Sunday, August 15, 2010

Mock Pâté de Foie Gras Spread

Here, kitty...
When I saw the first ingredient for this recipe, I cringed.  Chicken livers???  Ewwwww... sick!  But then the second ingredient is bacon, and bacon has the near-supernatural ability to improve anything it touches. So, I thought to myself, this could either taste utterly grotesque, or it could be kind of good.

Guys, this stuff looks (and smells) like pure, unadulterated cat food.  I was nervous to taste it, to tell you the truth.  But...[drumroll]... it was actually okay!  It's pretty comparable to most store bought pâtés I've tasted.  If I were to make it again, the only change I'd make would be to season it a little more than I did here.  Consider making this with a generous amount of fresh cracked pepper, or some chopped dill.

A few technical notes on this recipe:  The recipe calls for the livers to be fried in a little fat, so I actually fried the chopped bacon first, and then cooked the liver with the fat from the bacon.  I think this was a good move in terms of flavour (if not in terms of cholesterol).  Also, the recipe instructs the cook to "blend to a smooth paste" so, like a chump, I put all the ingredients into my blender.  This was a mistake!  My blender is completely incapable of turning cooked liver into a smooth paste, and I would bet that yours is too.  All I succeeded in doing with the blender was building up a thick, cat food-like paste around the blade.  I transferred the ingredients to a large bowl and brought out my industrial-strength hand mixer, which worked very well.  Also, the recipe calls for a few drops of onion juice.  Onion juice?  Is this something that people have around the house? Is there a good way to juice an onion, like, I dunno, twist it on a citrus reamer or something?  I cut a small piece of raw onion and put it into my handy-dandy garlic press, then squeeeeeezed like nobody's business.  It seemed to work, but if anyone knows another easy way to get onion juice, I'd love to hear it!

So, to summarize: despite the nauseating look of this recipe, it actually tastes pretty good.  It is savoury and rich (although, as I said above, it needs more seasoning), it is inexpensive and simple to make, and I ate enough of it that I'm probably going to get gout.  

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got a blender to clean.

Mock Pâté de Foie Gras Spread

1/2 pound chicken livers
1 ounce finely chopped bacon or salt pork
Mayonnaise to moisten
Few drops onion juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Fry the livers until tender in a little fat; fry bacon or salt pork until crisp. Combine all ingredients and blend to a smooth paste.

This recipe is from the appetizer section of the Mary Margaret McBride Encyclopedia of Cooking, published  by Homemakers Research Institute in 1959.

1 comment:

  1. I have a CuisineArt hand blender with the mini chopper attachment. If you put an onion in there and chop it till it's a pulp, you can then put it in a strainer and push the pulp and voila! onion juice :)