Food Styling Tips

Oysters & Champagne

Kumamoto Oysters with Jeweled Vegetable Mignonette on Shiso Leaves

Kumamoto Oysters with Jeweled Vegetable Mignonette on Shiso Leaves

Kumamoto Oysters with Jeweled Vegetable Mignonette on Shiso Leaves

For Valentine’s Day this year, let’s start off with savory, salty, plump and juicy Kumamoto oysters and refreshingly bubbly champagne, before indulging in all of that ubiquitous chocolate. Not that there is anything wrong with chocolate as your encore. This oyster appetizer is a delicious and healthfully balancing way to prime the body’s digestive pump with some blood sugar stabilizing seafood protein and crunchy vegetables.

 

You will be amazed at the difference the type of oyster can make. I never really liked oysters until I tasted Kumamotos from the Pacific North West. I had only had the East Coast variety - flat, slimy, briny. They are actually a different genus than the Pacific North-West. Kumamotos are the perfect bite size, pink rather than grey, plump rather than flat, sweet and creamy, with gorgeously ruffled shells that can double as ornaments. And no cocktail sauce shall ever clutter the sweetness of these precious gems for me - only mignonette; Moscatel or sherry vinegar with minced shallot and pepper.

 

When I prepare Oysters Mignonette for myself or loved ones, I add another level of visual, textural, flavorful and nourishing panache: a little smorgasbord of toppings for the chooser’s whim. Finely minced cucumber, radish, chives, and celery freshen the experience and add a pleasing crunch to augment all that creaminess. Of course the crisp splash of champagne, in between bites, lends the perfect exuberance to this elegant repast.

Shallots

Shallots

 Kumamoto Oysters with Mignonette Sauce

 Mignonette Recipe

Ingredients

  • Moscatel or Sherry Wine Vinegar (or any wine vinegar you like)

  • Minced Shallot

  • Optional minced vegetables and herbs – cucumber, radish, celery, chive


Directions

  1. Mix the ingredients together in the proportion that tastes and looks good to you.

  2. Add a dash of black, white or red ground pepper if you like.

  3. Drizzle sauce over fresh oysters and enjoy with Champagne.

Red Radishes

Red Radishes

Persian (Mini) Cucumbers

Persian (Mini) Cucumbers

Celery

Celery

Celeriac: The Other Root Vegetable

Baked Spiced Celeriac and Yam Fries  Photo by David Bishop

Baked Spiced Celeriac and Yam Fries

Photo by David Bishop

Celeriac Roots  Photo by David Bishop

Celeriac Roots

Photo by David Bishop

Celeriac, or celery root, is a kind of celery in the parsley family. It is cultivated for its flavorful and nutritious qualities, and can be used as a substitute for white potatoes, though it stands well on its own. Celeriac has less than half the calories of mature white potatoes and delicious. The stems and leaves look very similar to the common celery which is often eaten raw, used in salads and in recipes. Celeriac leaves can also be used in the same ways but more but with caution, since their flavor is much stronger. I like to use the leaves for garnish, either chopped or whole, and often mixed with chives or scallions.

Celeriac differs from most root vegetables in that it is not very starchy.It is low in carbs and calories, low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and is known to lower blood cholesterol, lessen the risk of stroke, heart attack and obesity, and reduce irritable bowel syndrome. It is high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Phosphorus, Potassium, Dietary Fiber, Vitamin B6, Magnesium and Manganese.  All of these qualities can greatly contribute to all over health and weight loss. 

 I have included four recipes and modes of preparing celeriac here for your pleasure and health, with the added benefit of beauty and style for entertainment.

 

