Food & Wine (January 2010)
We've already written about our picks for a Super Bowl menu, kicking things off with an awesome Indoor Pulled Pork. But we recognize that not everyone will be watching the big game this weekend. And let's face it, a lot of us who are going to be "watching" aren't exactly going to be watching.
We've definitely been to those parties where the game is practically ignored and the commercials are watched so closely that you'd think there was a post-game exam.
If you're not so sporty or plan to use that four hours of the big game to catch up on your pre-Oscar viewing, we wanted to make sure you still had something fantastic to munch on.
Think of these Chicken-Liver Toasts with Shallot Jam as anti-Super Bowl food.
This is the second time we've made a chicken-liver pâté. Back in the fall, for Zach's birthday party, we made Bette's Chicken-Liver Pâté with Maple Syrup Apples from Martha Stewart Living. It was delicious and a big hit at the party. The recipes for the pates are very similar. In Martha's version, there's a higher butter-to-chicken-liver ratio, making for a slightly richer-tasting pâté.
The big difference between the two recipes are the toppings. The maple syrup apples in Martha's recipe were deliciously sweet. The buttery, caramelized taste of maple syrup was truly outstanding.
The shallot jam in this recipe, on the other hand, has both tart and sweet flavors, thanks to balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. Though we loved the jam, we had to make it twice. In our first batch, we cooked it too long. The direction says to cook it until "thick and jam-like." Rather than becoming jam-like, our overcooked shallot jam became thick and clumpy. We were planning to serve it to guests who were coming over for dinner an hour later. Thankfully, a second batch only took 15 minutes to whip up.
The result? Decadent little bites full of fantastic flavors: The creamy, smoky, rich pâté is a perfect match for the sharp-and-sweet shallot jam. It's all very sophisticated and delicious -- perfect for your anti-Super Bowl fête!
• ACTIVE: 45 MIN
• TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 30 MIN
• SERVINGS: 10 servings
-- 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
-- 1 pound chicken livers, trimmed
-- Salt and freshly ground pepper
-- 1 medium red onion, diced
-- 4 thyme sprigs
-- Twenty 1/4-inch-thick warm baguette toasts
-- Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
-- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
-- Shallot Jam (see below)
1. In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Season the livers with salt and pepper. Cook over high heat until browned, 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
2. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in the skillet. Add the onion and thyme and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the onion is softened, 10 minutes. Add the livers and cook, stirring, until heated through, 2 minutes; let cool. Discard the thyme. In a food processor, puree the livers and the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve and season well with salt. Press plastic wrap onto the surface and refrigerate until chilled.
3. Brush the warm toasts with oil, rub with garlic and spread the liver mousse on top. Garnish with the Shallot Jam and serve.
Food & Wine (January 2010)
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• TOTAL TIME: 25 MIN
• SERVINGS: Makes about 1 cup
-- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
-- 4 large shallots, thinly sliced
-- 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
-- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
1. In a skillet, heat the oil. Add the shallots and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 10 minutes. Add the vinegar and sugar and cook until thick and jam-like, 5 minutes. Season with salt.