gelatine topping for pâté …

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summary: recipe for gelatine topping for pâté; link to recipe for our take on the Silver Palate recipe for Chicken Liver Pâté with Green Peppercorns; (click on image for larger view and more photos)

… so the pâté doesn’t look like dog’s breakfast

chicken liver pate with gelatine topping Recently, Jeanne (Cook Sister!) mentioned the thrill of finding chicken livers at her local grocery store so she could make her easy chicken liver and cognac paté. (I must say that I’m still reeling that chicken livers are not normally available to the area of London, England where Jeanne lives!)

Happily, chicken livers are usually readily available to us. We don’t often have chicken livers but today, we slogged through the snow to get some so we could have Chicken Livers Maryland tonight. I adore Chicken Livers Maryland!! But more about that later…

Because all this talk about chicken livers and chicken liver pâté reminded me that I STILL haven’t posted about the wonderful chicken liver pâté with green peppercorns that T made for Christmas. It is traditional for us to make some for ourselves to serve before Christmas dinner and some to give to friends. It’s not hard to do (heh… it’s very easy for me; T makes it; the only thing I do is go down to the basement to get some fresh bay leaves to use as garnish…).

Silver Palate But really, as I was saying, it isn’t difficult. And it’s fabulous. We pretty much follow the recipe in The Silver Palate Cookbook (click on image for larger view and more photos) and just cover it with a beef consomme gelatine so that it looks pretty. The gelatine also adds a lovely freshness.

Oh yes, and one of the things we discovered is that if cognac isn’t available (ie: somebody finished the bottle and forgot to buy some more…), any liquor that has seen some oak aging will do. This year, T used rye whisky instead of cognac. Other years, he has used bourbon.

And we served the pate with a choice of Melba toast, water crackers, crusty French-style and Molasses Fennel Rye bread. It’s particularly good with the molasses fennel rye….

gelatine topping for pâté

  • 1 can (10 oz/284 ml) beef consommé, undiluted
  • ½ Tbsp unflavoured gelatine powder (half a package of Knox)
  • red peppercorns, fresh bay leaves for garnish
  1. For dissolving the gelatine, follow the directions on the gelatine box.
  2. Before pouring jelly mixture over pate, carefully put the bowl of mixed gelatine into a bowl of ice water (N.B. The ice water should stay well away from the jelly mixture) and gently stir to drop the temperature to below room temperature. Pour the jelly mixture over the pate and carefully drop a fresh bay leaf or sprig of fresh thyme and a few dry red peppercorns on top of the jelly. Refrigerate to set.

our recipe for Chicken Liver Pâté with Green Peppercorns

When we gave the pâté to our friends who dined with us on Christmas Eve, one of them squealed with delight, clapped her hands and said, “Oh Goodie! I’ll hide this so I can have it all to myself!”. I must say that I can completely identify with that urge. :whee:


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  • Paz

    How interesting. I’ve never had this before.


  • ejm

    You’re in for a treat then, Paz!

  • CAM

    Mmmmm, looks lovely. Where do you get the green pepper corns? Are they on little twigs?

  • ejm

    We buy the green peppercorns in jars, CAM – they are cured in brine. Most specialty food stores carry brine cured green peppercorns. We used to be able to get them canned at our Indian grocery store (at a considerably cheaper price) but alas, the store no longer carries them.

  • david

    I was just wondering why does pate traditionally have a gelatin topping?

    Good question, David. My guess is that it is because pate has a tendency to look like dog’s breakfast. The gelatin on top smooths out the look of it. (It also tastes good.) -Elizabeth