And it's time again for the Daring Cooks Challenge. Our hostesses this month, Evelyne of Cheap Ethnic Eatz, and Valerie of a The Chocolate Bunny, chose delicious pate with freshly baked bread as their June Daring Cook’s challenge! They’ve provided us with 4 different pate recipes to choose from and are allowing us to go wild with our homemade bread choice.
My first inclination when I read about this challenge was to suggest we create something completely decadent -- a country duck pate with port wine, maybe? or something with beef and wild mushrooms?
But, the more I thought about it, the more I decided that we really needed to be a little bit more daring. We knew some DC cooks, like Audax Artifex would shock us with delicacies like head cheese and chicken feet pate -- and both of those things would be awesome to tackle. But, we knew we didn't have time for that. What we did have time to do, however, was to confront one of Peef's most long-standing aversions: liver.
I won't lie. Liver has never been a particular favorite of mine either. But, I never had quite the aversion to it that Peef does. His lack of affection for beef liver goes way back -- to one evening when his mother decided to make up a batch of something that she called "little meats" (i.e. pieces of fried beef liver sliced up into tiny little steaks). According to the story Peef has told, everyone was tentatively eating their little meats ... when all of a sudden his sister stopped dead, dropped her fork, and said: "Ew. This is liver, isn't it?" The meal was ruined from that point forward. Needless to say, Paul has been hesitant about eating liver ever since.
So, after discussing the matter for a bit, we decided that liver pate might be an interesting way to reintroduce the concept. We also decided to make the King Arthur French bread recipe that was included as part of the challenge, since I've been looking for a tried and true batard recipe.
The process for the bread went swimmingly -- from the poolish (starter), through two full risings, to the baking.
Considering the bread didn't turn out quite as expected, we had high hopes for the liver pate. We decided to try the three spiced liver pate, a tried and true recipe Evelyn and Valerie had suggested. For the recipe, we were required us to purchase beef liver, pork belly, and ground pork. The meats were chopped and pureed with cinnamon, cumin, coriander, garlic, and shallots.
On the bright side of things, the pate did make Peef think twice about his initial impressions of liver. In fact, he declared after eating his fill of the pate that I could make him liver and onions any time I wanted to!
So, the verdict?
We'll definitely be making French bread again (and adding salt next time). And we'd love to try a different variation on the liver pate concept. So, if you have any suggestions, feel free to send them our way!
RECIPES - June Daring Cooks Challenge
And don't forget to check out the submissions from other Daring Cooks!
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