Eat Me Drink Me….
I think one of the reasons why I love cocktail food so much has to be because of their size. Who ever came up with the saying “great things come in small packages” was defiantly onto something!
Today size doesn’t limit flavour or imagination. You can still create a great taste sensation in such a small bite. Meaning that I can enjoy more than one without feeling too guilty.
Duck Liver Pate with Peppered Pears
This recipe is simple yet stunning. The smooth rich creaminess of the pate is accentuated by the peppery tartness of the pears.
I have included a recipe for duck liver pate, but feel free to just buy one from a good delicatessen.
550g duck livers
2 tablespoons butter
3-4 tarragon leaves
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Cracked black pepper
75g butter, chopped
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar (or tarragon vinegar)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon coarsely cracked black pepper
2 firm pears
1 packet of Melba Toasts
For the Pate.
Firstly wash, clean and dry the livers on kitchen paper and marinate in cognac for 2 hours in the refrigerator, however half an hour will be fine too.
Drain the livers and reserve the marinade. In a large frying pan melt 2 tablespoons of butter over high heat. Toss the livers in the butter until they just change colour. Be careful to not overcook your livers otherwise your pate will not be as smooth. In the same frying pan add the marinade, tarragon leaves, nutmeg and pepper and reduce down by a third.
In a food processor place the reduced liquid and livers and process till smooth. Pass the mixture through a sieve to remove any lumps and return to a cleaned food processor. With the machine on, slowly add the chopped butter until smooth and creamy. Spoon the pate into a mould, or bowl and cover with cling film and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
This pate can easily be made a few days in advanced, as it is a little time consuming, but well worth the effort.
For the Pears
In a saucepan place the white wine and balsamic vinegars, sugar and pepper and cook over low heat until the sugar has dissolved.
Cut the pears into the thinnest slices possible. Under ripe pears are ideal for this recipe as they are firm and easy to slice. Place the pears in the saucepan and simmer for 1 minute. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and leave to stand in the liquid for an hour before serving.
If you are making these ahead of time still keep the pears in the liquid for an hour, and then take them out and leave them covered, on a plate.
To assemble spread a little pate on the baguette and place the pear on top. Sprinkle with a little more cracked pepper.
Martinis are the classic must have cocktail. This recipe is a great alternative to the classic and looks very stylish in the hand as well as tasting great in the mouth.
This cocktail also complements the pate and pears with its tart sweetness.
30ml fresh lemon juice
30ml pomegranate juice
40 ml simple syrup
A few pomegranate seeds for garnishing
Shake all ingredients well with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a few scattered pomegranate seeds.
Simple syrup is just equal parts sugar to water dissolved together. The easiest way is to place 100ml water in a saucepan with 100g sugar and turn the heat on low until the sugar has dissolved. Sugar syrup can be stored in a bottle in the fridge.