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    Notes - May 22, 2014

    Photo: (L to R) Mark Donaldson, Chris Churchill and Brad Barker pontificating on all things wine and music

    Once a month, Chris Churchill, Mark Donaldson and Brad Barker educate and entertain us as they talk about what is happening in the world of fine wine and music. And of course, they drink while they entertain. On the latest episode Chris and Mark joined Brad to talk about Handcraft Petite Sirah, First Press Cabernet Sauvignon, Château Donissan and Château Maurac.

    Have a listen!


    Sign up now for the Imbiber’s Report! Impress friends and family with your knowledge of wine. Attend an exclusive Portfolio Tasting in May. Plus be on the lookout for your chance to be a guest Sommelier on Notes with Brad Barker, Chris Churchill and Mark Donaldson.

    Chicken Liver Pâté

    This is dead-simple to prepare and has been adapted from a New York Times recipe, which uses common Canadian measures.  Many recipes on-line come from the UK and call for ingredients not readily available in Canada. Pack the pâté into small glass jars and refrigerate until you want to use it.


    8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
    2 medium shallots, peeled and finely chopped
    1 pound fresh chicken livers trimmed
    1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
    1/3 cup Madeira or port
    3 tablespoons heavy cream, plus more as needed
    Kosher salt to taste


    Put a large, heavy sauté pan over medium heat, and melt 4 tablespoons of the butter until it begins to foam.

    Add the shallots, and sauté them until translucent, being careful not to allow them to brown. Add the livers, thyme and Madeira or port, and bring the heat to high. Cook, occasionally stirring the livers around in the pan with a spoon, until the wine has reduced and the livers are lightly browned but still very soft and pink on the inside, approximately 5 minutes.

    Remove the pan from the stove, and put its contents into a blender or food processor, along with the cream and the remaining butter.

    Purée until smooth, adding a little more cream if necessary. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding salt if necessary.

    Pack the pâté into a glass jar or bowl and smooth the top out with a spatula. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about two hours or up to five days.

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