As Promised: Recipes!
THE CAN'T-HAVE-A-PARTY-WITHOUT MEME'S CHICKEN LIVER & MUSHROOM PATE RECIPE
This pate, adapted by me stepmum (or Meme, as her grandchildren call her) from Patti's Pate of Bargetto Winery, is standard fare at any major function in my family: weddings, receptions, graduations, birthdays. Meme tells us that this pate freezes “beautifully,” and she should know as she makes this pate in quantities and well in advance of family parties (which she is frequently called upon to cater); but frankly, I personally have no first-hand knowledge of how this pate freezes – if there’s any leftover after a party, it disappears quite quickly within a day. Very odd indeed.
Meme typically serves this pate with sliced baguettes, though Eryn, Jae, and I had it with crackers on Memorial Day. I rather prefer it with crackers – plain ones. Actually, I’d eat this pate all by itself by the spoonful – hahaha! It goes exceptionally well with champagne.
1 & 1/2 sticks of butter (only butter will do) Note: divided use of butter in the instructions.
1/2 lb fresh mushrooms thinly sliced6 green onions (with part of the green tops) thinly sliced
1 lb. chicken livers
3 cloves garlic finely minced
1/2 cup brandy
1/8 cup water
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried rosemary crumbled
1/2 tsp dill weed
1/2 tsp dry mustard
pinch of nutmeg
Melt 1 stick of butter in a large frying pan. Add the mushrooms and onions and sauté until tender. Add the chicken livers and cook until the edges become white. Turn.
Add Group B to Group A. Stir to mix well. Simmer until the liquid is reduced by half. When liquid is reduced, pour all of the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Blend until smooth, adding the last 1/2 stick of butter a little at a time. Refrigerate the pate two to three days before serving.
CORN AND BLACK BEAN SALAD
After my party, my houseguests and I had the leftovers of this salad with eggs for breakfast. This salad also works quite well as a salsa with blue corn chips. Try a margarita to go along with.
2 8oz cans whole kernel corn drained and rinsed
2 16oz cans black beans drained and rinsed
1/2 cup sliced red onion
1 cup red bell pepper diced to the size of the corn and beans
1/2 cup lemon juice
4 Tbs corn oil
1 tsp. each salt, sugar, black pepper, cumin and chili powder
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
½ cup boiling water
1/3 cup minced cilantro
Place the corn in a large frying pan with a dab of oil. Sauté until the corn begins to caramelize. Remove from the heat. When cool, add the remainder of Group A.
Combine Group B and mix with Group A. Cover and refrigerate 8 to 12 hours.
Just before serving, place peas in a sauce pan with 1/2 cup of boiling water and cook 2 minutes (they should still be crisp). Shock the peas in cold water. Drain and combine Groups A and B with Groups C and D.
SWEET POTATO SALAD
A very popular salad – guests just kept coming back for more. Meme also makes a wonderful warm sweet potato side dish with rosemary, pine nuts, and olive oil. Are you drooling yet?
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tsp ground coriander
3/4 tsp hot red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 pounds sweet potatoes
1 1/2 cups diced green pepper
3/4 cup sliced green onion
2/3 cup dry roasted peanuts coarsely chopped
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
Combine Group A, set aside.
Cook sweet potatoes in boiling, salted water until just tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Do not over cook. When just cool enough to handle, peel and cut into 3/4 inch cubes. Combine with Groups A and C. Chill. Just before serving add Group D.
SHELDON'S ONCE-UPON-A-TIME-BUT-NOT-ANY-MORE DOUBLE-SUPER SECRET COUNTRY STYLE BBQ'D PORK RIBS
When my father was alive, he and Meme used to make the circuit – traveling up from San Diego to visit my brother and his family in Santa Cruz, me and mine in the San Francisco area, and my sister’s family in Nevada. At each stop, my father was confronted by pleas for his country style ribs (as well as his famous London Broil with Cheese Sauce). He never declined to make either, though it meant that’s pretty much all he and Meme ate on their “circuit.” His children and grandchildren simply couldn’t get enough of the ribs or the broil.
Rumor has it that this recipe was not originally my father’s, but that he adapted it from some newspaper recipe in the 60s. However, this claim has remained unsubstantiated; thus the family still claims this recipe as a Pepe original.
For the party, my daughter sliced the ribs into bite-sized morsels for shish kabobs before marinating in her Pepe’s sauce.
Regrettably, specific instructions as to how many pounds of ribs per sauce recipe have been lost – you can figure it out though.
5 tbs brown sugar
2 tsp garlic salt
2 tsp garlic powder (one of the few recipe my dad DIDN’T use fresh garlic)
1 ½ tsp dry mustard
1 tsp ginger
3/8 tsp cayenne pepper
Combine all ingredients together with a pestle. Slather on ribs and let sit for few hours, periodically turning and re-slathering the ribs before BBQing.
Damn! I'm hungry again!