There is nothing more delightful than a complete luncheon of hors-d’oeuvres, especially on a hot day in summer. The color and variety of the various dishes, particularly when accompanied by a well-chilled bottle of fine white wine, reawakens the most heat-dulled appetite.
This country pate with pistachios may be served as a first course with a light entree and a fruit dessert to follow, or a luncheon may be made up entirely of various hors d’oeuvre dishes. In the latter case, you would want to serve some vegetable dishes, fish hors-d’oeuvre, and certain accompaniments.
Recipe from “Cuisine Rapide” by Pierre Franey and Bryan Miller
Country Pate with Pistachios
- 1 Tbsp Butter
- 1/2 cup shallots, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 lb veal liver, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1/4 tsp dry thyme
- 1/2 bay leaf, crumbled
- 3/4 lb lean veal, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 lb lean pork, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1/2 lb cooked ham, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/2 cup pistachios, shelled, toasted
- 1/8 tsp ground allspice
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 1/8 tsp ground cumin
- pinch ground cinnamon
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 425F.
Heat the butter in a heavy skillet and add the shallots. Cook briefly, stirring. Add the liver and sprinkle with the thyme and bay leaf. Cook about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Put the veal in a food processor or blender and blend it slightly finer than store-bought hamburger. Empty the veal into a mixing bowl. Put the pork in the food processor or blender and blend it a little coarser than store-bought hamburger. Add the pork to the veal.
Put the liver mixture in the food processor or blender and blend it as finely as possible. Pour and scrape it into the bowl with the pork and veal. Add the ham and pistachios. Add the allspice, cloves, nutmeg, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, wine, salt and pepper and blend well with your fingers. To test the mixture for seasoning, shape a small portion into a patty and cook it, turning once, in a nonstick skillet until cook through. Taste the patty and add more seasonings as desired.
Pack the mixture in a 5- or 6-cup loaf pan. Smooth the top, rounding it slightly. Cover tightly with foil and place the pan in a heatproof baking dish. Set the dish on the stove and pour in boiling water around the loaf pan. Bring the water to a boil. Place the pan in the water bath in the oven and bake for 1 1/2 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 170 degrees F.
Remove the pan from the oven and carefully drain off any excess fat. Let stand until ready to serve. The pate is excellent hot or cold. You may cool it in the dish and chill until cold, preferably overnight. Cut into 1/2-inch slices and serve with pickled vegetables.
In France, cornichons (small dill pickles) and mustard are traditional accompaniments for pate and terrines along with slices of crusty baguette. Serve it for an elegant picnic or a cold buffet.