I kinda have a thing for them.
At the ripe age of nine I expressed my love for apples, as follows.
Apples: A Poem by Emma (age 9)
sweet, crispy, crunchy
varieties red or green
one a day, doctor away
I recall my teacher at the time commenting, "Wow, you really love apples don't you?" ... To which I replied, "you have no idea."
Ok, maybe I'm stretching the truth on that last sentence there, but nevertheless... You can see the love affair was real.
Not much has changed - apples (by themselves, or paired with cheese, nut butter, or pâté) are my snack of choice, I grate apple into our overnight oats and chia puddings, I add them to loaves or cakes, I stew them and eat them with yoghurt for dessert. Apples complement many dishes, both savoury and sweet. They bring a subtle sweetness; finely balancing the saltiness or creaminess of a meal. You may have noticed I also love featuring apples in my photoshoots, they are a lovely prop and their symbolism harks back to my days as a primary school teacher.
Anyway, I've been meaning to make pâté for a while now, and so while I got myself prepared for nap-time baking on Friday, I spied a lone apple, serenely poised on my kitchen table, the afternoon sun streaming in to bathe this glorious fruit in light.
Woah. Too far with the heavenly imagery? Maybe. But again, you get where this is heading: me, pâté, apple - bing! A match made in heaven. Not to mention my lovely friend Beth had told me of a pâté she had made in the past that used apple. Needless to say, I took the jump, I made pâté with apple, thyme and brandy and it surpassed all expectations. It had us all "digging in", including Emilia, who calls it butter and licks it off the surface of crackers and then asks for more.
A few things to keep in mind:
/ This pâté is dairy-free, because Emilia has recently gone dairy free to cure her eczema (more on that later.) Feel free to substitute the coconut oil in the recipe for butter or ghee. Butter is the traditional french fat used in the making and sealing of pâté.
/ Liver is one of the most densely nutritious foods in the world. That's right - move over kale, açai, etc etc! Liver is high in vitamins and minerals, especially Vitamin A and folate, which is vital for brain development and cellular growth and repair. (Take special note if you are pregnant, planning on becoming pregnant, or breastfeeding. You require more folate than others, and it's best to source this from food as much as possible. To find out how to make sure you are getting enough folate in your diet, here's a good place to start. I also recommend checking out what Chris Kresser has to say.)
/ I only use organic, free range chicken livers. In New Zealand, you can source these from Bostocks. This is because the liver filters toxins out of an animal, so you really want to ensure that you are eating liver from a very healthy, happy animal. As with all meat we eat though, I suppose!
/ Sealed with coconut oil or butter, this pâté should last 1-2 weeks in the fridge. When the fat seal is broken I just cover with a natural food wrap like this.
/ This pâté is the bomb slathered on carrot and apple slices, or oat crackers! Lots of other options though, too, of course. Please share ways that you enjoy eating pâté!
That's it, I think. Enjoy!
Chicken Liver pâté with Apple & Thyme
DF / GF / SF / makes two small serving bowls
2T coconut oil for frying
2 shallots, finely diced (or one small onion)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small apple, peeled and diced
300g organic, free range chicken liver (patted dry and trimmed of stringy bits)
2t dried thyme
2 pinches sea salt
12 grinds fresh black pepper
1/4C coconut oil, to seal (optional)
1. Heat the first measure of oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and apple and sautée until becoming translucent (3-5mins). Add the garlic and thyme and continue to cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until apple is softened.
2. Pour contents of the pan into a blender, including all the cooking oil and juices.
3. Add a little more oil to the pan if necessary. Put the prepared livers into the pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook for a few minutes on each side.
4. Add the 2 tablespoons of brandy to the livers and simmer until most liquid has evaporated, but a thick sauce remains. This should only take 2 or 3 minutes.
5. Add the liver to the other mixture in the blender and blitz until completely smooth. Pour into two small serving bowls.
6. If you wish to create a seal over the pâté, gently melt 1/4C of coconut oil (or butter, if dairy is tolerated) in a pot. Set aside for 5-10 minutes so that the oil isn't burning hot, before pouring over the pâté in the bowls to create a seal.
7. Cover and place in the fridge for at least an hour to set.
Enjoy! On crackers, toast, cut vegetables, you name it!