France: Chicken Liver Pate and Melba Toast

I went to Paris in 2006 for about 3 whirlwind days. We spent one day in Disneyland, and another sightseeing around Paris – The Louvre (where Tom and I literally ran to see the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo), we climbed up the Arc de Triomphe, saw the Eifell Tower and Notre Dame. We walked the length of the Champs-Élysées and mainly windowshopped at Louis Vuitton and the like. It was a stinking hot, rushed day, but it was beautiful! We stopped at a little grocery store around the corner from one of the main streets and bought cheese and biscuits to eat back at the Disneyland Resort (where we were staying).

To be entirely honest I don’t remember many details about what we ate while we were in France, except the croissants at the breakfast buffet at the resort (which felt like it was 50m long – it probably was!). We would take them with us for the day out (who doesn’t?). So moral of the story is that I didn’t choose to cook something that I ate there, because I can’t remember what we ate. BUT, when I first moved to Joburg I went to a cooking class at the Pick ‘n Pay Good Food Studio on William Nicol Drive in Joburg. It was French themed and we made Cheese souffle, Steak Bearnaise, Boulangere potatoes, Chicken liver pate with cognac and melba toast, and Creme Brulee. Some of the recipes were a bit difficult – mainly where there was a chance sauces would split etc. So I decided to make the Chicken Liver Pate and Melba Toast which I’ve made since, and I know it works well. (As an aside, I really wanted to make macaroons, but they’re really expensive and intricate to make. So one day, but not today).

Click on the links for the two recipes from the cooking course – Chicken Liver Pate and Melba Toast.

I’ll be honest with you. I don’t like chicken livers. I would never order them and a restaurant, and the thought grosses me out a bit. While cooking today I was also slightly under the weather from one too many glasses of red wine last night, so it was even more difficult to handle them. But I managed, and it’s delicious. I couldn’t get the smoothest consistency because I was using a hand blender, but it was still very tasty. One of the things that the recipe doesn’t mention, but I luckily remembered from when we cooked at the studio, is that the Bay leaf needs to be taken out before blending – ain’t nobody got time for crunchy leaves in their pate. I didn’t use cognac, but literally the cheapest brandy on the shelf in the little 50ml bottles (Martell). I don’t know how much it would change the flavour of the pate – surely not too much!

Chicken Liver Pate

Melba Toast

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