Monday, June 14, 2010

Daring Cooks: Pates and Breads

Back in November (at the start of my 6 months of traveling) I came across a site called The Daring Kitchen. The Daring Kitchen has two roles; The Daring Cook and The Daring Baker. I wanted desperately to join this community of Daring Kitcheneer's (my new made up you like it??) but since I didn't have a kitchen of my own I waited.

Well, now I have my own kitchen so I pretty much immediately signed up for this challenge!! Now I get to post my first challenge results!

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.

I have to say I was less than thrilled when I found out the challenge was pate and bread! The Hubble wasn't too excited either. But I'm so glad I did this challenge and I think things turned out well.

I made the French Baguette recipe that Evelyne and Valerie provided for us.

I cooked mine the amount of time the recipe instructed but mine were overcooked when they came out of the oven. They still tasted good. They tasted just like overcooked French Baguettes so I'm still happy with it. It took a long time to get the dough right but the cook time was pretty quick, especially since mine should have been cooked less than they were. But hey! I did it right?? And now I know what to do next time. Also, I'm still getting used to my new oven so maybe that contributed a bit to my way too brown baguettes.

Then I made the tri-colored vegetable pate. This was actually pretty easy and even The Hubble liked it (though he only liked it because I didn't tell him the recipe has feta and ricotta cheese in it!).

This was actually quite delicious and I'll be posting the step by step instructions and recipe in a later post so watch out for that. I think this would be a really great "get together" or party dish.

Then I made the "trout" and shrimp pate. Sadly, I just could not find trout in this small town. I looked at every grocery store I knew of and just couldn't find it! So I had actually bought some tilapia to make this pate. Unfortunately, that night we had a crazy electrical/thunder/rain storm complete with tornado sirens and hail and our power was knocked out for a few hours so I definitely didn't trust the poor tilapia anymore. But that was okay. The Hubble came to the rescue and ended up getting me a Mekong Basa fillet. I still don't really know what that is but I used it and it turned out well.

While other Daring Cooks were nervous about making the breads, I was nervous about the flambeing of the shrimpies! But I did it!!! Can you see the fire in the left "corner" of the pan?? It wooshed up pretty high when I first lit the liquer but then I felt it was a bit anti-climactic. I wasn't sure what I had been so nervous about.

I didn't get a picture of the inside of this pate but there is a shrimp layer in the center as well. It had a weird texture (for me) but it was tasty.

So there ya have it. I completed my first Daring Cooks challenge and I feel great about it! Stay tuned for the tri-colored vegetable pate recipe and my next Daring Adventure!!!

But while you wait, here is the recipe for the baguettes and the trout and shrimp pate. And if you would like to see other Daring Cooks Creations you can check out the Daring Blogroll!

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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).
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
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).
  1. 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.)
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
Recipe Sources:
- Three Spice Liver Pâté: adapted from Ravenous Couple, which was inspired by White on Rice Couple.
- Chicken Liver Pâté: slightly adapted from Stéphane Reynaud’s Terrine
- Tricolor Vegetable Pâté: from Bon Appétit Oct 1993 on Epicurious
- Trout and Shrimp Pâté: unknown (handed down to Valerie from someone, who got it from someone else, etc.)
- French Baguette: from King Arthur Flour
- Sandwich Loaf: translated from Josée Fiset and Éric Blais’s Pain (“pain” means “bread” in French – no physical suffering involved here!)
Related Posts with Thumbnails