Paté

Two meals today featured some homemade charcuterie; I recently got the eponymous book by Ruhlman & Polcyn and have many plans to make some serious stuff this summer. Normally with cookbooks I read them through like a novel and then only occasionally consult them again except for baking and other things where actual measurements are important. For lunch, joined by my cousin Marilyn and her husband Sandy, I picked a lavish salad and made rillettes of trout that Kenny brought by a few days ago and that I smoked this morning. The trout, mixed with local horseradish flavored goat cheese, olive oil, lemon, melted butter and lightly sizzled garlic, herbs, and salt, went in a big bowl and I mashed it with a fork until it was all smooth and creamy (this keeps some texture that the food processor would destroy, and makes it easy to spot any errant bones.) With a crusty baguette, a perfect lunch.

At the same time, I made a paté, but it wasn’t ready in time so we had it for dinner with another salad. The rest of the pork, plus rendered bacon fat, spices (cumin, ginger, Vietnamese 5 spice, paprika, herbs, chile) salt, pepper, and a bit of bread soaked in milk all went in the food processor with just enough water to get a good spin going. Then I folded in the chopped bacon and whacked it into a 2 cup pyrex thing with a lid that I rushed out and bought this morning at the hardware store of all places; I was prepared to go to the fancy kitchen store in town but got lucky. Baked in a bain-Marie for a bit over an hour, then cooled and secured with rubber bands, by dinner it was ready and unmolded and sliced beautifully. Garnished traditionellement with cornichons and a good mustard, and the salad on the side, it was a classic country dinner for a perfect Spring evening, enhanced by a 2004 Jadot Meursault. We’ve been digging the (more affordable) white Burgundies lately, especially with this kind of food.

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