Recipe for Baked Spiced Celeriac & Yam Fries Serves 4

  • Ingredients

  • 1 medium celeriac root

  • 1 medium yam – orange color for contrast

  • 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

  • Turmeric to taste

  • Paprika to taste

  • Course sea salt to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375”F

  2. Peel the yam with a vegetable peeler

  3. Peel the celeriac bulb with a paring knife

  4. Cut both root vegetables into large juliennes, about 3” X 1/2”

  5. In a bowl, toss the celeriac juliennes with the lemon juice

  6. Boil the celeriac juliennes for about 20 minutes and drain well

  7. Boil the yams for a bout 15 minutes and drain well

  8. Dry both root juliennes well and toss with just enough olive oil to coat the fries

  9. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper

  10. Lay the celeriac onto one pan, single file and the yams onto the other

  11. Sprinkle the celeriac strips with turmeric and the yams with paprika, turning to cover all sides lightly.

  12. Sprinkle all of the juliennes lightly with flaked sea salt on all sides

  13. Bake in a the oven for 20 minutes, turning the fries over about 1/2 way through to brown all sides

  14. Serve immediately

Herbed Celeriac Chips   Photo by David Bishop

Herbed Celeriac Chips

Photo by David Bishop

Celeriac chips as a substitute for potato chips is a very smart choice in so many ways. First there is the calorie count. Raw, celeriac has 66 calories per cup while white potatoes have 142 calories per cup. Celeriac is high in both soluble and insoluble fiber, which is essential for not just colon health, but the all over health of the body, including diabetes reduction, lessening the threat of heart attach, stroke, obesity and irritable bowel syndrome. See http://www.webmd.com/diet/fiber-health-benefits-11/insoluble-soluble-fiber Dietary Fiber: Insoluble vs. Soluble

 

Recipe for Herbed Celeriac Chips Snacks for 2

 Ingredients

  • 2 quarts canola oil

  • 2 small celeriac bulbs, peeled

  • ¼ cup freshly minced flat parsley

  • Sprinkle grated Romano cheese to taste

  • Flaked sea salt to taste

Directions

  1. Heat the canola oil in a fryer or a deep pot to 375”F.

  2. Keep track of the temperature with a good insertion thermometer. If you are using a pot on your stove, keep a lid nearby in case a spill causes a fire in the oil. Putting a lid on the pot immediately will extinguish a flame.

  3. Cut the peeled celeriac root in half to make it easier to shave

  4. Shave the celeriac root with a vegetable peeler, or cut it very thinly with a really sharp knife

  5. Fry the slices until they are golden brown on the edges, in small batches. Do not crowd the fryer

  6. Drain the crisps on paper towel lined baking sheets

  7. Sprinkle immediately with flaked sea salt

  8. Sprinkle with minced parsley and grated Romano cheese if desired

Celeriac and Pear Soup with Pickled Red Onions  Photo by David Bishop

Celeriac and Pear Soup with Pickled Red Onions

Photo by David Bishop

This Recipe for Celeriac and Pear Soup is delicious served hot, cold, or at room temperature, making it a truly versatile starter, snack or lunch. The pickled red onion adds a sweet, tart, salty zazz that punches the flavor level up to excellence, balancing and harmonizing with the celeriac, pears and shallots.

 

Recipes for Celeriac & Pear Soup with Pickled Red Onions Serves 2-4

Ingredients for Pickled Red Onions

  • 1 small red onion, peeled and sliced very thinly

  • 1 cup white grape juice

  • ½ cup of red wine vinegar

  • ¼ cup honey

  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

  • ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds

  • ¼ teaspoon coriander seeds

  • ¼ teaspoon celery seeds

Directions for Pickled Red Onions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a quart size sauce pan

  2. Boil for about five minutes

  3. Remove the onions with a slotted spoon to a plate to allow to cool, laying them out as separately as possible

Ingredients for Celeriac & Pear Soup

  • 1 quart of free-range chicken broth

  • 2 medium celeriac bulbs, peeled and diced into one inch cubes

  • 2 ripe pears diced into one-inch cubes (I used the Bartlett variety for their sweetness and golden blushed pink skin)

  • 2 shallots, peeled and sliced thinly

  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions for Celeriac & Pear Soup

  1. Boil the celeriac and seasonings in the chicken broth for about 15 minutes or until just tender to a fork and bite

  2. Add in the pears and continue to lightly boil for another 5 minutes.

  3. With a slotted spoon, remove about a cup of the solid pieces in the soup to a small bowl and reserve

  4. Puree the remaining soup in a blender or with a stick hand blender

  5. Add back into the soup, the reserved solid pieces and stir to incorporate

  6. Serve into shallow soup bowls and garnish with Pickled Red Onions and chives

Mashed Celeriac and Carrots

Mashed Celeriac and Carrots

Mashed Celeriac and Carrots Serves 4-6

 Ingredients

  • 2 quarts salted boiling water

  • 4 medium bulbs of celeriac diced into one inch cubes

  • 2 large carrots, chopped into one inch pieces

  • 1 medium onion medium coarsely chopped

  • 1 chopped shallot

  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil plus additional for garnish

  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric

  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • Sea Salt to taste

Directions

  1. Boil all the ingredients until they are soft enough to mash.

  2. Drain the cooked vegetables, reserving the liquid.

  3. Mash the vegetables in a bowl with a hand masher or fork, adding back in the liquid as needed for your desired consistency.

