Monday, June 14, 2010

Daring Cooks make pâté and bread!

This was my second challenge with the Daring Cooks, and it was a great one. I love pâté, but rarely make it. I enjoy making bread too, but again, I don't do it often enough. The components of this challenge were perfect for a picnic, and that's exactly what I did with them. It was a beautiful day for a picnic, and even though we were downtown, we enjoyed watching the wildlife frolic. There were chipmunks and squirrels, of course, but also groundhogs and raccoons, and a visit to the stray cat colony behind Parliament Hill.
The challenge required us to make one of the given pâté recipes, and you can see it in the upper right corner of the picture above. I chose the vegetarian pâté, with a layer of pesto, seasoned white beans, and a roasted red pepper layer. It was delicious, but as you can see the red pepper layer didn't set. The meat pâté is a combination of caribou, pork and veal liver. I ground the meats by hand with my grandmother's grinder, seasoned it with Marsala, and included figs and pistachios. The caribou was some from my uncle's hunting trip, which I had used here earlier. I wrapped the whole thing in bacon and it was delicious. I served it with Dijon mustard, hot red pepper jelly and cedar jelly. This is a product I picked up in Montreal, and it is delicious with cold meats and cheese. It's a lovely pale green colour, and it does taste of cedar. It seemed the appropriate accompaniment, as our hosts for this month both live in Montreal. They were Evelyne of Cheap Ethnic Eatz, and Valérie of The Chocolate Bunny, and they did a fabulous job. Thanks!

Oh, and where's the bread, you wonder? It was still in the oven at this point. I'm not known for being early, and I had woken up that day and decided to complete both my Daring Bakers' and Daring Cooks' challenges. I grabbed it out of the oven about 3 minutes before I left for the picnic (which I had already had to make a bit later). I made the Rustic Potato Bread from Baking with Julia. I don't really like potatoes, but I do like this bread. It's really quick, and it's moist and tender with a fine crumb. In fact, I'm going to have some toast right now with the leftovers.

Blog-checking lines: 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.

Recipes after the jump!
Caribou pâté (makes 2 loaf pans full)
1 pound caribou
1 pound pork shoulder
½ pound veal (or pork) liver
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons butter
generous ½ cup Marsala or cognac
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 ounces figs
2 ounces pistachios
1 pound bacon, for lining the loaf pans
Preheat oven to 350℉ and prepare a pan of boiling water large enough to hold the loaf pans. Line loaf pans with bacon slices. Quarter figs and soak in 2 tablespoons Marsala. Saute onion and garlic in butter till softened. Add ½ cup marsala and reduce to about ⅓ cup. Set aside to cool. Grind caribou, pork and liver together, using a coarse blade. Add eggs, salt, pepper, thyme, onion mixture and mix with hands till well blended. If you're not sure about the seasoning, fry up a small amount and taste. It should taste over-seasoned, as serving it chilled mutes the seasoning somewhat. Half fill the lined loaf pan with the meat mixture and then arrange figs and pistachios on top. Fill pan with meat and fold bacon over top. Cover tightly with foil and bake in water bath until juices run clear. This took about 75 minutes in my oven. Remove from water and cool on a rack. Press the pâté by putting another loaf pan on top and adding 3 or 4 pounds of weight. Cool at room temperature for a couple of hours and then refrigerate for 2 or 3 days before slicing. The flavour improves with time, so this is a great make-ahead dish. Unmold and slice to serve.

Rustic potato loaves
This recipe from Leslie Mackie can be found in  Baking with Julia : Sift, Knead, Flute, Flour, And Savor... by Dorie Greenspan. I found this already typed out on Oven Love, so thanks a lot, Natalie!

