Sunday, 11 November 2012


Ugh. I truly wish this fad about macaroni and cheese would soon wear itself out. I'm not saying "Don't eat macaroni and cheese." Of course eat macaroni and cheese. In fact, make Bailey's recipe for macaroni and cheese contained here on our blog. It's amazing. But I was just perusing through a flyer and it had a recipe for mac and cheese bundles, served on individual tasting spoons, and I had to throw up my hands in the air and say NO to that! They were suggesting that this could be a fabulous appetizer to serve at a cocktail party. Puleeeze. Mac and cheese can only take you so far. And to try to pass off the mac and cheese bundle on an individual tasting spoon at a cocktail party would only serve to tell your guests that you never really actually wanted to stray away from college life. Better to serve those little wieners from the can stuck on a toothpick with a hunk of cheese and an olive. That would have more flavour and draw more interest.

If you've reached a point in your life where you are having a cocktail party, and where ice is in abundance and no beer pong table exists, then it's time to serve some grownup appetizers too! So no macaroni, and no mini sliders (although both are delicious in their place), and certainly no corn dogs. Redneck parties are designed for all of these delicacies. In other words, don't expect your lady guests to shave their legs and put on hose and lipstick, and your male guests to shave their face and wear something other than a logoed T Shirt from a beer case unless you intend to impress them with your newly found adult culinary skills.

I've always said that food and entertaining are all about smoke and mirrors, and this recipe is a true example of that ideology. Your guests will suck in their cheeks with amazement when you tell them that you made your own pate. But really, this is a budget friendly version with more flavour than any pate you've ever tried. Save for the Pate de Foie Gras. That's the real thing using duck liver. It is off the charts amazing, and if you've just won a lottery, and you can serve that, skip over this recipe and send me a cheque in the mail. But just remember that we're having more fun over here with the chicken liver variety!

You'll need:
8-10 ounces of chicken livers. If you use frozen, make sure they're thawed, but fresh is better
3/4 cup of chicken broth, again, your own homemade is best, but canned will do
1 finely chopped scallion
2 minced cloves of garlic
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
4 slices of bacon fried crisp and crumbled
1/4 cup room temperature butter
1 tablespoon of Dijon
1 tsp of peppercorns. I like the ones with pink in them, but black will be fine too
A small splash of brandy

Simmer your chicken livers, broth, scallion, garlic, thyme and peppercorns for about 15 minutes on med-low heat. Drain and keep 1/2 cup of the liquid.
Process this with the bacon, butter and Dijon in a processor until smooth and creamy. Add your reserved liquid as necessary. Add the brandy. For God sake, don't use too much or that's all you'll taste. You just need a nip or two here. No more than a couple of tablespoons or so.
Taste it and add salt or pepper if you think you need it.
Bacon crumbled
Refrigerate it either in a nice serving dish or roll it up in plastic wrap in a ball or a log, for at least 4 hours.

Not for pups! 
You can take this visiting for a hostess gift, or serve it at your own cocktail party. But here is the key to your success. Do Not serve this with crackers. The salt will destroy the taste and also minimize your efforts. Slice a baguette and toast the slices. The bread will be neutral in taste, but more importantly, if you surround your creation with something that looks like you just hauled it out of a box, nobody will fuss over you. But if your presentation says "Step aside, step aside people - there is a chef coming through the crowd with a platter that demands your attention" then you'll get the ooohs and ahhhhs that you deserve! Hahaha And well you should friends! Let's get our Party Season on and I'll keep posting ideas for that as we go along! Cheers!

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