A Taste of France, Canadianized

By Theresa Albert

Theresa’s top tips to add global flavour to your holiday:

  1. Don’t feel you have to go the whole nine yards! Want Greek? Add fried chicken livers with garlic and oregano as an app, add pita to dip into the sauce. Feeling Portuguese? Pull a roasted chicken off the bone and serve atop a pan of roasted potatoes. The rest of the event doesn’t have to go the whole way – simply choose one element and play it up.
  2. You never have to go it alone – most French women know where to buy the best pre-made anything! And a fresh baguette with Edith Piaf tunes makes for a mood.
  3. Colour and light set the stage. Choose a theme and google “colours of [X country]”. You will come up with a palate to build from. Turn off all over headlights and add candles that glow in your chosen colour theme.
  4. Go thrifting! Find one piece of clothing or a scarf, hat, piece of art and use it to set the stage. A hat can be a bread basket, a scarf can go over a lamp, on your person or on top of the table to add a touch of your travels.
  5. Let guests know where the menu is going so they can bring along a moment, add a dish or simply be prepared with the right mood.

Duck pate, Theresa Albert

“Duck is a specialty of the Southwest of France, so some form of foie gras or pate appears often. To create a more sustainable and animal-friendly version of this comfort food at home has been simple. Slight modifications in recipes make chicken liver more palatable than the fattened liver of duck. I make a simple version that is smooth but textured and store it in pretty petit glass jars so I can take some as a holiday hostess gift. It frequently becomes a quick lunch spread or appetizer for me while I am making dinner and sipping red wine before it gets out the door.”

Serving Size: 24
Preparation Time: 45 Minutes

  • 1 pound chicken livers, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup butter, divided
  • 1 tbsp really good balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • Place cleaned and trimmed livers into a large casserole dish and add all remaining ingredients, saving back half the butter. Bake uncovered at 300 F for 30 minutes until very firm (stir once during baking). Allow to cool, empty into a deep glass bowl, and use a hand wand to puree well.
  • Spoon into small glass jars, top with melted butter and freshly ground pepper.
  • Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Wine-Pairing Recos from Erin Henderson, Co-Founder, The Wine Sisters & Drink T.O.

A classic pairing with chicken liver pâté is Sauternes, or sweet dessert wine. This pairing is rich and indulgent, and totally Christmas. But if you would like to show some restraint you could opt for an off dry to medium sweet Riesling.
Try: Loosen Bros. Dr. L Riesling, Mosel, Germany 2017

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