How was everyone's Thanksgiving? John and I had the usual madness at Iaciofano HQ this year. I've recorded some highlights below: a few snippets of ridiculous conversations, some food photography and a recipe for Liver Pate in Cream Cheese Crust. The word "liver" may have just freaked some of you out. I happen to love it. And this recipe is amazing. It's a great option for holiday parties as an hors d'oeuvre (some day I'm going to learn to spell that word without looking it up).
First, the antipasto:
Marmo to John: Can you please get your hands out of the olives?
The Box to Me (under his breath): Let's get Aunt Emily a drink. Right now.
Aunt Emily to The Box: Did you put any Vermouth in this drink? You know, John, sometimes not enough is just as bad as too much.
Aunt Emily to John: You look like AC/DC (She thinks his hair is too long. I'm just impressed she knows who AC/DC is). Then to me: Elana, stop taking pictures of me, I'm going to break your camera!! To The Box: John, I love you, but you're getting fat.
The Box to Aunt Emily (describing the wine): It's BOW-JOO-LAY NOO-VOH!
Oh dear. Let's interject a quick recipe into this madness.
Crust - What You Need:
8 ounces of cream cheese
8 ounces of unsalted butter
¼ c sour cream or heavy cream
1 ¼ t salt
2 ½ cups of flour.
Crust - What To Do:
Combine cream cheese and butter and add sour cream and salt and pulse then add the flour. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate 30 minutes.
Pate - What You Need:
¾ pound of chicken livers cut into chunks
1/3 c madiera wine
5 T butter
2 slices of bacon drained and chopped
3 cloves of garlic crushed
2 large shallots minced
2 T cognac
¾ pound smoked ham ground
¾ pound ground pork
2 t. thyme
1 t dried basil
1 cup fresh parsley minced
2 large eggs beaten
2 T heavy cream
salt and pepper
1 egg beaten with 1T milk for glaze
Pate - What To Do:
Soak chicken liver pieces in madiera wine for 30 minutes. Drain. Melt butter in fry pan and add liver pieces, bacon, garlic and shallots and cook until livers are cooked but still pink. Warm the cognac and add to livers.
Add ground ham, pork, thyme and basil. Mix and cook over medium heat stirring frequently. About 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add parsley, eggs and cream. Add salt and pepper to taste and set aside to cool.
Roll out 1/3 of the dough into a rectangle about 1/8 in thick. Trim edges so they are even. Spread one third of the pate on one half of the pastry leaving 1” border. Fold over and press edges with a fork and brush with egg/milk glaze. Repeat.
Bake in preheated 400 degree oven on a lightly buttered baking sheet for 25 minutes.
Note: You can freeze these for up to 3 weeks. Do not defrost before baking but add 10 minutes to the baking time.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch:
John: This should be cold (my dad and brother are drinking Strega, an Italian after dinner drink)
The Box: No, the cold kills the aroma and flavor.
John: Nope, it should be cold.
Marmo (from the other room): [sigh...]
Me: [asleep on the couch...or am I?]
John to The Box: Wanna go hit golf balls?
The Box: Yeah, right now.
Marmo: Anyone want more turkey?
The Box: I don't want to see another turkey until November 2011.
Me to the Box: Can you stop clearing your throat every 5 seconds? You sound like a drippy faucet.
The Box: I liked you better when you were sleeping.
John to the Box: I think you'd like this Belgian beer called Leffe Blonde.
The Box: I don't like Belgian beer. Every one I've tried is bitter.
John: No, you'd like this one.
The Box: Wanna go hit balls?
John: Yup. [then:] Hey, don't change that channel, the Jets are coming on!
Me: There's a Jets game today?
John: In EIGHT MINUTES!
The Box to Me: Elana, do you really need to buy a road bike? I mean, is there anything you're going to use that for besides training and racing?
Me: Hey, Dad, is there anything you use those golf clubs for other than golfing? Seems like such a waste...
Marmo to the group: You people haven't moved for hours!!
Me: You got a problem with that?
Marmo: Who's been taking bites out of these chocolates?!
I hope you all had a very happy Thanksgiving. We have a lot of great stuff planned for this month (for example, tomorrow is all about Hot Dogs! And then there's going to be a fantastic pizza feature, AND a giveaway). The suggestion box is always open, and we are happy to listen to any you might have.
By the way, it was me taking bites out of the chocolates...