Pate’ and Bread for June Daring Cooks

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.

This was an interesting challenge. Terrines and pates are one of those classic techniques that just aren’t utilized as often as they have been in the past. That being said, I have always wanted to learn the process. So many ingredients and flavors can be incorporated into these dishes. Many great uses have come to mind and will be attempted in the future.

While checking out recipes for pate’ online I came up with the inspiration of making Banh Mi sandwiches. They are a mix of French and Vietnamese ingredients that combine to make an incredible sandwich.

I started with a chicken liver and pork pate’ based on the challenge recipe. All of the June challenge recipes can be found here in PDF form. Basically this pate is flambeed chicken livers, ground pork belly, ground pork shoulder, herbs, bacon, and spices that is then slowly cooked in a loaf pan in a water bath. It is then chilled for several hours to allow the pate to set up.

The liver flavor is very mild and not something you should be afraid of. The pate’ is very rich and definitely a special treat.

Now it was on to the baguette. I have done baguette a couple of times before with some success. I decided to basically use the challenge recipe with one small difference. In addition to a smaller amount of dry yeast, I added some of my sourdough starter to the dough (See my pizza post for how to make your own sourdough). With the banh mi sandwiches in mind, I baked 6 smaller baguettes instead of  long loaves.

I was especially proud of how these turned out. Breads are such a magical thing. Just a few ingredients can be manipulated with technique into a myriad of shapes, flavors, and textures.

Now for the banh mi. One of the defining toppings for these are a quick pickled mix of daikon and carrot. These are thin strips pickled in rice vinegar, sugar, salt, and water. They add a crunch and freshness that contrasts well with the rich pate’.

Now to assemble the sandwiches. First slice open the baguette and cover one side with mayo. Then lay down slices of pate, sliced ham, slices of English cucumber, the pickled daikon and carrot, sprigs of cilantro, and as many minced Thai chiles as you can handle. I also seasoned with Maggi sauce.

What an amazing combination of ingredients. This is so delicious.

I wasn’t quite done with the challenge yet.  One of the only shows on FoodNetwork that I still watch on occasion is the series “The Best Thing I Ever Ate”. On one episode Tyler Florence started talking about a smoked salmon rillette he ate while at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon. I did a little research and decided on a riff using halibut instead of salmon.

The rillette is a mix of smoked halibut and fresh halibut. The fresh halibut I gently poached in white wine with peppercorns, tarragon, and thyme.

I then gently broke up the poached and smoked halibut into chunks.

In a loaf pan lined with plastic wrap, I laid down some slices of lemon, chopped fresh tarragon, and then the mix of fish.

Next I reduced the leftover poaching liquid along with fresh squeezed lemon juice and finely minced shallots. After cutting off the heat I whisked in cubes of cold butter to form a classic beurre blanc.

This sauce was poured over the mix of fish. I banged the loaf pan on the counter and gently used a knife to help the sauce settle uniformly into the fish. Now it all goes in the fridge for several hours to set properly.

The plastic wrap helps make unmolding easy. I served with baguette and apple butter. I forget where I found the suggestion for the apple butter to be served along with smoked fish.

Whoever came up with this combination deserves many thanks. The mild smokiness of the fish and the sweet of the apple butter almost combines to make a classic BBQ flavor.

This was all made using last years halibut. Well last weekend I went out to restock the freezer.

Be jealous, be very jealous.


~ by climbhighak on June 14, 2010.

34 Responses to “Pate’ and Bread for June Daring Cooks”

  1. wow they all look so great, especially those sandwiches! That apple butter/fish combo sounds intriguing….And what an impressive catch of halibut!

  2. I am just in awe of everything you have done with this challenge. The sandwich looks amazing, the halibut rillette looks and sounds delicious. Your bread is even gorgeous. Great job on this challenge and I look forward to future challenges from you!

  3. Well, I’m definitely jealous. I’d love to go catch my own fish, but I haven’t a means to do it! 😉

    After you posted the pictures of the rillette, I knew I had to come check it out. I actually refreshed your page a dozen times this morning before giving up and doing my chores! 😉

    I’m really glad you and those other folks suggested sandwiches. That really opened up the possibilities for me, and it’s got me thinking how else I could use this method dish. (And, man, that’s one vibrantly colored sandwich!)

    • I apologize for the afternoon posting. As early as I may finish the cooking, the writing is almost always done last minute. Thanks for coming by.

  4. I knew you’d do something amazing for this challenge! The breads have a gorgeous crust! And don’t get me started on the bahn mi… And those rillettes sound so good! Thank you for cooking with us this month, and also for all your help to everyone on the forums!

    • You are welcome and thank you for such a great challenge.

      As for the crust on the baguette, I owe it completely to another Daring Cook. Way back in the day, LisaMichelle whispered in my ear about a little secret. Instead of water in a pan below the baking stone, I toss a handful of ice cubes in the pan in addition to using a spray bottle at least twice during the baking.

  5. Fantastic challenge results! As I scrolled down, every item was better looking than the last. And yes, I am very jealous about the halibut!

  6. Fantastic job on this challenge. Those banh mi make me drool every time i see the pix. And the rillettes are stunning – a perfect dish for this time of year!

    • I couldn’t agree more about the rillettes being perfect for the season. Not only can the fish be sourced locally and fresh, but also the lack of oven usage for the recipe is a huge plus. I will try it with salmon in the next couple of weeks.

