A luxurious use for leftover ham: DIY charcuterie.
8 oz. of chicken livers
Milk or salted water (to soak livers)
2 Tbsp. butter
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. dried marjoram
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup brandy
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 large local egg
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup ham, cut into small dice
2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 lb. sliced smoked bacon
Clean and rinse chicken livers; cover livers in milk (or salted water) and soak for 1 hour. Drain, dry, and set aside.
In a small skillet, melt butter and add onion, garlic, clove, nutmeg, and marjoram. Sauté on medium-low until onions are translucent. Deglaze the pan with brandy; cook until liquid evaporates. Add heavy cream; simmer to make a thick sauce.
In a food processor, combine chicken livers, onion mixture, egg, bread crumbs, and salt. Pulse mixture until finely chopped. Add ham and pulse 2 more times. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 300°. Arrange bacon slices in a small loaf pan crosswise, leaving excess hanging over sides. Spoon liver mixture into the pan; pack fully but not overfull. Fold overhanging bacon over the liver mixture. Rap the pan firmly on the counter to settle and remove air bubbles from the mixture. Cover pan with plastic wrap, then foil; poke a few holes to allow steam to escape.
Place the loaf pan in a larger baking pan; add hot water to come halfway up the sides of the loaf pan (this water bath promotes even cooking). Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Use a thermometer to check for doneness: It should reach 160°. Continue baking as needed. Remove from oven and pour off water but leave loaf pan in larger pan; let cool, still covered, 15 minutes. Cut a piece of cardboard to fit snugly inside the loaf pan. Place cardboard on top of foil and press firmly for 30 seconds. (Juices will flow out but that’s OK.) Place a heavy object on the cardboard and refrigerate at least 24 hours.
To serve, carefully unwrap and slice to desired thickness. Serve cold with bread, crackers, pickles, and mustard or jam.
Ethan made his mark as the “hummus guy” at area farmers’ markets, and spent years of tent time developing lasting relationships with local growers. With creativity and wit he and his team at Fond serve everyday fare with a local twist. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, he’s now sharing his recipes with Edible readers. Watch out for Ethan’s latest endeavor which is soon to open in Oakley.