The Commercial Appeal

Put aside your pâté preconcept­ions and try it

- Tammy Algood Special to The Tennessean USA TODAY NETWORK – TENNESSEE

I distinctly remember feeling very “adult” when I realized I actually liked pâté. I had to get past the preconceiv­ed ideas I had about how I expected it to taste. I am not sure where those thoughts came from, but I have happily put them aside for decades, and it is now a grand regular addition to kick off dinner parties.

Perhaps you are the same. I have many friends who say they don’t like it only to admit that they haven’t really tried it. It’s time to change that!

Let’s start with what it is technicall­y.

It is baked, then served either hot or cold. It can be covered with a crust before baking and called pâté en croute, which is French for “pie,” and is usually served hot and is my favorite. Or it can be baked in a terrine and served cold either directly from the dish, which is called pâté en terrine, or it can be unmolded, which is called simply pâté or terrine.

The ingredient­s seem to be where many give it a snub before trying. Contrary to what some think, it doesn’t always contain liver. It can, but there are numerous other main ingredient­s that can be utilized instead. For instance, it can be centered on pork, veal, ham, chicken, turkey, game, fish, bacon or vegetables.

That opens up a realm of fun possibilit­ies for flavor combinatio­ns. It is seasoned with fat of some kind, herbs and wine, port, cognac or other spirits. It occasional­ly contains truffles, which is a real treat.

It is most often served as an appetizer but can also be used as a main dish, especially if wrapped in pastry.

Texture has two possibilit­ies. I prefer those that are pureed to the point of being satiny smooth and easily spreadable. But it can also have a coarse texture, called country pâté.

Tammy Algood is the author of five cookbooks and can be seen on “Volunteer Gardener” on PBS stations in Tennessee. Follow her at www.hauteflavo­

 ?? ED SUBA JR./THE TENNESSEAN ?? Pate can be served on crackers or with thin rounds of French bread.
ED SUBA JR./THE TENNESSEAN Pate can be served on crackers or with thin rounds of French bread.

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