Perfect Parfait

Goose Liver Parfait

A luxurious New Year's Eve snack.

I am going to assume that most of you are probably feeling that the holidays are over now that Christmas has come and gone, but the best holiday is about to come; New Years’ Eve!

Ah New Years’ Eve; drinks, friends and fine food. Are you perhaps heading out to a 10 course dinner at one of the local restaurants? Or maybe heading to a party? This year, I am not working in a kitchen (praise the Lord!), but I am heading over to a friend’s place to make a stupendous New Years’ dinner.

What will I be offering this crowd? It isn’t Foie Gras or even cheese, I am going to make my special Goose Liver Parfait. Buttery, rich and smooth as silk, this parfait is a party and crowd pleaser.

My parfait starts with fresh goose livers that I get from Mike Oulton Meats out in Martock. Ruby red and plump, these little suckers get put in a super hot pan with garlic, lemon zest and a lil’ lemon juice until just browned. A sprinkling of salt and pepper and into the food processor where they meet there fate with equal amounts of cold, salted butter. Process the lot until smooth and season to taste. Voila! So simple, yet so decadent. The only way to muck this recipe is to overcook your livers; if you do so, you will end up with a grainy, murky brown mess.

What do I serve with this perfect parfait? I love sparkling wine! The crispness and bubbles cut through the fatty goodness. Which sparkling? Why, there are so many to choose from, but when in Rome….we do as the Romans do! I am planning on stocking up on some amazing Nova Scotian sparklers from Benjamin Bridge, L’Acadie Vineyards, Domaine Grand Pré and Blomidon Estate Winery. Each of these local wineries produces some pretty spectacular sparkling wines for all tastes and budgets.

We have parfait, we have sparkling wine, but what about an accompaniment? I like toasted baguette or fruit and nut crisps, but a chutney or jam is a must. I was lucky enough to receive a jar of fantastical peach chutney from my friend Alexis this year; the spices she put in her chutney are a perfect match to the goose livers. Another winner comes from local producer, Pat’s Preserves. His “Raspberry Jalapeno” jam is awesome! The sweetness and hint of heat pretty wicked with the parfait.

If you are heading out to a party or just staying at home, try making a batch of this parfait to enjoy while ringing in 2012. Happy New Year!

Goose Liver Parfait

Makes about 2 cups

  • 1lbs (450g) fresh goose livers (you can substitute chicken or duck too)
  • 1lbs (450g) salted, cold butter; cubed
  • 2 cloves garlic; minced
  • 1 lemon; zest and juice
  • Salt and pepper

In a hot pan, add a small amount of the butter and melt. Add the livers and sear on each side. They should cook for about 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic, lemon zest and seasoning. Cook until still pink inside. Do not overcook! PLace livers in food processor and start processing with the butter; adding a few pieces at a time. Process until all the butter is gone and the parfait is smooth. Add the lemon juice and more seasoning if needed. Pour into a bowl or container and place in the fridge. I like to pour clarified butter over the parfait once it is chilled to seal in the parfait so that it will keep longer and keep the color true. This will keep in your fridge for about 2 weeks.

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