Recipe by Manami
A ballerina named Carmeleta Maracci offered this recipe to Alan Hooker, founder of the Ranch House Restaurant in Southern California's Ojai Valley. "There are those," Hooker once observed, "who will consider the addition of cream cheese a sacrilege, but it smooths the pâté so beautifully that we disregard the purists." Saveur Magazine, issue #26
Top Review by Alyssum
My mom has been making this since she worked at the Ranch House back in the 1970s, before I was born. I loved it growing up, but am 3000 miles away now, and have to make my own pate! I asked her for the recipe, and she sent me this link, which is identical to hers (although she uses as much Chablis (Chardonnay) as she does cognac). Just made it - looks, smells, and tastes just like my mom's :) it's my favorite pate on Earth, and I'm glad it's here for all to see!
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 2 scallions, trimmed and finely chopped
- black truffle (optional)
- 3⁄4 lb chicken liver
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1 pinch ground cloves
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 2 tablespoons cognac
Directions See How It's Made
- Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat.
- Add scallions and cook until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, if using truffle, finely chop all but 4 shavings (reserve these for garnish) and set aside.
- Add chicken livers and cook, covered, over medium heat until just cooked through, 5–7 minutes.
- Remove pan from heat and stir in salt, mustard, nutmeg, and cloves.
- Transfer to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Continue to process, blending in remaining 4 tablespoons butter, cream cheese, and cognac.
- Mix in chopped truffle (if using), then transfer to small bowls or well-oiled molds, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, about 24 hours.
- Serve a generous portion of pâté on a bed of greens with bread, olives, and caper berries, if desired, and garnish with reserved truffle shavings.