SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Here are two recipes that can be made at any time of the year, but are especially good as families gather around the Thanksgiving table.
The Cranberry Pear Relish is a simple recipe with no cooking required. It is best if made at least a day or two ahead of time to allow for all the flavors to be fully developed.
KCBS Food and Wine Editor Narsai David:
Narsai’s Cranberry Pear Relish (Yield: 4 cups)
12 oz. cranberries
1 large pear
1 medium naval orange
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons finely minced candied ginger
Directions: Pick over, wash and drain cranberries. Quarter and core the pear. Quarter the orange and remove the seeds. Chop the fruit in a food processor or a meat grinder. If using a food processor, start with the oranges because it should be finely chopped. Then add the cranberries and pulse a few times. Finally, add the pear and pulse only until coarsely chopped. Stir in lemon juice, sugar and ginger and store in the refrigerator.
One of his favorite hors d’oeuvres, especially during Thanksgiving, is a recipe he got from Ruthanne Long for a duck liver pate. David in fact used it for years at his restaurant and market in Berkeley.
Ruthanne’s Duck Liver Pate with Port Aspic
10 TBS butter ( 1 1/4 sticks)
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1/2 small green apple, peeled and thinly sliced
8 oz duck livers
3 TBS apple brandy or sherry
2 TBS heavy cream
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup port wine
1 TBS sugar
1 TBS water
1 1/2 TBS red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp dried tarragon
Directions: Heat 4 tablespoons butter in a frying pan, add the onion, and sauté until quite brown. Add the apple and continue to cook until the apple just starts to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn up the heat to high and add the duck livers. Sauté until the livers are cooked but still slightly pink in the center. Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor and set aside. Deglaze the pan with the brandy or sherry and add the deglazing to the liver mixture. Pour the cream into the livers. To avoid being burned, be sure to cover the container before starting to process the food, and to handle it with a towel or hot pad. Puree the mixture until it is smooth and set it aside to cool to lukewarm.
Put the remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a mixing bowl and whip it until it is soft. Whip the liver puree into the butter, then add the salt and lemon juice and blend in well. Pack the finished pate in a decorative terrine or glass bowl, or for individual portions, into small ramekins, 1 1/2 to 2 ounce capacity. Cool.
Meanwhile, soften the gelatin in the port wine and set aside. Dissolve the sugar in the water in a small saucepan and cook it rapidly until the sugar melts and begins to caramelize. Watch it carefully: Once the sugar starts to melt it will caramelize very quickly. Remove it immediately from the heat – it should be a medium caramel color – and add the port wine and gelatin. Return to low heat, add the vinegar and tarragon, and simmer for just 2 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve and set aside until it is almost cool.
Spoon over the prepared liver pate in an 1/8″ thick layer and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Narsai David is the KCBS Food and Wine Editor. He has been a successful restaurateur, chef, TV host, and columnist in the Bay Area spanning four decades. You can hear him Saturdays at 10:53 a.m., 12:53 p.m. and 4:53 p.m., and at 2:53 a.m. Sunday on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.
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