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    Notes - November 18, 2015

    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 this episode, Chris, Mark and Brad talk about Casa Silva Cool Coast Sauvignon Blanc, Château de Panignon, Ricasoli Brolio Chianti Classico Riserva, and d’Arenberg High Trellis Cabernet Sauvignon.

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    This classic chicken liver paté recipe comes from Fine Cooking magazine. We serve this by itself with most types of red wine and whites like Rueda, Pinot Grigio and Cava. The only additions we ever make are a few brined green peppercorns on top for a little bite and a bit of crunch. This recipe is also part of the ‘Mount Everest’ of Christmas dinners, Classic Beef Wellington. It’s quite a bit of work, but the result is spectacular and delicious. In case you are curious, here’s the full recipe.

    Classic Chicken Liver Paté

    4 oz. (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted; more for the ramekins
    9 oz. chicken livers (about 1 cup)
    2 medium shallots, chopped (1/4 cup)
    1 medium clove garlic, chopped
    3 sprigs fresh thyme
    2-1/2 Tbs. Madeira
    2-1/2 Tbs. brandy
    2 large eggs
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F. Butter two 8-oz. ramekins.

    Inspect the chicken livers; trim and discard any green-yellow patches. Cut each liver in half.

    Put the shallots, garlic, thyme, Madeira, and brandy in a small pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer, checking frequently, until reduced to about 1 Tbs. of liquid, 2 to 3 minutes. Strain and reserve the liquid.

    Put the chicken livers in a food processor. Add the eggs, the reserved liquid, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Process until smooth, about 30 seconds, gradually pouring in the melted butter while the motor is running. Strain the mixture into the ramekins.

    Put the ramekins in a 9x13-inch baking dish and pour in enough hot water to come about 1 inch up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until puffed, golden-brown, and set, 25 to 30 minutes.

    Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and cool completely. If not using immediately, cover tightly with plastic wrap once the pâté is cool, and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

    Serve on plain crackers or lightly toasted baguette crostini.

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