Tribute to Gourmet Magazine

Maybe it’s a sign of the times, and maybe it’s inevitable. But still, the idea of an institution like Gourmet magazine closing down after 69 years is distressing. There was just something so solid and authoritative about Gourmet, and worldly and sophisticated.

I love the writing and the wide scope of culinary practices, trends, traditions and cultures that the magazine documented all over the world, over the years.

I went to Amcorp Mall in Petaling Jaya last week to get backdated copies of Gourmet, and dropped by at Xcess Bookstore. It was lucky that I did because the first book that caught my eye was the 65th Anniversary commemorative Gourmet cookbook (published in 2007), with recipes from each of the 65 years.

The compilation was interesting because it also traced the evolution of American’s eating culture. The selected entertaining features were also good reads, and the pictures stunning.

I had some friends coming over for lunch on Sunday, and they offered to bring freshly baked bread. They just got a new breadmaker, and are into baking bread. And I never turn down homemade bread.

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So, the chicken liver mousse recipe in Gourmet’s 65th Anniversary book was perfect. I love pate, and  liver cooked any different way.

I also checked out the comments on the Epicurious site, and everyone seemed to find this recipe easy enough.

Plus, I had all the ingredients except for nutmeg, but I found that easily in Carrefour. Like all Gourmet recipes, the instructions were clear and detailed. They say to wait for three minutes after heating the butter so that the milk solids would settle to the bottom, and that’s just what happened.

I love the chicken liver mousse, and we have been having it with bread and crackers. I like to add a piece of sun-dried tomato to my bread and chicken liver mousse too.

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Chicken Liver Mousse

Recipe

yield: Makes 8 hors d’oeuvre servings

active time: 20 min

total time: 6 1/4 hr

If you like chicken liver mousse, you’ll definitely want to try this recipe, which uses a completely different method than most. Puréeing the chicken livers and then baking them in a hot water bath results in an extremely tender spread.

Chicken Liver Mousse
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup Cognac or other brandy
6 oz chicken livers, trimmed (3/4 cup)
5 large egg yolks
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
Several bay leaves (preferably fresh; see cooks’ note, below)

Special equipment: a 2 1/2- to 3-cup ovenproof crock or terrine
Accompaniments: crackers or toasted baguette slices; flaky sea salt; cornichons

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.

Cook shallot in oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Remove from heat and carefully add Cognac (use caution; if Cognac ignites, shake skillet), then boil until reduced to about 2 tablespoons, 1 to 2 minutes.

Transfer to a blender and add livers and yolks, then purée until smooth. Add milk, flour, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and allspice and blend until combined. Pour into crock, skimming off any foam.

Put crock in a larger baking pan and bake in a water bath until mousse is just set and a small sharp knife inserted in center comes out clean, about 55 minutes.

Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat, then remove from heat and let stand 3 minutes.

Arrange bay leaves decoratively on top of mousse. Skim froth from butter, then spoon enough clarified butter over mousse to cover its surface, leaving milky solids in bottom of saucepan.

Chill mousse completely, uncovered, about 4 hours. Bring to room temperature about 1 hour before serving.

Cooks’ notes:
· Mousse can be made 5 days ahead and chilled, covered after 4 hours. · The bay leaves in this recipe are decorative. If fresh leaves are unavailable, use only 2 or 3 dried ones. Otherwise, the flavor they impart will be too strong. Don’t eat them (fresh or dried), because they can be hard and sharp.

Gourmet
March 2006


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One Response to “Tribute to Gourmet Magazine”

  1. Niki Cheong Says:

    Hmm … that finger looks familiar. 😛

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