Thursday, November 4, 2010

Fall charcuterie

You don't think that just because I haven't blogged here for a while, I stopped cooking, do you? In fact, I was so absorbed in developing my Personal Chef business and bringing up the new USPCA Bay Area Chapter website, I just didn't have energy for my dear own food blog. But I'm going to change this. And I've been cooking all the time!

The changing season requires some cured meat. Simple country-style pâté can be a great comfort.

When it comes to bistro-style cooking I like to rely on recipes from Antony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook. If Jamie Oliver is the naked chef, this is a chef, skin off. He takes classic recipes and strips them from all the bells and whistles, leaving just the bare 3-ingredient (well, sometimes 14) essence of the dish. And they work amazingly well!

Also, Bourdain's recipes withstand modifications very well. This is one of the very few cookbooks that I actually cook from. It's not just for browsing by the fireplace.

For my pâté de campagne I used chicken livers instead of pork liver. Marinated the livers, pieces of pork butt and pork belly with wine, cognac, and spices overnight, ground them using my old trusted manual meat grinder, and divided the meat into three portions. One I decorated with rosemary and thyme, the other with sage leaves, and the third with chopped almonds. Pictured here is the one with almonds. R. got both rosemary and sage ones to take to work for lunches during his crazy work week.
The sausages are pork with some beef. The red ones on the right have bright red, super aromatic paprika that a friend brought directly from Hungary. The ones on the left are mixed fresh herbs, and the light ones in the center are apple and cognac. If you are like me overwhelmed with tons of apples this season, check out my personal chef blog post on Dealing with all these apples for more ideas.
Here all three kinds of sausages are roasted and served with cannellini beans and tomato sauce.

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