Now I am starting to think about stocking up on things I can have ready to hand to serve to guests, for impromptu festive drinks over the next month or so. A little pate in the fridge goes a long way at this time of year as it is so rich and indulgent and can be served up really quickly – the perfect accompaniment to bubbles or a glass of wine.
Liver is apparently a great source of trace elements such as Zinc, Copper, Chromium, plus Folate, Iron and is also rich in Choline which aids several metabolic pathways in the body and aids detoxification… perhaps the perfect antidote to the Christmas cheer this season! 😉 It is also high in Vit A and B12 – so good for radiant skin & energy levels. Also brilliant for promoting healthy immunity and digestion and not to mention improved mental function – who doesn’t need that?
Chicken liver is really inexpensive to buy. I highly recommend going organic on the livers – if you want the optimum detox values, you want a “clean living” chicken! 😉
I like to serve mine on my Almond & Linseed crackers or thinly sliced toast (all low GI and GF of course!).
350g Organic Chicken Livers (cleaned)
1 Echallon Shallot finely chopped
75g Organic Coconut Cream
Small bunch of Taragon, leaves gently torn
Small bunch of Thyme, pull the leaves off the main woody stalk
1/2 tsp ground Ginger
1/2 tsp ground Cinnamon
grated Nutmeg to taste
good pinch Himalayan Salt
ground black Pepper to taste
1) Clean the livers – this basically means cutting away any white, stringy, or sinewy bits which can taste bitter, so worth a little effort here. Then chop into bite sized chunks.
2) Fry the Shallot in about 2tsp of the Coconut Oil ( large frying pan) with tarrogon and thyme until slightly softened. Then add the chopped livers (medium heat) and cook until the meat is browned but still slightly pink on the inside should take just a couple of minutes. Place the mixture into a food processor and allow to cool with the lid off for a bit.
3) Meanwhile add the madeira, ginger and cinnamon, to the frying pan and simmer for a couple of minutes until reduced by half. Allow to cool for 5 mins.
4) Next add the coconut cream to the food processor with liver mixture and blitz until smooth.
5) Add the madeira mixture to the liver mixture along with 2 tbsp of coconut oil, salt, pepper and good amount of freshly grated nutmeg to taste. Then off you go with the whizz button. Give it a taste and see if the seasoning needs adjusting – it’s really personal taste here.
6) Allow the mixture to completely cool before pouring into a sterilized, kilner jar (I find this mix makes enough to almost fill a 0.5L jar) and place in the fridge for at least 40 minutes to set.
7) Finally melt the remaining Coconut Oil (or Goat butter if using) – take off the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes before pouring on top of the set pate. Back in the fridge for a final setting (about 30 mins should be fine). This will keep for about a 7 days in the fridge.
For the Almond & Linseed Crackers. These are great because they are high in protein, they compliment the pate really well. They are also a great vehicle for Sunbutter or Pumpkin seed butter, Manchego (sheep) or Goat cheese. For those with nut allergies my GF loaf thinly sliced and toasted works really well too.
400g ground Almonds
2 Egg whites (I use the yolks up to make Mayo or Custard)
3 tbsp light Olive oil
good pinch Himalayan Salt
Black Pepper to taste
1/2 tbsp dried Thyme or Oregano (Or you can use 2 tbsp chopped black olives instead – great for a cheese board!)
Method: Easy peasy!
Preheat the oven to 150C
1) Add the ground almonds to a large mixing bowl along with the egg whites. Mix well with the linseed, dried herbs (olives), salt & pepper and finally add the oil a tablespoon at a time. This should bring the mixture together, enough that you can make a dough ball. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 3o minutes.
2) Between two sheets of baking paper roll out the dough, this prevents the dough from sticking and falling apart. You can either use a small cookie cutter or for a more rustic look cut into squares. Put the cut pieces on a lined baking sheet and keep cutting and rolling until you have used up all the mixture. It really depends on how thin you roll the dough and how big you cut them, as to how many you will make, but I usually end up with about 30-40 crackers.
3) Now bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes or until golden – don’t worry if they are still a little “soft” when you pull them out as they kind of set once cooled, as long as they have a nice golden colour to them they should be fine. Also try to let cool completely before sampling! 😉
To serve the pate I like to top with a little chopped fresh tarragon and a thin slice of radish for a bit of colour!