Wednesday, July 25, 2012

SOB Dinner - Pâté de Foie Gras Pie

Watson mentions pâté de foie gras pie in the story of The Noble Bachelor.

It was after five o'clock when Sherlock Holmes left me, but I had no time to be lonely, for within an hour there arrived a confectioner's man with a very large flat box. This he unpacked with the help of a youth whom he had brought with him, and presently, to my very great astonishment, a quite epicurean little cold supper began to be laid out upon our humble lodging-house mahogany. There were a couple of brace of cold woodcock, a pheasant, a pâté de foie gras pie with a group of ancient and cobwebby bottles. Having laid out all these luxuries, my two visitors vanished away, like the genii of the Arabian Nights, with no explanation save that the things had been paid for and were ordered to this address. 

 According to my research, pâté de foie gras pie was called Strasburg (Strasbourg) pie during Holmes' time.  Both my Sherlockian cookbooks had a recipe for pâté de foie gras pie, but neither one sounded very interesting.  Nor could I find a good recipe for Strasburg pie.  I had a recipe that used foie gras and a Sauternes gelatin that was good, so I decided to modify that recipe.  Rather than serving the foie gras on toasts per the original recipe, I made pastry shells, and encased the foie gras in the gelatin within the shells.  It turned out quite well. 

The Sherlock jack-in-a-box was a gift when my son was born.

Pâté de Foie Gras Pie

6 pastry shells,  (I used Pepperidge Farm frozen shells)
3 oz pâté foie gras
1 cup Sauternes wine
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
2 tablespoons water

Bake pastry shells according to directions and allow to cool.  Hollow out inside to hold pâté and Sauternes gelatin.  Save the tops of the shells.

Soften gelatin in cold water.  In the meantime, heat Sauternes and sugar to boiling, stirring until sugar dissolves.  Add softened gelatin to hot wine mixture and stir until gelatin is completely dissolved.  Cool until gelatin starts to thicken.  You can speed this step by stirring the gelatin over an ice bath.  Once gelatin has thickened somewhat, you can assemble your 'pies'.  Place a bit of gelatin in each shell.  Add a chunk of pâté and top with more gelatin.  Top with the puff pastry tops and place in refrigerator until gelatin sets, one to two hours.  Serve the same day.

Quite a treat, nestled in a puff pastry shell.

With the puff pastry pies I served Lamarca Prosecco D.O.C. with a splash of brandy. 

No cobwebs, just tasty!

 The Prosecco was crisp and dry, with a hint of fruit and honey.  It balanced the sweetness of the Sauternes and complimented the richness of the pâté.  The splash of brandy gave it a little kick, and a nice golden glow.  

Take your glass so I can sit down!
I expanded David's palate; he'd never had pâté before!  He was in for some other new treats ahead!  Things were off to a good start.

Tomorrow, the soup

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