Chicken Liver Pate Toasts

I’m getting all poshed up for a very special occasion, the 1 Year Anniversary of Fiesta Friday, the genius child of Angie @thenovicegardener.  Angie is a talented and warm-hearted blogger, cook and gardener who is responsible for bringing many of us bloggers together now as fellow friendly feasters.   Thank you Angie for the invitation a year ago, and for keeping the party alive with all of our wonderful hosts over the past year.  Thank you also to our hosts of the Anniversary Party (Part 1), Hilda @Along The Grapevine and Julianna @Foodie On Board. May 2015 be even more fun, productive and delicious on Fridays!

I’d like to offer a toast to Angie, accompanied by a really special concoction:  homemade chicken liver pate toasts with capers and loquats.  I adapted the recipe for the pate from a book I turn to again and again for delicious recipes and also confirmation of my belief that well sourced and prepared animal foods can provide a rich source of healthy nutrients for our bodies, Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats.  

For my vegetarian friends I’ve also made the simplest but most delicious winter salad ever:  clementine, avocado and baby romaine with salt, pepper and olive oil.  All you need is a fresh farmer’s market or back yard tangerine or other citrus, which gets supremed, a giant buttery silky avocado, good sea salt and freshly ground (course grind for me!) black pepper, and your best olive oil.  No recipe here, just some photos.

As to the photos for the liver pate though, all of preparation/process photos I took were flat out nasty, and in fact if I published them here, you may have bad nightmares tonight.  I have to tell you, though, if you like pate, this recipe is a winner because it is VERY delicious.  For the toasts I simply combined the pate with some capers from a jar and loquats from our tree.  Enjoy!

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What you see in the background is a high heel!  Only on special occasions.

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And now for my veggie friends:

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RECIPE FOR PATE:

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick), softened *
1 pound chicken or livers
1/2 pound mushrooms, cleaned and coarsely chopped
1 bunch scallions, white and light-green parts, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup dry white wine or vermouth
1 medium clove garlic, smashed and mashed with the back of a knife
1/2 teaspoon powdered mustard
1/4 teaspoon dried dill
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Sea salt to taste

*Use grass-fed butter such as Kerrygold, or even better, raw butter, if you can.

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Crispy Seeded Avocado Taco

Recently I had a fried avocado taco at a local restaurant that was so good I resolved to try to duplicate it.  Even as far as picking up a few of the same stainless steel snack “plates” as the restaurant tacos were served in.  Often this is how a recipe starts to take shape in my mind — a great restaurant experience.  Then, based upon what I have at home and my mental wanderlust, it becomes something similar but never the same!

For this recipe you want to use a firm-ripe, not soft-ripe avocado, because you will be heating it and you don’t want the texture to turn soft or mushy.  I reckon you could also use sweet potato wedges (lightly steamed before frying), or even zucchini, jicama, or nopales cactus.

For a fun party, you could prepare the avocado wedges and keep them warm in the oven while you assemble the rest of the ingredients for the taco, and serve buffet style.  Or, head over to Foodlander where I’ve developed 5 other taco recipes!

 

Head on over to Foodlander for 5 other tacos.

Bacon, Lettuce & Tomato Sandwiches

 

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Hi friends, it’s time again to link you over to my other site where I link you once again, to my articles for Foodlander, for some awesome BLTs.  In addition, because I have had a number of inquiries and am still working on configuration, you can subscribe by email to the new site by scrolling down to the bottom of any individual post and you will see on the bottom right a “subscribe by email” link.  Have a fantastic weekend!

Roasted Carrot & Avocado Salad with Cumin Citrus Dressing

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Carrots from Friday Venice, CA Farmers Market

Carrots elude me because I don’t really care for them raw, or even in the traditional french glazed manner.  Yet they are so healthy and now is the time of year that I tend to eat much more fruit and veggies, and less meat and starch.  I’ve been looking for a way to make carrots delicious and I’ve found it!  Tossed with an herb/garlic/cumin/olive oil dressing while roasting,  then re-dressed with roasted citrus juice, vinegar and more olive oil before serving, and paired with creamy, mild avocado, this recipe is the ticket.

My mother often roasts carrots as part of a roasted vegetable tray at buffet or holiday dinners, and I marvel at how delicious the little carrots are.  I think it’s just a simple concoction of olive oil, salt and carrots, so I decided to build on this idea, add more flavoring to the roasting “marinade” or coating, and add huge chunks of perfectly ripe summer avocado. My recipe is also an adaptation of a recipe I saw a very long time ago from Jamie Oliver which also included hunks of toasted ciabatta . . . a sort of carrot “panzanella”

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Ingredients
1 pound carrots, with their leafy tops
Sea salt
2 level teaspoons whole cumin seeds
1 or 2 small dried chiles, crumbled
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, peeled
4 sprigs fresh parsley, leaves picked
Extra-virgin olive oil
Red or white wine vinegar
1 orange, halved
1 lemon, halved
3 ripe avocados

