Easy entertaining…wild about food!
Vanilla Zulu’s easy chicken liver pate with fragrant Shiraz, beetroot, strawberry and black pepper jelly
50-80 g finely diced speck or bacon (I have also used smoked pork neck, now available at your local supermarket in the small goods isle)
1 small onion finely chopped
2 garlic cloves finely minced or diced
+-400g fresh chicken or duck livers (cleaned and trimmed)
1 tablespoon finely chopped tarragon or thyme
50-80ml cognac or brandy
150ml chicken stock
125ml fresh cream
Grease and heat a large frying pan until nice and hot. Add the bacon or speck to the pan and allow to brown off on the first side first before stirring. Add the onion, livers and the garlic and cook for a minute or two until the onions are slightly softened and at least one of the sides of the livers are browned. Add the herbs, allow to livers to cook through over a reduced heat until just about done. Scoop the mixture to the one side of the pan so that the pan is clean and allow to heat. Once nice and hot add the brandy or cognac to the pan, allow to bubble, and then ignite by holding a lit match to the edge of the pan (the flame will ‘jump’ in and ignite the brandy)…please be careful! Shake to open up the alcohol and the flame will eventually die off. Now add the stock and cook until you are sure that the livers are cooked through! Remove from the heat and add the cream. Once cool enough place in a food processor and blend until smooth. Scoop into a suitable container, smooth down and neaten, and then clean the bowl.
Shiraz, strawberry and black pepper jelly
In a small saucepan heat 1/4 cup good Shiraz, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar and 1 large tablespoon strawberry jam OR 3 tablespoons finely diced strawberry. 1 tablespoon finely diced fresh beetroot (for colour) and allow to boil through for about 5 minutes or until the beetroot and strawberries are cooked. Remove from heat. Soak two sheets of leaf gelatin until soft and then drain in your hand squeezing out the excess liquid. Add the wine mixture and stir through until dissolved. Now pour on top of the pate using as much as you need to create a jelly cap of about 3-6mm thick. Allow to set in the fridge and then serve. You can make this in advance and keep for three days! The perfect entertainer…..
And just a little secret…this will only cost you $7-8 to make and will be enough for a significant starter for about 4-6 served with your choice of toasted crostini!