Make-ahead Dishes for your Spring Excursion

The sun’s out longer now and it’s time to plan your weekend getaways. Instead of reaching for unhealthy packaged meals or spending a fortune eating out for every meal, here are some simple and delicious meals you can prep ahead of time. Pâté is a great choice for packing meals ahead of time because you have a window of an hour or two where that pâté can be safely left out. In fact, it tastes better when allowed to warm to room temperature before serving.

Sandwiches are an obvious choice but you can spruce it up by adding some not so obvious ingredients like pâté! Our pâtés add an unexpected twist to your classic turkey sub. Add cheese and some veggies and you’ve got a meal that everyone will love.

Pâté goes great with potatoes. Try a potato casserole with pâté on top for a delicious portable dish. Or try a spreadable mousse on top of a baked potato or with scalloped potatoes. The possibilities are endless!

Vegans don’t fret! We have options for you as well. For vegetarians and vegans, our vegan pâté is a great choice to mix in a salad to give it more depth and flavor. Pair it with your choice of veggies and sunflower seeds for some crunch. If you prefer to keep the pâté separate, then use it as a dip for veggies such as carrots, celery, and broccoli.

Make your own charcuterie picnic basket with cheese, charcuterie, and the pâté of your choice. Add grainy mustard, cornichons, and a fresh baguette or crackers and you’re on your way to a lovely afternoon picnic in the park. The best part about this tasty option is that it requires no cooking and can be packed easily.

When it comes to packing ahead, do not be afraid to get a bit creative. Adding pâté to dishes is an easy way to add a twist to some tried and true favorites. Just because you are traveling doesn’t mean you can’t eat deliciously. Our products are meant to be shared and enjoyed with loved ones.

3-Ingredient Delicious Recipes

When most people think about pairing pâté with anything else, crackers come to mind. While pâté on crackers is an obvious, tasty choice, there are many other dishes that one can create. The best thing about pâté is how rich and flavorful it is. This means that you can make quick recipes without too many ingredients! So leave the crackers behind and check out these simple recipes that will make your mouth water.

Pasta is a dish that everyone loves so why not make it even more delicious by adding pâté? Choose whichever type of pasta and sauce you like, and choose your pâté accordingly. Use pâté as a replacement for or an addition to your traditional meat toppings such as sausage, chicken, or meatballs. Our Forest Mushroom pâté’s earthy flavor pairs nicely with a pasta topped with a garlic butter sauce or a cream sauce. Duck Rillette can also be mixed into a pasta dish featuring a lemon garlic sauce or even a red sauce. Rillette is rich, so add as much or as little as you would like.

Pâté also pairs nicely with eggs, especially omelets. It can transform and uplevel your basic egg breakfast! Once the omelet is cooked to your liking, add pâté to the center and flip one half over the other. Try with any mousse for a creamier, softer texture. Add a country style pâté for a heartier bite. If you prefer your omelet with vegetables, add our Mushroom and Artichoke pâté or our Mixed Vegetable for added color and a lighter option.

Smooth, creamy mousses are great to spread. Try our Black Peppercorn Mousse or our Truffle Mousse on a baguette with figs and chutney. The combination of savory and sweet pairs well together. Don’t have chutney? You can substitute any sweet spread such as marmalade or preserves. And of course, pâté simply spread on crackers, is a tried and true classic!

And finally, for some decadence, pâté works beautifully with steak. Season the steak of your choosing with salt and pepper and sear it to your desired cooking level. When finished, add a dollop of room temperature mousse on top. A lean cut such as filet mignon works best in keeping the dish from becoming too heavy or rich. The pepper in our Black Peppercorn Mousse pairs nicely with red meat.

Fresh table and dish decorations for spring

Spring is a time for renewal, so why not freshen up your table setting? We’re not saying you have to go out and buy all new dinnerware, flatware and glassware. A few simple decorating tricks can transform your table from blah to beautiful.

Think texture. Wicker can give your table a carefree vibe. Inexpensive wicker paper plate holders can be used to cradle your china dinner plates, creating a whole new look. Or a woven plate charger, using natural elements, can recharge your table décor.

