Chicken liver pâté

Chicken Liver Pâté Sandwich

Homemade chicken liver pâté. Easy, cheap but special. This time I was inspired by a foie gras starter we had this summer in France. The chef added a little quatre épices which I liked very much. The problem with chicken liver pâté is that I normally have enough of it quite easily. But today I discovered that with some sriracha chili sauce I will never get satisfied, always eager for more.

Ingredients
500g chicken livers (rinsed and white, yellow & green bits removed)
100g butter
1 shallot
75 ml white port (or madeira, cognac, shaoxing etc)
75 ml cream
1 t salt
1 t freshly ground pepper
pinch of ground cloves
pinch of ground cardamom
2 pinches of cayenne pepper.

Directions
Saute the chopped shallot in some of the butter.
Then add the chicken livers.
Add the salt and a tiny pinch of ground cloves (kruidnagel in dutch), ground green cardamom and some cayenne pepper.
Saute the livers in about 4-6 minutes until done but still pink in the middle.
Transfer to your blender (or a bowl to cool down if your blender is plastic)
Deglaze the pan with white port and let it reduce.
Take the pan off the heat, add remaining butter.
Let it cool. Then add to the blender.
Blend until smooth. Pass through sieve.
I whipped the cream and carefully mixed the two when the chicken liver was cooled down enough but I think you can just as well add the cream (unwhipped) to the blender.

Chicken Liver Pate RecipePut in one or more decorative jars.
(I used a pâté mold but I wouldn’t bother again, no matter what shape, chicken liver pâté is never going to look pretty)
Cover with cling film to prevent discoloring.
Put in fridge and wait at least 12 hours until set.

Like I said, I’ve made this before and it’s always a bit “much”, a bit “heavy”. Normally I can’t finish the batch. But today I discovered that with (spring onion and) sriracha chili sauce this chicken liver pâté is awesome.

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Chicory and Chicken Salad

Witloof, apple, grapes and Chicken Salad

Not the most simple salad because of all the ingredients, but not that complicated either.
I particularly like this salad when I'm hungry on a hot summer day. Substantial, but still light and refreshing because of the crunchy apple, the sweet grapes, the bitter chicory (witlof / witloof / dutch endive), the sour yoghurt dressing with the hint of honey. The chicken gives it body.

RECIPE

  • MARINATE & GRILL THE CHICKEN
    (you can do this well in advance or use leftover chicken)

    Cut 300g chicken breasts in 3cm thick strips.

    The marinate can vary, this time I used:
    3 T peanut oil
    2 T finely chopped onion
    1 T chopped fresh thyme
    1 T lemon juice
    1 T shaoxing rice wine
    ½ t ground cumin
    ½ t fenegreek seeds
    freshly ground pepper

    Marinate for a couple of hours. Then grill for about 5 minutes or until done. Let it cool down and slice in bite-size chunks. Set aside or refrigerate until needed.
     

  • MAKE THE DRESSING
    Mix together and set aside:
    4 T Greek yogurt
    1 T mayonnaise
    1 T honey
    1 T lemon juice
    Salt/pepper

     
  • CHOP & ASSEMBLE
    Cut 4 heads of chicory into thin slices. Remove the cores.
    (this left me with about 300g of sliced chicory)
    Mix the chicory with some of the yogurt dressing. (you might not need all of it)
    Cut 150gr of white, seedless grapes in quarters and mix with the chicory.
    Cut 1 granny smith apple in julienne strips and mix with the chicory.
    Add the pieces of grilled chicken.
    Serve and enjoy.


Optional: add some pinenuts, walnuts or pecan nuts:
Witlof Salad with chicken and pinenuts

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Garnalenkroketten (Dutch Shrimp Croquettes)

Garnalenkroketjes

The croquette is a very typical dutch snack, we eat about 18 croquettes per person per year. Although those are mainly beef croquettes, this version with shrimps is more popular in Belgium. The principle is very simple: you make a roux and add cooked shrimp (or meat or whatever). You add gelatin as a trick to help the roux get firm in the fridge, you won’t taste it in the finished product. Mold croquettes in your hands, dust with cornflour, roll in egg-white and cover with breadcrumbs, deep-fry and that’s it! In this recipe it’s really worthwhile to use the typically dutch brown shrimp.

Peeled Brown shrimp


INGREDIENTS
4 gram gelatin sheets
90 gram butter
120 gram flour
300 gram chicken stock
500 gram peeled brown shrimp
pinch of cayenne pepper
pinch of garlic powder
salt
pepper

panko breadcrumbs
egg-white
oil for deep-frying

MAKING THE ROUX
Soak the gelatin sheets in cold water for about 5 minutes.
Slowly melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.
When butter has melted, add all flour at once.
Stir with a rubber spatula.
(using a whisk would release the starch, making it sweet)
Heat the mixture for about 3 minutes or until you feel the rawness of the flour is gone. This is an important step, if you don’t cook it enough the croquette will taste of flour, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Gradually add the (cold) stock, stir and bring to the boil.
(do stir well, it will release gluten for optimal “binding”)
Squeeze the soaked gelatin and stir into the mixture.
Add cayenne, garlic powder, salt and pepper and let the mixture cool a little.
Then carefully mix in the shrimp. Don’t stir too much now.
Taste the mixture and add salt, pepper, etc if needed.
Line a baking tray with cling-foil, add the mixture in a layer of about 3 cm thick, cover with clingfilm (clingfilm touching the mixture), let it cool (as quickly as possible) and transfer to your fridge. Ideally, you let the mixture rest for a day to let the flavors “mix and marry”.

