Tag Archives: liver

Dairy-free/Casein-free Pate’ Recipe!

While teaching a Liver Pate’ class on Saturday, I had a student who was casein-free. So we experimented together, and stumbled upon a delicious dairy-free/casein-free chicken liver pate’ recipe! I am using the “/” because one can make it either way…completely dairy-free or just casein-free (by using ghee).

So here goes. The recipe is written as it was made. I have included options in parentheses for you to try on your own. Keep in mind that when you are switching out fats, the flavor of the fat will color the flavor of the pate’. Enjoy!

Dairy-free/Casein-free Chicken Liver Pate’

makes about 2 cups

3 T bacon fat (or schmaltz, tallow, lard, duck fat, coconut oil. To make casein-free, use ghee.)

1 pound chicken livers from pastured hens!

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (or brandy, cognac or white wine. I have also used port in a pinch!)

1/2 tsp dry mustard

1/2 tsp dried rosemary (can crush if you desire in a mortar and pestle)

1 tsp green peppercorns, crushed or ground

4 cloves garlic, smashed, peeled and chopped

1/4 cup coconut cream! (or ghee, if just casein-free)

Celtic sea salt to taste

To seal:

bacon fat, melted 2-4 T (can also be schmaltz, tallow, lard, duck fat, coconut oil. To make casein-free, use ghee.)

Check chicken livers. Throw out any livers that are pale or gray. I like to rinse them under cool water. Some people like to cut them up; I like to put them in the pan just the way they are. Some people like to cut off the fat; I like to leave the fat unless it is hard or tough. You decide what you like! (It’s all going to be whirred around and chopped up in the food processor anyway!)

Warm the healthy fat of your choosing in a large skillet until melted. (I like cast iron.)

Add the chicken livers and saute’ until browned on the outside over medium low heat. This should take about 7-8 minutes at most. (Don’t overcook livers; they will toughen and the flavor will become too strong. I like mine a bit pink inside.)

Add the seasonings and the vinegar or brandy. Cook for a minute or two, until the vinegar or brandy reduces. Add chopped garlic at this point, stir and turn off the heat.

Allow to cool.

Pour into a food processor along with celtic sea salt and coconut cream. (You may use the cream that is at the top of a can of coconut milk or make your own from “Let’s Do Organic” Coconut Cream found in most natural food stores.) Process until smooth.

Taste and adjust seasonings. (You may wish to add more garlic, more rosemary or coconut cream at this point.)

Spoon into a crock, ramekin, jar, or bowl of your choice. Smooth the top and pour on melted fat to seal. Place in the refrigerator for a few hours, so the pate’ will set.

Note: pate’ that is sealed with a fat layer on top will last up to 3 months in the refrigerator. (I have also frozen pate’ successfully.) Once you break the seal, eat within a week.




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Making pate’ for 200 at Fourfold Healing

So I received a call last Monday that I needed to make pate’ for about 200 people on Thursday for the Fourfold Path to Healing conference in Baltimore. I thought, “Fun! Fun! Fun!” and so it was.

After a flurry of calculations and number crunching, I extended the recipes I had. (Most people don’t know that chefs need to be mathematicians too!) Ordered 20 pounds of beef liver and 17 pounds of pork liver and everything needed, and I was off to Baltimore.

Here are some of the photos from growing those recipes. And yes, it was so much fun. AND delicious!! (“Delightful” one woman said, “best pate’ I have ever had” said another…and from Sally Fallon Morell, “really good”. Thanks, all! ) and special thanks to dear friend and “right arm”, Susan Lucas, who was with me through it all!)








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My new favorite sandwich!

Yum yum yum.

I was craving liver again today. Don’t know if it was all the talk about my Liver Pate: Nutrient-Dense Nirvana class in Baltimore on February 3, or if it is just because my body needs those nutrients that liver provides. Luckily, I had frozen some of the chicken liver pate I made last. (Yes, frozen. We’ll talk more about freezing pate later.)

So I went off to the kitchen and sliced off a paper thin slice of traditional Baltic Rye, spread a hearty helping of chicken liver pate on it, topped it with a slab of grass-fed butter and sprinkled on some good Celtic salt. Mmm mmm. Ate a little homemade sauerkraut on the side. Think I found my new favorite snack.¬†Nutrient-packed, easy to assemble and delicious. ūüôā

20120118-174501.jpgSo about freezing pate– often a batch of pate yields several servings, and unless you have a family of 6 or 8, you won’t go through it in one sitting, or even a week. ¬†Storage options: first, I love to top my pate with a half inch or more layer of melted butter. As it cools, the butter will seal air out and preserve the pate. Sealed in this way, pate will last weeks in your refrigerator. Another option is to make up your pate in the usual way, in ramekins or mason jars or BPA-free plastic containers that have been lined with parchment. Then freeze for as long as you need to (although I don’t recommend freezing anything longer than six months. I feel more comfortable at three.) I also like to freeze my pate in one person portions… That is, the amount one person will consume within a week.

