You may not have heard of her but Therese Makowsky was a master cook. After escaping France over the mountains and into Spain during the Nazi invasion, she moved to America with her husband and children. She eventually found herself in Pomfret Connecticut where she and her husband, Jacques Makowsky, owned and operated Idle Wild Farm. At the farm they cross-bred the White Plymouth Rock hen and a Malayan fighting cock and ‘discovered’ the Rock Cornish Game Hen which they marketed to fine-dining restaurants such as the 21 Club in New York City, known simply as “21."
As I mentioned, Therese was a master cook and soon the best chefs in the country would know just how good she was. In her kitchen at Idle Wild Therese experimented and soon developed Rock Cornish Game Hen gourmet recipes that she shared with those fine-dining restaurants’ head chefs.
But Therese was not a food snob. With limited time (raising a family, concocting recipes and helping to run Idle Wild Farm) so familiar to today’s working mothers, she also collected or invented quick and easy recipes for those who didn’t have time to spare in the kitchen.
It was a beautiful, snowy, Currier & Ives Christmas in Connecticut when I first tasted her “instant” pate. Being French, Therese loved pates, but they can take forever to make. So, when she didn’t have the time to make one from ‘scratch,’ she’d make the pate I had enjoyed that Christmas… a pate you make days before the party rush and only takes minutes to put together… a pate that I serve myself at our annual Christmas Eve party all these years later.
With the holiday season fast approaching, I thought I’d share her recipe.
¼ pound butter – melted
one package of liverwurst (sliced or rolled)
one teaspoon (or a little less) of Dijon mustard
one small can of Deviled Ham (yup, Deviled Ham)
sugar to taste (about a ¼ teaspoon)
dried herbs: ie: parsley, tarragon, basil
caramelized onions (optional)
shot of cognac (sherry, port, scotch or bourbon will do)
Mix well, put in a ramekin, cover (if you don’t have a lid, tin foil will do) and refrigerate for three (3) days before serving.