Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Poor Girl's Pate: Mushrooms, Chicken Livers and Truffle Oil

Poor Girl's Pate.
Yes, I had it for breakfast this morning. Too, too good!
Back when Izzy was a newborn, she had a hard time with dairy products, and her Mom, who was nursing her, had to give them all up. This is a tough thing in this family; we are all Francophiles, and while we can do without a lot of things, good cheese is dear to our hearts. We came up with a lot of alternatives for Susan, --dairy-free cakes, cookies and I even changed up my favorite pate recipe to eliminate all the dairy products. Now that Izzy is older, and has gotten past her dairy issues, I am back to the original recipe, more or less, and I have to say, while the dairy free one is delicious, this one hits the ball out of the park. How can you go wrong with chicken livers, mushrooms, and truffle flavors? Ball out of the park? Can you tell I fell asleep last night watching the Phillies with Chuck?

I call this Poor Girl's Pate because, while I'd like to be able to afford to use real truffles and duck or goose livers to make it, my budget (and probably yours) is a lot happier with chicken livers, truffle oil and truffle salt. This is wonderful as a snack, hors d'oeuvre, or with a soup or salad for lunch or dinner. I admittedly had it for breakfast this morning. Mea culpa.

Poor Girl's Pate

2T butter
2T extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 large shallots, chopped fine
8 to 10 oz. sliced cremini mushrooms
kosher salt
1 lb. chicken livers
1/4 cup brandy or cognac
1-1/2 tsp. Herbes de Provence
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 scant tsp. black truffle salt
1/3 cup crème fraîche, homemade or purchased
4 tsp. Black truffle oil

Heat the butter and oil together in a 12" skillet over medium heat, and when the butter is melted, add the shallots and garlic, and stirring, cook until the shallots begin to look translucent. 

Add the mushrooms to the pan, add a pinch or two of kosher salt, and cook until they give up their juices and soften. Add the chicken livers to the pan, stir well to mix evenly with the mushroom mixture, and carefully add the cognac or brandy. If you have a gas range, if you tilt the pan away from you slightly toward the gas fire, and flame the brandy. If you have an electric or induction range, you can either use a match, or just let the alcohol cook out for a minute or two. 

Flaming the brandy or cognac.
Keep back, and keep a lid handy to smother it if the flames get out of hand.
When the brandy is mostly gone, add the Herbes de Provence and the white wine, stir well, and cook the liver mixture until the livers are just pink inside. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the truffle salt.

Dump the contents of the skillet into a food processor, and puree. Add the crème fraîche and black truffle oil and puree until completely smooth.

Serve with baguette, toasts, crackers or on pear slices. 

Makes about 2 cups. 

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