Monthly Archives: November 2012

Chicken and Pistachio Terrine

Give me a plate of pate or terrine, some good bread and maybe something pickled on the side and I’m a happy girl.

Chicken and Pistachio Terrine II

The same can be said with a plate of cured meats, but I’m not about to make salami at home – not yet anyway.

Terrine, though, is essentially dressed-up meat loaf with a few extra steps (and a fancier name). And that is something I’m more than willing to take on in my kitchen – as dangerous as that might be.

It didn’t dawn on me to try this at home until I stumbled onto five terrine recipes in Donna Hay’s A Cook’s Guide – a book aimed at teaching home cooks some solid basic recipes with variations. When I reviewed the book for my column, I took on a baked risotto recipe, but I kept flipping back to this one for Chicken and Pistachio Terrine.

The combination of sweet and tart cranberries, nutty pistachios and a bit of tarragon mixed in to a chicken and pork terrine was very appealing.

It didn’t disappoint. Which is good. Because this recipe makes a lot of terrine.

As in, I’m pretty sure it could serve more than the recommended 10 to 12, depending on what else was being offered.

But that makes it a great dish for entertaining, especially as we head into the holiday season. (And yes, the green pistachios and red cranberries do make it seem even more festive.)

The fact that it’s incredibly easy to put together, not to mention that you make it the day before serving, also appeals.

It takes little more effort than putting all the ingredients into a bowl, mixing and dividing it between two loaf pans to bake in a water bath. Setting them in the fridge over night, covered with some foil, a piece of cardboard and something heavy produces a nice flat top , which makes them look more refined than rustic.

I ate a few slices on some baguette and ciabatta with some wee gherkin pickles and a couple of pickled cipollini onions.

And I was a very happy girl.

Chicken and Pistachio Terrine I

Chicken and Pistachio Terrine

The only changes to this recipe from Donna Hay are in the instructions. The original calls for a long, thin tin to bake the terrine in, but I’ve adapted it here to make two loaves baked in loaf pans lined with parchment paper for easy removal. It makes a lot of terrine, so if you’re making this for a smaller group, consider halving the recipe.

  • 1 ¾ lb (800g) ground chicken
  • 1 ¾ lb (800g) ground pork
  • 3 slices bacon, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped tarragon leaves
  • 1 ½ cups (375 mL) dried cranberries
  • ½ cup (125 mL) shelled unsalted pistachios
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) sea salt flakes
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) cracked black pepper
  • ½ cup (125 mL) port
  • 3 eggs

Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Place the chicken and pork, bacon, garlic, tarragon, cranberries, pistachios, salt, pepper, port and eggs in a large bowl and mix well to combine.

Lightly grease two loaf pans and line with parchment paper. Divide the mix evenly between the two, pressing the mixture down lightly.

Cover with aluminum foil, place in a deep baking dish and pour in enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the pan. (I used two baking dishes, putting one loaf pan in each dish.)

Cook for 1 ½ hours or until firm. Remove tins from the hot water.

Cut two pieces of cardboard to fit over the terrine.

Fit over the aluminum foil and weigh down with a heavy object. (Canned vegetables are good here.)

Refrigerate overnight. Remove the terrine from the pan and slice to serve.

Serves 12 to 24. Note: There was some excess fat that resulted from baking the terrines. I gently poured it off before refrigerating them.

This article first appeared in the Calgary Herald. For more recipes and ideas, check out CalgaryHerald.com/Food.

Leftovers Part II

So much eating lately.

Oof.

And lots of eating while traveling, but I’m going to do separate posts for those. Soon. I promise.

Until then, here are some shots from the last couple of months.

Bon Appetit.

First up, I have to say that I highly recommend the burgers at National. No surprise considering they were created by Justin Leboe, who is the chef behind the ones at Clive Burger and the one at Model Milk. This chef knows his burgers.

Order this one with fries and then take this tip from my little sister, turn your plate so the delicious burger juices drip on to the fries. Oh yes, that’s good stuff.

Oh, and order a beer.
Afternoon Beers

Don’t tell me this doesn’t look fantastic.
Burger from National

Drippings on fries. Mmmmmmm.
Fries and burger drippings

His fried chicken over at Model Milk is pretty damn good. Not the best photo, but it was a great night on the patio with the girls. The cup off to the right contains creamy grits and a fried egg.
Fried Chicken from Model Milk

And, speaking of Clive Burger. . . .
Love the decor.
Clive Burger decor

And the burgers.
Clive Burger

A burger from Clive was the first thing I ate after returning to Calgary from almost a month away in Italy, France and Morocco. It satisfied my burger craving in a big way.

