I first saw this recipe in Gourmet Magazine years ago. Always looking for fabulous party dishes for my catering company this one caught my eye immediately. It’s visually inviting, tastes heavenly (especially if you like goat cheese) and it’s perfect to have or bring to a party. I generally serve it with garlic toasts or multi-colored vegetable chips. Really you can use anything that you find pleasing. It’s gone through a lot of tweeks since I first made the recipe from the magazine. And by trial an error I learned a few things which you will see below under “Tips”. Have fun and enjoy!
4 - 8 ounce packages of cream cheese
1.5 C of goat cheese
¼ to ½ C of whipping cream
1-2 Tbls of fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper
1-2 small containers of sun dried tomatoes in oil, drained and patted between paper towels
½ to 1 C of pesto
Fresh herbs or flowers to garnish
Line the inside your favorite ceramic or pyrex dish with plastic wrap (7"x10” rectangle or a square works great). Make sure that the plastic wrap is very smooth on the insides & pressed smoothly up and around every edge. Leave enough plastic so that it hangs over each side and over the edge of your dish. Set aside.
In a food processor process cream cheese, goat cheese until smooth. Drizzle in whipping cream to open up the cheese mixture. Which will make it smoother and more airy. Drizzle in up to ½ C although you may not need it. Add one TBLS of lemon juice at a time for flavor only. You may not need the second one. Stop machine at intervals to scrape down the sides with a spatula. Mix in salt and pepper to taste. Place cheese mixture in to a pastry bag with a large round tip.
Place your plastic lined dish in front of you, very gently pipe in your cheese mixture with your pastry bag so that you have one even layer on the bottom of your dish. I generally begin piping from the outer edge of the bowl. And then move inwards towards the center following the line of the dish you are using. On top of your 1st cheese layer gently finger or spoon in the sun dried tomatoes so that they are spread evenly over the cheese layer. Then pipe another layer of cheese mixture over tomatoes. Repeat this process with the pesto. Then pipe one more layer of cheese over the pesto. This will be your last layer. Smooth each cheese layer out with a small off-set spatula and cover tightly with the overlapping plastic. Place in refrigerator overnight.
The next day take pate out of refrigerator and peel plastic from the top. Place a serving platter (large enough to cover the pate dish) over the ceramic dish and gently invert. Gently pull the ceramic dish from the pate and set aside. Very carefully pull the plastic wrap from the pate. Smooth pate with a spatula. Garnish with herbs and flowers. Serve with parmesan toasts.
*The smaller & deeper your dish the more layers you may have or excess ingredients.
*Always drain the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes & pesto prior to using in this pate. Excess oil will seep out of the final pate if there is too much.
*Use the added liquid (cream, lemon juice) sparingly. You only want the cheese mixture to be “spreadable” not too soft. If it is too soft add more cream cheese. It will spread somewhat once unmolded if too soft.