If you’ve ever participated in a Twitter party, you know how fast it goes. So much great information is passed on so quickly, that it’s hard to retain all the gems that fly by your screen in 140-character bursts.
Recently, I coordinated a Twitter Party and blogger event in New York City for Kerrygold, the one PR client I have continue to represent, while working on Special Fork.
Our guest star, Chef Neven Maguire, one of Ireland’s hottest TV cooking hosts, was a wealth of information, tweeting ideas enthusiastically. But it all went by so quickly that by the time the Twitter party was over, I’d forgotten some of the tips I hoped to use. So I went back over the hashtag, #kerrygoldpartytips, and gathered up some of Neven’s best tweets for myself and to share with you.
- Get organized; build your menu around seasonal ingredients for the best taste and best prices.
- Get your shopping done early.
- Plan ahead and make a timetable; try to prepare some of the food a day or two ahead.
- Make some dishes in advance, like a pâté or a cold starter.
- Try to freeze ahead; sauces and soups can be made in advance and frozen.
- Salad dressings and pestos keep well in your fridge.
- If you want to serve a new dish, cook it for your family first so you can practice and get feedback.
- Make extra food so you don’t have to cook the next day.
- Don’t complicate your menu; keep it simple.
- It’s important that you enjoy the party, too. Your friends are there to see you.
- Make an appetizer that people can help themselves to.
- Make a slow-cooked main course to avoid last-minute preparation.
- When you roast any meat, let it rest before carving so the good juices stay in the meat.
- Instead of dessert, try a nice Irish cheese platter with chutney, crackers, fruits and nuts.
- To make your food exciting and tasty, use lot of fresh herbs and spices.
- Make you own marmalade with red onion, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar and herbs; it will keep well.
- Smoked salmon on brown bread with Kerrygold butter and red onion marmalade is delicious.
- Use red onion marmalade as a cracker spread, for Dubliner cheese, pâté or smoked salmon.
- Apples, cinnamon, sugar, cider vinegar and dried cranberries can be combined to make a great chutney.
- Chocolate truffles made with quality chocolate, cream, Kerrygold Butter and Irish cream liqueur is a match made in heaven.
- Flavored butters, such as sundried tomatoes and fresh basil, are easy, and great with steak and fish.
- Cashel Blue cheese butter is wonderful with grilled chicken, pork, beef; even baked potatoes.
- Pumpkin soup is delicious made with coconut milk, ginger, cilantro and chile.
- To make roasted vegetables, use butternut squash, red onion, garlic, chile and olive oil; roast until golden; finish with herbs.
Here’s the recipe for the pâté that was served at Neven’s blogger event following the Twitter party. It’s a good candidate for that make-ahead appetizer that will save you time in the kitchen on party day.
In addition to the butter in the pâté, more butter is used to cover the entire surface of each ramekin. Here’s where a good-quality butter is especially important because you will be able to taste the difference.
Chicken Liver Pâté with Balsamic Vinegar & Capers
Serves 4 to 6
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 tablespoons Kerrygold butter, divided
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 pound chicken livers, well cleaned and trimmed
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 anchovy fillets, finely chopped (from a can or jar, drained)
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Crostini (thin slices of French baguette baked until crisp), to serve
- Heat the oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a nonstick frying pan until foaming. Add the onion, garlic and thyme and gently fry for about 5 minutes until the onion has softened but not colored.
- Increase the heat and add the chicken livers. Fry for 4 to 5 minutes, turning constantly until lightly golden but still pink in the middle.
- Tip the contents of the pan into a food processor and then return the pan to the heat. Add the balsamic vinegar and stir vigorously to release any juices. Allow to reduce by half and then tip into the food processor with the anchovy fillets, capers, parsley and seasoning, then pulse until it is almost smooth but still has a bit of texture.
- Leave the chicken liver pâté to cool completely then spoon into individual ramekins. Melt the rest of the butter in a pan or in the microwave, leave to settle, then use to cover each ramekin of pâté, leaving the sediment behind. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight is best.
- Remove the chicken liver pâté ramekins from the fridge 30 minutes before you want to serve them. Arrange with a stack of crostini to serve.
Makes about 1-1/4 cups of pâté.
- To clean chicken livers, remove the white bits of sinew and any bits of fat. Pat livers as dry as possible with paper towels.
- To add the layer of butter to the pâté, let the melted butter sit until the milk solids start sinking to the bottom; skim off the clear butter with a spoon and spoon over the pâté.
- To make crostini, follow Special Fork’s easy recipe.
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