Monday, November 20, 2006

CHOPPED LIVER

There are some people who totally dislike liver or any kind of offal. On the contrary, I'm absolutely not an offal-hater. I crave those animal parts and anything made from them, apart from brains, when they are not "hidden" (not for taste reasons, but rather for psychological reasons that block me, he, he...)! I can understand that certain people are disgusted by offals, because they may be considered as waste material, depending on the cultural context. In fact, it is an acquired taste and I will blame nobody for disliking this special food...

"Chopped Liver (Gehachte/Gehackte Leber)" is a classic Jewish speciality. It might be a peasant dish which costs peanuts, but it is nonetheless a delicacy that can't be labelled "cheap" (inferior culinary-wise). It is a food of holidays and family. In America, it is a typical delicatessen staple.

Although, it is a humble dish, "Chopped Liver" isn't uninteresting or bland. It has a rich and sweet hunting taste which isn't unpleasant at all and which goes perfectly well with the nutty flavor of toasted
bread or with the distinctive flavor of rye bread. In fact, it is a little like a lumpy, yet sublime pâté. It is delicate and very round tasting. Wonderful, according to an offal freak!!!

This recipe was adapted from Joan Nathan's "Jewish Cooking In America" and originally comes from Hyman Bookbinder, a retired lobbyist for the American Jewish Committee...


This would be great if served as an appetizer for Christmas, Hannukah, New Year, Pesach, birthdays and any other important day of the year.

Yields 10 to 12 servings as an appetizer, pre-dinner nosh or even as a main course for 4 people.


Ingredients:
4 Large eggs
3-4 Tbs Vegetable oil

3 Medium onions, finely chopped

2 Cloves garlic, crushed

1/4 Green bell pepper, finely diced (optio
nal)
500g Chicken livers
Red Tabasco, to taste

Salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 Tbs Chicken fat or duck fat, "schmaltz" (optional)

1 Packet Toast bread or one loaf rye bread


Method:
1. Put the eggs in a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil.

2. Simmer for about 10 minutes.

3.Cool rapidly in iced water and peel.

4. Heat the oil in a large frying pan or skillet.

5. Sauté the onions, garlic and green peppers over high heat for about 5 minutes, until the onions start turning golden brown.
6. Add the chicken livers and fry, tossing the livers occasionally until they are f
irm, about 5 minutes.
7. Chop together the liver and the hard-boiled eggs and the sautéed onions/garlic/pepper using an old-fashioned manual chopper, a knife, or a food processor until even in consistency, but not pureed.

8. Season with Tabasco, salt and pepper.

9. If you want, you can add a tablespoon chicken fat (or duck fat) to the mix.
10. Eat warm.


Remarks:
I only prepared half of the recipe and that was enough for two people (as a dinner).
The original recipe didn't mention the use of garlic or Tabasco; it's my personal addition.
Don't let the livers become tough by overcooking.
I topped my "Chopped Liver" with an extra 1/2 egg that I very finally chopped.


~ Swiss Rye Bread from Valais/Wallis. ~
Serving suggestions:
Eat the "Chopped Liver" warm and spread over a buttered slice of warm toast bread (instead of toast, use chewy rye bread) or fill up lettuce leaves with the mixture.
You can also use the "Chopped Liver" as a sandwich filling.

(Katz's Delicatessen -Pic by www.vanderbilt.edu)
(Rye Bread -Pic by www.paindeseiglevalais.ch)

5 comments:

  1. I didn't eat chopped liver for years .. yummy ,
    I was talking a few days ago, with my old books seller, he told me he just came back from USA to stay with the family after his mom died..SO the 'big brother' wanted to make some mom's recipes, but there were No written recipes.. so he made mom's chopped liver with real Schmaltz ! like his grandmother used to make, he told me:"I'm asking my brother for his 'recipe' couse it was So good !" So:thank you for this tasty recipe :-)

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  2. hey rosa, i will NEVER pass up good chopped liver. here it is made on the sweet side which i really like. also always served with lots of slowly cooked caramelized onions. of course, like chanit said, the best is with real shmaltz.

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  3. AWOZ: Me too, it's ever so yummy :-D...

    CHANIT: Your story was very interesting. Thanks for the kind comment! Now, you know which recipe you have to cook next time you want something tasty...

    BUREKABOY: Thanks for the tip! Next time, I'll have to eat it with caramelized onions and use real schmaltz. Yummy!

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  4. My family coming from Eastern Europe , we are used to eat rabbit liver cooked with lots of onions, slowly caramelized in fat... It reminds me your recipe and it 's nice...

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