Think color. Pastels are always associated with spring. Add a pastel palette to your table with candles in hues of lavender, robin’s-egg blue, mint green, blush pink or pale yellow.

Think flowers. Nothing signals the onset of spring better than flowers. The lily, symbolic of Easter, often comes to mind. Other flowers that bloom in the spring include the daffodil, tulip, azalea, pansy, iris, lilac, peony, azalea, bluebell, freesia, and primrose. And think outside the vase; a small cluster of flowers makes a gorgeous napkin ring.

Think vintage. An antique tin, a flowerpot, mason jar, bucket, measuring cup, egg cups, colander, pitcher, crate, apothecary bottle, berry basket or teapot makes a unique centerpiece, perfect for displaying your springtime flowers.

Think floral. The next best thing to fresh flowers is a floral tablecloth and/or napkins. Floral patterns have many colors; choose a different accent color each time you use a floral tablecloth, and you’ll discover a completely new look.

Think feminine. Lacy doilies, gingham, feathery accents, ribbons, velvet, jeweled glassware, birds, hearts.

Think white. An all-white table setting is the epitome of freshness.

Think sweets. For a pastel-inspired finishing touch, serve French macarons in a pastel rainbow of colors. Or pistachio ice cream, orange sherbet, lemon sorbet, strawberry gelato. Or pastel mints.

Best Sandwich Recipes From Around the World

When you’re hungry, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as sinking your teeth into a delicious sandwich. We’re not talking good-old-American PB&J. We’re talking favorites from around the globe that will redefine your idea of “sandwich” forever.

Let’s start with an American classic: grilled cheese. Give it a Spanish spin by adding prosciutto and dates.

Or become an Aussie for a day with a Vegemite sandwich. Be forewarned that many say it’s an acquired taste.

Do as the Danish do with a smørrebrød (buttered bread) sandwich. Toppings include pickled or smoked fish, liver pate or mousse, sliced cold cuts and boiled eggs.

You might not associate Italy with dainty little tea sandwiches, but that’s just what tramezzini are. These triangular finger sandwiches are made with crustless soft white bread and homemade mayonnaise. The fillings are up to you!

In England and India, chutney is a common ingredient in sandwiches. What’s chutney, you ask? It’s a spicy condiment made of fruits or vegetables with vinegar, spices, and sugar.

In the Middle East, pita is the bread of choice, filled with everything from falafel (fried chickpea balls) to eggplant to hummus or schnitzel (fried chicken breasts).

Breakfast sandwiches are all the rage here in the U.S. where everyone’s on the go, but we don’t have a corner on the market. In Singapore, toast bars are popular. Kaya toast sweet is a sweet sandwich similar to French toast. Here, the bread is covered in butter and kaya jam (made from egg and coconut milk) and fried, and is often eaten with a boiled egg for breakfast. The Spanish bocadillo – a baguette filled with meat, cheese or a sliced omelet – also is designed to be eaten on the run.

Need some additional inspiration? Check out these pâté sandwiches that you won’t be able to get enough of! Like our twist on the traditional Vietnamese banh mi, which pairs chicken liver pate with shredded pork.

Using Pâté to Transform Leftovers

If you’re the one who does most of the cooking in your household, you probably like serving leftovers. It’s one less meal to shop for, one less meal to prep, and one less meal to clean up. But, let’s face it, leftovers can get boring.

What if you could add an ingredient that would transform yesterday’s leftovers into today’s tasty new dish? You can – with pâté.

Did you get carried away with the pasta? Pasta tends to absorb sauce, so if you find you’ve got more pasta left over than sauce, make a tasty sauce the next day using our Duck Rillette, butter, onion, garlic and cooking sherry. Truth is, pâté can spice up any leftover side dish, such as rice, quinoa or farro.

Soup is also a great entrée for using up leftovers. Chop up leftover chicken or turkey, throw in some veggies, and toss in a couple tablespoons of our Chicken Liver Mousse for added flavor and texture.

