June 3, 2009

A Play in the Park & the "Ultimate" Chicken Liver Pate

Let me begin by urging all you St. Louis folks to make a point to attend the Shakespeare Festival in Forest Park. Each year, the group performs one of the Bard's plays outdoors. This year, the show is The Merry Wives of Windsor. This FREE show runs every night except Tuesday at 8:00 from Memorial Day through Father's Day.

We always take a blanket, a stocked picnic basket, and a couple bottles of pricey wine to enjoy the weather and entertainment.

Before the show, Jerad was reading the playbill and commented about the summary, "Hey, a character's name is Falstaff. Like the beer."

"Yeah, that's where the beer people got the name," I replied (always the English teacher, I am). "Didn't you notice the inn's sign on the set? It's a nod to the beer."

NOTE: After a few impromptu surveys at the play and Tuesday night at The Stable, it has been determined that most people do NOT know where Falstaff beer got its name.  Apparently, only us nerdy teacher types know such trivia.

Anyway, the play was funny, the weather was perfect on Monday night, the company was extraordinary, and the food was...well...awesome.

I had another "I made!" moment when I tasted the chicken liver pate I made especially for the outing. It was so easy to do and really very tasty...rich but without the gamey liver taste you sometimes get with liver. It definitely is a special kind of dish; I only wish we'd had more people to share it with.

Chicken Liver Pate
from Tyler's Ultimate

1 pound chicken livers, trimed of any membranes or fat *
6 tablespoons Port wine
14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter
2 shallots, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves, plus 1 nice-looking sprig for garnish
1/4 cup heavy cream
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

* I used fresh chicken livers that I bought at the farmers market. I would suggest only using fresh, local meat for this recipe since it's really all about the quality of the liver.
  • Rinse the livers and pat them dry. Put them in a small bowl, pour the Port wine over them, cover & refridgerate for 2 hours.
  • Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a medium skillet. Add the shallots, garlic, & chopped thyme and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until softened but not brown (3-4 minutes).
  • Add the livers, reserving the Port, and cook without browning until the livers just change color (3-4 minutes). (Browning would toughen the exterior of the livers & the pate would not be smooth.)
  • Add the reserved Port to the pan and simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Put all of that in a blender and puree until smooth. Add 3 more tablespoons of butter and process again until smooth. Now pour in the cream and pulse just until incorporated. Season with salt & pepper. (Note: It looks & smells horrid, but don't be alarmed! It's much better once it's cooled!)
  • Spoon the mixture into a 3-cup terrine or dish and smooth the surface. Refridgerate for 1 hour, or until the pate just firms up.
  • Then, melt the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter (1 stick) and pour it over the top of the pate to cover completely (this will seal the top & keep from discoloring). Press the thyme sprig into the butter and chill overnight (or up to a week).
  • Serve with toasted baguette slices & red grapes.

1 comment:

Gera@SweetsFoodsBlog said...

Kelly thanks so much for visit my blog! Already following you at facebook and twitter also.

You've had a funny day with the Shakespeare Festival and the chicken liver with baguette sounds simply delicious :)