The Foodie Files: Deux Foie (Chicken and Duck) P¢té

Ben Whelan

With the holidays coming around, students always hit the inevitable conundrum of high gift expectations and low budgets. As an easy fix that also shows you care more than a giftcard, roll up your sleeves and turn your kitchen into Santa’s workshop by pumping out some delicious edible gifts for everyone on your list.One of my personal favorites for this purpose is p¢té; a delicious traditional French spread made from meat (most often pork). It’s super fancy and refined but relatively cheap and easy to make. If sealed correctly, the p¢té will keep for weeks, so it lends itself nicely to gifting. Maybe give it in a basket with some of the classic accoutrements, like a nice mustard or some cornichon. Of course, if you don’t want to wait, a nice plate of homemade p¢té is always welcome at whatever holiday functions you may be attending, just arrange it on a plate with some crackers and you have an instant, classy hors d’oeuvre.Deux Foie P¢té

2 Chicken livers1 Duck liver½ cup shallots, minced½ cup white mushrooms, minced2 tbspns butter1 tspn black peppercorns2 bay leaves1 tbspn cognac (brandy)pinch of allspicea few strips of bacon

1) Melt the butter over medium heat in a large sauté pan2) Add the shallots, mushroom, peppercorns, bay leaf and allspice, cooking until the shallots are translucent and beginning to brown3) Clear a space in the middle of the pan and lay in your livers, carefully browning each side for about two minutes4) Add in the brandy and let it cook until the alcohol is evaporated; 1-2 minutes5) Remove the bay leaves and put the rest of the mixture into a blender or food processor and blend until as smooth as possible6) In a small sauté pan, cook the bacon until crispy and save the fat7) Remove the p¢té from the processor/blender and pack it into whatever dish you plan on presenting it in, although something ceramic or earthenware is recommended8) Pour your melted fat over top of the mixture and put it in the fridge for two days or at least overnight. The fat will congeal forming a sealing layer that will protect the pate while the flavors marry and come together.

To remove and serve your p¢té, run a toothpick along the inside edges of your container to separate the p¢té from the sides. Dip the bottom of you container in warm water, and then flip it on to a plate. If you use the heel of you hand to give the bottom of your container a few solid whacks, the p¢té should come out molded right onto the plate. To serve, provide either crackers or crostini (toasted slices of baguette) for spreading and enjoy! Bon appetit, happy holidays and good eating!