  7. Everything looks fabulous — the pate, the bread, the sandwich . . . And there’s nothing more delicious than fresh Alaskan fish. Lucky you!

  8. I am extremely jealous of all those lovely halibut. I am sure you will find some amazing things to do with them. Your smoked halibut rilette and apple butter combination sounds wonderful!

  9. Great job! Your pate looks great! And your baguette!!! Wow – truly perfect! Great idea of turning them into sandwiches!

  10. Your baguettes look perfect! The smoked fish rillette is very interesting. Great job!

  11. I’ve never had poached or smoked Halibut before. Next time I get some I’ll try out your recipe, it sounds great! We fish for Halibut off the West coast of Vancouver Island.

    • Here is a little tip I have taken way too long to learn. When we cut up and vaccuum seal portions of halibut, I always package all the tails together. As they are thinner than the pieces from the center of the filets, they should be cooked together. I have taken to smoking the tails. They only need to be brined for 5-8 hours and smoked for about 5 hours.

  12. Robert just love the fishing photograph!

    Thank you so much for introducing me to Bánh mì sandwiches and the process of pickling carrots and radish. I have made a lot of these since the start of the challenge. Your two versions of pâtés both look and sound delicious and the seafood on looks especially tasty.

    Thanks for the kind words on my blog about the head cheese.

    Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  13. Wow, the baguettes look awesome! And that fish picture is fantastic!!!!!

  14. The baguettes look fantastic, and I owe you big thanks for suggesting the banh mi and the pickled daikon and carrots (which I had a great time making)!

    But halibut rillettes with lemon? That sounds like an awe-inspiring combination! (And yes, living where halibut is a special, special treat, I’m certainly jealous.)

    • At the beginning of this challenge, I didn’t fully appreciate just how delicious some bread and a simple liver pate could be. That is why I started looking around for other ways to utilize the pate.

      I remember Anthony Bourdain eating a Banh Mi in Vietnam. So that strange marriage of liver pate and baguette was hanging out in the back of my mind. I am glad that my suggestions were helpful to at least some of the Daring Cooks.

  15. I bet that sourdough baguette was awesome for the Banh Mi sandwiches. Fish pate and apple butter. I can’t even imagine but if you say its good, good lol. Thanks for participating in our challenge and thanks for commenting so much in the forum. Learned a lot from you.

  16. I’m impressed; very well done with the challenge!

  17. I am jealous! Everything you made looks so delish. I also enjoy a nice vinegar contrast with my pate, going to have to give your pickling recipe a try.

  18. Wow, really impressive and creative dishes! Great job on the challenge!

  19. Robert!! I don’t even know where to begin. First off, YESSS..i’m so jealous, the closest i could get a hold of a halibut or any fish for that matter are the filet or steak slices. Yeah, i can buy whole fish but the mini ones and frozen=;)

    Your banh mi is scrumptious, i love those thinly sliced Thai bird chiles and the MAGGI SEASONING!! if you could only see me grin..from ear to ear. That’s an Asian did you get to know that product? I don’t know if you know this already, add maggi seasoning to your fried rice, that is if you like fried rice, YUM!!!
    I’m so making the smoked fish pate next time. I have some smoked bangus (milkfish) in the fridge. Apple butter and smoked fish? i’ll be trying that too=;)

  20. Oh, i forgot, YESSS..i’m so jealous w/ your bread too! They are perfection!!Did you see mine? lol!!

  21. Robert, although your pate and rillette looks amazing, I’m in complete awe of your beautiful part SD baguettes (I keep scrolling up to look back – like you did lol) I’m completely blown away by your Banh Mi sammie! There are several places in the city that make a great Banh Mi, but yours looks better than all of them. Phenomenal job as always. You never stop amazing us with your creativity and talent.

    OH, love the photo with you, your pals, and all that yummy halibut waiting to be cooked or smoked, served with (mmmm) apple butter) and eaten 🙂

    • I was only able to get such good baguettes because of the suggestions you made to me several years back. Spritzing the oven and tossing ice cubes into the tray under the baking stone. Thank you for such valuable information.

      As if I didn’t have enough already, I just lined up another halibut fishing trip. This time out of Valdez. Next month I will start working on stocking up on sockeye salmon.

  22. I am very jealous!:)

    The halibut rilette looks absolutely delicious.


  24. Robert, Joel’s pommes puree are the best mashed potatoes in the world, but unfortunately, mine are not his recipe..they only conatin 4 oz of butter and no strainer turning/pushing/rubbing until my wrists burn LOL

    That said, I would love to try your version of the sweet and sour stuffed cabbage. I’m sure they’re very close flavor wise 🙂 Glad to see you back! Will you be participating in Daring Cooks again? Miss your creative and mouth watering genius!

  25. I was an Alaska cook until 2 months ago. 🙂 Sigh, I miss the AK!

    I also, once upon a time, had a freezer stocked with fresh caught halibut. I miss that too!

    This all looked delicious, and your catch from last year was awesome! I can’t wait to get back up there.

  26. Ok…

    I am riding in on the weblink-tails of my wife. =)

    I just want to say I have enjoyed perusing your website with its many, delicious entries. I will be making your baguettes tonight (hopefully with the same success). They look wonderful. My wife is dying to try your souffle.

    We look forward to visiting your site in the future, as we have just scratched the surface… Kudos!!!

    Bon Apetit

    P.S… Halibut? Love it!!! Am I envy green?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: