Monday, November 30, 2009

Guest Blogger: LeekFixer Gets TFH in Le~Fix

During the first Eat on $30 Challenge, The Frugal Hostess had the pleasure to "meet" Leekfixer on Twitter.  He's been a faithful online friend every since. Leekfixer writes about his suburban farming adventures on The Funny Farm, and, when she read that he had recently made her favorite-food-of-all-time pate, FruHo insisted that he write about it here.  And now, Gentle Friends, TFH is truly in Le' Fix about pate. 

Hi Ya’ll, Leekfixer here. Leekfixer is not used to writing in 3rd person so he hopes you can forgive him if he messes up once in a while. He noticed that The Frugal Hostess shortens her name to FruHo when she writes her posts. Leekfixer figures she is trying to save space on the page, you know, being her frugal self. (really he thinks she’s lazy but don’t tell her I , we, he said that ;). Leekfixer figured he’d follow her lead and shorten his name too. Le’Fix . Seems about right since this post is about French food.

Le’Fix was at a party a while back where they were serving lots of really good food. One thing in particular he really liked was some kind of spread on crackers. He asked the fella who was having the party what it was, and The Fella said it was pate´. Le’Fix asked what was in it. The Fella said it was chicken livers. Well Le’Fix has eaten fried chicken livers before, and he did not like them all that much [Editor’s note: Because Le’Fix is insane.] but he really liked this French version.

He was rooting around in the freezer the other day and found a package of chicken livers he got from the local grassfed beef farm in the summer. Le’Fix was going be throwing his own party (that’s English for soireé) so he decided to make some of those French fried chicken livers. Being a man, Le’Fix doesn’t really like to follow directions, but, seeing as how he did not have a clue as to how the French make that pate´ he figured he better look it up on the internet. He got really excited when he read the recipe (French for directions) because it said to used four of his favorite things: bacon fat (Le’Fix always called it bacon grease but La’Fix - French for Le’Fix’s wife - said he should call it bacon fat because grease makes it sound like the stuff that is leaking out from under his truck), uh, anyway, bacon fat, garlic, butter and party likker. Yeah, there’s chicken livers in there too.

Like he said earlier, Le’Fix doesn’t much like to follow directions so he made some changes to the recipe. For one thing it called for something called ghee. What the heck is ghee?  It’s not even French; he found out on the internet. So he figured he’d use some bacon grease fat instead. The directions called for 6 oz. of ghee so Le’Fix figured he would probably need to fry up a whole package of bacon to get that much fat. He got the bacon frying in the cast iron skillet. Then he rounded up the rest of the stuff he needed. He got a couple sticks of butter out of the fridge. The recipe called for shallots which Le’Fix figured was French for garlic so he chopped up six big, fat cloves. Then he noticed that the directions called for soaking the chicken livers in milk for four hours or overnight. Well, Le’Fix had lots of stuff to do for the party so waiting til tomorrow was not an option. He poured the milk over the livers and stuck them in the fridge where he didn’t have to look at them because they looked pretty gross.

The next thing he saw he needed was sherry which he knew was some fancypants kind of French party likker. He figured party likker was party likker so he looked in the old party likker cabinet and found an open bottle of Scotch whiskey. Le’Fix grew up in the Valley of Virginia where lots of Scottish folks settled. He has some Scottish blood in him too, so he figured it would work OK. This pate´ is already turning into some kind of international dish anyway what with the ghee and all so he figured adding another country would be just fine. By now Le’Fix had worked up a powerful thirst so he poured himself a shot of party likker and tossed it back. Then he ate about half the bacon. He couldn’t help himself. The smell was overpowering his self-control. [Editor’s note: Sounds like The Frugal Hostess’s style of cooking bacon – one for the plate, one for her mouth.]

While he was waiting for the livers to soak up the milk (gross) he decided to make some crackers to put the pate´ on for the party. Le’Fix  does not trust anything that comes in a box or can, no matter what it says on the label. He figured ya’ll might like to make your own crackers too so he posted his cracker recipe here[Editor’s note: If you don’t already, please start reading the Funny Farm. It’s funny and farmy.]

He figured he might as well have another shot of party likker and finish off the bacon then get to putting the pate´ together. He tossed the garlic into the bacon fat, drained the milk off of the livers (gross) and tossed them into the pan just like the Southern do when frying up chicken livers. The directions said to let them cook until they got brown and most of the liquid (considerable it said) had been cooked off. After that it said to deglaze the pan with the party likker. Le’Fix figured what that meant was to pour the party likker into the pan with the livers. It said to use a half a cup which, if Le’Fix calculated right, was equal to 4 shots. Whoohoo this pate´is gonna be good! The bottle was almost empty by now so Le’Fix figured he might as well finish it off so he could put in the recycle bin. He did, too.

Then he read that he should put in some rubbed sage. Well by this time Le’Fix was in no mood to be rubbing on some sage so he got some fresh marjoram (he grew it himself) out of the fridge and proceeded to chop it up Morimoto style. He figured it was about 2 tablespoons but things were getting a little blurry by now so he wasn’t really sure. He tossed the marjoram at the pan and let everything cook down like it said until the party likker was gone.

Much of the rest of the process was a blur but Le’Fix remembers taking the pan off the stove and burning the crap out of his hand. While he was doctoring up his hand the concoction had cooled down enough to put into the food processor with 1 and ½ sticks of the softened butter. He really likes salt so he put a pinch or 2 in there and whirled it around until it looked like, well, until it was smooth and creamy.[Editor’s note: Gross.]

Next the directions said to spoon it into a ramekin. WTF is a ramekin? Must be French for some kind of fancypants bowl. So Le’Fix got out his fanciest bowl and scooped the pate´ into it. Then he smoothed it out on top really good, put some rosemary leaves on there for decoration (he grew it himself) then poured the remaining ¼ stick of melted butter over the top to seal the deal.

Tres Bien!

Chicken Liver Pâté

1 lb livers from pasture-fed chickens
1 pint fresh milk
fat from 1 lb. bacon (about 1/2 cup)
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh marjoram, finely chopped
½ cup scotch whiskey
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1¾ sticks of butter softened to room temperature
Fresh rosemary leaves (for garnish)

1.  Rinse chicken livers gently, drain them and put them in a bowl.
2.  Pour the fresh milk over the chicken livers and allow them to marinate for at least 4 hours.
3.  Heat bacon fat in a skillet until melted.
4.  Add the diced garlic and simmer over low heat until translucent (be careful not to burn it). About 10 minutes.
5.  Drain the chicken livers.
6.  Add the chicken livers to the onions and bacon fat. Simmer chicken livers until cooked through and until the liquid has cooked down to a thick sauce. About 20 minutes.
7.  Add the marjoram, salt, and the scotch whiskey.
8.  Continue to cook until the scotch has been reduced to a thick sauce. About 10 minutes.
9.  Allow the mixture to cool.
10.  Add the liver mixture and 1½ sticks of softened butter to a food processor and process until smooth.
11.  Spoon pâté into a bowl, smooth the top surface and garnish with fresh the rosemary leaves.
12.  Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter ( if you have any more bacon fat you can use it in place of the butter) and gently pour over the top of the pate´ covering the whole surface.
13.  Place the pate in the refrigerator for a few hours to allow it to set up. The butter topping helps to preserve it and keep the top moist. It will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks while undisturbed.
14.  Remove it from the refrigerator at least four hours before serving.

The Frugal Hostess is craving pate. Please comment. You can also join the Frugalistas on Facebook for exclusive content, follow on Twitter @frugalhostess, or subscribe so that you always know when a new post appears.

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  1. oh fuck yeah, it got whiskey in it!

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