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Category: offal

Ephemeral Time {Calves Liver à la Bordelais + Avocado and Radish Salad}

“This is the first time I’ve known what time it was…” Bree was ignoring both Mrs. Bug’s raptures and the [astrolobe] in her hands. I saw her meet Roger’s eyes, and smile – and after a moment, his own lopsided smile in return. How long had it been for him?

Everyone was squinting up at the setting sun, waving clouds of gnats from their eyes and discussing when they had last known the time. How very odd, I thought, with some amusement. Why this preoccupation with measuring time? And yet, I had it, too.

I laid my hand on [Jamie’s], where it rested on the box [of the astrolobe]. His skin was warm with work and the heat of the day, and he smelt of clean sweat. The hairs on his forearm shone red and gold in the sun, and I understood very well just then, why it is that men measure time. 

They wish to fix a moment, in the vain hope that so doing will keep it from departing.” ~ From The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon

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Chicken Livers with Apples & Strawberry Coulis Tapas

I love chicken livers. But I cannot make them when my husband is around, since he simply doesn’t like them. So, as he’s travelling now, I have the opportunity to make the things I like and can also experiment with new things.

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This recipe is a bit different from the traditional way of making chicken livers, which seems to be with onions and/or garlic, at least in Spain. There are variations from family to family, like adding wine or not, adding some pine nuts and maybe some parsley or other herbs. But when I was discussing the recipe with my mother and sister-in-law both made a funny nose at my mention of adding apples!

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However, I loved the combination and hope you will give it a try too, if you haven’t already thought of this… it’s delicious and especially so for kids, if they won’t eat liver otherwise. In addition to the apples, I made my dish into somewhat of a tapa and added some raw spinach and a strawberry coulis as dressing.

Chicken Livers with Apples & Strawberry Coulis Tapas
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Ingredients
  • 400g chicken livers, rinsed and cut in halves
  • 2 medium onions, chopped or julienne
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Spanish pimenton or paprika
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 2 apples, peeled and either chopped or cut into slices
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • coconut oil, butter or lard for cooking (I used lard for extra flavour)
  • For the strawberry coulis, optional:
  • 8-10 strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water (if necessary)
  • spinach or other greens, optional
Instructions
  1. In a saucepan over low heat, melt the oil/butter or lard.
  2. Add the chicken livers, onions and garlic.
  3. Sauté until the chicken livers are browned on all sides, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the apples and sauté an additional 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add the pimenton, sea salt and wine.
  6. Cook until the wine is reduced, about 10-15 minutes, and the livers are done. (If you prefer them slightly raw, cook less time. I like mine done all the way through with no blood.)
  7. For the strawberry coulis:
  8. In a small saucepan, over low heat, place all of the ingredients and stir.
  9. Cook until the strawberries become “mushy”. Remove from heat and cool.
  10. When the mixture is cool, puree with an immersion blender, food processor or blender.
  11. To eat as a tapa:
  12. Place some spinach or green of preference on the bottom of the serving plate/dish.
  13. Spoon some chicken livers with apples over the greens.
  14. Pour some strawberry coulis overtop as dressing.

Chicken Livers with Sage

Years ago, when I had iron anemia, I was forced to eat chicken and beef livers to increase my iron levels; and fortunately I learned to love them. My mother tried a variety of recipes to make sure I wouldn’t get bored, but by far my favourite way to eat chicken livers is the traditional Spanish style.

And although now I usually prepare them as a pate, every once in a while, I still like to dig into the whole organ meat, prepared just like my mother used to make them for me. (And she still does when we visit my parents.)

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It’s simple and easy to make and within minutes, you can be enjoying a delectable dish that is very healthy for you. You can serve them with mashed potatoes or another tuber mash or even cauliflower mash/rice (although I find that the taste of the cauliflower can be overpowering for the chicken livers).

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I ate mine as a salad over a bed of raw spinach and wild rocket (arugula). To make them more kid-friendly, try adding some apples, either raw or cooked with the livers.

