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Yesterday I dug up my horseradish plant that’s been growing all year not having any idea on what to expect. It certainly put up a fight trying to dig it out, with at least two long roots that disappeared into the depths of my raised bed and beyond. In the end I had a good poke about, took a couple of long roots and put the main plant back in the soil – it’s got lots of new growth and hopefully it will continue to grow. Only time with tell.
Mr Rigg made us Jamie Oliver’s meal for baby Yorkshire puds with a creamy smoked trout and horseradish pate. The horseradish was for the smoke trout, and we just grated it in – the heat from the horseradish was incredible. Along with a pile of green leaves it made a light and delicious dinner. And very satisfying to use our own homegrown horseradish.
This time last week I was enjoying a morning of venison cookery in the stunning old kitchen at Dunham Massey National Trust. As a volunteer and editor of an internal National Trust newsletter on food I went along to find out what it was all about.
What a wonderful morning. In my opinion there were several things that set this cookery demonstration apart from others:
Firstly, the setting. The event was held in the original old kitchen at Dunham Massey, a room that you would normally wander through on your tour of the house. It is an impressive room, bright with high ceilings, a massive Aga, a beautiful collection of copper pans, and a hefty big wooden workbench.
Secondly, the venison. The meat used in the cookery demonstration came from the deer park – perhaps if you a regular walker at Dunham Massey you might have even passed that same deer that we got to sample.
Last night we had a simple supper of homemade trout pate spread thickly on slices of pumpernickel bread topped with a morsel of homegrown lettuce.
The recipe was inspired by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s version in his book River Cottage Everyday. I had planned to follow it to the letter, but it seems that I picked up soft cheese rather than crème fraîche while out shopping, so I ended up making it up and tasting it as I went along.
We ate the pate on slices of the Barbakan’s pumpernickel bread, which was delicious – dark, sticky and chewy. Every mouthful felt good for you. It has been agreed we must eat more of it more often.
Here’s my version, without exact measurements – mix and taste, then amend. Alternatively follow Hugh’s recipe.
Smoked trout pate
Feeds 2 for dinner or 4 as a starter
Approx 250-300g smoked trout (I used a combination of smoke trout and hot smoked trout)
A couple of spoonfuls of soft cheese/cream cheese
A dollop of mayonnaise
A couple of teaspoons of English mustard
Lots of lemon juice
A good grinding of black pepper
A bunch of chives, snipped
In a blender add half the smoked trout, the soft cheese and mustard. Blitz. Add more soft cheese if it’s a bit dry and the mayonnaise. Add a good amount of lemon juice and the ground black pepper.
Blitz and then taste. You want it to have a good punchy kick of mustard, but not overpowering. And a nice fresh lemony background taste. I added a tiny splash of water just to loosen the pate a little.
Flake the remaining smoke trout and stir into the pate – this gives a nice texture. Also stir in the snipped chives and the chive flowers which you should pull from the head.
Eat with pumpernickel or a dark rye bread and a crisp green salad. This would also make an excellent canapé - a tiny chunk of bread spread with pate and topped with a piece of lettuce or a sprinkling of chives and chive flowers.
Hopefully I’m going to start getting back into posting. I’ve been a bit useless really. And I miss it.
Here are some snaps of our French antipasto style dinner – we were celebrating 6 years together! We are trying to save for our wedding at the moment, so decided to stay at home and eat well rather than going out for dinner.
We had a selection of French saucisson sec (some encrusted with herbs)…
…tiny fragrant olives, gooey Reblochon, silky St Agur blue cheese…
…sun-dried tomatoes, organic chicken liver pate (a much tastier homemade version here), a bowl of delicate salad leaves topped with shavings of Parmesan…
…and all brought together with a bowl of crusty baguette. Eaten in front of a roaring log fire…