I always have a couple of packs of Chicken Liver in my freezer, I cook it and add to my dogs’ dinners as a treat and they love it. Of course, I am rather partial to it too but converted into pate.
There are that many different flavours and varieties kicking around but a simple and basic recipe can be made in a food processor in a matter of minutes.
225g chicken livers
1 tbsp. sweet sherry, Madeira, port or brandy
- Melt 40g of the butter in a frying pan and gently fry the livers over a moderate heat until browned on the outside but still pink in the middle.
- Tip the contents of the pan into a food processor, scraping out all the butter and brown frying residues.
- Add the alcohol and the remaining butter, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Transfer the pate to a serving dish or several small ramekins, smooth the top and leave to set in the fridge.
- If you don´t plan on using the pate at once, melt a little more butter and pour it over the surface of the pate. The butter will solidify and prevent the pate from discolouring (due to oxidation) and will lengthen keeping time.
- Once the butter sets, cover the pate with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight to set and develop the flavours. The pate can be stored for up to 5 days in the fridge.
Serve with fresh hot toast or if you’re feeling adventurous why not make some melba toast?
The above is a really basic recipe you could try experimenting by adding a small finely chopped onion to the frying pan, and some herbs. A pinch of fresh sage or a few drops of double cream when blending it together for that extra smooth texture.
For my vegetarian friends here’s a wonderful mushroom and cheese pate. It’s rich, smooth and full of flavour!
15g unsalted butter
5 large, flat mushrooms, about 225g, roughly chopped
1 large leek, trimmed and finely chopped
5 tablespoons half-fat crème fraîche
1 teaspoon English mustard
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Ground black pepper
125g Cheddar or Lancashire cheese, crumbled
Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the mushrooms and leek, cover and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the crème fraiche, mustard, nutmeg and some black pepper and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes, until almost all the liquid has evaporated. Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor, add the cheese, and purée in short bursts until smooth. Scrape the mixture into a bowl or four individual ramekin dishes and chill for at least 1 hour before serving.