Thursday, June 30, 2016

Bà Ngoại's Pâté Chaud Recipe

I don't think I ever realized how great of a childhood I had.  Every summer when I was in elementary school, my mom would take my sister and me to visit her family in Paris, France.  I remember waking up to the smells of fresh baked mini croissants and pâté chaud and pain au chocolats wafting in the bedroom from my grandmother (bà ngoại)'s tiny Paris apartment kitchen.  I didn't know it at the time, but my mom would later tell me that bà ngoại would wake up at 4am just to make us that special breakfast.  Lately I've been feeling really nostalgic and my bà ngoại doesn't really remember me so I wanted to remember her in a way that I could.  I visited her last summer in Paris and although her physical health is still pretty good, I don't know if she remembers me and those memories we shared.

Pâté Chaud is a Vietnamese-French meat-filled pastry.  If you've ever had a Chinese bao zi (steamed pork bun) think like that, except instead of a steamed outer soft bun, a crispy puff pastry shell.  And instead of whatever is in a Chinese bao fillings, French pâté and ground pork and onions.  Think of it like a meat ball wrapped in flaky pastry dough.  Anyway, they are delicious.  So delicious that drug-sniffing dogs at the airport confiscated a few from my mom when she tried to bring some back home from Paris for me back in the 90's. I think the TSA detained my mom for like 1 hour.  And I guess she's not the only victim of hungry drug sniffing dogs: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-36041316

Pâté Chaud Recipe*
Pâté Feuillete (puff pastry):**
  • 180 g. ice water
  • 550 g. (bread/all purpose?) flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbs. butter
  • salt
  • 250 g. margarine
Filling:

  • 400 g. ground pork
  • 100 g. canned pate
  • 200 g. onion
  • 1&1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp. MSG (can omit/substute with salt)
  • pepper and sugar
*450 g. is about 1 lb.

Directions:
  1. Gently mix all dough ingredients except margarine together until combined.
  2. Roll out dough and spread margarine on top. 
  3. Fold into thirds.  Roll out.  Fold into thirds the other direction.  Wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.  Repeat x 2.
  4. Cut circles out of dough**.  Fill with filling and seal edges with egg wash and your fingers.  Crimp edges with a fork.  Brush tops with egg wash.
  5. Bake at high temp (425*F) for first 10 minutes, then decrease oven temp to 325F until cooked through, about 20 more minutes.
**pate feuillete or frozen pre-made puff pastry may be substituted.  If used, skip step 1-3.  Bà Ngoại even did this as she aged and her arthritis got worse.  The dough is also the most time-consuming part of this recipe.










2 comments:

  1. These look so good, Christine! And what a wonderful memory you have with this treat. I look forward to trying these!

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  2. Thanks Anita! They were really tasty. Let me know if you do try making them and if there are any issues you run into (translating this recipe from 2 other languages was a bit tricky).

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