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Country Paté with Bacon and Chantrelles

August 29, 2010

Who’s been a bad blogger?  I can assure you that I have very legitimate excuses to cover up even three months of absence including a jet paced wedding season and… and… I AM NOW AN OFFICIAL EMPLOYEE OF HEARTLAND RESTAURANT & FARM DIRECT MARKET.  The latter of these has included a successful relocation to the Lowertown neighborhood of downtown St. Paul.  More on that later…  However, this does bring some amount of closure to this very young blog since the purpose was to document my transition out of an architectural office and into a professional kitchen.  But I’ll keep writing anyway and with any luck, with greater frequency.

For now, here’s a homemade permutation of a paté that we’ve been preparing at Heartland for the Farm Direct Market.  This is a pork based country paté dotted with chantrelle mushrooms and wrapped in thickly sliced bacon that I cured in my fridge and smoked on the grill.  The biggest difference is the addition of foengreek, a spice that I’ve been unfamiliar with until recently.  Foengreek has a maple flavor without the cloying sweetness which, when carefully added, compliments the bacon.

Paté seems to be just across the line of acceptable food for a lot of people.  “Isn’t paté made from livers?”  Well, yes.  Some recipes call for more liver than others.  But chances are you’ve had liver…and liked it!  Liver is a major component of Braunschweiger, the tasty and ubiquitous forcemeat in a tube.  Braunschweiger is one of those old fashioned recipes that survived under the radars of most midwestern young adults gone angsty after reading Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle” in their high school literature class.  For those of us that love it, we were often introduced at a young age sitting at the bow of a fishing boat with a lunch packed by Dad or Grandpa.  Because of nostalgic experiences like this, liver has been given sanctuary as an acceptable flavor and its various uses are yours to explore.  If you’re not already a fan, try a paté with some good mustard, pickles, and a good pour of beer.

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