Thursday, November 11, 2010

D is for Duck Liver Pâté

Once upon a time a blogger bought and cooked a duck.

Many moons later she blogged about it.

Two point five moons after that she finally got around to doing something with the duck liver.

Sooooo, I was _planning_ on following this recipe I found on epicurious pretty darn closely. Because making a pâté seemed like a fairly complex undertaking.

However, typically, I didn't have all the ingredients I needed, (FAIL!) so I had to make a couple of substitutions on the fly. (Remind me later to tell you about the time I got halfway through a batch of Toll House Cookies before realizing I was out of eggs. Sigh.)

What I Did:

bacon fat (approx 3 ounces)*
1 shallot
1 duck liver (approx 3 ounces)*
1/4 teaspoon herbes de Provence
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sweet vermouth

*I had to guesstimate the amount. Unless the ingredients in question are coming from a can, 'ounces' aren't a recognized unit of measurement in my kitchen. I used an glob of bacon fat that appeared to be about the same size as the liver and crossed my fingers.

1) Place bacon fat in a skillet, and cook over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes, until the fat melts.

1.5) Chop the shallot, garlic and liver while waiting for the fat to melt.

2) Add the shallot to the fat, cook for about 30 seconds, stirring once or twice.

3) Add the liver, herbes and garlic, and cook over medium heat for two minutes, stirring occasionally.

**This is about when I realized that no part of making the pâté would be visually appealing. It smelled really good, though.

4) Add the salt and pepper. Remove from heat.

5) Throw everything into the food processor, add the vermouth, and blend until liquefied.

6) Cool in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Make toast during the end of this time.

How Did it Go?
Not too bad. Yeah, I think I can say that. It wasn't a pretty food, but it was definitely yummy. (Maybe this is where I should mention that I like braunschwager, just to give you a reference point for my taste.) It was probably a bit flat compared to Professional Pâtés, but I'm working from memory here, so I can't say for certain sure what the difference was.

What Would I Do Differently?
Where to start? Um…

- The original recipe called for a much longer cooling time. So I'd be interested to see if that was different taste-wise, or was just a texture thing.

- I'll admit that serving this on toasted pre-sliced sandwich loaf felt a little ghetto. If sharing with guests I'd definitely get a schmancier bread involved.

- Given duck livers enough and time, I'd try making several pâtés with several different alcohols. The vermouth was fine, but I find myself wondering about scotch…

No comments:

Post a Comment