Chef Dario Cavaliere writes a weekly food column for the Waterford News & Star
THIS is a relatively simple recipe for a chicken liver and mushroom pate, and is a great little lunchtime dish or a perfect starter. The good thing about pate is that you can make it ahead and forget about it. Here the pate is served in ramekins so all you really have to do is toast some bread to serve with it. Fantastic for when you have a few people for dinner but do not want to be in the kitchen all night. The mushroom gives a great woody flavour and goes really well with the brandy.
400g chicken livers, chopped
½ small white onion, chopped
200g button mushrooms, halved
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. crème fraiche
50g melted unsalted butter
6 bay leaves
Salt and pepper
Cook the chicken livers in a large pan in the butter for about 5 minutes until browned and cooked. Add the chopped onions and mushrooms and continue cooking until they have softened.
Add the brandy and flambé. Season well with salt and pepper, and then add the crème fraiche and garlic, followed by a pinch of allspice.
Scrape this mixture into the bowl of a food processor, and process until very smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl every 30 seconds to make sure that the mixture is smooth.
Divide the pate between 6 small ramekin dishes and tap each one on the counter so that they have a smooth top. Place a bay leaf on the top of each one then divide the melted unsalted butter on top. Place in the fridge to set. The butter will seal in the pate and keep it fresh.
Serve with slices of thick toasted sourdough bread and some cranberry jelly.