By guest blogger, Julia Daly, founding committee member of the Coppell FM
Admission of a “Foodie:” I like liver. Yes, indeed. Just about every way it comes. Liver and onions. fried chicken livers. Liberkaese, liverwurst and Boudain. Rumaki. Chopped Liver. Foie Gras. Yum, yum, yum. And for those out there going ‘Eewwee!’. Stop it! Lots of people think they don’t like liver, so they have never tried it. And many more have tried it but because it was cooked improperly, it really was Yuck. Liver has to be cooked properly or it IS dreadful. Tough and strong or bitter. Gag.
One of my favorites is chopped liver on an onion roll or bagel.
Saute a pound of cleaned and seasoned chicken livers in rendered chicken fat (aka smaltz) or butter. DO NOT overcook! They should still be pink in the middle. Remove from skillet and caramelize a chopped onion in more fat with a bit of salt.
Liver has also had a bad rap as laden with cholesterol. Recent released studies have shown that consuming foods with cholesterol is not what causes cholesterol to rise but more likely it’s eating a lot of bad fats, e.g. margarine.
Deglaze the pan with a splash of Madeira or chicken stock. Scrape up all those yummy browned bits.
Another reason folks think they should avoid liver is because one of the liver’s main functions is to clear toxins from the blood, therefore it is FULL of bad stuff that shouldn’t be eaten. Well, to that I say: buy from a local rancher that doesn’t use antibiotics, growth hormones, pesticides and all those bad things. Both of the pastured meat ranchers at the Coppell Farmers Market sell liver. Ask them about their ranches and practices. They will be DELIGHTED to tell you how much care they take to provide quality meats and eggs.
Put the livers, onions, deglazed liquid, 2 hard boiled eggs (cage free), a teaspoon fresh thyme (optional), a small handful of chopped fresh parsley, a teaspoon salt and half of pepper, plus a healthy pinch of cayenne in a food processor. Pulse to chunky consistency, about 8 pulses. Adjust seasoning.
Lastly, liver, along with other organ meats, is a very inexpensive source of lean protein. And if you have your finger on the pulse of the food scene-you will see that ‘awful’ or ‘offel’ is trending. Beef heart Carpaccio. Fried pig tails. Lamb kidneys in mustard sauce is a classic. Grilled sweetbreads in port wine reduction. Mmmmmm.
Now it’s time to dig in. You can serve as an appetizer on crackers or toast if you want, but go ahead and be selfish– slather on an onion roll and add a nice slice of red onion for a DELICIOUS sandwich. Enjoy.