Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Goose is Getting Fat

Christmas is coming the goose is getting fat 
Please do put a penny in the old man's hat

What do fat geese, pennies and old men have to do with being a fast food feminist?

A lot, when Christmas approaches.

When Christmas approaches, old men young men and women of all ages must think about eating or making food. Christmas consumes and is consumed and even creates consumers just by its existence.

Geese are a traditional food for some people at this time - the image of a golden roasted goose set in the middle of the table by Mom to be carved by Dad as the young children with beaming faces eagerly clasp their hands on their linen napkins to avoid being too much trouble is one set in the mind for the ages.

We won't mess with goose, though (nor the idea of that perfect diorama shown of human life) - not today. Instead from the goose we'll take the idea of foie gras.

Foie gras is a "slow" food to those that make it initially, in the fields, on the farm - regardless of one's take on whether or not it is a "nice" food. When it arrives to the consumer though, it is a fast food as not much needs to be done to it to make an awesome quick bite. The only problem with foie gras is that most people simply can not (or will not) afford to pay for it.

We can include other poultry in our thinking perhaps, as fast food feminists. Chickens are poultry, too - and a faux foie (say that quickly five times) can be easily and inexpensively made. Richness is important -texture - in foie gras, so this recipe has a lot lot lot of butter. Eat it with caution rather than abandon, though it is truly delicious.

If you have people around who like the idea of eating liver, here is the recipe:

Chicken Liver Pate

1/4 lb. butter (1 stick)
1 C chopped onions
1/2 C chopped shallots or scallions
2 cloves garlic
1 lb. chicken livers, drained cleaned and dried
1 1/2 tsp. salt
Pepper to taste
3/4 tsp. dry thyme
1/3 C sherry
1/2 tsp. allspice
Cayenne (pinch) 
1/4 lb. butter (1 stick) slightly softened

Action Plan
1. Heat one half the stick of butter, and saute the onions, shallots or scallions, and garlic till soft.

2. Remove onion mix from pan and add the other half stick of butter. Clarify the butter. * (To clarify butter heat till the milkfats rise to the surface then skim them off and discard them.) Saute chicken livers for five to six minutes over medium to high heat - adding salt pepper and thyme. 

3. Remove chicken livers from pan. Deglaze pan with sherry.

4. Mix onions, livers, and deglazing juices. Chop roughly by hand or use food processor (carefully, while watching texture) if you like a smoother blend. 

5. Chill in refrigerator.

6. When mixture has cooled, cream the additional stick of butter and add to pate, blending well.

7. Chill again and serve with crackers, cornichons, and sliced radishes. 

8. Goes well with champagne.

If you are around people who do not like to eat liver, this fast pate can be replaced with oven-baked mini corn dogs accompanied by mustard as a dip. 

It is Christmas after all, and I have heard that Jesus has love for all people, even including those who like to eat mass-produced freezer-section corn dogs.

It's not about the goose, in other words. It's about the old man's hat.

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