Monthly Archive for December, 2009

Champagne Poached Lamb Liver Pate’ En Croute

lamb pate' 1

lamb pate' 2

lamb pate' 3

Christmas2  2009

Christmas 2009

Hello! I hope everyone had an enjoyable and mostly stress-free holiday season. I did, because I’ve learned to pace myself and not feel obliged to attend every holiday gathering if I’m not feeling up to it. This philosophy has helped tremendously in allowing me to enjoy the holidays and significantly reducing my stress level.

I prepared this pate’ for the Christmas festivities I attended. I had the lamb liver from the whole lamb I purchased from a foodie farmer and fellow food blogger who lives here in Missouri. (Thanks for sharing your delicious lamb w/ me Susan!) Instead of sauteeing the liver w/ some onions I decided to try my hand at making a pate’ en croute (i.e., in pastry dough) to share w/ my friends. The end result was good, but if you don’t like the flavor of lamb, this pate’ is not going to be to your liking. For those of you who do like lamb, here’s the recipe.

Lamb Liver Pate’ En Croute w/ Apricots, Chestnuts, & Porcini Mushrooms

Ingredients:

1 bottle champagne or sparkling wine

14 ounces lamb liver

10 ounces chicken liver

1/3 cup fresh chestnuts (boiled, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces)

1/3 cup cognac soaked dried apricots (soaked for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, then cut into 1/2 inch cubes)

1/3 cup dried porcini mushrooms (rehydrated and cut into 1/2 inch pieces)

2 large shallots (peeled w/ a whole clove inserted in each)

5 sprigs dried thyme

2 sprigs dried tarragon

2 ounces unsalted butter (1/2 stick) at room temperature, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

salt and pepper

1 egg (to brush top of  pastry dough before baking)

** for pastry dough I used the following recipe  (doubled)

*** prepare dough and liver the day before assembling and baking

Procedure:

1) In a large pot, pour champagne and add liver; poach over medium/low heat for 1/2 hour

2) Strain liver from poaching liquid, remove shallots and herbs, let cool, then cut into small pieces

3) Place liver in food processor, add butter, sprinkle w/ 1/2 teaspoon salt and 15 grinds of pepper, then pulse until smooth; taste mixture and add more salt and pepper if needed

4) Place liver mixture in a large non-metallic bowl, then mix in apricots and mushrooms (both drained) and chestnuts by hand to distribute evenly; cover bowl and place in fridge overnight (unless you are making the pate’ on the same day)

5) Remove liver mixture and dough from fridge

6) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

7) Roll first disk of dough to 1/4 inch thick and to the size of your mold (to get approximate dimensions, put mold on rolled out dough, then cut to size – remember that you will need enough to line bottom of mold plus about 1/2 inch extra dough over the sides); set aside for assembly

8) Roll out second disk of dough to 1/4 inch thick large enough to cover the top of your mold with about 1/4 inch extra on all sides

9) Spray mold w/ cooking spray for easier unmolding (I used one w/ canola oil)

10) Line bottom of mold w/ dough, gently pressing dough to the shape of the mold

11) Fill mold w/ liver mixture, gently spreading to fill evenly

12) Place top layer of dough on and pinch edges all around to seal

13) Cut vent holes using a small dough cutter, then decorate top as you wish w/ leftover dough (I decorated mine w/ a holly leaf and berries)

14) Brush top w/ egg wash and bake on center rack of oven  for 40 minutes, rotating pate’ after 20 minutes for even browning

15) Remove from oven and let cool completely before unmolding and serving (I loosely covered mine and placed it in the fridge overnight, then sliced it in half the next day so I could take half to each friends’ home)

16) Serve w/ thinly sliced whole grain cocktail bread or by itself

May you all have a wonderful, healthy, happy and prosperous 2010!!

Bon Appetit…

Bruno

Asian Marinated Grilled Halibut; Israeli Couscous Blended w/ Roasted Butternut Squash and Red Onion; Chinese Broccoli

asian marinated halibut

I made this dinner for a friend and he snapped a few photos w/ his phone. The picture doesn’t do this meal justice due to being taken w/ a phone camera (I have yet to see a high resolution photo taken w/ a cell phone!), but it was so tasty I decided to post the recipe anyway.

Appetizer:  Missouri goat cheese from Baetje Farms w/ crackers

Entree:  Asian marinated grilled halibut, Israeli couscous blended w/ roasted butternut squash and red onion, Chinese broccoli

Dessert:  Baked apples filled w/  rolled oats, pecans, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon and raisins (baked at 425 degrees F for approx. 45 minutes)

For Entree:

Ingredients:

2  8 ounce halibut filets (1 1/4 inches thick)

1 medium sized butternut squash peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4 inch cubes

1/4 red onion roughly chopped

olive oil

1 1/2  cups Israeli couscous

1 bunch Chinese broccoli

3 cups veggie stock

For marinade:

1/4 cup olive oil

4 scallions (green part only) –  finely chopped

3 cloves garlic  – minced

1/4 teaspoon sesame oil

1 1/2  tablespoons soy sauce

1 1/2 limes – juiced and peel grated 

 Procedure:

1) Whisk together marinade ingredients

2) Place halibut filets in a deep dish then pour marinade over the fish; cover dish and refrigerate for 2 hours (after one hour turn fish over and spoon marinade onto the top of the filets); remove from fridge 1/2 hour before cooking

3) In a large bowl, toss butternut squash and red onion w/ 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then place on a parchment lined sheet pan and season w/ salt and pepper;  preheat oven to 400 degrees F, place pan in oven and roast for 30-40 minutes or until tender (check after 20 minutes, rotate pan and return to oven)

4) Place veggie stock into a medium size pot and bring to a boil

5) Add couscous to veggie stock, stir and return to a boil while occasionally stirring; lower heat to medium, continue to stir, then when most of stock is absorbed cover and remove from heat

6) Cut broccoli into 1 1/4 inch pieces; bring a pot of water to a boil, generously salt the water, then add thickest pieces of broccoli to the water and cook for 2 minutes, add the thinner broccoli pieces and cook for another minute then add the broccoli leaves and cook for one more minute; when done cooking, strain in colander

7) Preheat grill, set flame to medium heat, remove halibut filets from marinade and grill for 4 to 5 minutes on each side

8) 4 minutes before fish is done, return couscous to a medium heat, gently stir in roasted squash/onions and cook until warmed throughout

9) Broccoli can be served at room temperature or warmed before plating

10) To plate, place couscous in center of plate, lean halibut filet on couscous then place Chinese broccoli around one side of plate

11) Pour wine and dig in!!

This is a good meal to re-energize yourself during all the holiday hustling and bustling!

Happy Holidays…

Bruno