The Christmas Blog Edition - A liver paté with port wine for your Christmas table

And here we are, so close to Christmas Eve it hurts! Time has sped by, this month, and with everyone having fallen down with some sort of sickness or other, the last three weeks feel like a limbo, where almost nothing got done in due time. Everything that needed to be tackled concerning Christmas felt rushed, but at least we have all the (very few) Christmas gifts ready and wrapped and now all we can do is hope they will be enjoyed by the recipients. We also managed to get the menu sorted, and as usual I feel like there's a bit too much of everything. There's always leftovers we try to divide amongst everyone, but the truth is that with eight to nine people coming over for Christmas, it stands to reason not everyone enjoys eating the same things. I can only be grateful no one has allergies or digestive problems that would complicate matters even more. So it is just a question of personal preferences and trying to make everyone happy, I guess.

The truth is I'm the difficult one. I'm the one who does not do traditional Portuguese Christmas. For starters I insist on having a roast on Christmas Eve. And it has to be meat. Game, preferably, although this year it's gonna be pork stuffed with traditional portuguese "enchidos". But I do make it a point of having meat on the 24th. As for Christmas lunch, that's fish, always. Usually cod, sometimes salmon. See how I am the difficult one? Everyone else eats what I give them, but I would be very unhappy having boiled cod and potatoes for dinner on Christmas Eve. Or even on Christmas lunch, I like to cook something special for those occasions. Again, not being of a religious disposition does allow me to eat what I want. And I pretty much want to have a full table. There'll be entrées, or appetizers, as you prefer. Cheese, good portuguese cheeses, and a nice homebaked bread too. Finger food, as well, which we just have to pop into the oven a couple of hours before the guests arrive so we can serve them at room temperature. And this year I wanted a homemade liver paté as well. It's something I really love eating, and feels so indulgent, despite how easy it is.

So that's most of the menu all sorted out, leaving dessert for a deeper analysis. I mean, I'm weird with dessert. There's fresh pineapple, of course, it's so traditionally portuguese, at least it was in my house growing up: we always had pineapple for Christmas, and it does go down well, as it's fresh and light and sweet but not too much. There has to be chocolate mousse as well, because I am a chocoholic and cannot go without it. Fruit cakes this year, because I want something other than our very portuguese bolo rei, which my sister in law will probably bring along with some sweet fritters the season is rich in. I'm not a fan, so I always want to have some other desserts around for those who like me are of a less portuguese disposition. I was gonna go with the beigli, but then my mind got stuck on Eva Kosma Flores' saffron star bread and this is what I want. With a cocoa and red berries filling, a hint of cinammon, maybe some nuts. I'm still working the details in my head, as I won't be baking it before tomorrow. Think I'm gonna get up at the crack of dawn to tackle it and still have enough time to style and photograph it, so I can share it here. Hey, a woman can dream, right? And add even more stress to a stress packed day... we'll see how it goes.

As for this paté, maybe the recipe doesn't come in time for you to cook some and gift it to friends or family members, but how about having it for your New Year's Eve dinner? It's a great recipe, and filled with flavours that to me are so Christmas-y! Here's the recipe:
  • 300 gr butter
  • olive oil
  • 2 shalotts
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 400 gr chicken liver
  • salt, thyme, nutmeg, allspice and black pepper
  • 1 glass of port wine
Turn on your oven at 110º and place half the butter in an oven dish, reserving the rest for latter. Let it melt in the oven until the butter separates, get rid of the white stuff and keep the clarified butter. Set aside and reserve, you will use it as a seal for the paté. Now heat up a glug of olive oil and fry the thinly sliced shalotts and garlic until tender. Place in a dish and reserve. Clean up the pan, add another glug of olive oil and fry the livers. Season them with the herbs and spices,and the salt, add the port wine and allow to reduce. Make sure the livers cook, but not all the way through, they should remain pink in the middle - not raw and bloody, though, just pink. Once they're done, transfer into a food processor add the shallots and garlic and the other half of butter, cut into smaller chunks. Blitz until you have a smooth paste, then pour into a jar or a bowl. Cover with the clarified butter and store in the fridge. It will keep for two weeks as long as the butter seal remains intact. Serve with bread as an appetizer, it is really one of the best patés I have ever tried. Trust me on this one and go make it!

All that's left now for me to say is wish you guys a very happy Christmas, I hope you have lots of fun and loads of delicious food, and all your loved ones are around you and your dreams come true. Thank you for sticking around and putting up with my nonsense, thank you for spurring me on and appreciating my work, thank you for taking the time to read through my posts, and some of you even through my novels, you have no idea how much that means to me. It is the very best Christmas gift I could ever have!! So thank you so much for gifting me with your presence and support, truly, from the heart.



  1. Sete da manhã e já vou a caminho da minha cozinha. Nada como a véspera de Natal ..... um abraço e bom Natal para ti e para os teus rapazes. E beijinhos (sim beijinhos, aguenta que é Natal) ��

    1. Aguenta coração!!!! Beijinhos para ti tb, é a paga ;)


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