Sunday, January 15, 2012

Smoky Bacon-studded French Toast

Safely on their way home to Albany, Georgia, this weekend's contented guests enjoyed a peaceful anniversary weekend filled with shopping at Lenox Mall in Atlanta, dinner at a few local eateries and several movie dates!

After their leisurely departure we relaxed in the kitchen with a shared piece of French Toast-studded with crispy applewood smoked bacon and hand-blended syrup!  In another "lightbulb" moment I mentioned that it might be time to experiment with our pan-fried breadpudding and it's back to the "lab"!

What sets my French Toast apart from other recipes is the heavenly blend of toasted pecans, neufchatel cheese, caramel mousse, and a teaspoon of buttery caramel. 

Before grilling the crusty custard-soaked bread, I sprinkled both sides of my bread with cinnamon and brown sugar to create a nice crust!  A quenell of praline cream and four hand-blended syrups-topped with roasted pecans create a luxurious morning treat!

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Friday, January 6, 2012

Jacque Pepin's Chicken Liver Pate

Every silky-smooth bite of this pleasing chicken liver pate was worth the extra calories!  Created by my daughter-in-law's mother, Jill, the recipe captured everything I love about pate! A perfectly smooth pate enhanced by the addition of cognac.

The rich chicken livers pared deliciously with a dark berry compote made of strawberries, blackberries and fresh blueberries!

Recipe: Jacque Pepin's Chicken Liver Pâté
  • FAST
  1. 1/2 pound chicken livers, well-trimmed
  2. 1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
  3. 1 small garlic clove, smashed and peeled
  4. 1 bay leaf
  5. 1/4 teaspoon thyme leaves
  6. Kosher salt
  7. 1/2 cup water
  8. 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  9. 2 teaspoons Cognac or Scotch whisky
  10. Freshly ground pepper
  11. Toasted baguette slices, for serving

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the chicken livers, onion, garlic, bay leaf, thyme and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add the water and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the livers are barely pink inside, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
  2. Discard the bay leaf. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the livers, onion and garlic to a food processor; process until coarsely pureed. With the machine on, add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, until incorporated. Add the Cognac, season with salt and pepper and process until completely smooth. Scrape the pâté into 2 or 3 large ramekins. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pâté and refrigerate until firm. Serve chilled.
Make Ahead

The pâté can be covered with a thin layer of melted butter, then wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 2 months
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