Now, how about some bread options? Don’t have Baltic Rye (which is rye, yeast, caraway seeds, sugar, water and salt)? Sourdough is best- what I call a “true sourdough”-no gluten added; made in the traditional way. Next, a sprouted bread, but check the ingredients… More and more commercial bakeries are adding in “vital wheat gluten”!!! I also love to make little pate sandwiches on soaked buckwheat-oat pancakes. Pop ’em right in your mouth. So how about those of you who don’t eat bread or grains, even fermented or sprouted? I have spread my pate on coconut flour pancakes and coconut flour bread, almond flour pancakes and heck, even eaten it with a spoon right out of the jar! …Another taste treat: add some of your homemade, fermented mustard! Yes, culinary nirvana…a taste treat that’s good for you!!



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new classes added for October…

Come on out for a class, folks! I am looking forward to being “back in the saddle” again. (ha ha–get it, I’m in Colorado now! ūüėČ )

Beans and Whole Grains for Autumn! Saturday, October 22…Cheyenne, WY

Liver! Love it and Eat it! Saturday, October 29…Fort Collins, CO

For details and to register, see the schedule of classes! http://simplybeingwell.com/2011-class-schedule/

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My renewed love affair with liver…!

mmmm mmmmm melting in my mouth, I am right now enjoying a luxuriously rich spoonful of freshly made chicken liver pate’ as I write. Can’t get enough of this divine stuff. Yes, divine. Yes, delish. Can’t believe it? It’s true. Made some last night. Ate it while I made it. Ate it after it firmed up in the refrigerator. Stole a spoonful this morning while making breakfast…who would have known?

Liver is one of those forgotten foods…depending on your age, you may remember your mother or grandmother serving it once or twice a week when you were growing up. (I am hoping more moms will start serving their family nutrient-dense liver once a week after reading this post!) ¬†I remember my mom and I going to our favorite Jewish deli and ordering chopped chicken livers on an onion bagel with raw onions for a treat. Delightful. My mom made THE BEST chopped chicken livers. She still does. (She also made the best steak tartare. But more on that superfood later. ;))

Liver is a forgotten food. I guess it was destined to be so as the industrial food movement took over our food supply, started raising hundreds of ¬†“beeves” on CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations) and chickens in CAFOs the size of football fields in battery cages stacked on top of one another. ¬†Butchers became a thing of the past, and liver and organ meats were relegated to dog and cat food…or sausages. But as we take our food supply back into our own hands and purchase locally, from farmers we know and trust who are raising their cows and chickens on pasture, the liver (and organs) become a delicacy once again, appreciated as they ought to be, a nutrient-rich gem that I encourage you to serve your families. Often.


Chicken livers. Photo by Sandrine Hahn

Just in case you are wondering, yes, the nutrients of livers from animals in CAFOs are very different than those that eat bugs and grass, as chickens are meant to do. ¬†A picture is worth a thousand words. Check out this photo of chicken livers taken in February 2011 by Sandrine Hahn.¬†Afraid¬†of toxins? The liver does not store toxins–it just filters them. Toxins are stored in fatty tissue. ¬†However, the liver IS a storehouse for nutrients. Obviously the liver from pasture raised chicken is superior in nutrients. ¬†I would eat that one whenever I could. ¬† It seems that the benefit of eating liver, even a little, makes it worth it.

Yes, liver is a forgotten food…so much so that no one knows how to make it any more… I have avoided making liver for years because I didn’t know how and now I CRAVE it. Easy easy easy to prepare, once you’ve taken the plunge and begun. Liver from pastured animals is lovely-silky, smooth, rich red in color. Liver is considered sacred by many cultures of the world; traditional peoples and cultures still know its value.¬†Why is liver a “superfood”? Because ounce for ounce, it has more nutrients than any other food. It is rich in natural Vitamin A, (protects against bone loss and birth defects), copper, iron, zinc, Vitamin D, antioxidants, and provides an abundance of B vitamins. It is also the best source of B12 and long chain fatty acids. It is very important for the nervous system and eyes. For more information on liver, see¬†The Liver Files.

Who would benefit from eating liver? Just about everyone. Especially nursing mothers, babies-as a first food, growing children, women of child-bearing years, athletes, those who are convalescing from anything including childbirth, those with anemia and blood disorders, anyone with liver disease…and YOU!

So on I go into my day. More pate’? Oh, yes. And calves liver, just the way mom used to make it. Fried up with onions and bacon, in bacon fat. And I’ll try a few more recipes too… in time to share with my Liver: Love It and Eat It! class on Saturday. Hope to see you there!

P. S. Look for our favorite liver recipes  here after class this weekend!


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