CHICKEN LIVER PATE WITH FRESH HERBS

IMG_3331You know when Edith Piaf is singing in your kitchen something wonderful will be cooking on the stove.  But first you must wander  into the garden and snip a basket of fresh herbs … some sage, a little marjoram and a few branches of thyme.  These fragrant herbs are the stars of this chicken liver pate that is dead simple to whip up,  costs next to nothing and is very, very French.

HERBED CHICKEN LIVER PATE is best served a day or two after you’ve made it.  You can also freeze half the recipe, which makes it just about the most perfect “appy” to have on hand.

This recipe has you simmering the chicken liver in melted butter just until it turns pink. Then everything is turned out into a food processor and puréed until silky smooth.  It really is easy as one-two-three.   Serve is with lots of crusty bread or crackers.

CHICKEN LIVER PATE WITH FRESH HERBS
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: Appetiser
Cuisine: French
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: 8-10
A buttery rich, silk smooth chicken liver pate seasoned with fresh garden herbs. It's super easy to make and costs next to nothing.
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup (6 oz) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 tb finely chopped garlic (l large garlic clove)
  • 1 lb chicken livers - trimmed
  • 1 generous tsp minced fresh thyme (or ¼ tsp dried)
  • 1 generous tsp minced fresh marjoram (or ¼ tsp dried)
  • 1 generous tsp minced fresh sage (or ¼ tsp dried)
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg (do not use dried)
  • a couple of pinches of powdered cloves
  • a couple of pinches of cayenne pepper,
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper (or more to taste)
  • 4 tbsp brandy, sherry, port
Instructions
  1. Melt ½ cup (4 oz) butter in a large skillet over moderate heat.-
  2. Add the onion, garlic and ¾ tsp salt stirring until softened - about 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Add the herbs, pepper, seasonings and livers and cook stirring until livers are cooked outside but still pink when cut open - about 8 minutes. It is important you do not over- cook the livers. I like to see them still pink around the edges. You are basically poaching the chicken livers in butter.
  4. Stir in the brandy, sherry or port and remove from heat.
  5. Puree mixture in food processor until smooth.
  6. Taste the pate for seasonings and add more brandy, salt and or pepper at this time.
  7. Transfer the pate to two 1 cup crocks or 4 small ramekins and smooth tops.
  8. Melt the remaining ¼ cup (2 oz) butter in a very small saucepan over low heat, then remove pan from and heat and let butter stand 3 minutes. If you are using the small ramekins you may need a little more butter.
  9. If using herb garnish put sprig on top of pate.
  10. Skim froth from butter, then spoon enough clarified butter over pate to cover its surface, leaving milky solid in bottom of pan.
  11. Chill pate until butter is firm, about 30 minutes then cover with plastic wrap and chill at least for 2 hours. Pate will keep well in refrigerator for one week. Once butter seal has been broken cover its surface with plastic wrap.
  12. To freeze double wrap with plastic wrap. To use defrost in refrigerator for 4 -5 hours.
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Posted in Appetizers and Starters, Baking, Breads, Chicken, Christmas Food Ideas, Fish and Seafood, Recipes | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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ORANGE CHOCOLATE GLAZED COTTAGE CAKE

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Bundt cakes generally have a dense crumb the better to hold the exotic turban shape of the bundt pan.  This is also the reason that bundt cake pans have a centre hole.  It allows the cake to bake more evenly.  If you haven’t a bundt cake pan an angel food cake pan will do the job.

To show off the bundt cakes beguiling curves we serve the cake up-side-down.  If the cake cooks too quickly or the oven is too hot the cake will develop a decided hump on the top crust.   You’ll have to slice this off but it does make nice nibbling for the cook.  Baking this cake ( or practically any other cake) at a 325F temperature instead of the suggested 350F generally eliminates this problem.  Start checking your cake after 35 minutes to see if your tester comes out dry.  Be prepared to bake your cake (depending on the size) for up to an hour or more.    When you start smelling the delicious aroma of  cake you know your it is just about ready to  come out of the oven.  The cake should have shrunk ever so slightly away from the edges of the pan.

