FIFTY WAYS TO LOVE YOUR LIVER
You can close your louver, leave your lover, go to the Louvre, or visit Rod Laver, but this is about liver. Yes, liver.
This is one thing your mother was right about – liver is good for you. It contains lots of vitamins (A, B & D) and iron. But when I ask people if they like liver, I usually get a negative response, and many people are actually repulsed at the thought of eating it.
Cats, on the other hand, seem to love it. We used to feed our cats fresh livers when we were butchering chickens. We would place the livers on a plate and then place it in front of them. After eyeing us to be sure it was okay, they would rush the plate and then drag their chosen morsel to a place of privacy where they could enjoy it without interruption. Contrary to us, cats evidently are ones who realize that this is a delicacy because I have yet to see a human display this type of behavior.
My mother cooked and served us liver and onions about once a month, so I am no stranger to this meal. I thought it always smelled better than it tasted, and it looked absolutely horrid on the plate. So, in my attempt to insert liver back into our regular diets, I decided to write a cookbook entitled Fifty Ways to Love Your Liver.
A Great Appetizer
First is an appetizer, chicken liver pate. Spread it on a cracker and pair it with a nice flute of champagne or glass of port, and it’s the height of elegance. It’s especially a good time to sneak this in among all of this other crap we are serving during the holiday season. And it’s not liver in your face; it’s more the essence of liver; besides, my recipe for liver pate also contains butter, cream, bacon, onions, and cognac. So, how in the world can this taste bad?
Chicken Liver Pâté
4 SlicesBacon (needs to be crisp so it will crumble)
1/4 CupOnions, finely chopped
1 TablespoonShallots, finely chopped
1 CloveGarlic, minced
1/4 CupApple, Granny Smith peeled and coursely chopped
8 OuncesChicken livers, washed and chopped
1+ TablespoonsHeavy cream
2 TablespoonsButter, cold and formed
1 TablespoonLemon juice
1 teaspoonWorcestershire sauce
To tasteRed pepper flakes
Makes slightly more than one cup.
Best if made up one day ahead of time.
Time: About 1 hour
Cook bacon in oven until crisp at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool, crumble bacon and set aside in two batches. Refrigerate one of the batches to later sprinkle onto the finished pâté. Reserve at least 2 Tablespoonful’s of drippings.
Add onion, shallots, and garlic to sauté pan with drippings and sauté over medium heat for about one minute.
Add apple and cook until mashable, around 4 minutes.
Turn the mixture into Cuisinart, but do not blend.
Add butter to the same sauté pan, cut each chicken liver in half and add to sauté pan. Sauté over medium-high heat (around 4 minutes). Take pan off heat. Spoon off excess oil.
Ladle cognac over livers and immediately light. Lift the pan off stove and roll pan until the flame goes out.
Turn liver into the Cuisinart.
Add heavy cream and blend until smooth. Let mixture cool completely in the Cuisinart bowl. Stir from time to time so a brown skin doesn’t form.
Add butter, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, red pepper flakes, and half the crumbled bacon. Pulse just enough to incorporate.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Turn into an appropriately sized crock. Cover with plastic wrap and put in refrigerator for at least a day for flavors to blend.
Remove from refrigerator about two hours before serving. Keep top covered with plastic. Right before serving, take the rest of the crispy bacon pieces, heat up in microwave, and sprinkle over the top of the pâté.
Serve with crackers. I prefer Triskets (original) because of their neutral taste and ability to hold up to the spreading process.