Appetizers say “welcome” whether to one friend or a roomful of guests.
Chicken Liver Pâté with Brandy
This rich-tasting pâté is great for a buffet or as a spread for sandwiches or wraps.
- 8 oz (250 g) chicken livers, fat and membranes removed
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) butter
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1/4 cup (50 ml) butter, cut into pieces
- 1 tsp (5 ml) salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) brandy
Heat the first butter in a small skillet over low-medium heat and sweat the onion and garlic covered for 5 minutes. Raise the heat to medium-high, add the livers and sauté until they are no longer pink inside, turning often. Cool for 5 minutes.
Puree the mixture in a processor or blender until smooth. Add the butter pieces as the mixture is processing, then the salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste, and finally the brandy. Pour the mixture into a serving dish or several small ramekins. Chill until firm and bring to room temperature 30 minutes before serving. Place in a bowl and smooth top. At serving time, place the bowl in hot water to loosen the mixture then turn the bowl over and serve it on a plate.
This light and easy pâté marries toasted walnut with the woodland taste of mushrooms; it’s great for wraps or sandwiches. The best crackers to serve with the pâté are the plain water biscuits or crostini (toasted French bread slices brushed with extra-virgin olive oil). Unfortunately many crackers available are highly seasoned that can overpower the delicate mushroom flavour.
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) chopped walnuts or pecans
- 8 oz (250 g) cremini, Portobello or brown button mushrooms, washed, drained
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) butter
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) finely chopped onions
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp (10 ml) lemon juice or to taste
- 3/4 tsp (4ml) salt
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- Toast the walnuts: heat a skillet over medium-high heat, add the nuts and stir until an aroma rises, set aside.
- Discard the tough ends of the mushroom stems; place the mushrooms and nuts in the processor and process until finely minced. Remove and reserve.
- Reheat the skillet over medium-low heat, add the butter and sweat the onions and garlic, covered for 5 minutes, stirring several times.
- Raise the heat to high, stir in the mushrooms/nut mixture and sauté for 1 minute, stirring often. Remove from the heat.
- Stir in the lemon juice, salt and cayenne pepper.
- Cool pâté in a small serving bowl or press into the bowl.