Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Have you had pâté today? - Ojai, CA

I don't know when my obsession with all things pâté started but I have been on a liver eating kick as of late and wanted to share a couple versions I am currently crushing on. I started to do some back research with my Mom to see if I ate it while I was young or even force fed it when I was in the womb. She replied that my Papa loved it and it was served as an appetizer at family parties. Maybe I inherited food tastes from him. He and I both share a love for oysters, sand dabs, liver and Mexican food. Who knows, but lets get to the good stuff...

The Ojai Ranch House serves a delicatable Chicken Liver Pate. The recipe that is used is direct from Alan Hooker, original owner and chef of the Ranch House. Do you want the recipe? Do want to know why it is so creamy and delicious? The recipe is available to you my liver loving friends...

Ranch House Pâté

6 tablespoons butter
2 scallions -- trimmed and finely chopped
3/4 pound chicken livers
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 pinch ground cloves
4 ounces cream cheese
2 tablespoons cognac

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a saute pan over medium heat. Add scallions and cook until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes.

Add chicken livers and cook, covered, over medium heat until just cooked through, 5-7 minutes.

Remove pan from heat and stir in salt, mustard, nutmeg, and cloves. Transfer to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Continue to process, blending in remaining 4 tablespoons butter, cream cheese, and cognac, then transfer to small bowls or well-oiled molds, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, about 24 hours.

I serve up bites of this pâté on crunchy crostini and top with sliced red onion. Simple, classic and delicious! The RH serves their version with caperberries, pickles, watermelon radish, red onion and crostini. The pate is topped with crumbled bacon and it is just heavenly.


The next pâté that I have been indulging in has been the one served at Suzanne's Cuisine, also in Ojai. Her version is made with duck liver rather than the chicken version by The RH. Hers is equally creamy which tells me copious amounts of cream or butter is mixed in. No matter, it is delicious with bites of salad and sliced pickle.


For a more rustic approach to pâté go to Osteria Monte Grappa. The pâté is made in house and local poultry offal is used. If i was a betting gal I would assume there is less cream and or fats added to this version based on the chunkier texture. Not smooth like the versions above that use more fat. I did not mind this version though. The grilled bread, sauteed onions and balsamic drizzle made it quite an enjoyable bite.


I have started researching all things pâté because of my new love for the spreadable goodness and I have found a few interesting things to be true. Liver is high in iron, low in calories and full of vitamins A, D, E, , B12 and minerals copper and iron. I know adding lots of butter, cream and cream cheese does not make pâté a health dish but when consumed in moderation I will enjoy it one bite at a time.

Have you had your pâté today?

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