Chicken Liver Pâté with Red Wine-Poached Figs and Caramelized Spicy Walnuts

chicken-pate

Since a long time ago this liver pâté recipe from an old issue of the Gourmet magazine has become a staple in our house. It makes a lot, but since it keeps so well and can be frozen I prefer to make a bigger batch. It’s nice to give a little ramekin to your guests to take home with them (it’s always appreciated and never declined).

I like to pair the pâté with sweet and spicy walnuts and figs poached in red wine. The taste combo is unbelievably good and the presentation is very attractive.

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Prosciutto Parmesan Puff Pastry Straws

These are perfect for an easy entertaining menu. The recipe itself is super-easy. The straws can be made in advance and frozen unbaked for up to a week, or just put in the fridge overnight before baking. You can shove them in the oven when your guests are at the door and serve the straws freshly baked – warm, crisp, and wonderful.

The flavor combination is an old classic (doesn’t mean it’s out of fashion though). The way I like to make the straws is to put the filling (quite a lot) between two layers of puff pastry brushed with some egg wash, then roll the rolling pin over to adhere them well together and cut into thin strips. The filling stays inside and doesn’t try to escape, and every straw is packed with meat and cheese goodness.

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Summer Grilling: Grilled Eggplant (my favorite way) with Goat Cheese, Fresh Basil, and Fire-toasted Bread

Finally, it seems like it’s summer here. Vancouver can’t ever brag about its early summer, but this year the cold and rainy spring seemed particularly lengthy. As soon as the weather permitted, and the tedious task of grill-cleaning was accomplished, I grilled my all time favorite vegetable. I love to layer freshly grilled, hot eggplant slices with garlic-balsamic-evoo dressing and fresh basil. Then I quickly toast a sourdough bread and serve it spread with goat cheese and topped with the eggplant. It is a great meal of its own. Good wine is a must, though.

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Mushroom Onion Scones

These scones, as all perfect cream scones should be, are light and tender inside, crispy outside, and full of flavor throughout. I like making them in advance and freezing unbaked. I bake the scones close to serving time without defrosting, getting the freshest warm pastries quickly and effortlessly.

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Pear Cranberry and Gorgonzola Turnovers

This is both a dessert and cheese course in one. Although my son declared they were the best when eaten with wild mushroom soup as a bread substitute. He’s got quite a taste for an 8-year old.

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Artichoke Sun-Dried Tomato and Lots of Cheese Muffins

This recipe was born out of the need to utilize some leftover filling I used to stuff chicken breasts for our dinner. I also conveniently got rid of some Italian salami that was left on an antipasto platter after the same dinner. Maybe this is not a very fascinating or motivating preface, but let me assure you, these little things are loaded with flavor.

I believe the most delicious recipes are created accidentally, without too much hope or expectation of a great result.

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