Making pate palatable
August 5, 2009 4:49 AM   Subscribe

Your recommendations on how to enjoy pate.

My fiance loves pate. He usually just has it on toast with butter. Sometimes on an oatcake. I am less enthusiastic but can enjoy on occasion as well. I like it with a bit of cranberry jam on top.

What other ways can we try it? If it matters, we usually buy Brussels pate but sometimes get the Tesco's Finest brand if it's on sale.

Also what is the term for that quality that defines "strong" pate?
posted by like_neon to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Thinly slice some good bread, and put it in a low-ish oven until it's completely dry and crispy but not burned. That gives you the crunch to go with your pate's rich gooeyness.

And then top the pate with red onion marmalade, which provides some unctuous sweet / sharpness. But not too much - you dont' want to swamp the pate. This is a good recipe, if a bit over the top, but I'd leave out the garlic. You can go easier on the wine if you want, but plenty of port and red wine vinegar is essential. It's really, really easy to make. Or buy some - they used to do it in Tesco's.

Try coarse ardennes pate, as well.

Now I'm hungry. And I want to light the wood fire and have a carpet picnic.
posted by dowcrag at 5:50 AM on August 5, 2009

Also what is the term for that quality that defines "strong" pate?

Probably not a term as such; pork liver has a very strong flavour, and so pâtés containing a high percentage or pork liver will be strong. For a milder taste, calf, chicken or lamb liver is probably a better choice; otherwise, choose a pâté with a lower liver content.

I like to make my own terrines; a terrine becomes pâté when it's been chilled and sliced - one of those confusing food terms. Try this terrine if you feel like giving it a go - it's incredibly easy and rather delicious, although I'd probably add some herbs to the recipe.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 5:50 AM on August 5, 2009 [1 favorite]

I find that I like the coarse pâtés on a crostini with a bit of a grainy sharp mustard, and the smoother, more delicate flavored pâtés on a thin toast with a bit of a sweet/tangy accompaniment -- like the aforementioned onion jam or maybe a fruity marmalade, but just a tiny smear.

If you seem to be forcing yourself to love the forcemeat, don't despair; 15 out of 18 people in a blind taste test couldn't tell pâté from dog food. I think the meaty flavors and relatively unusual textures of pâté and foie gras mean one either love love loves them, or one will hate them. I know very few people who are just neutral.

I think le morte de bea arthur is right that what you are identifying as "strong" is likely the varying flavor profiles of the different meats that pâté can be made from. But maybe you are responding to the concentrated umami taste that pâté usually carries?
posted by pineapple at 6:27 AM on August 5, 2009 [1 favorite]

Toast, with bread... preference wholemeal.

I quite like in sandwiches with something like cucumber or tomato or other salad type stuff. And fruity pickle.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:27 AM on August 5, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions so far. I had a duh moment with onion marmalade, which I adore but usually have on burgers and such.

In terms of that flavor, I don't know if it's the quality of "umami" I dislike... I looove savory and everything listed as "umami-ish" in that article is something I would drool over. I guess it's just the flavor of pork liver specifically I am reacting to as le morte de bea arthur suggests. Additional note: I am guilty of enjoying foie gras immensely which I feel does *not* have the characteristic I dislike in some variations of pate. The best way I can describe it is that it kind of makes me want to make a noise like cat trying to hack up a hairball. Fiance does not like foie gras as he found it too creamy.

Terrine sounds interesting. Maybe for a special meal! :)
posted by like_neon at 6:49 AM on August 5, 2009

Best answer: Vinegary elements like mustard (I prefer the course kind) and cornichons should help cut through the "strong" flavor elements you dislike.
posted by mkultra at 6:53 AM on August 5, 2009

Cornichon and fresh baguette bread (not toasted) make paté much more enjoyable
posted by motdiem2 at 7:20 AM on August 5, 2009

I'm not a fan of liver, but love country pate, which has coarsely chopped pork. I like it with a good mustard, on crusty bread. The terrines look really good, and the onion marmalade is a great idea.
posted by theora55 at 7:24 AM on August 5, 2009

"Too liver-y" is how I would normally describe "stronger" pâté.

You and your fiance might be more in agreement on chicken liver mousse or duck pâté, which should appeal to your appreciation for the creamier, more buttery flavor of foie while still satisfying his affection for stronger pâtés.

Acidic, sweet-tart, or tart elements go well with pâté: cornichons, currants, chutney, marmalade, mustard, mostarda, sour cherries, etc. And do yourself a favor and get the best bread you can find.
posted by desuetude at 8:09 AM on August 5, 2009

Best answer: You could make Bàhn Mì. They are, generally speaking, deliciousness on a bun.
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:49 AM on August 5, 2009

Response by poster: omg, genjiandProust I f*king love Bàhn Mì and didn't know you could use paté! Now to just find some daikon. Nearest asian market to me doesn't have it but there is another one I could try a bit further away although the window says it's Japanese/Chinese/Polish/Russian.
posted by like_neon at 8:58 AM on August 5, 2009

Also what is the term for that quality that defines "strong" pate?

'Gamey', perhaps?
posted by chrismear at 9:01 AM on August 5, 2009

dice various dried fruits & put out a few jars of different fruit compotes (home made low sugar jams) on the table and see which pairing you like best with each pâté... apricot, figs, cherries, plums, apples . Serve with toasted crusty aniseed/fig bread ... *sigh* to die for.
posted by iiniisfree at 9:42 AM on August 5, 2009

For what it's worth, Whole Foods usually carries daikon during mid to late summer. Other boutique produce stores and some co-ops might, too.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:50 AM on August 5, 2009

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