In the summer I did a story about Village Ice Cream and am now absolutely addicted to their salted caramel. (Though cardamom is a close second.)
This is exactly how it should be eaten.
Salted Caramel Ice Cream from Village

I finally made it to Las Tortillas (warning link goes to site with autoplay music) up in Marlborough. This little store/taqueria is located in a strip mall and is one of those great secrets that Karen Anderson of Calgary Food Tours shared with me. I went back later with another friend and we had some tacos, which were very tasty.

Tacos from Las Tortillas in the northeast

On a night out at Catch with an old friend from high school, chef Kyle Groves gave us a little sampling of white salmon. I had no idea such a thing existed. But I’m glad I do know. This was incredibly tasty, especially with the lightly cooked peas and mushrooms.
White salmon from Catch

Over at Sidewalk Citizen Bakery, they’ve started offering pickles. They are spice and mouth puckeringly delicious. If you spy them when you stop by, I definitely recommend picking some up.
Sidewalk Citizen Bakery pickles

I did cook at home this summer, I swear.

My favourite cold remedy is homemade hot and sour soup. I like mine jammed with carrots, wood ear, shiitakes and green onions.
Hot and Sour Soup

 

I have my friend Suzi to thank for teaching me a bastardized version of the Zuni Roast Chicken Bread Salad, which is now one of my favourite indulgences. Don’t think of it like a salad; it’s more like stuffing with a bit of vinegary dressing.
Salting the chicken pieces and leaving it to air dry for a day or two gives it a super crisp skin, but the meat stays incredibly tender. The roast chicken goes on top of toasted chunks of raggedly ripped bread, with some cranberries and pine nuts and a few greens.
Zuni roasted chicken and bread salad
One day I hope to post Suzi’s version. Future weekend project.
Until then, Smitten Kitchen has her own version.

Ricotta

I’ve bought my fair share of ricotta in my time from my local grocery store.

It’s good enough, especially since most of the time I’m simply folding it into lemon ricotta pancakes for Sunday breakfast.

The first time I had really good ricotta was at Corso 32 in Edmonton. House-made from goat milk, it had been slathered thickly onto slabs of toasted bread, then drizzled with oil and sprinkled with crunchy flakes of salt.

It was the perfect start to dinner with a group of friends I don’t get to see often enough.

On my next trip to Edmonton, I had barely walked through the front door of my friend’s house before she announced that our project for that afternoon – in advance of friends coming for dinner – was to make homemade ricotta.

The recipe was laughably easy: heat milk, add lemon juice, watch it curdle and then strain.

And yet it was unexpectedly exciting to watch the curds and whey separate with just a bit of acid thrown into the mix. Even more pleasing to unfold the cheesecloth after the whey had drained away from the curds and see the mound of thick, creamy ricotta.

(Check out the post Katherine did over here, complete with action photos.)

That recipe was good – we ate pretty much all of it that night, on toasted baguette with glasses of wine in hand, some olives and slices of prosciutto – but I’ve since found one that is made even more decadent with the addition of a full cup of whipping cream.

Technically, this may not be considered real ricotta, which in Italian means “twice cooked” and is made from whey – the byproduct of making other cheeses. But, when searching for ricotta recipes, almost all now use this method of adding an acid – lemon juice or vinegar – to heated milk (or a combination of milk and cream) and then straining off the curds.

(There are also a million variations, using more or less milk and cream, using different ratios of acid or using vinegar instead of lemon juice.)

Simple science, but it’s kind of like food magic.

The taste is also like food magic: rich and creamy, smooth and luxurious – a recipe that’s end belies how little effort went in.

Serve this on slices of toasted bread drizzled with honey or some extra virgin olive oil. Grind on cracked pepper or stir in herbs.

Use in recipes that call for ricotta. Or simply eat it plain.
Ricotta draining

Ricotta and baguette

Ricotta

This comes from Smitten Kitchen, which suggest a ½ cup of whipping cream if a full cup is too much, just be sure to make up the difference with whole milk.

  • 3 cups ( 750 mL) whole milk (3.25 per cent)
  • 1 cup (250 mL) whipping cream
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) coarse sea salt
  • 3 tbsp (50 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice

In a large pot, mix together milk, cream and salt. Heat until the mixture reaches 190 F, stirring every so often to keep it from burning. Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice. Stir, gently, once or twice and then let sit for 5 minutes to let the curds and whey separate.

Line a large sieve or colander with two or three layers of cheesecloth and place over a bowl. Pour the mixture into the sieve and let it strain for at least an hour or more, depending on how firm you like it. (I stopped draining mine around 1 hour and 15 minutes.) It will also firm up more once refrigerated.

Eat immediately or put in an airtight container and refrigerate. Makes little more than one cup (250 mL).