Got leftover potatoes? Mash them up with Alexian truffle mousse for a mouth-watering side dish. Don’t let stale bread go to waste; make Mushroom Leek Stuffing, using our Forest Mushroom pâté. Put leftover produce to good use with a tossed salad topped with chunks of our Tomato Basil vegan pâté.

Don’t forget that leftovers also can be used for breakfast. Whip up an interesting omelet or frittata using whatever meats or veggies you find in the fridge, plus your favorite pâté.

Creating a Pâté Board in 5 Easy Steps

Pâté is a traditionally decadent food, ideal for the season’s celebrations of food and family. A well-crafted pâté board will please even the pickiest of eaters by allowing your guests to customize their selection. Best of all, it’s easy to set up.

Here’s how to make a crowd-pleasing pâté board just five easy steps:

1. Choose Your Pâtés

Your pâtés will be the star of your board, and everything else should work in harmony to enhance the rich flavors.

We suggest offering a selection of pâtés that showcase a variety of flavor profiles and textures.

For instance, a country-style pâté has a coarse texture, with herb-infused, gamey flavors that can be cut into cubes and served with toothpicks. Our Chicken and Veal Pâté is encrusted with mustard seeds and pairs nicely with mustards, dried fruits, and nuts. Our Campagne Pâté is our most versatile country-style pâté and pairs with almost anything, including mustards, pickles, and chutneys.

Our Duck Rillette, however, has a more shredded texture, and a special seasoning blend that pairs well with smoked cheeses, or as an indulgent, standalone bite.

Our mousses offer a lighter, creamier consistency that is easy to spread, and perfect for pairing with condiments, fresh fruits and vegetables, and cheeses. The Spiced Apple Mousse is a seasonal favorite, with hints of apple brandy and apple pie spices.

And if your family has vegetarian, vegan or diet-conscious diners, our tempting vegetable and vegan terrines are a great way to round out the selection. Even your most carnivorous guests will appreciate the refreshing vegetable medleys that come to play in our terrines.
2. Choose Your Cheese

When you offer a variety of pâté, you also need a variety of cheeses. One of the most exciting parts of a pâté board is allowing your guests to experiment with different combinations. We suggest choosing cheeses from different categories, such as:

? Smoked cheeses, such as smoked provolone, gouda and gruyere. The smoky, nutty taste pairs well with our pâté, complementing each other without losing their nuance.

? Sharp cheeses, like cheddar. The sharp, salty flavors cut through the gaminess of our country-style pâtés to provide a delightful contrast of flavors.

? Soft cheeses like brie or chevre. These cheeses add a creamy component to our pâtés, terrines and mousses.

If your pâté board is your main appetizer, you’ll want about three to four ounces of cheese per person. If it’s just one of many in your pre-meal line-up, shop for about two ounces per person.

3. Choose Your Accompaniments

Hard and cured meats such as salami and prosciutto have bold flavors that provide a contrast to the richness of pâtés. They also work as standalone flavors for pairing with cheeses.

You’ll also want a sweet component to balance many of the salty and prominent flavors on the board. Seasonal fruits, such as figs, pears and apples are a classic way to add balance, and a drizzle of honey enhances the savory flavors of pâtés and cheeses.

Nuts add texture and provide a palette-cleansing effect, which is important when you’re hosting an array of flavors. For a seasonal touch, roast walnuts or chestnuts. The aroma is mouth-watering!

4. Choose Your Breads

With all of this creamy, cheesy, savory goodness in front of them, your guests will be looking for a vehicle to get it from the board to their mouths. Supply your guests with a mixture of different breads, crackers and breadsticks for a range of texture options.

5. Choose Your Settings

Last, but certainly not least, are the details. If you’re crafting an elaborate pâté board, you’ll need plenty of room. You want to make sure that your board is not over-crowded, for both aesthetic and logistical purposes.

It’s helpful to guests if you label each item, so they know what to expect and how to pair their samplings. In order to keep things moving quickly, be sure that each item can easily be served. For soft foods, make sure there is an appropriate utensil (either for spreading or scooping). For hard foods or meats, make sure they’re cut into individual sizes servings, and that there are either toothpicks or serving forks readily available.

