Posted in - Pork, Side Dish

Minnesota Delights: Bacon Wrapped Pork Pate

Bacon Wrapped Pork Pate


Adapted from Peter Botcher Chef at Butcher and the Boar restaurant

2 pounds ground pork
4 ounces chicken liver, hand chopped fine
3 tablespoons butter
1 medium white or yellow onion, chopped smallish but not perfect by any means
1 bunch Italian parsley, leaves only coarsely chopped
6-7 cloves garlic minced
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
½ t pink curing salt (optional)
1 ½ teaspoon sugar
1 t cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice or ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons brandy
1/2 cup heavy cream
½ cup of pistachios
1 lb. of bacon

Prep Day: Whisk the flour, eggs, brandy, and heavy cream in a large bowl until very smooth, getting out any lumps. Add the pistachios and place in the freezer until very cold. Add the ground pork, garlic, parsley and all of the spices to the bowl; place back in the freezer.

Sauté the onion in butter until it is soft and translucent. Add to the bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Chill until very, very cold—almost starting to freeze. Remove the bowl from the freezer and immediately mix it in a standing mixer or mix like hell by hand. The goal is to achieve a kind of cohesive and sticky mixture. This will take 2-3 minutes. Put the pate mixture in the refrigerator.

Cook a small piece in a pan or microwave until it has an internal temperature of 165 degrees. This step is necessary to check for salt content and to ensure that you are happy with the taste. It will and should taste slightly salty when hot. The pate will be perfectly seasoned and flavorful when cold. If you are happy with the flavor, place the pate mix in the fridge for 24 hours—this will allow the seasonings to meld and mature in flavor.

The next day preheat the oven to 200 degrees. If you have a terrine mold, line it with bacon. Overlap the bacon a little and leave some of the bacon hanging over the sides. Pack all of the pate mix into the mold. Even out the top. Cover with bacon. If you don’t have terrine mold a pie tin will also work—simply pack the pate mix into the pie tin and cover the with the bacon. If you have neither you could bake it on a sheet tray covered with the bacon—similar to making a bacon-wrapped meatloaf. Pop the pate into the oven and bake until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. It will take a couple of hours but check it frequently. Once its fully cooked place the pate into the fridge for at least 1 day and up to 5 days.

Note: It is important to pay attention to proper mixing and cooking temperatures and to have the right amount of salt content. If you have a meat grinder use pork shoulder instead of ground pork. Before getting started it’s critical to the success of the pate that the meat and all of the ingredients are kept very cold while mixing. If they heat up past 40 degrees while mixing, the pate will render its fat when baking and turn out dry when finished. Once you’ve prepared all of the ingredients up to the point of mixing, place them in the freezer until very, very cold; almost starting to freeze. This will allow the meat some wiggle room while mixing.

Serve Day: When ready slice the pate and serve it with a baguette, Dijon mustard and cornichons.

Posted in Catering, Side Dish

Catering: Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Caramelized Onions and Pistachios


I had the pleasure of being part of a team for our church’s annual youth fundraiser dinner. The teens are raising support for their summer mission trips to Urban Imapact New Orleans and Rock Ridge. They met and surpassed their financial goal! Mallory, Doug, Paulette, Ben, and I were blessed to have wonderful adults and students to excute the event and meal vision. Could not have done it without them. Thanks again for all your hard work and can’t wait till next year!



Here is the most requested recipe of the night… 

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Caramelized Onions and Pistachios

Serves 4 

 1.5 lbs. Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and cut in half, if large 

 1 T. olive oil 

 1/2 tsp salt 

 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper 

 1 T. butter 

 1 T. Bacon fat 

 2 large onions, cut in half and thinly sliced 

 1 tsp sugar 

 1/2 cup pistachios, hulled and chopped



Prep Ahead: Toast pistachios in a 200 degree oven for less than 4 minutes. Let cool, and coarsely chop. Store in air tight container.

Cut Brussels sprouts in half and store in ziplocs. Refrigerate for later use.

Thinly cut onions. In a large short and wide stock pot, melt butter and bacon fat over low-medium heat. Add onions and sugar; cook, stirring occasionally, until onions turn dark golden brown and caramelize, about 30 minutes. Cool and place in storage container. Refrigerate for later use.



Serve Day: Preheat oven to 425F. Place Brussels sprouts, olive oil, salt, and pepper in large bowl and toss to coat. Pour onto a baking sheet. Roast in oven for 20 to 40 minutes, shaking pan every several minutes for even browning. Dark brown color signifies that the Brussels sprouts are done.

Reheat caramelized onions till warm in a sauté pan.

Toss together onions and Brussels sprouts. Sprinkle pistachios on top. Serve hot.


P.S. I unlocked my Terrace on Chicago Fundraiser Dinner recipe board so if you are interested in the recipes you can get them directly. One disclaimer for TOC we did tweak a few of the recipes to fit our taste and quantities to make them work. So these might not be exactly what you ate or drank.

Posted in - Meatless, Side Dish

Minnesota Delights: Mapled Butternut Squash Soup

Mapled Butternut Squash Soup


Adapted recipe by Chef Marshall Pauslen at Birchwood Café in Minneapolis.

Serves 6

6 medium butternut squash
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup vegetable stock
2 teaspoons sambal or siracha
1/2 cup maple syrup
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

For garnish:
Crispy bacon
Unsweetened yogurt or whipped cream

Prep Day: Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and brush or spray lightly with oil. Slice squash crosswise, separating the bulbous (hollow, seed-filled) base from the (solid) neck. Halve the top portions lengthwise and place flesh-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Roast squash until skins are scorched and flesh is soft, about 45 minutes (check progress at 30 minutes). Scoop flesh into a medium bowl and discard skins. Do in 2 batches, puree with immersion blender or blender. Purée the squash with cream, stock, sambal, and maple syrup. Place in freezer container and freeze.

Serve Day: Thaw. Transfer soup to a Dutch oven or other large soup pot, season to taste with salt and pepper. When ready to serve, heat soup over medium heat until steaming.