As elegant as it is appetizing, pâté— not to be confused with foie gras— is a dish often associated with luxury and haute cuisine. That said, this French classic is actually much more of an everyday appetizer or snack than most people think.
Pronounced pah-TAY, the recipe for pâté is ordinary at best: it’s simply a mixture of seasoned ground poultry or meat, and often a combination of several different base ingredients. Beef, pork, liver, ham, wild game, and poultry are all feasible ingredients for pâté. And when it comes to the grind, it can be silky-smooth and creamy, or on the chunky, heftier side.
Versatile and delicious, the French staple can be used as a gourmet snack, or as a crowd-pleasing appetizer at a dinner party. Pâté may be served molded or unmolded, and with a plethora of add-ons, like cheese, cornichons, crackers, and bread. Seemingly, it only makes sense for pâté to be a top candidate when it comes to holiday pre-dinner bites that are tasteful, scrumptious, and convenient.
While there are pate enthusiasts among us, we realize that there are also many people who are unfamiliar with this distinguished dish. As a result, they don’t really know how to begin their, so to speak, pâté journey. That’s where we come in.
Offering wonderfully developed and perfectly balanced flavors, here are our top pâté picks for the holidays.
A rave-drawing delight, our Country pâté en Croute offers succulent pork pâté that is baked in pastry dough for an amazing contrast in texture and flavor. Think: an elevated pigs in a blanket, with juicy meat, mouthwatering spices, and an ever-so-crispy crust… You get the idea.
Guaranteed to satisfy at holiday parties from now till Christmas, let your guests serve themselves, or spread the pâté in advance and arrange it on a platter with cornichons and French cheese.
Brimming with European decadence, our Pâté de Campagne is a traditional French countryside recipe that is ideal for any occasion and comes together within seconds. A humble but delicious dish made from pork, onion, garlic, and black pepper, this pâté is great on a banquette served with whole grain mustard and cornichons.
A fabulous make-ahead dish for a holiday party at work or at home, this pâté is sure to please even the pickiest of palates.
OK, so this is technically not pâté; rather, it’s like a cousin to the French dish. The difference between the two? While pâtés are smoother and usually use organ meat, like liver, rillettes use meat from the leg, thigh, shoulder, or rib. Now that we got that out of the way, let’s get to the good stuff.
A traditional French charcuterie classic, our Rillettes du Mans is gently cooked in pork fat and enhanced with aromatic spices. It’s amazingly succulent, yet oh-so-basic. When it comes to presentation, simplicity is key: just offer slices of baguette, ciabatta, or other quality bread to create a chef-quality appetizer.
Looking to really enhance the presentation? Simply incorporate high-quality cheeses, sausages, and a variety of savory ingredients, like cornichons, snap peas, fig, and cold cuts. Bon appetit!