What to bring to the holiday office potluck

One way to win friends and get noticed at work is by bringing something delicious to the holiday office potluck. Here are a few recipes for success:

Skip the Swedish or sweet-and-sour meatballs and go for these Mediterranean-inspired Lamb Meatballs with Lemon-Cumin Yogurt. Cinnamon, cumin, mint and other spices give the meatballs their exotic flavor. And the yogurt dip is so yummy you might want to make extra, and bring some Olive Oil & Sea Salt Crackers to go with it.

In keeping with the Mediterranean theme, try these Fried Chickpeas with Sage. Be forewarned, however: They are so addictive that you might need to make two batches, one for home and one for the office.

You’ll make believers out of the kale doubters at your office with this Kale-Apple Coleslaw with Poppyseed Dressing. This sweet-tangy coleslaw will have your coworkers coming back for more.

Bite-sized food is always a good bet, like this Lox Flatbread. Simply spread crème fraîche on flatbread or crackers, and top with smoked salmon. Simply divine!

Impress the boss with Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels, or bring a crockpot full of chili. Think outside the crockpot and make vegetarian chili, turkey chili or chili with beer (don’t worry, most of the alcohol will evaporate).

Can’t resist bringing something that’s red and green? Anything with red and green peppers works, such as pasta salad. Or bring toothpick-skewered cubes of pâté and pimiento-stuffed green olives. Instead of a veggie tray, bring veggie skewers, alternating grape tomatoes with cucumber, broccoli or other green veggies. Feeling especially creative? Make a Christmas Tree Cheese Board, arranging rows of various shades of cubed cheese, green and red grapes, accented with twigs of thyme. Christmas Nacho Cups are super-simple: Fill dip-sized chips with a dollop of guacamole, topped by shredded cheese and half a grape tomato. Olé!

If you’d rather bring dessert, this Easy Mocha Fudge is as delicious to eat as it is easy to make. It’s a great finger food (and a great pick-me-up later in the workday). Strawberry Santas are both adorable and delicious. Cut a strawberry in half horizontally, then make a “sandwich,” filling it with whipped cream. Add a dollop of whipped cream on top, two dots of whipped cream on the bottom half for buttons, and two black sesame seeds for eyes. Other whimsical themed desserts are Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Brownies and Reindeer Oreo Balls.

Easy Appetizers with 5 Ingredients or Less

The season of entertaining is upon us once again, but it seems like just last week we were stuffing our turkeys and decking the halls! If you’re anything like us, your Novembers and Decembers are packed with friends, family, and food. Here in the Alexian Kitchen, we’re always trying to create new recipes that not only please our guests, but that is easy enough to leave us time to enjoy them.

We’ve gathered some of our very favorite 5-ingredient recipes to help you host the holidays without the hassle.

Baked Fontina

You can never go wrong with a big, melty skillet full of cheese. Especially when you add in Alexian pâté.

Layer cubed fontina cheese and Alexian Black Peppercorn Mousse in a cast iron skillet or baking dish, top with sliced garlic, thyme leaves and olive oil. Broil until it’s melted and bubbly enough to scoop up. Serve with toasty, flaky bread.

Truffle Balls

We’re not sure what the best part of this recipe is – the truffle, the mousse, the poppable, bite-size shape, or the fact that you don’t have to turn on your oven to make them. For years, our Truffle Mousse Balls have inspired rave reviews, yet this three-ingredient recipe takes only minutes to make.

Simply roll teaspoon-sized balls of our Truffle Mousse into a mixture of Panko breadcrumbs and thyme, then set them in the fridge until you’re ready to serve them. Make these in a large batch. The decadence of the truffle makes each bite practically melt in your mouth, keeping you coming back to the plate again and again.

Mini Grilled Cheese

Grilled cheese on Thanksgiving? Absolutely. Elevate your typical grilled cheese by substituting in decadent ingredients. Simply make 4-5 full-size sandwiches, slice into quarters and arrange on a plate. Here are a few mouth-watering suggestions.

