How did I make this really wonderful chicken liver pâté?
Sautéed some shallot and garlic in lots of butter and olive oil, added really good chicken livers from Sunset Farm. Salt, pepper, a scraping of nutmeg. Low low heat. Turned them until they were just getting rid of their red, still slightly pink. Chopped them coarsely in the food processor after they’d cooled, then added a handful of pistachios, corrected the seasonings, a glug Calvados (perhaps half a drop of truffle oil?). Whirred it once or twice.
That's it! No extra cream, nor butter. No rendered chicken fat. No chopped egg. No frills. I did it without really thinking – mindfully but absent-mindedly, and was surprised at how wonderful it was.
Now if you peer at that photo you might see the shadowy outline just behind the pâté dish of what, if you knew, was the remainder of a jar of preserved lemon slices. It is sitting there on the way from cleaning out the fridge to getting its contents dumped into the compost.
I’d made them last early summer of sliced organic lemons sprinkled heavily with sea salt. We'd eaten most of them, sometimes just as a chewy, salty, almost sweet little snack, on the side of an appetizer plate. But they’d been in there too long. No doubt they were spoiled. So into the compost they went, right on top of coffee grounds.
Only then did I notice the gel in the bottom of the jar. I stuck a finger in and licked it. MMmmmm. Salty wonderful lemon gel! But the lemon slices were covered with coffee grounds. Unrescueable! Taste, Sharon, before doing anything rash.