Makes 2 loaves

1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes (about 3-4)
4 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup tepid reserved potato water (80-90 degrees)
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Cooking the Potatoes:

Scrub the potatoes and cut them into quarters, peel and all.  Toss them into a 2-quart pot, cover with water, add 2 tsp salt, and boil until the potatoes are soft enough to be pierced easily with the point of a knife.  Dip a measuring cup into the pot and draw off 1/2 cup of the potato water, reserve.  Drain the potatoes in a colander and then spread them out, either in the colander or on a cooling rack over a jelly-roll pan, and let them cool and air-dry for 20-30 minutes.  It is important that the potatoes be dry before they're mashed.

Mixing the Dough:
When the potatoes are cool, stir the yeast into the reserved potato water (if the water is no longer warm, heat it for a few seconds in the microwave- it should feel warm to the touch) and allow it to rest for 5 minutes, it will turn creamy.

Replace the paddle with the dough hook and, still mixing on low speed, add the flour and remaining 2 tsp salt.  Mix on low speed for 2-3 minutes, then increase the speed to medium and mix for 11 minutes more.  The dough will be firm at first and soft at the finish.  At the start, it will look dry, so dry you'll think you're making a pie crust.  But as the dough is worked, it will be transformed.  It may even look like a brioche, cleaning the sides of the bowl but pooling at the bottom.  Have faith and keep beating.

First Rise:
Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 20-30 minutes, at which point the dough will have risen noticeably, although it may not have doubled.

While the bread is proofing, position a rack in the bottom of the oven and fit it with a baking stone or quarry tiles, leaving a border of at least 1 inch all around.  Preheat the oven to 375.  Place a linen towel on a baking sheet, rub the towel with flour and set aside; this will be the resting place for the bread's final rise.  Rub a baker's peel or baking sheet with cornmeal or flour.  Fill a spray bottle with water, set aside.

Shaping the Dough:
Turn the bread out onto a lightly floured surface and, using a dough scraper, cut the dough in half.  To shape each half into a torpedo shape, first shape it into a ball and then flatten it into a disk.  Starting at the end farthest from you, roll up the dough toward you.  When you're on your last roll, stop and pull the free end of the dough toward you, stretching it gently, and dust its edge with flour.  Finish the roll and, if necessary, rock the loaf back and forth a little to taper the ends and form a torpedo, or football.

Second Rise:
Place the loaves on the floured towel, seam side down, and cover them with the ends of the towel or another towel.  Let rise at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Baking the Bread:
When you're ready to bake, spray the oven walls with water and immediately close the oven door to trap the steam.  Turn the breads out, seam side up, onto the peel or baking sheet and transfer them into the oven.  Spray the oven with water again and bake the loaves for 45-50 minutes, or until the crust is very brown, the loaves sound hollow when thumped on the bottom, and, the most important test, the interior temperature measures 200 degrees when an instant read thermometer is plunged into the center of the loaves.  Remove the loaves from the oven and cool on a rack for at least 20 minutes before slicing.  While you should wait for the bread to firm up in the cooling process, slathering this bread with butter while it's still warm is a great treat.

The breads should be stored at room temperature.  Once sliced, the bread should be turned cut side down on a cutting board; it will keep at room temperature for about 2 days.  For longer storage, wrap the breads airtight and freeze them for up to a month.  Thaw, still wrapped, at room temperature.

This link has a PDF of all our pâté recipe choices for the month, as well as some bread recipes. Enjoy!


chef_d said...

Great looking pate and potato bread, love the meat grinder :)

Valérie said...

Your meat pâté is truly a thing of beauty! I don't think I've ever even tried caribou (which makes me a bad Montrealer, I guess!). And love the golden loaves! Thank you for cooking with us, glad you liked the challenge!

Unknown said...

Wow! Your meat pate sounds amazing and I can just imagine how delicious it was with some dijon mustard. Mmmmm... Your bread looks great too! I love the idea of a rustic potato bread and will have to give this a try soon! Great job on the challenge!

Sarah said...

Nice work. I love that you ground the meat by hand. I made the vegetarian pate and left it in the fridge more than twelve hours to make sure it would set (and put it in the freezer for half an hour). Well done on making so many parts to the challenge!

LittleRed said...

