Terrines like this duck and fig version in David Lebovitz's new cookbook, My Paris Kitchen, look difficult, but they're actually not much harder than making a meatloaf. If you've got a way to grind meat (in a food processor, in a meat grinder, or even by chopping with a sharp knife), you're in business. Lebovitz's country-style terrine is rustic and rich, studded with tangy cornichon pickles and booze-soaked figs.
Why I picked this recipe: Really—what charcuterie-lover could pass up a duck and fig-filled terrine?
What worked: I loved the way the flavor of the duck bridged the intensity of the mild pork and mineraly chicken livers. Plus, the chewy and sweet figs make a nice surprise.
What didn't: My only problem was finding a weight the right size to weigh the terrine down evenly. If you have two bread pans, I'd suggest using one as a base for your weight (a jar filled with water or some canned goods) so that it will press down the entire terrine. I tried laying a mason jar in the middle and ended up with a concave (yet still tasty) terrine.
Suggested tweaks: Lebovitz suggests substituting boneless, skinless chicken thighs for the duck meat if need be. You can also use other dried fruits in place of the figs if you'd like. Apricots would be particularly nice. The terrine is wonderful spread on bread or crackers, but you can also serve it as a hearty sandwich (pictured above) with mustard and sliced cornichons.
About the author: Kate Williams is a freelance writer and personal chef living in Berkeley, CA. She is a contributor to KQED's Bay Area Bites, SFoodie, and Berkeleyside NOSH. She blogs at Cooking Wolves. Follow her @KateHWiliams.