The French Fridays with Dorie Celebrations continue! This week we go over those Never-Doubt-Dorie moments. FFwD cooks will reminisce about those recipe that made us raise our eyebrows while we went along for the ride. I looked for the scariest ingredient I hadn’t worked with yet – chicken livers. Here’s the account of my experience whipping up Mme. Maman’s Chopped Liver.
(Law & Order style ‘Dun Dun!’)
Thursday June 4, 2015
It’s not the same to face the deep-sea creatures of the food world when they are breaded, fried or smothered in delicious sauces. And plated and prepared by professionals that bring out the best of these ingredients. These chicken liver yakitori we enjoyed for the Puerto Rico Restaurant Week kick-off party look perfectly fine. They were smooth, melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Did they really have green spots and veins before? And how big were those?
For someone who takes pride on her adventurous palate (veal brains and sweetbreads, monkfish liver, spicy blood sausages), it scares me a little what I might find in the little plastic container I’ll take home later today. Just a little. It’s not like chicken livers are the size of… well, the rest of the “everyday” chicken cuts.
Could Mme. Maman’s chopped liver turn into a Never-Doubt-Dorie moment? You bet. It has paid off before. You’d never think that before French Fridays with Dorie I had never tried seemingly tame home roasted beets, sardines, and lentils. How could I miss out on those before? All that ‘wasted time’ fuels my recent-found greed for new tastes.
Thursday June 4, 2015
It’s easier to trust an AMFT recipe when the ingredients list is sparse. Two onions, oil, the livers, and a few spices. I decided to hold off the eggs, at least for this first time.
Once the onions were in the pot, it was time to face the new guys in the kitchen.
So… when the moment arrived, the Puerto Rican poultry industry came through. Other than trimming a little fat, I didn’t have to do anything to the livers other than sauté them for a couple of minutes. The rest of the preparation was smooth sailing. Once the liver and onions were combined, I took about a third of the mixture and whirled it in the food processor to make a spread, using some the rendered fat. The rest went into a bowl and into the refrigerator as well to chill for a couple of hours.
This exchange did happen…
“You ate April Bloomfield’s chicken liver spread – two orders worth of it. On a business trip – without me! And you will not try MINE, er, Dorie’s?”
Friday, June 5th
A baguette went into the oven for warming up. I took out the bowl of Mme. Maman’s chopped liver and the smaller container of the liver spread. I am not sure if it was the time of day but they didn’t look particularly appetizing. I grabbed a small piece of the liver.
A caramelized onion.
A smidge of the spread.
And it all went into the food processor.
I could have gone the AHA moment route with the food discoveries I made during the French Fridays run. However, Dorie Greenspan should get credit – as others have said before – for gently nudging us towards new food experiences both in and out our kitchens. There is something even more revelatory about taking those food adventures home. While I would never make blood sausages at home, I know I can whip up a delicious chicken liver spread.
French Fridays with Dorie cooks and bloggers have worked their way through Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table for the last four years and change. It’s time to celebrate it! For more lessons on conquering culinary challenges and never-doubting-Dorie, click here.