My faith strives to achieve a certain balance with nature. We cultivate a high regard for life, so when we take a life - whether plant or animal - it is imperative that we do not let anything go to waste as this shows a lack of respect for the life that was taken. My counterpart goes along with this, and as a result, I regularly get home made pate.
Pate is one of those fancy dishes that is actually easier to make than most people realize. It its simplest form, it is liver, flour, brandy, cream, fat, and seasoning. In keeping with the respectful aspects of my faith, my counterpart has expanded upon this basic theme, and now he uses a wide variety of giblets as the base, including turkey, rabbit, chicken, and anything else we have eaten recently. His choices for fat have included butter, bacon, duck grease, chicken fat skimmed off the stock pot, and rendered pig fat. He favors red onion and shallots and garlic along with salt and pepper for the seasoning.
It is also important to note that proper equipment is necessary for making pate. The main objective is to mix everything together into a paste, including the giblets. There will be casualties. Over the years, we've burnt out four immersion blenders and three food processors, and I think an ice blender in making pate. We are now on the mighty Cuisinart Smart Stick, and so far it is holding up.
First, you want to prep your veg - in this case, red onion, shallot, and garlic.
|Prepped and Ready|
Then, prep the giblets. To preserve the life of your kitchen gear, cut down the giblets into smaller pieces, and puree them in batches, transferring the puree to a larger container as you work.
|Cut the giblets into small pieces|
|Puree them in small batches|
|And don't forget about the cat|
|The mighty Cuisinart Smart Stick|
Add the remaining ingredients, paying close attention as you go. Pate is one of those things that is made by sight and smell, not by taste. Once you add the cognac, things will start to smell pretty good.
|Heavy cream added before moving to a larger container|
|Separate the eggs as you will only need the yolk|
Once things are transferred to the larger container, my counterpart switched to the immersion blender to mix the remaining ingredients. Use the blender to mix in each of the ingredients as you add them.
|Butter is our fat for today|
|Add a little salt|
|Add a little cake flour|
|Add a little olive oil|
|Add the veg|
|This is the right consistency|
Pyrex or Corning Ware are excellent choices for baking pate. Line them with fat and bacon to help the pate release from the pan with it is done baking. We used butter and pancetta.
|Lining the Pyrex|
Pour the pate into the pan and bake at 350 until cooked through.
To release the pate from the pan, place a plate over the top and flip it over. Set it down and let gravity work for you.
|The pate is releaseing|
Carefully remove the pan, shaking it gently to help the pate release. Serve with brie, chopped hard-boiled eggs, capers, and a baguette or water crackers.
|Pate is served|