Our hostesses this month, Evelyne of Cheap Ethnic Eatz, and Valerie of The Chocolate Bunny, chose delicious pate' with freshly baked bread as their June challenge! They've provided us with 4 different pate recipes to choose from and are allowing us to go wild with our homemade bread choice.
Imagine - the French countryside - Provence, maybe - all lavender and sunflowers and breezes. Old stone houses, quaint villages and wonderful shops with glorious food. Now imagine the Pacific Northwest in the pouring rain - endless, pouring rain. Where would you rather be?
No choice at all for me - home is home and I like the rain, even in June. However, the food of the French can be very enticing and this month's challenge let me bring a little of that to my table. A little pate', cornichons, chicken liver mousse and homemade baguette - maybe even a bottle of rose' - practically like being in some small bistro in an ancient village without the airfare or jet lag.
I love pate' and have several recipes set aside to try at some point, so this was a fun challenge. I had to tweak the hostesses' recipes a bit because I had to delay doing this challenge until nearly the last minute and didn't have time to check a variety of stores for some of the ingredients that weren't available at my usual grocery store. I decided on the pork pate' but also added some some strips of ham, which I did not process with the rest of the mixture, to give the pate' a more rustic feel. It was porky and salty and had a great texture. Perfect with the cornichons.
I also made a chicken liver mousse, which is not really a pate' but seemed to me to be in the same general family. It was a pretty simple recipe. I thought the end product was a bit underseasoned by itself, but it is served with a shallot jam which was rich and dense with flavor (shallots, balsamic vinegar and brown sugar), so the combination worked well.
The baguette recipe I used was from Ashley Rodriguez's blog, Not Without Salt, and is one of those supersimple breads in which all the ingredients are mixed together, kneaded lightly and then put in the refrigerator overnight. I removed enough dough the next day to make one loaf and will be able to have freshly baked bread for a couple more days from the remaining dough. It was crusty and tasty, but not as chewy as I would have liked. I'll have to figure out why and see if I can fix that for the remaining dough.
Ta-da! The pate', with bread and cornichons, and the mousse, with shallot jam.
There's some good eats there! Or perhaps I should say c'est magnifique! (Please - anyone who actually speaks French, excuse my errors since mine is limited to reading menus!)