  4. Arrange the mash gracefully in a serving bowl. Drizzle with additional olive oil.

  5. For more eye appeal, garnish with chopped scallions, sea salt flakes and dash of pepper.

Tip: Celeriac is also wonderful grated raw into salads. Have fun creating your own recipe renditions with this intriguing, delicious and healthful vegetable.

Holiday Cocktails

A Winter’s Tale

Cool Mule - Photo by Michael Marquand

Cool Mule - Photo by Michael Marquand

With the winter holiday season nipping at our heels, I went on an inspiration hunt for fresh and friendly creative cognac concoction ideas. Cognac is my favorite cold weather spirit, whether neat or mixed. It’s warm earthy notes and fragrant nose warm the cockles of my heart. Transforming traditional drinks into Winter Holiday Cognac Cocktails became a pre-winter week labor of love.

My first conquest was the classic 1940’s Moscow Mule made with vodka, ice cubes, freshly squeezed lime juice and spicy sparkly ginger beer. My twist on the old favorite replaces the vodka with cognac, adds seasonal Clementine or Mandarin juice and some gorgeous garnishes.

 The fragrantly sweet Clementine citrus compliments the cognac, while the ginger beer augments its spicy undertones. Candied ginger skewered with golden fruit (or kumquat) adds a tasteful touch to this modern Cool Mule.

Cool Cognac Mule

Makes One Drink

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces Cognac

  • 4 ounces Ginger Beer

  • 1 ounce of freshly squeezed Clementine juice

  • ½ an ounce of freshly squeezed Lime juice

Garnish

  • Candied Ginger- Can be readily purchased or easily homemade

  • Golden Fruit, kumquat or Clementine wedge

  • Sugared Cranberries- Recipe included

  • Simple bamboo skewer

Directions

  1. Combine cognac, Clementine and lime juices.

  2. Pour over ice, top with the ginger beer and stir.

  3. Serve garnished with skewered candied ginger and Golden Fruit, or if not that is available, whole kumquat or Clementine wedge.

Candied Ginger Slices smaller res.jpg

Candied Ginger Slices

To Make the Candied Ginger - ~ 2 hours to make or can be readily purchased

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of granulated sugar

  • 1 cup of water

  • ½ cup of sliced freshly peeled ginger root

Directions

  1. To make the candied ginger, bring the sugar and water to a simmer until the sugar is dissolved. Add in the sliced and boil until the ginger is tender, about 15 minutes.

  2. Remove the ginger syrup from heat. With a fork or tweezers, pull out the ginger slices and cool on a wire rack sitting on top of a parchment paper lined plate or tray to catch any drips.

  3. Reserve the ginger syrup in a sealed jar for many other spectacular uses. It will crystallize and can be revived by a small amount of hot water.

  4. Let the wet candied ginger slices dry until they are just tacky but do not stick to your fingers, about 30 minutes to an hour.

  5. Toss them in superfine sugar and let them dry in a single layer on a clean piece of parchment paper for about hour or so.

Sugared Fresh Cranberries

Sugared Fresh Cranberries

To Make the Sugared Cranberries - ~ 2.5 hours

Ingredients

  • 1 cups of sugar divided

  • 1 cup of fresh cranberries

Directions

  1. Dissolve ½ cup of Granulated Cane sugar into ½ cup of water by bringing it to a boil for about 3 minutes.

  2. Stir in the cranberries.

  3. With a slotted spoon, lift the coated cranberries out of the syrup and drain on a wire rack resting on a parchment paper lined ½ sheet pan.

  4. Let cool and dry for about an hour.

  5. Place the remaining 1½ cups of sugar in a small bowl.

  6. Prepare a clean sheet of parchment paper on a pan to receive the candied cranberries.

  7. Roll the cooled coated cranberries, a few at a time, into the sugar bowl.

  8. Let the sugared cranberries set for another hour to be ready to handle as garnish

Brandied Apple Jack Rose - Photo by Michael Marquand

Brandied Apple Jack Rose - Photo by Michael Marquand

The Name of the Jack Rose

The cheery red color of the classic Jack Rose lends itself to this holiday rendition. Grenadine, AKA - pomegranate syrup, is the ingredient that gives the rose color to the cocktail’s surname. Seasonal pomegranates permeate winter produce markets making their seeds the perfect holiday garnish. Their jewel-like beauty shine radiantly delicious.

