Fall Dinner for Six

September 24, 2012

Reporting back as promised with the pictures of our weekend dinner party.

 The table was so pretty set for fall with a grey and yellow striped sailcloth tablecloth,
bright orange nasturtiums, my aunt's stemware, Pottery Barn dinnerplates in saffron,
and my new salad plates, Vietri's Tortoise Shell Glass.

The new salad plates shimmer with green, gold and brown.  
They look gorgeous with so many things I already own.

I love bright nasturtiums.  They are going pretty wild around here now.

For the appetizer I made a beautiful liver and veal pate, recipe below.
That was a show stopper in my opinion, the best pate ever.
I served it in the living room with little french bread toasts
and champagne grapes marinated in Couvoisier.

For first course I served crab cakes.  I do love this recipe, it's fast and easy but
the key to a great crab cake is starting with the freshest and best tasting crab you can find.

After the first course I have my guests help themselves at the buffet table.
I had a platter of our home grown tomatoes, with a grilled red onion, grilled fennel bulb 
and roasted red bell peppers, also from our garden.

I roasted pork tenderloin with a topping of minced garlic and shallots,
paprika and ground fennel.  I found the recipe in my files, given to me years ago
by my friend Rene, and at the top I had penciled in "Terry loves".
(Terry is my husband)...and with a recommendation like that, I figured I must make it.
I also served a make ahead pureed eggplant souffle.
We all loved it.

 I let myself off the hook for dessert and cut up some apples,
a Pink Lady, Mackintosh and Honeycrisp, (Honeycrisp won!)
bought some Scharffen Berger chocolate in 3 different cacao strengths,
41%, 62% and 82%, (82% won!)
and served Ina Garten's macaroons and currant cookies (a tie)
and we had a little taste testing.

That was fun and there is no man on the planet that is not pleased 
with a platter of cookies, apples and chocolate!

Now for the recipe!

Veal & Chicken Liver Pate with Muscatels in Cognac

A coarse and crumbly pate.  Make a few days in advance to improve the flavor.

For the muscatels:

1/2 C cognac or brandy
1/4 lb. muscatels on the stem

Put the cognac and muscatels in a shallow bowl, cover and set aside at room temp for 24 hours.  Every so often mix them up and recover.

for the pate:

4 T olive oil
4 T butter
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 t salt
1/2 t ground pepper
1/2 t dried tarragon or 2 T fresh chopped
1/4 t each grated nutmeg and ground cinnamon
1/3 C port
2 T cognac
3/4 lb. lean veal (for scallopini)
1 lb. chicken livers cleaned of all fat and sinue
about 1/2 lb. lean bacon

Heat oil and butter, add onion, garlic, salt, pepper, tarragon, nutmeg and cinnamon.  Fry gently without browning until the onion is soft.  Remove from heat and cool.  Put onion mixture, port, cognac, veal and livers into a food processor.  Puree to rough puree, do over process.  Cover and refrigerate for 12 hours.   Next day, preheat the oven to 350 F.  Line a loaf pan with bacon, pour pate into it and cover with more bacon.  Cover with foil and bake on a rack for 1 hour, maybe a bit more, until it has shrunk a little and looks as though it is floating in its own juices.  (My pate measured 190F when I took it out)  I also broiled the top uncovered for a minute to get the bacon nice and brown.  Pour out juices.  Cover with foil and weight top to compact it, I used canned goods.  Once it is cool, you will have a little more juice at the bottom to drain, remove weights then place in refrigerator until needed.  Unmold the pate and serve with the muscatels on the top.  This slices beautifully and is best served with brioche toast or french breads toasts.   We ate half this weekend and I sliced up the rest and double wrapped individual slices in plastic wrap, apparently it will last in the freezer for up to a month. 

Perhaps it's a bit of an ordeal to make this, but I would make this again in a heartbeat, it was that good.  I think it would look beautiful on an appetizer buffet and would be so welcome.  Sorry, I don't have the source, this was an old gourmet group recipe photocopied from an unknown magazine.

Today I have made this blog post and knitted.  That's it.  What a nice day!  I have 3 finished knits that I love and cannot wait to share them with you this week.

xoxo Kristen

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  1. This all sounds dee-lish--but PLEASE share the egplant souffle recipe.
    I also made Ina Garten's macaroons for a dinner party last week-end (served with lemon verbena granita) and they were a HUGE hit, especially with the men. I didn't tell anyone that they are the easiest cookies in the universe to make.

  2. I love the turtle plates. Your photographs are so mouth watering. Can't wait to try tome of the recipes.

  3. That sounds like an amazing meal. I know first hand how delicious your crab cakes are. Your guests are very lucky!

  4. This sounds so good! Thank you for sharing this at my Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. Hope to see your prettiness again on Monday. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse


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