis. It is a wonderful book about her life in a town in Normandy, France. At the end of each chapter, there were a couple of recipes. You must also visit her website, to find more recipes, as well as information on visiting her place and taking cooking lessons!

I was going to include a recipe from her website, but instead, one of the recipes reminded me of making chicken liver pate. I love trying to use really cheap meats (such as fish pieces, stew meat, and chicken thighs) to make things, and chicken livers were about 99 cents at the Buford Highway Farmers Market. So, I went on the Internet, and basically came up with my own recipe, using ideas from Julia Child and others. It was a hit with my French conversation club, and there was enough left over for me to basically eat it for lunch all week!

Chicken Liver Pate

1 pound chicken livers

salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

4-8 tablespoons butter

1 cup sherry

2 bay leaves

2 crushed garlic cloves

1. I did not clean the chicken livers, removing the connective tissue and any silver skin, but if you feel the need, have at it! Season them with salt and pepper.

2. Sautee the livers in butter in a skillet.*

3. To the same skillet, add the mushrooms and green onions. Cook 5 minutes. Add the sherry, bay leaves, and garlic. Cover the skillet and cook 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaves.

*Now, this is where I ‘fess up. I just boiled my livers in water, then saved the water for the dog’s dinner…

4. In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, place the contents of the skillet, leaving the liquid in the skillet to reduce by half. Add the chicken livers, 4 tablespoons butter, and reduced liquid to the processor. Blend until very smooth. Add more salt, if needed, and more butter. It is better to add less liquid first than for the pate to be too liquid and runny!

5. Spoon the pate into a decorative container or bowl, and cover with foil. Chill for at least 6 hours.

Serve with toasted thinly sliced bagel rounds or toasted French bread.

You really can’t go wrong with just a pound container of chicken livers, butter, and some sherry or brandy, along with any herbs you like! Play around a little – livers are cheap!

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