 

The first name of the vintage Jack Rose is derived from the once ubiquitous Apple Jack Brandy, which comprised the bulk of the original cocktail recipe. Apple Jack, having lost past popularity, has become harder to find. In my version I use my favorite cognac or brandy, and add fresh apple cider to achieve a delightful spiced apple flavor. Seasonal slices of lemon juice dipped red skinned apple grace my modern Brandied Apple Jack Rose.

 

Brandied Apple Jack Rose

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 5 ounces of Cognac or Brandy

  • 3 ounce of fresh Apple Cider

  • 1 ounce of Lemon juice

  • ½ ounce of Grenadine

Garnishes

  • Thinly sliced red skinned apples dipped in lemon juice to preserve color

  • Pomegranate seeds

Directions

  1. In a cocktail shaker with ice, add the cocktail ingredients.

  2. Strain into two glasses

  3. Garnish with apple slices and pomegranate seeds-click link for seeding video

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/videos/techniques/how-remove-pomegranate-seeds

Spiced Cranberry Cognac Sour Cocktail

While reading up on the history of the classic Whiskey Sour, one that evokes fond childhood memories of my parents’ cocktail parties, I came across a respected cocktail  author’s thoughts on the subject. “There has been a movement back to the basic blocks when it comes to cocktails. There is something special about the simple cocktails. They are enjoyable and well known from a customer standpoint, and easy to assemble from behind the bar.”* I whole hearted applaud this sentiment and think that holiday specials can be a welcome exception, given the same author’s next observation.

 

“There are some historians that believe the sour category is a scaled down version of the basic punch. It has the elements of ‘one sour, two sweet, three strong, four weak’ that a classic punch has, but in an individual serving size.”* With all of that said, I open for viewing the creative process of my rendition of a holiday Spiced Cranberry Cognac Cocktail - no special gadgets required.

 * https://www.alcoholprofessor.com/blog-posts/blog/2015/01/27/classic-cocktails-in-history-the-whiskey-sour

 As per the cognac cocktail theme of my holiday beverage mission, I swap in cognac for whiskey and my spiced cranberry-honey simple syrup for traditional cane sugar simple syrup. I check my recipe to see how it stacks up to the basic punch proportion, noting that mine is lacking in the ‘weak element’ quantity, making my recipe a bit stronger, just the way I like it. Exchanging the sweeter seasonal Mandarin for orange juice, employs it as both a weak and a sweet element, allowing for less of the syrupy sweetening agent in my concoction. You can use more if you like. With no further explanation needed, here is the recipe for my Spiced Cranberry Cognac Cocktail.

Spiced Cranberry Cognac Sour - Photo by Michael Marquand

Spiced Cranberry Cognac Sour - Photo by Michael Marquand

Spiced Cranberry Cognac Sour

inspired by a classic Whiskey Sour, Blender made for frothiness

Serves 2

Spiced Cranberry Honey Syrup Ingredients

  • 1 cup of fresh cranberries

  • 1 cup of water

  • 1 cup of honey

  • 2 cinnamon sticks

  • 2 star anise

Spiced Cranberry Honey Syrup Directions

  1. Make the spiced cranberry honey syrup by boiling the ingredients in the water until the berries burst open and color the water.

  2. With a fine gauge seive, strain the syrup of all fruit seeds and spices.

  3. Chill the remaining liquid to at least room temperature. Keeps well refrigerated

Cocktail Ingredients

  • 6 ounces of cognac

  • 4 ounces of freshly squeezed Tangerine, Clementine or Mandarin juice

  • 1 ounce of freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1 ounce of freshly squeezed lime juice

  • 1 ounce of Spiced Cranberry Honey Syrup

  • ¼teaspoon of egg white powder (meringue powder) dissolved in 1 ounce of warm water, or one teaspoon of a beaten fresh egg white - Optional to create foaminess

Rim

  • ½  ounce of freshly squeezed lime juice for dipping the rim

  • ¼ cup of crystal demerara sugar in a saucer to bedazzle the rim

Garnishes

  • Cinnamon stick

  • Star anise

  • Plain or sugared clementine slice, wedge, twist or curl

  • Sugared Cranberries

Cocktail Directions

  1. Add all of  the Cranberry Cognac Sour ingredients to the blender. Blend until well mixed and frothy.

  2. Pour into 4 cold, rim ready glasses.

  3. Garnish with a cinnamon stick, star anise and a sugared clementine twist. You can also float a couple of sugared cranberries for extra dazzle.

