I’ve teamed up with Alexian to bring you this post.
Welcome back to Part II of French Entertaining!
In our last post French guest cook Sandrine Vannson enlightened us on French entertaining “country style” with Duck Rillette and Pheasant & Rosemary Pâté.
The interest and participation was exciting and now we’re back with the second installment in which we’ll be taking a more contemporary, or “nouvelle”, approach.
We are delighted to have Sandrine back with us where she will be sharing some more creative ideas, this time with mousse and vegetable pâté, using some more of Alexian’s fabulous products.
Alexian is America’s premier producer of the finest pâtés and mousses all made with the finest, freshest all-natural ingredients and without any preservatives, additives, hormones, antibiotics or fillers. Today Sandrine will be featuring Alexian’s Duck Liver Mousse with Cognac and their Vegetable Pâté.
Let’s turn the time over to Sandrine who will show us some inspiring ways to create beautiful and delicious French appetizers. These appetizers are absolutely perfect for any special occasion and are sure to impress your guests!
The vegetable pâté is not something I work with a lot and it’s a shame. Not only is it tasty but it is also healthy. These kinds of pâtés always induce the idea of refinement and sophistication and yet they are so simple and you don’t have to worry about watching the extra calories. The combination of flavors makes it so interesting and fresh. You can either eat it by itself or on toasts or combine it with any number of selections from the delicatessen. The options are endless.
Here I’ve chosen to display it in three different ways on the same plate . The simplest is to cut the pâté not too thinly nor too thickly to have a nice slice that won’t fall apart when you will display it. You have to be careful because this is not as malleable as the other products. Cut 2 or 3 slices depending on the size of your serving dishes .
For the first version, you can make simple toasts. It’s easy and you can really have fun making them effortlessly. All you need is just creativity, some pastry cutters (small ones), toasts, cream cheese and a good product (and we happen to have one from Alexian!)
First, cut slices and then use the pastry cutters to cut shapes in the slices so you can vary the shapes, the flavors, the placement. Put some cream cheese (just a little so the different pieces will stay in place without interfering with the taste of the pâté).
Here are some ideas of what you can do. So simple and so good.
For the second version, I decided to make an individual portion. Cut 2 or 3 slices depending on the size of your serving dishes . Place the slices in a little white ramekin with a toast for the crispy side, fresh tomatoes from the garden and chives . You can really use anything to accompany vegetable pâté as long as it’s fresh. Just give free rein to your imagination and dare trying new combinations if you are adventurous.
You can also choose to display the whole pâté and then let your guests help themselves.
My last idea is really simple too. Cut a thick slice and then cut into strips. Stick a toothpick in each piece. If you want to add a crispy element, roll the pieces in bread crumbs (on left in pic below). That’s all there is to it!
Now let’s move on to the mousse.
Here is another fun thing to make. I usually use fresh goat cheese for this but we’re going to try it with duck mousse. I like challenges! So here we go!
To make a duck mousse “maki style” appetizer, you need sliced bread (white or wholewheat) . Take a slice and flatten it with a rolling pin. Once it is flattened, cut off the crusts and spread the slice evenly some duck mousse .
To fill the roll, you can lay some chives and pieces of pickles or maple caramelized onions (the recipe is in our previous post) with fresh raspberries (Yes, it does work very well together!). You can also combine the maple caramelized onions with chives and olives. Once again, the possibilities are endless.
Start at one end of the bread slice and tightly roll it up. Once you are done, cut the roll into slices.
Place your maki style appetizers on a plate and add some flavorful garnishes on each “maki”.
Now you just have to enjoy them! Bon appétit!
Our last version for the duck mousse toasts is a little more sophisticated and elegant and yet so simple to create. To make them you will need to slice a baguette, not too thinly. Toast them a little so they can stay nice and crispy even if they wait a little.
To be able to work the mousse better, you will need to add a little bit of fresh cream or whole milk and mix it well so it can be put in a pastry bag. Then let your imagination do the rest of it. I personally did roses as it it easier to place on toasts.
Once you’ve done your roses or other shapes with the mousse, add some garnishes. Anything pickled will go perfectly with it like pickles or small white pickled onions. You can also try it with fresh raspberries (oh, it’s so delicious!), chives, cherry tomatoes or our maple caramelized onions. You can even fill some raspberries with the preparation. It’s fresh and very tasty. Once again those are just few ideas of what you can make. You just have to dare trying new flavors.
With all those yummy toasts you can be sure everybody will find what they are looking for.
Now it’s time to relax and enjoy.
Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année à tous!
We hope you’ve learned a bit about French entertaining and have been inspired to try some mousse and pate at home!
To find a store near you that carries Alexian products, go to their Store Locater.
Maple Caramelized Onions
- 3 large yellow onions , cut in half and thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- You can use as many onions as you want depending on how many caramelized onions you need. Peel them and slice them thinly. Melt some butter in a frying pan and add some olive oil so the butter doesn't burn. Add the onions. When the onions are translucent add some balsamic vinegar so it will color the onions and adds this nice touch of acidity.Add some sugar (about a tablespoon of sugar per onion). Stir together and then add some maple syrup (a tablespoon per onion or a little more if you like it a little sweeter) and keep stirring. Let it caramelize until the onions are glazed and have a rich and thickened consistency.
A special thank you to Alexian for sponsoring this post! As always, all opinions are entirely my own.