June 14, 2010 § 9 Comments
Our hostesses this month, Evelyne of Cheap Ethnic Eatz, and Valerie of a The Chocolate Bunny, chose delicious pate with freshly baked bread as their June Daring Cook’s challenge! They’ve provided us with 4 different pate recipes to choose from and are allowing us to go wild with our homemade bread choice.
That’s right, pate. And now we’re all thinking, who the heck makes their own pate?! Apparently I do! Oh, also the hundreds or thousands or however many other people there are participating in the Daring Cooks challenges. Maybe not quite so crazy and intrepid after all. Something that is at least a little, tiny bit crazy, though, is that I just had all of the ingredients to make a pork liver pate already there, in my freezer and pantry. Ground pork? Check. Bacon? Check. Pork liver? Check. Pork fat? Check? What the heck is this? A butcher shop?!!…It’s just that sometimes Kim, the completely awesome local farmer from whom I get all my meat products sometimes throws some extra odds and ends into my meat share because I once told her that I was adventurous (and liver is really quite good for you – it’s a good source of many many vitamins, including the increasingly popular vitamin D, which is hard to find in food sources – you get most from the sun). So there you have it. Friends were coming for dinner and I was going to make pork liver pate and bread as an appetizer.
The minor hitch, it turned out, was the lack of a food processor (or sausage maker, sadly – I do long for a sausage maker) in my kitchen. What I have, and it usually works well, is either one me chopping things finely or one of those handheld stick chopper doodads. I opted to use the latter for processing together all the pig products. Now, I’m not that squeamish, but a word of caution to all of you: a handheld blender stick is not the best implement for making a liver pate. I tried to be a vegetarian in college for a while (ecological reasons), until I discovered that beans and whole grains make me sick (literally!). So, I took some time, did a lot of reading, research, meeting my meat, and such to figure out how I could feel good about my meat consumption. Trying to blend pork liver, ground pork, and pork fat together in a big bowl with a whirring stick that splattered things all over my hair and face (I won’t go into more detail) brought me as close as I ever have been to wanting to be a vegetarian again. BUT then I wrapped the stuff in bacon and stuck it in the oven, and whoa! all hesitation about it vanished with one deep inhalation of the amazing, crackling, bacony smells that began to emanate from the kitchen. It smelled like Christmas on steroids. « Read the rest of this entry »