  4. Serve immediately.

Honeyed Cardamom Clove Cognac Eggnog -  Photo by Michael Marquand

Honeyed Cardamom Clove Cognac Eggnog - Photo by Michael Marquand

Honeyed Cardamom Clove Cognac Eggnog

Eggnog is one of my all-time favorite winter holiday treats. I admit that eggnog is great with or without any added spirits, but my preference is with a hefty dose of cognac and a fragrant dusting of freshly grated nutmeg. In my newest special spicy version I steep the milk with honey, cloves and cardamom for an exotic twist on a classic recipe. 

 The fun begins with carefully cooking the egg yolks into the mixture without turning them to scrambled eggs. It may seem daunting, but it merely takes a careful eye and a studied attention span for only about 3-5 minutes, stirring over low heat all the while. Once completely cooled, and only then, do you add in the oh-so-rich heavy cream and yummy caramelly cognac. Adding spirits to hot liquid will evaporate the alcohol, though it will not diminish the flavor.

Honeyed Cardamom Clove Cognac Eggnog

Makes 6 - 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of Cognac

  • 2 cups of Whole milk

  • 2 cups of Heavy cream

  • ¼ cup of Honey

  • 8 organic free range Egg yolks

  • 4 Whole Cardamom seed pods

  • 6 Whole Cloves

Garnish

  • Freshly grated Nutmeg

Directions

  1. Combine the milk, honey, cloves, and cardamom in a saucepan. Heat on low for about 5 minutes to infuse the milk with spice flavor. Do not boil.

  2. Strain the cloves and cardamom pods out of the mixture into a wide rimmed pitcher.

  3. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks well. Very slowly and gradually whisk the hot milk into the egg yolks.

  4. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it thickens, about 3 - 5 minutes. Do not allow the mixture to boil. Pour the mixture back into the pitcher. Cover and it let cool completely.

  5. Stir in the cognac and cream and cover tightly. Refrigerate overnight.

  6. Serve chilled with a dusting of freshly grated nutmeg over each glass or cup.

Orange Cognac Cheesecake Cloud -  Photo by Michael Marquand

Orange Cognac Cheesecake Cloud - Photo by Michael Marquand

Orange Cognac Cheesecake Cloud 

This über rich dessert cocktail is inspired by my love of everything cheesecake. After all, what is not to love about cheesecake, except maybe all of that sugar? I swap in a bit of healthful honey for just a touch of sweetness, replacing gobs of granular cane sugar in classic cheesecake fare. 

 

Having made cheesecake in many manifestations, including blueberry cheesecake ice cream popsicles, I have found that it is essential for me to include graham crackers for those taste-bud textural memories to swirl the dreaminess of my psyche. I incorporated graham cracker crumbs into the honey swirl inner glass garnish and rim, and a graham cracker cookie to dip into the orange cognac cloud and munch. Feel free to serve this cocktail concoction with as many graham cookies as you like! You can even layer crumbs in between the clouds as you fill the glass, if you are a big graham fan. Most importantly, enjoy your play in the clouds.

Orange Cognac Cheesecake Cloud

An Original Recipe

Makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of Whole milk

  • 1 cup of Heavy cream

  • 1 cup of Cognac

  • ½ cup of Triple Sec, Cointreau or any orange liqueur

  • 4 ounce package of regular full fat Cream Cheese – room temperature

  • 4 ounces of regular full fat Sour Cream

  • ¾ cup of Honey – divided

  • 1 teaspoon of quality pure Vanilla extract

  • 3 Graham Crackers

Directions

Prepare the glasses

  1. Crush one of the graham crackers into crumbs for rim garnish. Break the other 2 crackers into quarters for added garnish.

  2. One glass at a time, with a fine tipped small squeeze bottle, swirl thin whirls of honey on the inside of a glass. Immediately toss a teaspoon of graham crumbs into the glass to stick to the honey streaks, shaking out the excess t use in the next glass.

