(side note: Two different sets of Military Police stopped to check us out last night, while we were loitering outside of a closed Saturn Bar. They were really nice, but I can imagine a situation or two where they wouldn't be. Perhaps they should be patroling the neighborhoods off St. Claude instead of just cruising back and forth. Moving on ...)
When I finally bothered to get up at 9:40 am, I bounced out of bed with hope for a quick trip to the Farmers' Market and then maybe a trip to the gym to work off some of the food I've gorged on all week (starting last Sunday and going through the week: a marvelous spread of brunch at Dante's, bagel and lox, red curry, fried shrimp, Valentine's dinner at Crepe Nanou, more curry, lots of coffee, more bagels and , catfish and mac and cheese...)
Instead, parking in the Warehouse District was a horrid experience. I drove around for a 1/2 hour looking for a space while dodging tourist drivers. I finally made it into the market at 11:30 am and was pleasantly surprised to find that most of the vendors still had stock to sell. I gave myself a $20 budget and started wandering. I found some amazing tomatoes and was pondering the local honey, when the need to purchase sausage took me over. My obsession with sausage is a fairly recent development - and I'm sure, only to intensify in the future. I secured 2 lbs of what the vendor called "whole hog" smoked sausage. Its currently hanging out in SmasHer's freezer ...
...Because the same friend who a) hung out outside of Saturn Bar last night with me and b) shares my food passions invited me to lunch with his visiting parents and his toddler at The Joint. Amazing BBQ: dry rub ribs, pulled pork, and brisket and the sides of cole slaw, Bunny Bread and mac and cheese. *Absolutely worth skipping the gym*
Later, on my way home, I swung by Whole Foods and picked up the makings for pate' two ways: Chicken Liver-Bourbon Mousse Pate and Pork and Liver Country-Style Terrine with Pistachios and Figs. I spent the last 3 hours making these decadent treats. The pork terrine will not be ready until tomorrow morning, due to the necessity to weight it, but the mousse style one will be ready to eat in about an hour.
In order to bring myself one step closer to making this a food blog, I will share my recipes.
Bourbon Chicken Liver Pate
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon minced fresh marjoram or 1/4 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon minced fresh sage or 1/4 teaspoon dried
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1 lb chicken livers, trimmed
2 tablespoons bourbon
Special equipment: a 2 1/2-cup crock or terrine or several small ramekins
Accompaniment: crackers or toasted baguette slices
Garnish: a fresh thyme, marjoram, or sage sprig
Melt remaining 1/2 stick butter in a very small heavy saucepan over low heat, then remove pan from heat and let butter stand 3 minutes. If using herb garnish, put sprig on top of pâté. Skim froth from butter, then spoon enough clarified butter over pâté to cover its surface, leaving milky solids in bottom of pan.
Chill pâté until butter is firm, about 30 minutes, then cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 2 hours more
Pork and Liver Country-Style Terrine
1/2 lb chicken livers, cleaned
1/2 lb pork of your choice, diced
1 shallot chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 egg, beaten
4 tablespoons cream
1/6 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon fresh sage, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
salt (use your judgement)
pepper (seriously, use your judgement - I'm not a chef. I don't have all of the answers.)
1/2 cup pistachios
1 cup chopped figs
1/4 cup butter
a glug of bourbon (I would've used brandy if I had some)
Preheat over to 350 degrees. In a small saute pan, melt the butter, and cook shallots and garlic for approx. 3 minutes. Move butter-shallots to a mixing bowl. Deglaze pan with bourbon. If you want, put the pork cubes through the food processor (or a meat grinder, if you are lucky enough to have access to one). Next blend the chicken livers. Mix the egg, pork, chicken livers, pistachios, figs, spices. Grease a loaf pan with butter and pour mixture into it. Cover tightly with foil. Bake for 1 1/2 hours in a bain marie.
Allow to cool, cover top with parchment paper and weight with two 1 lb cans for at least 10 hours in the fridge.