Monday, June 14, 2010

Seafood Pate with After School Snack

 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.
This month's Daring Cook's Challenge posed a lot of interest for me.  Ever since I had read a Fine Cooking Magazine feature on pate a few years has been on my to do list.  My only problem with making pate is that I am likely the only person in the house who would eat it......and maybe Kitty too....depending on the flavour....she's very picky:)  So for my needs.....a very small serving size would be in order and I would have to stick to the seafood variety for increasing the probability that DH would even give it a try......and if it wasn't well received by the least that's a flavour that Kitty favours.
While researching all the aspects of what I could do.....I came upon this site and really liked the idea of pate prepared in small jars using a pressure canner.  If you own a pressure really should give this a look!  I'm going to have to try it and see what the texture of product ends up being like in the end.   I just loved the method as it would allow me to prepare pate in small (I would use salmon canning jars in the 1 cup size) containers that would be ready for company with no notice at all, and I could make a batch size that would not make me feel like I'd been wasting my time.  I have yet to try this, but it is now on my to do list for Christmas time.  They do advise in their video that the pate will take on flavours from the spices as it sits in the jars and recommends a few weeks shelf time for best flavour development.  Had I found that site a few weeks ago.....more than likely that is the route I would have chosen.  However, for this challenge I have chosen to make a salmon and shrimp (that's just what I had in the freezer) pate served with fresh baguettes.  Again I spent a lot of time considering what bread to try....I'm not very adept at bread this was a useful challenge for me.  In the end I decided to give the baguette recipe a try having never made them before and having a baguette pan sitting in my basement with packaging still attached.  I am pleased to be able to tell you that I have now tried out the pan and was more that satisfied with the end result.  I worried about the dough recipe as my starter was more of a dough and not very loose at all, and the completed dough was fairly stiff even after I added the maximum suggested amount of water.  When all was finished.......I could not complain about the bread.  It had a beautiful firm crust and a deliciously moist interior.  We ate a whole baguette just sliced with butter before the pate was even ready.  I think it turned out beautifully and would not hesitate to make it again. 
I was so 'challenged' by this challenge that it has definitely been one of my favourites and I do intend to revisit it and the canning link above during the holidays.  I also loved that this was done with no trips to the grocery store as it was made with common ingredients producing a very practical dish.
I bet you want to make some now too...don't you....and you should!  My only changes to the recipe below was to scale it down in size, I used salmon rather than trout and Cointreau rather than Gran Marnier.  I also roughly chopped 1/2 of the shrimp before sauteing and mixed them into the pate rather than layering it.  I wanted it to be easier to spread.  Ike decided in the end that his after school snack was 'delectable' although he did find the crust on the baguette a bit of a challenge:)