  3. Repeat until all of the glasses are prepped and in the freezer.

  4. Put the honeyed glasses upside down on waxed paper in the freezer to harden the honey.

Build the Beverages

  1. With an electric hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and sour cream in a medium size bowl until very creamy smooth and lump free to make the cheesecake base.

  2. Beat ¼ cup of honey into the cheesecake base until it is homogenous.

  3. Beat in the whole milk, cognac, orange liqueur and vanilla extract to make the base into a cocktail consistency.

  4. In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form.

  5. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese cocktail mixture and chill until ready to serve.

  6. Optional: Dip the rim of each glass into remaining graham cracker crumbs for extra texture and flavor.  

  7. Pour the chilled cognac cheesecake cloud cocktail into the prepared frozen glasses.

  8. Garnish with graham cracker quarters and serve immediately.

A Festive Fall Fare

Chicken Liver Paté with Caramelized Apples & Onions

Happy Hour with Style

Happy Hour with Style

If you think you don’t like chicken livers then you probably have not had them prepared well. When buying chicken livers, be sure to go for the freshest, firm, boldly colored lobes. I prefer local free-range farmed chickens from a reputable purveyor. Over cooking chicken livers turns them bitter, chalky, dry and rubbery, spoiling their naturally juicy sweet flavor. I use a blend of plu gras butter or Ghee, mixed with olive oil for the apple onion sauté and the liver sear. The oil/butter mix must be hot enough to make a brown sear while leaving the inside pink. Adding bit of freshly ground nutmeg and finely ground white pepper to the apples and onions while they sauté, adds an earthy aroma and depth of flavor to the mélange. After all of the ingredients are cooked to perfection, I add a generous dash of cognac to the processor to accompany the seared livers with the caramelized spiced apples and onions, using all of the buttery oil from the pan.

Plu gras literally means more fat. European butter has more fat than American butter. It is far better for baking and cooking than the American butter, which has considerably more water content. Ghee can be purchased or made by reducing butter as directed by experts.

 

For my recipe:

Paté Ingredients

  • I pint of fresh plump chicken livers, trimmed of any stringy white bits

  • 1 cup of Vidalia onions, shallots or whatever onions you have on hand - chopped

  • 1 half of a Fuji, Gala, Braeburn, or Honey Crisp apple – chopped

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon of plu gras butter or Ghee

  • ¼ teaspoon of ground nutmeg

  • ¼ teaspoon of finely ground white pepper

  • 2 ounces cognac of French brandy

  • Salt to taste

2 Tablespoon of plu gras butter or Ghee for sealing the paté – melted

Paté Directions

  1. Trim the liver pieces of any white stringy bits. Cut the lobes into evenly sized pieces for even cooking.

  2. In a large skillet on medium low heat, slowly sauté the onions and apples with the oil and butter and a pinch of salt. About 15 minutes.

  3. Remove the apples and onions with a slotted spoon, leaving behind as much of the oil and butter as possible. Add them to the food processor bowl.

  4. Turn the heat up to medium high heat to sear the livers.

  5. Add the pan contents of livers and fat, along with the cognac, to the apple onion mix in the processor.

  6. Pulse the ingredients, scraping down the bowl occasionally.

  7. Finish processing the mixture until puréed.

  8. Taste the mixture for seasoning, adding more salt, pepper or nutmeg if needed. Give the mix another whirr if you have adjusted the seasoning.

  9. In a small saucepan, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter for sealing the paté.

  10. Pour half of the melted butter into the bottom of a 32 ounce loaf pan, or split it up into smaller containers.

  11. Spoon the paté over the butter. Level the paté.

  12. Evenly cover the paté with the other half of the melted butter, sealing it to preserve the color and flavor.

Food Styling Tip: When I approached this shoot I was showcasing my newest paté recipe. Because of the caramelized apple inclusion in this version, I decided on the fruit and bread crisps to underline and augment the visual flavors. The presentation is my vision of how I would serve it to honored and beloved guests. The table cloth and dish choices were an instinctive decision based on the predominant colors of the fruit and flavors. The bread texture and color seemed to work naturally with the scheme of the whole. The bottle of honey and Mandarine orange are accent touches for balance and interest.

Apple and leaf smaller.jpg