Pate De Campagne

"This pate, adapted from Alma Lach, is as close as I've been able to come to the lovely thick slice of pate one gets in a French bistro--on a thick oval plate, served with a little pot of mustard and a little pile of tiny cornichons and some great bread. You can add pistachios or whatever other little touches you like, but know that it's worth the time and effort -- though most of the time is marinating and cooling. The serving amount is a guestimate."
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  • Cut ham slice into 1/4" strips. Cut the salt pork into1/8" slices and the slices into 1/8" strips.
  • Put the shallot, bay leaf, thyme, Madeira and Cognac into a flat dish. (I use a pyrex square glass dish). Add the meat strips, cover and marinate 6 hours or overnight.
  • Mix veal and pork and salt and pepper and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • When ready to make pate, line a 4-cup mold (or 2 small molds) with bacon slices. Drain the liquid from the meat strips into the ground meat and mix (this is the sausage). Place a layer of sausage into the bacon-lined mold, then a layer of eat strips. Continue until all is used, ending with the sausage.
  • Cover the top of the mold with strips of bacon cut to fit. Press down firmly into the mold. Cover tightly with foil, and set mold(s) into a water bath. Bake at 325 degrees F. for two hours.
  • When done, remove from oven and place mold(s) in pan large enough to hold it and any overflow of fat. Weight down the top of the mold, using a foil wrapped brick or the like. Make sure the pate is pressed while still warm. When cool. refrigerate with the weight.
  • When the pate is cold, turn it out of the mold(s), scrape away the congealed fat. A good French cook will save that fat to cook with--fries for example--it tastes great.
  • Serve with cornichons and mustard and crusty bread.

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<p>I have always loved to cook. When I was little, I cooked with my Grandmother who had endless patience and extraordinary skill as a baker. And I cooked with my Mother, who had a set repertoire, but taught me many basics. Then I spent a summer with a French cousin who opened up a whole new world of cooking. And I grew up in New York City, which meant that I was surrounded by all varieties of wonderful food, from great bagels and white fish to all the wonders of Chinatown and Little Italy, from German to Spanish to Mexican to Puerto Rican to Cuban, not to mention Cuban-Chinese. And my parents loved good food, so I grew up eating things like roasted peppers, anchovies, cheeses, charcuterie, as well as burgers and the like. In my own cooking I try to use organics as much as possible; I never use canned soup or cake mix and, other than a cheese steak if I'm in Philly or pizza by the slice in New York, I don't eat fast food. So, while I think I eat and cook just about everything, I do have friends who think I'm picky--just because the only thing I've ever had from McDonald's is a diet Coke (and maybe a frie or two). I have collected literally hundreds of recipes, clipped from the Times or magazines, copied down from friends, cajoled out of restaurant chefs. Little by little, I am pulling out the ones I've made and loved and posting them here. Maybe someday, every drawer in my apartment won't crammed with recipes. (Of course, I'll always have those shelves crammed with cookbooks.) I'm still amazed and delighted by the friendliness and the incredible knowledge of the people here. 'Zaar has been a wonderful discovery for me.</p>
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