MAKING THE CROQUETTES
Cut the mixture already in the shape of croquettes. Pick up the now square croquettes one by one and mold in your hands into a nice, round croquettes.
Dust them with (corn)flour.
Roll in beaten egg-white.
Roll in breadcrumbs.
Deep-fry for about 2-3 minutes at 180°C.
(or about 5 minutes when frozen)

RECIPE SOURCE
Het Groot Culinair Croquetten Kookboek van Edwin Kats

NOTES
(mainly for my own reference)

  • I used bapao flour, which is low in gluten. I’m not even sure if it’s “better or worse” to use, normally you’d use all purpose flour.
  • I was short on stock, so I used some dry white wine too. (about 100ml?)
  • I added 2 teaspoons of freeze dried yuzu and some chopped parsley. Normally you’d just squeeze some lemonjuice over he shrimps.
  • I used panko, Japanese breadcrumbs. And I coated the croquettes twice, so adding another step of rolling in eggwhite and panko again.
  • I froze them after I dusted them in cornflour. You could also freeze them including the panko, but you get a much nice result when you roll them in panko just before deepfrying.

VARIATIONS
with cheese, left-over “man & wife tongue” or braised beef:

Cheese CroquetteHomemade CroquetteBitterballen

Posted in Other Snacks, Shellfish | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Grilled Eggplant Salad

Grilled Aubergine Salad recipe

Together with Fish frangrant eggplant and Thai coconut scented eggplant this is my favorite eggplant recipe. Especially in summer. It’s pretty simple, it’s just a bit of work to grill all the eggplant slices if you just have the one griddle pan. But if you’re a little bit practical, you can do this during the preparation of the other dishes. Anyway, I think it’s totally worth the trouble!


RECIPE
for 2-4 person

600g Asian eggplants (the thinner kind)
5-8 T nice vegetable oil
1 T lime juice
½ clove of garlic, grated
1 tiny pinch of ground cumin
2 spring onions, chopped
5 T cilantro, chopped
fresh chili, chopped (optional, not in this photo)
salt
pepper

  • Slice the eggplants into thin (2mm) slices. Preferably with a mandoline slicer. Grill them (in batches) in a griddle pan or on the bbq. Don’t use any oil.
  • Make the vinaigrette/dressing with all other ingredients and put in a salad bowl. Taste and adjust it. Little bit more salt, lime juice, etc
  • Add the grilled slices of eggplant to the bowl and mix with the vinaigrette. When grilling in batches, keep adding every warm batch into the bowl and mix it with the rest so it can soak up the vinaigrette. Eat warm or luke warm
  • Posted in Salads, Side Dishes | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

    Melon, strawberry and chili flakes salad

    Spiced Melon & Strawberry Salad

    Another one of my most favorite salads. Pretty simple, but pretty good. Perfect for a summer’s day and my entry for the dutch foodblogevent which theme is strawberries!

    For the salad:
    1 melon
    250g strawberries
    1 banana (optional)

    For the dressing:
    50 ml ginger syrup
    10 ml white balsamic vinegar
    pinch of chili flakes (just enough to give it a subtle kick)

    That’s it!

    Posted in Dessert, Salads | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

    Tomato and Avocado Salad

    Salad with tomato, avocado, onion, cilantro and an asian dressing

    One of my favorite if not most favorite salads. I eat it with steak or fish or just about everything. Make sure the avocado is nice and soft and the tomatoes have as much flavor as possible.

    For the salad:
    200g (cherry) tomatoes
    1 avocado
    1/2 red onion
    3 T chopped coriander

    For the dressing:
    juice of 1 lime
    1 T light soysauce
    1 T fishsauce
    1 T olive oil (optional)
    1 t sugar

    Mix the ingredients for the dressing in a salad bowl. Taste and adjust if necessary. Dice the onion pretty finely, the cilantro roughly, add to the bowl and mix. Cut the tomatoes and avocado in smaller but similar pieces and add to the bowl. You might want to mix everything without the avocado first, to keep it neater.

    Posted in Salads | Tagged | 3 Comments

    Steamed Oysters with black beans

    Steamed oyster with tausi
    I used to think you should only eat oysters plain and raw. Maybe with a pinch of chopped shallot and a few drops of red rice vinegar, but nothing more. This however, was before I knew about the Chinese way of eating oysters: steamed with little black beans and a nice soy sauce dressing. I couldn’t choose anymore what my favorite is, I love them both ways. Recipe for a dozen oysters:


    For the sauce, mix together:
    1 T light soy sauce
    1 T Shaoxing rice wine
    1 T clear rice vinegar
    2 T water (or some nice chicken stock if you have)
    1½ t sugar
    2 t sesame oil

    Rinse a tablespoon of fermented black beans (tausi) and set aside.

    Scrub the oysters if they’re still sandy. Open them, cut the oyster loose, but leave them in the half shell. Arrange them an a plate that will fit in your steamer. For stability you could take some tinfoil and mould them into little circles on which you strongly put the oysters. Put about 5 little black beans on each oyster, then pour it with the sauce and steam for about 3-5 minutes until they’re warm and firm up a little, but aren’t completely cooked. Sprinkle with some finely chopped spring onion and serve.

    NB Dit recept kun je ook in het Nederlands lezen op: Aziatische-ingrediënten.nl

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