Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.


Monday, October 31, 2011

Sweet Mother of Pate...look what I got here!

Editor's note: I feel kinda bad for even posting this. One of my pals, Free, is currently one of the folks on the East Coast in the dark. I'm not worried about her because I know she is well provisioned - and one of the last things she said was that they just got some firewood. But of course I'm worried! Especially because she just got a bunch of chicks - hopefully she learned everything I taught her and has a slew of baby chicks snuggling in her br.. I mean... "personal mobile incubator." Hang in there, baby, and lemme know when you get your lights on!


Today is The Big Man's worst nightmare - I cooked both beets and liver. The only two foods he refuses to eat...but I'll say it... one of my best meals ever. I'm pretty sure he's gonna have a cheese sandwich for supper.

As my beets were roasting I laughed a little remembering the last time I had roasted beet and goat cheese salad. It was in a fancy bistro and it cost probably $8 or $9 for a pint sized serving. My cost to make the same thing here on the farm - practically free. And it was delicious. Easy peasy - roast beets, slice, and plop a big dollop of goat cheese on top. Now that's living, friend.

Then came the main dish. The duck risotto was eclipsed only by the duck liver pate. It was so good I may never eat again. I'm not even kidding.

Sweet mother of pate look at that! Oh liver... I love you in the wurst way...

This culinary adventure started earlier today when we dressed a couple of the younger ducks for supper. You know what that means. To answer before you ask - no it wasnt awful, yes it was easy, and wow having the right scald water temperature really makes for fast plucking. We only did two ducks because we were pressed for time. Hopefully this weekend we'll finish up the rest of that group.

Just enough rendered fat to coat the bottom of the pan.

After we cleaned up our work area I ran into the kitchen with a bowl full of large duck livers and fat. Immediately I started rendering the fat in a heavy pan over low heat. When there was enough fat to coat the bottom of the pan I moved the still solid fat into another pan to finish rendering. The livers were sauteed in the fat in the first pan. I loosely based the pate on this recipe here...mostly because I liked that it included brandy.

I used the necks, hearts, and wings to start a duck stock - low and slow for several hours - in anticipation of the risotto. I love making risotto, especially with barley instead of arborio rice. I think its makes for a richer and more earthy flavor which is perfect for this thyme scented duck risotto.

This is a close approximation for how I whipped up this rich and easy risotto. Of course I stirred in some cream at the end. And... I used some of my goat cheddar instead of parm which was a fabulous substitution. It shaves beautifully and adds an amazing quality to this dish. And its free(ish). In fact, this luxurious supper would have cost a pretty penny in civilization but my cost of goods was just about $1 or so.

So I'm raising a glass to my pal Free and hoping she and her chicks are staying warm. And I'd better go and make The Big Man a cheese sandwich.

Hope everyone had a great day - is the Halloween candy on sale yet?


10 comments:

Gingerbreadshouse7 said...

Looks good to me! Pretty good to go into the yard and pick out a duck for dinner :o)..I have one "store bought" in the freezer...seems people here in NC don't cotton much to Duck! I had to buy it during the Holiday to keep.

Robin said...

I'm with the Big Man on liver...but, I do love beets! "The Italian" loves liver and hates beets.

Does sound like a great meal though. I hope the Big Man had good sandwiches for dinner!

Mr. H. said...

So, isn't it freeing to like most everything in the food world...so many people missing out on so many delicious foods and combinations thereof. Give me a raw beet, fried beet, roasted beet, borsch, pickled beet, and I even hear tell they taste good fermented...mmm, beets. Best of luck to your friend, hope her electricity comes back on soon.

David P. Offutt - The Gastronomic Gardener said...

Oh Ducky goodness! Next to porcine pleasures, this is my favorite! You're right about the cost of things at the bistro - such simple fare need not be overpriced. You're living the dream!

Carolyn Renee said...

Oh, I LOVE livers! Although I've never made pate. We don't have any ducks this year though, so I guess I'll have to wait. I wonder how bad chicken liver pate would taste? Assuming that I haven't battered, fried and eaten them all.

Heiko said...

Man there must be westerly wind, cos I'm sure I could smell this over here...

CallieK said...

I'm drooling from here. I make chicken liver pate but duck is soo much better.

freemotion said...

Super yum!!! That looks amazing!!

freemotion said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ohiofarmgirl said...

Great work, Ginny! isnt it funny how folks arent used to some things? boy are they missing out.

Robin, he had a can of soup and it was very very sad.

Mr. H, FRIED beets? Yipee! *ofg rushes off to fry up a beet*

by now you know, d, that i had a roast duck planned in your honor!

Carolyn, chicken liver pate is fabulous! i make it when we have them - delish!

so delicious, Heiko.. you'd love it!

Callie - if only we could get ourselves to dress the geese - their cute looks are saving them from my love of fois gras!

oh hey Free! look it worked!

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