Monday, February 20, 2012

The Spice Island Cook Book

 It has been a while since I have posted about any of my cooking extravaganzas.  My best friend from my childhood, Margaret, and I have known each other since we were ten.   In 1972, her parents were down sizing and they had a huge garage sale.  Both her parents were good cooks and I knew there would be some kitchen treasures to acquire. I picked up the Spice Island Cook Book and I still have a few other things that are in my kitchen to this day.

Published in 1961, some of the recipes are a little dated, but I adore the graphics and the type that was used.  The chapter, A guide to your Spice Shelf, is very interesting for each spice is described, there is a bit of history, its origin, its appearance, its culture and then the many uses.  The word spice is an all-inclusive word that has four distinct categories.    

Spices are from the bark, root, fruit or berry;  (Cinnamon from the bark, Pepper from the berry).  Herbs are leaves of annual and perennial low growing plants;  (basil, thyme, rosemary...)  Aromatic seeds are the seeds of annual plants; (anise, coriander, fennel).  Seasonings are a blend of spices and/or herbs and/or seeds.

One of the recipes that I love is Chicken Liver Pate Tarragon.  I have tweaked it some.  One change I made is that I substituted fresh garlic for powdered garlic. I detest powdered garlic. I can always tell when restaurants have used powdered garlic in their sauces, the taste stays with you for ever.
** Made in the blender, this pate has a smooth, creamy texture and a nice light liver flavor.

8 chicken livers (one  16 oz. container / 
        found in the freezer department of some stores)
2 tablespoon butter
1 garlic clove, minced
1 chicken bouillon cube ( I prefer Maggi)
1 generous tablespoon sherry
8 oz. cream cheese
1/4 teaspoon Tarragon (ground in the palm of your hand)
1/2 teaspoon Beau Monde Seasoning

Wash chicken livers and cut into small pieces.  Melt butter in a frying pan.  Stir in garlic, chicken livers and chicken bouillon cube (smash with a back of a large spoon).  Saute until livers are no longer pink.  Add liver mixture to the blender.  Add sherry to the frying pan and deglaze.  Add to livers along with cream cheese, Tarragon and Beau Monde.  Puree in blender.  Put into a serving dish and chill.

Serve with Pepperage Farm Thin sliced bread.  Cut the crust off each piece and cut in half.  Place on a cookie sheet and bake for about 7 minutes at 300' or until hard but not brown.

Bon Appetit!

1 comment:

  1. I think I enjoyed this very recipe at your house, and it was WONDERFUL!