 

 

ORANGE CHOCOLATE GLAZED COTTAGE CAKE
4.0 from 1 reviews
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: easy to make bundt cake
Cuisine: baking
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: 12-14
Two pans and basic pantry ingredients make this a simple to make cake. The crumb is fragrant and dense and the ganache glaze compliments the fresh orange flavour,
Ingredients
  • for the pan
  • 1 tbsp soft unsalted butter
  • 1½ tsp all-purpose flour
  • for the batter
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp orange zest
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp kosher sea salt
  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • ⅔ cup canola oil
  • ⅔ cup strained orange juice (2 oranges) at room temperature
  • ⅓ cup buttermilk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • for the glaze
  • ⅔ cup finely chopped bittersweet, semi-sweet or dark chocolate
  • ⅓ cup whipping cream (35% cream)
  • 2 tsp honey or light corn syrup
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325F. Arrange rack in center of oven.
  2. Brush the inside of a 10-cup Bundt pan, two 5-cup double Bundt pans, or a large tube pan with the mixture of blended butter and flour.
  3. In a large bowl rub and sugar and orange zest with hands to release the natural oil.
  4. Whisk in the flour, baking powder and salt.
  5. In a second large bowl whisk eggs then add the oil, orange juice, buttermilk and vanilla and whisk again to combine.
  6. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir JUST until combined.
  7. Pour into prepared pan (pans)
  8. Bake until a tester inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean, 45 to 60 minutes.
  9. If you are using the double Bundt pans your cooking time will be shorter. Start checking at 35 minutes. The large pans will take longer.
  10. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for twenty minutes, then turn out and cool another forty minutes.
  11. to make the glaze
  12. Place the chopped chocolate into a small bowl.
  13. Heat cream in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until bubbles start to form. Watch carefully.
  14. Pour over the chocolate and let stand one minute. Stir until smooth.
  15. Stir in the honey or corn syrup then drizzle generously immediately over cake.

 

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Posted in Baking, Breakfast and Brunch, Desserts | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

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FLEUR DE SEL DOUBLE CHOCOLATE COOKIES

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This is a cookie recipe that goes together rather quickly.  It is very important that your butter is quite soft and that you whip the butter and sugar until it is very well combined and light and fluffy.

Choose a good quality semi-sweet chocolate.  I use Callebaut chocolate.  If you prefer you can  substitute a generous cup of chocolate chips.

When adding the flour be careful not to over mix. Just until it is combined.  When adding the chopped chocolate (or the chips) again mix just  until combined.

You don’t have to chill this dough as it scoops and bakes best at room temperature.    Avoid adding too much fleur de sel.  Hold you hand about a foot above the baked cookies and allow the salt to fall evenly.

FLEUR DE SEL DOUBLE CHOCOLATE COOKIES
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: cookie
Cuisine: dessert cookies
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: 48
A rich short-bread like cookie using both cocoa powder and coarsely chopped semi-sweet chocolate. After baking coarse sea salt is sprinkled on the cookies. This recipe does not contain eggs.
Ingredients
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder sifted
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup (8 0z) unsalted butter ROOM TEMPERATURE
  • ¾ cup loosely packed brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate coarsely chopped (or substitute 1 generous cup chocolate chips)
  • 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt or fleur de sel for garnish
Instructions
  1. Center oven rack and preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, c ream the butter and the sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about three to five minutes.
  5. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the well creamed butter mixture, mixing until just combined.DO NOT OVER MIX.
  6. Add the chopped chocolate (or chocolate chips) and mix just until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl at least once.
  7. Roll the cookie dough into one-inch balls using your hands using an ice-cream scoop to portion the dough.
  8. Arrange 24 balls on each lined baking sheet, leaving ample space between them. GENTLY press the balls with the bottom of a cup until they are approximately ½-inch thick. Do not flatten these cookies too much.
  9. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until the cookies are firm to the touch. For even baking rotate the sheets from front to back halfway through.
  10. Remove the cookies from the oven and IMMEDIATELY sprinkle each cookie with a pinch of coarse sea salt or fleur de sel.
  11. Allow the cookies to cool slightly on the baking sheets before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely,.
  12. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

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FRENCH LEMON TART

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CELEBRATE THE APPLE SEASON WITH A RUSTIC FRENCH APPLE TART

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OLD FASHIONED FLAPPER PIE (Custard pie)

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