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Pate for the Holiday

Country Pate is a great dish for the holidays. You can make it in advance and serve it at a party as an appetizer or with a salad course for a formal dinner or a simple lunch. This is my version of a French Country Pate....

2 slices of coarse bread (if you do not have a loaf then simply buy a couple of rolls to use)

1/2c whole milk (this is for soaking the bread only, so you may substitute with rice milk)

6-7 oz. of chicken livers, cleaned

10 oz. ground pork

12 - 14 oz panceta, chopped

3 lg eggs, beaten

1 handful of parsley, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1t paprika

1t cinnamon

1t ground coriander

1t fresh thyme leaves, minced

salt and pepper (easy on the salt, maybe 1/2 t since the panceta has salt and you will wrap it in bacon or prosciutto)

16 thin slices of bacon (I sometimes use turkey bacon) or about 8 slices of prosciutto)

1-2 T of cognac or brandy

1 loaf pan and a cake pan to set the loaf pan in since this will bake in a hot water bath.

Preheat the oven to 450 and place a rack in the lower third of the oven.

Cut the bread into chunks and soak in the milk until soft, squeeze the excess liquid out and then mince the bread and put into a large bowl.

Grind the chicken livers in a food processor and add to the bowl.

Add the beaten eggs to the bowl, then all the herbs and spices.

Put the ground pork and panceta into the bowl with the cognac and mix it all by hand.

Line the loaf pan with either the bacon or prosciutto and be sure to overlap the layers slightly and allow the ends to hang over the sides. Then wrap them across the front to cover the top.

Place the loaf pan into the cake pan and put into the oven and then fill with hot water to about halfway up the side of the loaf pan. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake for another 45, until the top is brown and the loaf registers 170 degrees in the center.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely, Wrap it tightly in foil and place a weight on it and put it into the refrigerator for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours. Remove from the fridge, run a knife along the edges to loosen and turn over to release. If it doesn't release immediately let it sit upside down or put the bottom in a little hot water and then turn it over again. Slice and enjoy.

If you are having this with a salad, butter lettuce is a good choice with some thinly sliced onions and a very light vinaigrette or a simple lemon juice and olive oil dressing.

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