"Our hostesses this month, Evelyne of Cheap Ethnic Eatz, and Valerie of a The Chocolate Bunny, chose delicious pate with freshly baked bread as their June Daring Cook’s challenge! They’ve provided us with 4 different pate recipes to choose from and are allowing us to go wild with our homemade bread choice."
I must admit, it seems hypocritical for someone raising chickens to be eaten, to be iffy about dealing with chicken livers. And I do like to eat real pate. But working with liver didn't have much appeal for me - and then the Tricolor Vegetable Pate option of the challenge caught my eye. With R acting as my able sous chef (and taste testing as we went along), we started. I also chose to make baguettes, using the provided recipe. Baguettes are a favorite bread for me and making them from scratch sounded like fun.
The bread: not nearly as technical to make as I thought it would be, really quite basic and requiring very few ingredients. My new mixer even helped out with the kneading. It turned out very tasty but lacked the nice holes that typically are in baguette. I blame that on rushing one stage of the rising time (curse you, mid-day appointments, messing with my baking!). The crust could maybe have been darker with a longer baking time, but it tasted great.
The pate: the flavor! I loved it. I'd sampled as I put it together, but the flavors had overnight to get to know each other a little better and that only added to it. It was three layers: one of white beans, garlic and herbs, the second of roasted red pepper and feta, and a third pesto/ricotta layer.
Lots of different tastes, but all working together to make the whole even better. Wonderfully garlicky, the cheeses and herbs complementing it well. The danger in this dish would be to sit and eat the whole thing myself.
We had the results with a fancy family dinner of glazed grilled halibut and grilled asparagus, and it worked perfectly: nice and summery, not too heavy. D and all the girls liked the flavor of the pate (quote from D: "it's not the kind of food I get excited about, but it's really good!") and raved about the bread.
Given what I was putting together, it really was quick and easy to make (and with the overnight refrigeration, a true make-ahead), I plan to use this as a take-along dish for a party sometime. Now I just need a party to go to...