Pâté de campagne

On the occasions that I can get out to the local wineries, there is nothing better than bringing along a light lunch of a few cheese, some olives, pickles, and your own pâté. It is surprisingly simple to make and is well suited for a quick bite on the go. I am fortunate to have a local friend who raises hogs on the side. When it is slaughter time, I ask that she please save me the liver especially for this delicious dish.

For a more professional outcome, try to locate some “Morton’s Tender Quick” to use with this recipe. Alternatively, Kosher salt will work.

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Italian sausage

I love to have homemade Italian sausage in the freezer. We add it to spaghetti, meatballs, meatloaf, and many other things. If you have a Kitchenaid mixer, the meat grinder attachment works great for this type of thing. Additionally, the sausage doesn’t have to be stuffed into the casings, you can also just make ‘bulk’ sausage for use in other recipes. I would suggest that you zip lock them in 1 lb increments to be compatible with other recipes that call for Italian sausage.


Smoked salmon

Hot smoked salmon is one of my favorite treats. It’s easy to put together, tastes great on its own, and can be an important component in several other dishes as well. Oh, and did I mention, it keeps very well too!


Lamb lollipops

My friend Holly makes the most delectable little lamb chops, or “lollipops”as we like to refer to them.  There’s something about this dish which brings memories of warm summer evenings with friends. A little time in the marinade  and a short stint on the grill and you have heaven on a stick. When choosing your rack of lamb, plan for at least a couple bones per person. Here’s how she does it:


Gyozas

While I realize that I have placed this in the ‘appetizer’ section, we have been known to make an entire meal of these Japanese style potstickers. In fact, we are known to plan entire parties and get-togethers around this simple food. Over time, we have established quite an efficient system for cranking out hundreds of gyozas. We plan a time to get together, divide up the ingredients and show up at our designated gyoza production home. Part of the fun is making them in a group setting. Usually, we’ll have a table dedicated to creating the potstickers with a bowl of the meat mixture in the center, several small bowls of water distributed around the table along with the wonton wrappers. Someone else will be at the stove frying the little critters as they come off of the assembly line. Additionally, through strict scientific examination and clinical trials, we have discovered that sparkling wine pairs exceptionally well with fried gyozas.

We like to dip them in various asian sauces we either create for the gyoza party or simply grab at the store.
The recipe below makes enough gyozas for about 10 hungry adults who make an entire meal of them.

Chipotle hummus

We used to make this one in the restaurant a lot. Easy, spicy, good! Serve with pita chips or other chips.


Tomato vinegar BBQ sauce

Easy to throw together, simple sauce. I like the simplicity here as it doesn’t try to get too fancy or become the star of the show when the meat should take center stage! This sauce reminds me of some of the simple, thin, and vinegary sauces which were common in central Texas. Makes about 1 regular squeeze bottle.


Steak seasoning

This is a Montreal style steak seasoning, but we use it on several other things as well. Good savory flavor.


Seafood boil

In Louisiana, this stuff is tossed in to boiling water by the handfuls along with shrimp, crabs, corn, etc.. so good!


Taco Seasoning

Simple taco seasoning. We use this one a lot!