1/4 cup olive oil

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Parboil the carrots in boiling, salted water for 10 minutes, until they are very nearly cooked, then drain and put them into a roasting pan. While the carrots are cooking, smash the cumin seeds, chilles, salt and pepper. Add the garlic and smash up again until you have a kind of paste. Add enough extra-virgin olive oil to generously cover the paste, and a good dash of vinegar.  Stir together, add parsley, then pour over the carrots in the pan, coating them well. Add the orange and lemon halves, cut side down.
  3. Roast carrots in oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden.
  4. While the carrots are roasting, halve and peel the avocados, discarding the pits, then cut them into wedges lengthwise and place in a big bowl. Remove the carrots from the oven and add them to the avocados. Carefully, using some tongs, squeeze the roasted orange and lemon juice into a bowl and add the same amount of extra-virgin olive oil and a little swig of red wine vinegar. Season, and pour over the carrots and avocados.

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This recipe is submitted for Fiesta Friday #24.

Avocado Chocolate Ice Cream (No Churn)

IMG_5726If the idea of avocado in your ice cream gives you pause, don’t worry because you can’t taste the avocado . . . at all.  I had to beg my husband to try the ice cream, reminding him I’d used raw organic cream, raw organic cacao and organic avocado, and once he did, he went to work on cleaning the prep bowl.  It was spanking clean by the time I went to bed.

This is a no-churn recipe that you you may adapt endlessly.  You only need 3 things:  heavy cream, condensed milk and vanilla extract or vanilla bean.  You only do 3 things:  whip, mix, and freeze.

I used avocado because I’d bought a gigantic “mambo” variety fruit at my Wednesday market.  The gigantic avocado weighed just under 3 pounds and I’d already made guacamole, and meatloaf sarnies with avocado slices.  Initially I was nurturing a resentment when I saw the slightly irritable farmer and the signs for the avocado “Cop-A-Feel 50 cents,” “No Touchee, No Feelie, You Bruise, You Buy,” “The Avocados Have An Agent,” etc. thinking, geez why the harsh territorial vibe here?  But then I tried my favorite technique of buttering up people when they’re in bad moods and I asked him all about the avocado and little by little he lightened up.  And of course I bought the avocado, which made him happy. So:  ice cream it was for Fiesta Friday #23.

*Note:  any of you party goers interested in writing professionally for a food blog?  If so, please contact me . . . looking for food bloggers with an enthusiasm for farmers markets, gardening, and photography.

 

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Can you believe — cop a feel for 50 cents???

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Almost 3 pounds!

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This is going to be a giant portion of ice cream!

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Ready to mash with condensed milk

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Cream Whipped for 3 minutes then folded into the avocado and cacao

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Those green flecks are not pistachios!!!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups heavy cream, or creme fraiche (you can even use buttermilk!; and I want to try coconut milk too)
  • 1 can (14 oz.) of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large avocado
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup (depending upon how strong you like your chocolate flavor) cacao powder or bittersweet chocolate powder

Preparation:

  1. Whisk cream as if preparing meringue, on high speed for about 3 minutes.
  2. Mash avocado with a fork an pour in condensed milk, vanilla extract and chocolate powder.  Mix well until no chocolate lumps remain. Pour the mixture into container and freeze for at least 6 hours to overnight. Serve with fresh or grilled fruits, syrup, crumbs . . . . whatever is your fancy.

 

Epic Birgerbird Burger!

Hi guys, I’ve been working on the perfect burger for weeks and I think I came up with it.  It’s very messy to eat and you won’t be hungry for days, but give it a try!  Also, you can vote for my burger on Food52, which is a fantastic foodie website for home cooks and aspiring food stylists and gourmets!  The voting doesn’t actually start until next week, but if you view and comment on the recipe, your visit generates activity which may be used to determine which recipes make the cut to be voted on!

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Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground dry aged, grass fed beef
  • 1 teaspoon black truffle salt
  • 4 slices bacon from pastured pork
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 2 duck eggs
  • 1 heirloom tomato, sliced
  • handful dill pickle slices
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 brioche hamburger buns, buttered (1 Tbps butter) and toasted
  • 2 tablespoons bacon drippings

Preparation:

  1. Form 2 1/2 inch thick patties with beef, using a light touch. Make a small dimple in the center of the patties. Sprinkle with truffle salt on both sides.
  2. Cook bacon in cast iron skillet until medium crisp. Remove bacon and reserve 2 Tbsp. bacon drippings. Heat bacon drippings over high heat.
  3. Cook patties over high heat, not moving, for 2 minutes. Flip and cook over medium heat 3-4 minutes, without moving or smashing down with a spatula. Leave in pan, off heat, covered, while you fry duck eggs.
  4. Over high heat, fry duck eggs in 2 Tbps butter.
  5. Assemble burgers: On bottom of bun place a handful of pickles. Place patty on top of pickles, followed by bacon, avocado, fried egg and tomato. Place top bun on top and dig in!