People today are not as fond of paté as they used to be, they think of it as a retro hit. But it has tremendous potential. Many think that paté is made from cheap leftover meat, but it’s a much more sophisticated food. Preparing it is a very complicated and is best left to professionals. But let’s look at how we’re supposed to eat this old favorite. Maybe we can make it cool again.
Many restaurants fail to be spot on with the ratio of paté to accompaniments, the latter are often lacking. They give so little toast that you virtually have to pile the paté on and if you want more you have to beg the waiter for more toast. If we are eating it at home we should prepare the right amount of bread and if we want the best for ourselves we should buy or make some chutney too. If we have guests it’s important for everyone to have their own plates of paté. The best plates for this are one that have a little edge for us to wipe our knifes on so we can make sure that we only smear the required amount of paté onto our toast.
Not from the fridge!
Many restaurants make the mistake of serving paté straight from the fridge and many people at home make the same mistake. You don’t have to worry about paté going bad if you leave it on the kitchen counter for even up to one or two hours. As with every dish with high amounts of fat, it will taste better at room temperature.
A little table etiquette
If we’re eating paté with friends we should always put it first on our plate then spread it on our toast. If we didn’t put it on our plate we risk scattering crumbs all over the paté and it’s best to avoid this. Not only because of the aesthetics but for sanitary reasons as well.
When to eat it?
Don’t listen to those who say paté can be eaten as part of any meal – they’re probably trying to sell you some paté anyway. This dish – and we’re talking about it as whole dish and not as an ingredient – isn’t for breakfast. It’s more suited for lunch or as an appetizer for dinner. Put some meats, cheeses, bread, chutney and vegetables on a plate and we’re ready to serve.
Variation on paté
There are many recipes that describe how to make vegetable patés from mushrooms or sweet potato but originally paté is made from ground meat or fish. So these vegetarian variations, though delicious, can’t be considered as patés. It’s advisable to steer clear of special sounding versions like dried fruit or ginger! This is not a Christmas cake, this is a simple snack. Let’s stay with the traditional French spices like garlic and thyme.
The most important thing, of course, is the toast which we should butter (except if we bought paté that has a thin layer of congealed fat on top). Butter is always a good idea. We can choose any type of white bread we like but we should stay away from brown breads because they have a strong flavor. Avoid biscuits or crackers or pita breads. They’re just not good with paté.
Any type if pickled vegetable can be a good choice for accompaniments. The classical choice is pickles but we can also get some pickled onions or red cabbage. A celery rémoulade is a good idea too but we should be careful with the mayonnaise. Mustard, on the other hand, goes really well with paté. The aforementioned chutney or some kind of savory jam can also come in handy but we should be careful with these because their sweetish taste will not always complement the paté.
Source: The Guardian