Those two hors d’oeuvres (photo #1) were a part of the buffet for my husband’s 60’s Birthday Party on November 4, which we had at our daughter’s backyard. I also made two more hors d’oeuvres: Beef Tartare Asian-stile and Puff pastry Vols-Au-Vents filled with herbed butter and topped with a duet of black and red caviar (photo # 2). At first I didn’t have time to take photos, so when finely I had a minute, my nice buffet was almost destroyed. The Tuna Tartare recipe is a mix of a few, which I tested during the years and adjusted to my taste. The Chicken Livers Pâté, is exactly my Mom’s filling for Deviled Eggs, of course, she used to run first through an old-fashioned meat grinder and then pressed through the strainer, filled the whites halves and topped with a delicious homemade mayonnaise. —Kukla
serves a crowd
For Tuna Tartare
• 2 pounds very fresh sushi-grade tuna steak, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
• 3/4 cup olive oil,
• 4 limes, zest and juice
• 1 1/2 teaspoons wasabi powder
• 2 tablespoons high quality soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon honey
• 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
• 2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
• 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 2 medium shallots, finely chopped
• 1 jalapeno pepper, diced, seeds removed
• 3 ripe, firm Hass avocados, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
• 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds, (optional)
For the chicken livers Pâté. Makes about 2 1/2 cups
• 1 pound chicken livers, cleaned and rinsed under cold water
To make Tuna Tartare: In a large bowl combine tuna cubes, shallots and jalapeno. In a small bowl, whisk olive oil, lime juice and zest, wasabi powder, soy sauce, honey, red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper. Pour over tuna mixer and mix well. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at list for 1 hour for the flavors to blend.
Just before serving gently mix in avocado cubes and sesame seeds, if using. Serve with crackers, chips or my favorite on tortilla tostados.
To make the Pâté: Place the chicken livers in a nonreactive bowl with 2 cups milk. Cover; chill for 2 hours. Drain; discard milk, and rinse livers. Pat dry with paper towels.
Set a fine strainer over a medium bowl; set aside. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion 1/2 teaspoon salt, and thyme sprigs and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and caramelized about 25 -30 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove all the onions to a plate. Discard thyme.
Add 1 more tablespoon of butter to the same skillet; add livers, increase heat to medium, and cook, turning once, until livers are firm but still pink inside, about 4 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in Cognac. Return to heat; cook until alcohol is reduced by half, about 1-2 minutes.
Transfer liver mixture, caramelized onions and the cooked egg yolks to a food processor; add salt, pepper and mustard. Process until smooth. With processor running, add remaining butter 1 tablespoon at a time until all butter is incorporated.
Transfer Pâté to the prepared strainer. Using a rubber spatula, press mousse through strainer twice, rinsing strainer after the first time. Chill until firm, 1–2 hours. Serve on crackers or baguette rounds.