Monday, April 20, 2009

Rustic Mini French Pate Loaves & Vintage Smoked Honey

You have until midnight tonight to send me the post for this weeks 'Monday's Mouthful' feast...Rustic French Meatloaf that was posted last week, and includes a recipe for the authentic version. I am like many people out there that did not have good experiences with 'meatloaf' per se, but I was willing to give it a try. I have chosen not to serve it with the traditional mustard side, but make a vintage tomato jelly my grandmother made when I was a girl.

Rustic Mini French Pate Loaf

1 cup fine fresh bread crumbs (preferably from a rustic loaf)
1/2 cup whole milk
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound duck liver- Foie gras (thanks to a chef friend)
3/4 pound ground veal
1/4 cup chopped prunes
1/4 cup shelled pistachios
2 teaspoons thyme leaves
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 package low sodium bacon; 4 slices per small loaf

1 package Braunschweiger- I topped off the mini loaves with Braunschweiger, a Bavarian Pate popular her in New Jersey and is made from pork liver. This is my German influence. New Brunswick is the English translation, and also a town just about half an hour north of my home here in Jersey!

Preheat oven to 475°F with rack in middle.

Soak bread crumbs in milk in a small bowl.

Cook onion, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in oil in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Cool slightly.

Purée goose liver in a blender, then transfer to a large bowl. Add veal, prunes, thyme, eggs, bread-crumb mixture, onion mixture, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and gently mix with your hands until just combined.

Form into rectangular shares and set aside. Take a round mixture of the Braunschweiger and press pistachios into liver; top off rectangles, and then wrap up in bacon slices.

Bake in 425 degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until bacon is crisp. Remove from drippings and set aside to drain.

Hubby was out, so I got away with the bacon smell in the condo, as he hates bacon, but in the name of 'French Cooking' he will eat this creation. I do agree with what Mindy said about this dish being the most expensive meatloaf I have ever heard of!

Since I decided to do a New Jersey (New Brunswick) twist on the mini loaves I asked a few people who grew up here what kind of sauce they would eat with this. They all said a brown mushroom gravy over my tomato idea, so I did both. Taking the drippings from the loaf pan and sauteed mushrooms- adding a dash of red wine.

'If you look closely at my vintage style photo I tried to create you will see the plate, onion, and dots of foam almost seem to be a part of the pattern'

My grandmother grew beef steak tomatoes all along her acre fenced in yard when I was a young girl, and I looked forward to eating all things tomato when I would arrive each summer, and still consider myself a 'tomato maniac'!

Original Recipe- Vintage Tomato Honey

Puree about six or seven vine ripe tomatoes in small food processor, and then strain overnight into a bowl.

Measure the strained juice – it should be about one cup – and pour into a saucepan; then add a little salt, 1 cup sugar and a few dashes of Tabasco; boil all together half an hour on medium fire until it becomes a thick jelly; then put it into glasses, and lay double tissue paper over the tops, or beeswax to seal out any air.

Now the difference between my grandmothers recipe and what I did is this-

Vintage Smoked Tomato & Onion Honey

I smoke the onions and tomatoes in a ORGANIC MATE LIMON CHAI tea and sugar mixture, equal portions that I sprinkle on the bottom of pan (in between ramekins); begin a medium low heat, and when you begin to smell the tea mixture place steam pan to rest on ramekins; add double lids and clothe to cover tightly for at least a half hour. You should be able to see smoke slowly rising from pot edges. Karen @ Steep It Loose had contacted me about trying some of her teas, and I have been wanting to try smoking with tea, and what a great way to add flavor to fish, poultry, and tomatoes!

Once they were cool I placed them into the food processor and pureed them, and following the rest of my grandmothers recipe for the honey.

For one of my final presentations I did not strain a small portion of the mixture. You can make a foam by placing it back into the small food processor and whipped it up into a frenzy. Spooning a few drops around one of the smoked onions that served as the throne for my mini loaf! There will be a Vintage Honey/Jelly post next showing you how it congealed over night...

Mindy @ Mindy's Mouthful has already posted her lovely dish titled 'Rustic Alsatian', so go over and check it out- along with next Monday's Mouthful Round Up!

Greg @ Sippity Sup has posted his Terrine de Campagne with pink peppercorns

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