Trout and Shrimp Pâté
Yields one 6x3 inch (15x7,5 cm) terrine or loaf pan
1 tbsp / 15 ml butter
1/4 lb / 4 oz / 120g medium raw shrimp, deveined, shelled and tailed (about 12 medium shrimp)
1/8 cup / 30ml Grand Marnier (or cognac, or another strong liqueur of your choice) (optional)
1/2 lb / 8 oz / 240g trout filet, skinned and cut into thick chunks
1/4 lb / 4 oz / 110g raw shrimp, deveined, shelled and tailed (any size)
3/4 cup / 180ml heavy cream
Salt, to taste
Green peppercorn, coarsely ground, to taste
Chives, for garnish
Preheat oven to 375ºF (190ºC).
In a heavy, flameproof frying pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Sauté the 1/4 pound of medium shrimp, stirring often, until pink and cooked through. Remove the pan from heat. (NOTE: These shrimp will be used to form layers within your pâté. If you feel they are too thick – like the ones in the photograph, you might want to slice them in half lengthwise.)
Pour the Grand Marnier over the cooked shrimp. Light a match and carefully ignite the alcohol, to flambé the shrimp. Wait for the flames to go out on their own, carefully tilting the pan to ensure even flavoring. Set aside.
Put the trout and the remaining raw shrimp in a food processor and pulse. Gradually pour in the cream and keep pulsing until you obtain a smooth mixture that is easy to spread, but not too liquid (you may not need to use all the cream). Season with salt and green pepper.
Butter a 6x3 inch (15x7,5 cm) loaf pan or terrine, then line it with parchment paper. Spoon in half the trout mixture, and spread it evenly. Place the flambéed shrimp on top, in an even layer, reserving 3 or 4 shrimp for decorating. Top with the remaining trout mixture.
Prepare a water bath: place the loaf pan in a larger, deep ovenproof dish (such as a brownie pan or a baking dish). Bring some water to a simmer and carefully pour it in the larger dish. The water should reach approximately halfway up the loaf pan.
Put the water bath and terrine in the oven, and bake for 35 minutes. The pâté should be cooked through and firm in the center.
Remove the pan from the water bath and let cool. Carefully unmold onto a serving platter. Decorate with the reserved shrimp, and sprinkle with chopped chives. Cut into thick slices and serve at room temperature, with crusty bread.
French Baguette
yield: Three 16" baguettes
1/2 cup / 120 ml cool water
1/16 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 cup / 240 ml flour
1 tsp / 5 ml active dry yeast
1 cup to 1 1/4 cups / 240 ml to 300 ml lukewarm water*
all of the starter
3 1/2 cups / 840 ml flour
1 1/2 tsp / 7 ml salt
*Use the lesser amount in summer (or in a humid environment), the greater amount in winter (or in a dry climate), and somewhere in between the rest of the year, or if your house is climate controlled.
Make the starter by mixing the yeast with the water, then mixing in the flour to make a soft dough. Cover and let rest at room temperature for about 14 hours; overnight works well. The starter should have risen and become bubbly.
Mix active dry yeast with the water and then combine with the starter, flour, and salt. Mix and knead everything together—by hand, mixer or bread machine set on the dough cycle—till you've made a soft, somewhat smooth dough; it should be cohesive, but the surface may still be a bit rough. Knead for about 5 minutes on speed 2 of a stand mixer.
Place the dough in a lightly greased medium-size bowl, cover the bowl, and let the dough rise for 3 hours, gently deflating it and turning it over after 1 hour, and then again after 2 hours.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased work surface. Divide it into three equal pieces. Shape each piece into a rough, slightly flattened oval, cover with greased plastic wrap, and let them rest for 15 minutes.
Working with one piece of dough at a time, fold the dough in half lengthwise, and seal the edges with the heel of your hand. Flatten it slightly, and fold and seal again. With the seam-side down, cup your fingers and gently roll the dough into a 15" log. Place the logs seam-side down onto a lightly greased or parchment-lined sheet pan or pans.
Cover them with a cover or lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the loaves to rise till they've become very puffy, about 1 1/2 hours. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat your oven to 450ºF (240ºC).
Using a very sharp knife held at about a 45° angle, make three 8" vertical slashes in each baguette. Spritz the baguettes heavily with warm water; this will help them develop a crackly-crisp crust.
Bake the baguettes until they're a very deep golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove them from the oven and cool on a rack. Or, for the very crispiest baguettes, turn off the oven, crack it open about 2", and allow the baguettes to cool in the oven.


Lori said...

I wanted to make this one but never ended up doing it. After reading your review I think I need to give it a try.

sarah said...

Nice one! I am jealous of your baguette tray--what a luxury to have. They turned out beautifully. The pate looks very tasty as well. What does a pressure canner look like? What does it do? Thanks for visiting over at mine as well. :)

LittleRed said...

Hi Lori and Sarah:) Thanks for stopping by! Lori, a pressure canner is a pressurized canner made for canning things like meat which cannot be safely canned with a water bath canner. If you go to the link in this post and watch the little video of them making pate you can see their pressure canner in use.

Mary said...

Both your pate and the baguette look perfect! I'm glad you enjoyed the challenge and got that baguette pan christened! It is nice when the challenges don't need any special ingredients, isn't it? The canning idea sounds perfect for a make-ahead treat or gift too.

Vivian - Let's Try These... said...

sweet idea to use the pressure canner! Looks beautiful.

Katherine said...

Oh, baguettes! I've tackled all manner of bread, but never a baguette. Yours look divine. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

ImplausibleYarn said...

well wasn't it Julia Childs who said something about a good pate staying with you for life? My sister in law makes little sandwiches for my nephew out of it but yours looks so much better than the tubs that come from the grocery store.

LittleRed said...

Thanks everyone for stopping by:) I enjoyed this one as it was on my to do list and I will most definitely be revisiting it with the pressure canner! I loved the opportunity to try the baguettes too:)