A Pâtè Kind of Day

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A friend was throwing a holiday cocktail party yesterday, and I wanted to bring a little hostess gift. Taking this lady wine is like bringing coals to Newcastle and flowers seemed so last minute.  Something delicious that she could either serve or save for another occasion seemed just the thing. There are two appetizers I love to share, as a hostess gifts - homemade pimento cheese, and port and fig pâtè. The pâtè seemed sort of holiday special so that was it. 

I’m always on the lookout for fun little containers to package food gifts. It’s ok to smack your leftovers in Tupperware, but come on, this is pâtè, not ranch dip - it needs pretty packaging. These cute little crocks were perfect – also good for pimento cheese, which will undoubtedly make an appearance at another festive occasion.

This pâtè is loosely based on a recipe that was in Gourmet Magazine in 1991.  The recipe was misplaced in the days before Google, and I just kept reinventing it. Gourmet Magazine is no longer with us, and so I believe there will be no hurt feelings if I say this recipe is world’s better than the original, which had about a million onions and not anywhere near enough fig taste using only a little preserves. 

I took the pâtè to its party yesterday and the hostess was all in favor of serving it immediately. One of my pet peeves when I’m a hostess is people bringing food that requires my attention. A dip that needs chips and a bowl, cheeses that need a cheese board, knife, and crackers – you get the idea. So I took my pâtè with toast points that I had made, a disposable clear plastic plate, and knife. The hostess can keep the cute container and either toss or recycle the rest. I set everything up and put it out to sample. One of the guests who professed to hate pâtè said she loved this one and everyone else seemed to enjoy it. There were requests for the recipe so, guess what, here it is! I hope you enjoy it too.

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Port and Fig Pâtè


½ onion, chopped

1 lb chicken livers, rinsed and dried

1 stick butter

1 tsp salt

¼ tsp allspice

2 Tbsp heavy cream

8 dried figs

2 Tbsp fig preserves

2 Tbsp port


Sauté onions in 1 Tbsp butter in a skillet over medium high heat until softened. Cool slightly and add to food processor.

Sauté chicken livers in the same skillet over medium high heat in 2 Tbsp butter until no longer pink in the middle. Cool slightly and add to onions in the food processor.

Add 4 Tbsp butter, salt, allspice, cream, figs, preserves, and port to the food processor and blend until smooth. Refrigerate at least 4 hours to cool. Serve with toast points or crackers. 

* Pâtè isn’t inherently gorgeous on it’s own, so top it with a sliced dried fig or a dab of fig preserves.

© Deer One Publishing 2019