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Chicken Livers – Higadillos de Pollo
Author: The Saffron Girl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
Serves 2-3
Ingredients
  • 350g chicken livers
  • 1 medium red onion, cut julienne style or chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, slivered
  • lard, about 2 tablespoons (you can also use olive oil or fat of preference, however the lard adds a special flavour to this dish)
  • 3 leaves fresh sage, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon Spanish pimenton (or paprika)
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • coarse sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a skillet, over low heat, melt the lard.
  2. Add the onion, garlic and livers.
  3. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken livers are almost done and almost no blood is left.
  4. Add the thyme, sage, pimenton and sea salt (to taste).
  5. Cook about 1 minute.
  6. Then add the wine and cook until the livers are completely done.
  7. Serve immediately with your favourite side dish or over a bed of greens.
  8. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper, if desired.
  9. Garnish with pumpkin seeds for some crunch.

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Dairy Free Chicken Liver Pate

Here’s my revised version of chicken liver pate, which is less complicated than the first one I posted. It is pictured with the Rosemary-Coconut Savoury Bread.

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DAIRY FREE CHICKEN LIVER PATE

Ingredients

  • 350g chicken livers, rinsed
  • 1 small onion, chopped or julienne style
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cups coconut milk, full fat
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of gelatine powder (one package)
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 125ml Moscatel or another sweet dessert wine (optional) + 2 tablespoons gelatine.

Process

  1. Place the chicken livers, onion, garlic and olive oil in a deep pan. Over low heat and covered, cook until the chicken livers are done, stirring occasionally. 
  2. Once the livers are done, set aside until they cool at room temperature.
  3. In a blender or food processor, add the cooked chicken livers, onion, garlic and 2 cups of coconut milk. Pulse until you have a smooth puree.
  4. Add the additional cup of coconut milk and pulse further to incorporate.
  5. Add the sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
  6. Return to the same pan used before and heat, but do not boil.
  7. In the meantime, mix the gelatine with the cold water and allow to sit about 2-3 minutes.
  8. Add to the liver mixture and cook until the gelatine is fully dissolved and blended into the mixture.
  9. Remove from heat and place in ramekins or your preferred glass container, which can also be used to serve.
  10. Refrigerate until set.
  11. Heat the Moscatel or sweet dessert wine. Add the powdered gelatine and dissolve completely.
  12. Pour over the pate ramekins and refrigerate again until set.
  13. If you prefer, the Moscatel or sweet wine can be omitted. I like the contrasting sweetness it provides to the pate, but it’s not a necessary addition.

 

Homemade Pate (Gluten & Dairy Free)

Hmmm. Hmmm. Hmmm… if I may say so myself! This is absolutely delicious! I just can’t get enough of my homemade pate with Moscatel gelatin.

But then again, I’m a pate lover. However, I find it  hard to get good quality pate that has no wheat or strange additives in it at the store or even in restaurants, unless one pays a fortune. And maybe even then, there are things lurking in the pate I would prefer to avoid.

So, I’ve resorted to making my own at home! It’s actually quite easy and it’s very tasty. Did I mention delicious? hmmm… read on and make at home too!

HOMEMADE PATE

Ingredients, makes about 250ml or 1 cup:

  • 250g chicken livers
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Moscatel wine or wine of preference (optional)
  • 100ml almond milk
  • olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 50ml Moscatel
  • 2 gelatin leaves
Process:

In a saucepan over low heat, add 1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onions and poach about 5 minutes. Add the rinsed and cleaned chicken livers and saute 2 minutes. Pour the tablespoon of Moscatel or wine over the livers and continue to cook until all the blood is gone.

In a blender, pulse the livers and onions with the almond milk. Season to taste. Pour into a pot and over low heat, cook 8-10 minutes. In the meantime, place a leaf of gelatin in cold water to soften. When it’s soft, add to the liver mixture and cook until completely dissolved, about 1 minute. Pour the pate into a serving mold and refrigerate until set. Make sure the liver pate is completely set before the next step.

To make the Moscatel gelatin: Place another gelatin leaf in cold water until soft. In the meantime, heat the wine until bubbly. Allow to reduce the alcohol and then add the gelatin leaf. Cook until completely dissolved. Allow to cool at room temperature, then pour over the pate and refrigerate until set.

(You can also make the gelatin with fish tails and bones by cooking the bones with the liquid, such as the almond milk or the wine. I just didn’t have any home to with which to make the gelatin.)

The addition of the Moscatel gelatin is optional, but I like the combination of the sweetness from the wine with the liver flavour.

 

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