It was my birthday this past week (happy birthday to me). Even more momentous than turning the age Jesus was when he was killed was that Mr A&N and I went out with each other on a hot date. That's right - a friend gave me the greatest gift she could give me (along with a nice book) by offering to baby sit Baby A&N. We jumped at the chance, booked ourselves into the local tapas place, and pathologically checked our phones every 20 minutes just in case we missed any messages coming in as we slowly got tipsy on the wine.
The tapas, and the freedom, were wonderful, and my favorite dish of liver and onions in sherry (which was rich, sweet, and entirely too easy to eat too much of) reminded me of my love of liver. In a bid to re-create some of the magic of having dinner with my husband, I bought a batch of chicken livers from my local butchers. Buying them reminded Mr A&N, though, that he has a definite liver threshold, and he'd had enough liver-shaped liver for the week, thanks very much.
Luckily, cooking and sticking liver through a blender disguises the true nature of the meat for him and results in a rather good pate. The inspiration for the pate came from Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall, the execution via Mr A&N and so the recipe has changed slightly to be both of theirs. Sadly, the magic of our evening out wore off within 24 hours since Baby A&N has now decided that he doesn't need to sleep on through the night anymore and he'd rather say hi to us at 3am. At least the pate is tasty.
Liver and Sage Pate
- 2 tbs butter
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 8 rashers streaky bacon, cut into pieces
- 5 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 lb chicken liver, trimmed of sinew bits and cut into chunks
- palmful of fresh sage (about 20 leaves), roughly chopped
- glug of brandy (about 1/2 C)
- 1/2 a nutmeg, grated
- 75g oats (or breadcrumbs)
- Melt the butter over a medium high heat in a large pan. Add the onion and bacon and sautee until mostly cooked, then add the garlic and cook until lightly brown.
- Add liver and brown on all sides, then add the sage and give a good stir.
- Add the brandy and nutmeg and cook over a medium heat until the liver is cooked through (about 5 minutes).
- Throw in the oats and give a good stir so that everything is combined well, then turn off the heat.
- Transfer the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth (we like to make ours slightly rustic so that it's not toothpaste smooth but a bit chunky).
- Place the mixture in a pate dish or loaf dish. Cover in plastic wrap and place a weight on top (or even just a container with some water) so the mixure is pressed. Once it's cool enough, place in fridge and leave for a couple of hours before serving.