Hey, everyone! I thought I'd fill you in on one of my annual traditions: the Julia Child Party!
My friend, Sarah Z, is one of the best home cooks I know. She also hosts a fun party in honor of Julia Child (my cooking inspiration!) each year. I have been to all six of them and the meals just get better and better.
The party plan is simple: everyone takes an entry course (out of 5 or 6 courses) and it MUST be a Julia Child's recipe.
This year, I have fallen madly in love with Pate and Mousse and anything that reminds me of "old world" cooking - you know, what my parents and their parents were raised on. So LIVER it is! I can't even begin to describe how lovely liver and onions smell in a pan and the aroma that comes when you deglaze the pan with Brandy.
So for the 6th Julia Child party, I brought Turkey Liver Mousse, Homemade Mustard and Pickled Shallots. If you have never had this combination, you are missing out! You might be scared about trying it, but you need to come to the dark side with me and bath in it, because once you go into this universe, you will question everything before! Plus, you get to hang out with me and my foodie friends. HA!
Here's a quick, gourmet, and inexpensive appetizer that will impress your guests this holiday season:
CHICKEN LIVER MOUSSE
adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking
makes about 2 cups
2 cups (about 1 lb) chicken livers
2 tablespoon minced shallots
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/3 cup brandy
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon allspice
a pinch of ground nutmeg
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh sage leaves or 1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
Kosher salt and pepper
2/3 cup clarified butter
Fresh Sage or Thyme, for garnish
Remove any greenish or blackish spots from the livers then cut into 1/2″ pieces.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat in a sauté pan (preferably cast iron) until foam has subsided. Sauté livers with the shallots in butter for 2 to 3 minutes, until the livers are just stiffened, but still pink inside. (Yes, don't you worry about them being pink, I know it sounds scary, but just go with it!)
Remove any liquid then scrape into the food processor.
Pour the brandy into the pan and boil it down rapidly until it has reduced to 3 tablespoons. Scrape it into the food processor.
Add the cream and seasonings to the food processor. Cover and blend at top speed for several seconds until the liver is a smooth paste.
Add the melted butter and blend several seconds more. Taste! Then adjust the seasoning.
Add a sprig Thyme or a leaf of Sage on top of the mousse. Then, pour the clarified butter over the surface of the chicken liver mousse
Pour into a pretty jar with a lid and put in the fridge and have it chilled for 2 to 3 hours or overnight.
Mousse can be made 5 days ahead and chilled, covered after 4 hours,
Serve mousse with cornichons, grainy mustard, pickled shallots , olives and assorted crackers.