Caribou Liver Paté

by Michael Edwards

Several years ago up on the Blackstone I harvested my first caribou, a young male from the Porcupine herd. As my friend Jack Semple and I quartered the Wëdzey, we talked about the importance of using the entire animal.

That afternoon we ate the heart, sliced thinly and sautéed in butter with some onions and garlic.

Later that evening I contemplated the caribou’s largest organ, the liver, and wondered what to do with it while it was still nice and fresh.

I decided to make a liver pâté. I didn’t have a recipe then, and I don’t have one now, but I think it went something like the recipe below.

The next day I delivered small pâté gifts to several friends here in Dawson – it was a big hit.

INGREDIENTS

1 caribou liver

Butter

Shallots

Grand Marnier

Salt and pepper

Herbs of choice

METHOD

Make sure the liver is well cleaned, removing any sinew or veins or fat, then slice it into manageable chunks.

Put lots of butter into a heavy pan and heat on medium until it’s good and foamy. Fry the liver (in batches) until it’s browned but still pink inside. Set aside on a plate.

Fry a few finely chopped shallots until soft. Add a few generous glugs of Grand Marnier to the pan and mix well, scraping up any brown bits.

Return the liver to the pan and simmer for a minute or two and remove from the heat. At this point I guess some salt and pepper went in, maybe an herb or spice or two. (Thyme? Nutmeg? I can’t recall, but either would be tasty.)

Place the mix into a food processor and pulse it down to your preferred texture. I left mine a little on the coarse side, but you could process and work it through a sieve if you like it really fine.

Spoon into ramekins or small bowls, then top the pâté with a thin layer of melted butter, to seal it and prevent drying or discolouring. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge.

Michael Edwards will gladly accept gifts of caribou liver next hunting season.


Cambozola and Fruit Terrine

by Shelley Hakonson

Dinner parties in Dawson have been such a big part of my life here that our son Alex would come in on a Friday or Saturday afternoon asking me, “Who’s coming for dinner tonight?”

Yup, every weekend.

This Cambozola and Fruit Terrine I made for a dinner party earlier this month and people seemed to really enjoy it.

It can be absolutely thrown together the day before you want it, and add whatever cheese or dried fruit you like.

Plain crackers are best with this – there are a lot of flavours going on.

INGREDIENTS

10 oz. Cambozola, crumbled and well mashed

5 oz. goat cheese, any kind, crumbled

4 oz. cream cheese (about 1/2 an 8 oz. package, or more)

4 oz. or so of bleu cheese

1/3 cup chopped dried apricots

1/3 cup chopped dried pears (or dried apples)

1/4 cup chopped dried prunes

6 tsp of honey

4 tsp brandy

1/2 cup walnut halves or pecans, or both

1/2 cup almonds

METHOD

Mash the Cambozola, goat cheese and cream cheese together gently.

Mix in the dried fruits.

Drizzle honey over all that and brandy as well. (I used more brandy than the recipe called for…)

Combine all together and scrape into an 8″ x 4″ loaf pan lined with plastic wrap. Cover and chill it overnight.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, toast the walnut halves (or pecans) and almonds.

You can either bake them in a 350F oven for about six minutes, or toast them in a frying pan just until they smell good and are a little golden.

Turn the terrine out onto a plate—do I need to say peel off the plastic wrap? And scatter the toasted nuts around and over with more honey drizzled over all.

Shelley Hakonson finds happiness in the kitchen with flour to her elbows and music on very loud. It’s like therapy – who couldn’t use a little of that?


Peppermint Bark

Chocolate Inception Cookies

by Danielle Palmer

S.imply Recipes’ Peppermint Bark Chocolate Cookies are a personal holiday favourite. This year, I thought I would give the recipe a “kick”.

Like in the movie Inception, where a dream is within a dream, this recipe is a cookie within a cookie.

You can make your own peppermint bark for these cookies. If so, you’ll need one cup of bark, crushed. I prefer to substitute with half a cup of chocolate chips and half a cup of crushed candy canes.

If the holidays are stressing you out, my substitution also lets you vent a little frustration while crushing those candy canes!

The recipe yields approximately two dozen cookies.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup white granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

1/2 cup chocolate chips

6 candy canes

1 package Oreo cookies

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Cream together the butter and sugars until well mixed.

Add in the egg and the vanilla extract, mix again until well combined.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder.

Add dry ingredients to the butter mixture slowly and mix until just combined. Be careful not to over mix.

Fold in the chocolate chips.

Place your candy canes inside a plastic bag. Place that bag inside another plastic bag. Admire your plastic bag inception and grab a hammer. Really! Now smash those candy canes into bits.

Fold the candy cane bits into your cookie dough.

Using a spoon, take a scoop of cookie dough and place it on top of an Oreo. Then take another scoop of cookie dough and place it on the bottom of the Oreo. Seal the edges together by cupping and pressing until the Oreo is completely enclosed with dough. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool on the pan for a few minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.