What gorgeous looking loves! And the pates both look and sound delicious. I hope you had a lovely picnic:)

Monkeyshines in the Kitchen said...

Your pates each look so terrific and we envy your photography/presentation skills that make them even more appealing. I sure wish we could taste each of these creations!

Jo said...

Gorgeous pate and bread. Everything looks so delicious and the meat grinder in the back ground looks really cool.

Suz said...

Ooh, I'm intrigued by the cedar jelly. I've tried a hot red pepper jelly before & I agree that it's a great match for pâté. For a moment I thought you had bowls of strawberry and lime jelly wobbling away there. I thought they were dessert!

Your pâtés look wonderful. I'm particularly taken with the meat pâté, but the dome-shaped veggie one looks terrific too. Your bread is perfect - what a lovely shape and colour.

I agree with Jo - that grinder's very cool!

Judy said...

Both the pate and the bread look delicious and beautiful. We loved the vegetable pate; we're still snacking from it, even though I ran out of baguette.

Jenni said...

Great job! I am not normally a fan of Pate', but yours sounds amazing! I would definitely have to try some of that!!

Evelyne @ CheapEthnicEatz said...

Awesome job on this one! Love the meat paté one so much. OK please email me privately where you got cedar jelly in to try it! Thank for participating in our challenge.

Ago said...

Oh deliciousss!!! Very good job Mary!!! :-D
I would join to daring cook too, but I do't know how I've to do :-(
How do you've done? :-D

tariqata said...

These look amazing, Mary :)

The nuts/figs/bacon combo sounds delicious!

Chats the Comfy Cook said...

This is very impressive.

Lynne Daley said...

I would have love to have been on the picnic with you. Your meat pate with the figs and pistachios looks beautiful. My grandmother had a grinder just like yours. I'm sure you're very proud of it. The cedar jelly sounds very interesting.

Angelica said...

The potato bread looks amazing! And very nice touch adding pistachios and figs into your pate. Everything looks delicious, well done!

Julie M. said...

Nice work! I had the same issue with my veggie pate not setting well. It still had delicious flavor though. Your bread is gorgeous! Congrats on a successful challenge.

barb said...

Wow, it looks amazing! Love the jelly idea.

I did smile at the wildlife on Parliament Hill line, being an Ottawa resident myself :)

Anonymous said...

Well done. Great use of caribou. I have it in my freezer now and will try this pate.

I am a huge fan of potato breads. They are always what I buy for hotdogs and hamburgers. Will now have to bake a batch on my own.

Unknown said...

The pates look delicous. Even though I'm not a fan of liver this is tempting. But I'm so glad to see your bread. I just received that book for Mother's day and was pondering (every night as I read through the recipes) which bread to start with. It will definately be the Potato bread. Thanks!

TaGa_Luto said...

Wow! you did an amazing job! I love those grinder! I bet those pate' are delicious. Your bread are beautiful as well.

Cherine said...

Wow, the pate looks perfect!! Great job!!

Oggi said...

The loaves look beautiful. And the meat pate with caribou, veal liver, figs, and pistachio sounds so yummy. I love it!

Deeba PAB said...

Oh u did brilliantly on the DC challenge Mary. Well done indeed! I love your grandmom's meat grinder. We still get them here in India, and I now wonder why I haven't got one. Better late then never, so have added it to the never ending shopping list! YUM potato loaf too. I have still to attempt this month's DB!

Lisa said...

Mary, your caribou, pork and veal liver pate is gorgeous as is your take on the veggie pate (both my pesto and red pepper layer started to ooze as it came to room temp, ) - and, as you know..I adore those potato loaves (mine never look as good as yours!).

That said, the chopped herbs on my chile mushroom-cashew pate are a mix of cilantro and parsley. :)

Mimi said...

Great job on the pate. I've made Julia's potato bread many times it is fabulous.

Elizabeth said...

Wonderful job on the challenge. The photos are beautiful (nice meat grinder!)

Laurie {Simply Scratch} said...

Only you Mary would ground your meat by hand! Looks AMAZING!