There was a pâté… from Egypt I’m told…
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Ah, Cleopatra, that well known song from Oh! Oh! Nurse… What’s that? You’ve never heard of it? Like you weren’t around in New York in 1925…
OK well how about this… Cleopatra, the popular song from Sally (the musical). Oh come on, it’s from 1948! It ran for a whole month! No?
Well I suppose I’ll have to fall back on the lesser known song Cleopatra from the 50s pastiche musical, Salad Days. Now I *know* that you recognize THIS musical, because I bet you’ve pinned We Said We Wouldn’t Leek Bake to your “musical theatre themed recipes” board on Pinterest. Yes?
OK well if you don’t know it, Salad Days is set in Egypt, and is set around main characters Jane and Timothy, whose goal is to find the unfinished obelisk. Cleopatra is sung by… (Ed: WAIT! Stop this nonsense! The musical is set in England. It has nothing to do with Egypt. It just features one random song that has nothing to do with the rest of the show, but is clearly written so that the costume designer can have some fun. Sheeeeesh. Don’t you guys know anything about musicals?!?!?)*
Of course we do! Here’s a link to the Muppets. With a singing Cleopatra. (Spoiler alert – it’s not Miss Piggy)
So chicken liver pâté is a classic French dish that… (Ed: That’s it? That’s the segue? The Muppets? Well, I suppose it usually works…)
As I was saying. French dish. Classic. Serve it as an appetizer. Don’t be squeamish about handling chicken livers. They’re seriously tasty. But not very Egyptian.
Cover the chicken livers in milk and leave them for 30 minutes – this helps to reduce some of the strong flavors but you can skip this step if you like it pungent!
Drain the milk, and melt some butter in a large skillet. Fry the livers for 2 minutes on each side. The center should still be pink. Place the chicken livers and their butter into a food processor, together with some brandy, heavy cream, salt and pepper.
Process until smooth, then press the mixture through a fine sieve. It doesn’t take very long and it really helps make a smooth pâté. Transfer everything to a serving dish, and place it in the fridge.
After 30 minutes, press some plastic wrap (cling film) over the top of the pâté to stop it discoloring OR you can clarify some butter , let it cool, then pour it over the top. Return it to the fridge for at least 3 hours or until set.
Serve the CleoPâté with crusty bread or crackers!
*Actually the term “Salad Days” was first coined in Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra in 1606, and could be why the musical’s authors included a reference to it in the show. The song “Antony” didn’t make the cut.