Brioche + Swiss cheese + Goose Liver Mousse + caramelized onions

French bread + Duck Rillette + brie + plum jam

Potato bread + Black Peppercorn Mousse + over easy egg

Puff Pastry Bites

There’s nothing quite as satisfying as biting into a warm, melt-in-your-mouth roll full of savory goodness. Gently wrap thin slices of any of our pâtés (though a couple of our favorites for this recipe are the Chicken & Veal and Forest Mushroom pâtés) in puff pastry and cook until light golden brown.

You can also use crescent roll dough in place of puff pastry to save a little time. Feel free to experiment with your own add-ins – like your favorite smoked cheese – just don’t overload them!

Serve with a dijon or whole grain mustard dipping sauce, or on their own!

Deviled Eggs with Pâté

A simple yet decadent delight, deviled eggs are even better when Black Peppercorn Mousse is mixed in! These hearty snacks are handheld, making them ideal for casual holiday parties.

Platters, boards, serving knives: new ideas for holiday gifting

If your holiday gift list includes self-proclaimed foodies or those who simply love to entertain, you’ll find plenty of ideas this season. Your only challenge will be to decide on which gifts to give which recipients!

For family members and friends who insist on doing their own food prep, a personalized cutting board is the perfect choice. Carved with the recipient’s name, this wood cutting board can double as a serving piece. In fact, load up the board with cheeses, charcuterie and crackers, and bring as a gift to a holiday house party.

Put a little color — actually, a lot of color — into a cook’s holiday with a colored knife set. Look for a set with a magnetic strip or that come with a knife block; this lets you keep knives close at hand but high enough to be out of reach of little hands. You’ll find sets with everything from heavy-duty carving knives to serrated bread knives and cheese knives that are ideal for entertaining.

Anyone who appreciates artistry will love a decorative platter made from glass or ceramic accompanied by decorative cheese knives or spreaders. Some of our greatest finds have been on the shelves at stores like HomeGoods or Pier 1!

With today’s preponderance of dietary preferences (think gluten free, peanut allergies, dairy free, vegan, etc.), a platter with a customizable “Now serving _____” sign can really come in handy. Ceramic or slate colored signs are on-trend and can be written on with a dry-erase marker or chalk, and reused over and over again.

And when it comes time for you to be on the receiving end of the gift, it’s OK to drop a few pre-holiday hints. That way, you can avoid having to stand in the customer service line as you wait to return or exchange those “Oh you shouldn’t have!” gifts.

Cheese and jam pairings on crackers

Cheese and crackers make for a satisfying, sophisticated snack. And when you add a dollop of jam atop the cheese, you take this pairing to a whole new level. Here are a few suggestions on what fruity spreads go best with which cheeses:

Let’s start with an all-American favorite, apple pie, but hold the crust. Here, you might want to put cheddar, brie or sheep’s milk cheese on top of the apples. If you still want a bit of a crunch, serve it atop graham cracker squares.

When we think of figs, most of us think of fig bar cookies. But fig spread is such a diverse condiment that it pairs with many cheeses, from Spanish varieties to brie, blue cheese and even feta.

Quince paste is quite a tasty treat. This fruit spread is made with quince, also known as membrillo, a sweet fruit that tastes like a cross between a pear and a golden delicious apple. Quince paste goes well with manchego cheese.

Originating in India, chutney is a fruit relish that can range from sweet to sour, mild to spicy. Chutney is best complimented by aged cheddar or fresh goat cheese.

If you like bold flavors, you’ll love these pairings: aged cheddar with tomato jam, gouda with orange marmalade or plum jam, parmesan with apricot jam, blue cheese with black currant or red onion jam, or camembert and cranberry jam.

Don’t let Italian mostarda fool you; while it’s made from syrup-preserved fruit, powdered mustard seed gives it a spicy kick. Pair it with gouda, Italian parmigiano or pecorino.

Sweeter cheeses and jams also make for delicious desserts, with all the flavor but not all the guilt. Go for shortbread cookies topped with mascarpone cheese and lemon curd, strawberry or raspberry jam. Rich ricotta is another good choice, served with pear and cocoa spread, peach and cocoa spread, or banana jam.