Chicken Liver Pate

I buy chicken livers by the pound so after using 4 oz. for the Bolognese Sauce recipe, I decided to make pate. Pate freezes beautifully and I made this recipe into three ramekins. It is a great thing to have on hand for a spontaneous hors d’oeuvres!

3/4-1# chicken livers (or duck, turkey or goose)

6 T+ Butter

2 T. Brandy

2 T. Port or Madeira

1/2 clove garlic

salt and pepper

thyme

garam masala

Clean the livers and pare off any parts that look greenish. Melt 2 T. butter in a frying pan and put in the livers, cook gently for 5 minutes. They must remain pink inside. Take them from the pan and into the food processor, and process. To the butter in the pan, add the brandy and let it bubble, add the port or madeira and cook one minute. Add a half clove of garlic, salt and pepper and a small pinch of thyme to the livers. Add the butter mixture and puree with 4 T. fresh butter. When smooth, taste for seasonings. You can add more butter to lighten the liver taste. Pour into earthenware crock or dish and refrigerate or freeze.

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Elizabeth David’s Bolognese Sauce

I just bought At Elizabeth David’s Table compiled by Jill Norman and it is chock full of fabulous recipes. Elizabeth David is a very interesting cook in England in the 50’s. All of her books are classics but this is my favorite. Today I made her mushroom soup, bolognese sauce and pate and they are all delicious! I was most interested in her bolognese sauce as it had pancetta, ground beef and chicken livers in it and only 3 T of tomato paste. It is a lovely recipe and made enough for a pound of pasta. I froze half of the bolognese as there are only two of us.

3 oz. pancetta or prosciutto, chopped

Butter

1 onion, chopped into small dice

1 carrot, chopped into small dice

1 stalk of celery, chopped into small dice

8 oz. lean ground beef

4 oz. chicken liver, chopped

3 T. tomato paste

3/4 cup dry white wine

salt and pepper

nutmeg

1 1/2 cups meat stock or water,

optional 1 cup heavy cream or milk

freshly grated parmesan

Cut the pancetta or prosciutto into very small pieces and brown them gently in a medium saucepan with 1 T. butter. Add the diced vegetables and brown, stirring occasionally. When the veg has browned add the ground beef and stir it over and over until browned. Add the chopped chicken livers and tomato paste, and then the wine. Season with salt (having ‘regard to the saltiness of the prosciutto or pancetta’) pepper and a scraping of nutmeg. Add the meat stock or water. Cover the pan and simmer gently for 30-40 minutes. Some Bolognese cooks add at the last 1 cup of heavy cream or milk to the sauce, which makes it smoother. When the ragu is served with spaghetti, mix it with the hot pasta in a heated dish so that the pasta is thoroughly impregnated with the sauce. Add a good piece of butter before serving. Serve with freshly grated parmesan

Shrimp and Grits

This is a great simple recipe that I am going to serve for Easter Brunch. The recipe was in an old Saveur magazine that I received from my friend Laurie Smith, cookbook photographer extraordinaire! We get wonderful grits from Callaway Gardens called Speckled Heart grits. The recipe says it serves 4 but I think there are enough grits to serve at least 6-8 and then I would double the shrimp to serve 8. We ate grits for two to three meals after we ate it with the shrimp.

Serves 4

Grits

1 T. salt

2 cups coarse ground grits

3 cups (you may only need 2  1/2 cups) milk

Shrimp

4 slices of bacon, cut crosswise into 1″ pieces

1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled

1 small clove garlic, peeled and chopped

1/4 cup white wine or sherry (I used sherry and loved the flavor)

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 T. minced fresh parsley leaves

For the grits: Bring 4 cups of salted water to a boil in the top part of a double boiler over high heat(FYI-I never knew you could put the top part of a double boiler on the burner but my all clad double boiler was perfect-I have an old Farberware double boiler and the top part is too thin to stick on a burner). Meanwhile, fill the bottom pot of the double boiler about halfway with water and bring to a boil over high heat then reduce to medium. Gradually pour the grits into the salted water in the top part of the double boiler, stirring constantly. Fit the top onto the bottom pot of the double boiler. As the grits absorb the liquid and thicken, about 2+ minutes, add 2 cups of milk and cook, stirring frequently until grits are tender and creamy, about 45 minutes. (Thin with some of the remaining milk if grits become too thick) Cover pot and reduce heat to low while preparing the shrimp.

Fry the bacon in a medium skillet until browned and crisp. Remove bacon to a paper towel to drain. Discard all of the bacon fat except for a thin film to cover the bottom of the pan.

Increase the heat to high and add the shrimp, garlic, and 3/4 of the bacon, sauté and stir until the shrimp are pink, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and scrape any of the brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon and cook until the alcohol has evaporated and reduced slightly, about 2 minutes. Add the cream and cook, stirring constantly until sauce has thickened about 2 minutes more.

Divide the grits between 4 bowls and spoon shrimp and sauce over grits. Garnish with reserved bacon and chopped parsley.