It may be early week but I’m thinking of two parties coming up at week’s end; I’ve promised to bring appetizers to both. These are serious food loving folks; the kind of people who chew their food slowly, with intensity, deliberating if the subtle notes of juniper complement the tannins in the wine. I’m sweating at the brow. What to make?
Mincing garlic with a pinch of salt releases moisture making mincing easier.
I use a pestle to grind the herbs together.
Simmer Madeira into onion mixture until evaporated.
Evenly distribute seasonings and pistachios through meat.
Press mixture firmly into terrine.
Cover with strips of bacon.
Cut parchment paper to fit interior and press into meat mixture to adher.
Wrap top of terrine tightly with foil and place in a larger pan filled 2/3's with hot water.
After baking, pour off excess fat.
Weight terrine (be creative) and refrigerate 2 days for flavors to combine.
Peel cippolini onions.
Toss grapes and onions with pomegranate molasses before roasting.
Separate onion layers with fingers; cut in half if large.
This relish would also be delish served with poultry and game.
A friend I see at the gym, Reynold Lowe (the owner of the fabulously appointed antique furniture and lighting store, Materials Unlimited), provided the answer. We regularly discuss culinary delicacies as we work-out, and he rhapsodized over the Rabbit Terrine his family enjoyed on Thanksgiving. That’s it – a lovely terrine – I haven’t made one in years; the perfect complement to elegant wines. Alas, I wasn’t able to procure his recipe prior to my having cobbled and ordered ingredients for another, but it was similar in spirit.
Don’t let terrines fool you. Really, they’re just meat loaves, kicked up several notches. My recipe was inspired by something that looked fairly simple to make, but had ingredients I imagined would produce something quite grand. It’s from Miles Collins, a British chef, but the “recipe” makes a lot of assumptions about the cook’s culinary ability. I think Chef would approve my more exact interpretation, especially if he sampled it with the Roasted Pomegranate Cippolines and Grapes. (The recipes in his food blog, by the way, sound marvelous.)
I purchased the rabbit and pork belly from Sparrow Meats in Kerrytown. I ordered it late last week giving them instructions to grind the meat for classic French-styled country paté. (They get these types of requests frequently.) It’s hard to find dried juniper berries; but not so if you’re in Kerrytown. The Spice Merchants (upstairs from Sparrow Meats) sells them crushed and whole, as well as any other spices your cupboard may lack. Everyday Wines stocks 1/2 bottles of Madeira.
Experience has taught me that terrines need two solid days sitting in the refrigerator to develop their flavor profile. They hold up a good week or so after that. So if I make the Rabbit Terrine today, I can make the Crostini tomorrow (those keep a week in a tin, too) and the Roasted Ciopollini Onion and Grapes with Pomegranate Syrup on Wednesday (recipe below), which will improve with age. With these three items at the ready, I can put together elegant appetizers through the weekend in minutes.
Since my appetizer remains constant through the week, hopefully the guest lists will be different at the parties I attend. Though I wouldn’t be adverse to savoring this lovely treat daily. As long as I eat oatmeal every morning and hit the gym, I’m good.
We may be jipped out of a white Christmas in Michigan this year, but the promise of the family rejoined and traditions re-lit has me craving pickled herring. In past years I’ve been lucky enough to receive it––scratch-made––from my Polish neighbor, Krystyna, the week before our family celebrates Christmas and the New Year. This year she’s left … Full recipe post »
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