More Innards: Liver (Calf and Chicken)

April 28th, 2018 § 0 comments

During HG’s youth (many decades ago), liver and onions were served at all working class diners (“greasy spoons”) in New York. The liver was a thin slice with a grey interior. Young HG would give the unappetizing slice a big hit of mustard and gobble it up. Unlike the health police of today, HG’s late Mom insisted “Liver is good for you” and served HG many overcooked portions. Mom redeemed herself with chopped calf’s liver. Her version contained chopped onions (sometimes a bit of hardboiled egg) and an abundance of chicken fat. Some kosher salt, ground pepper, Stuhmer’s pumpernickel bread, cold beer—and Mom’s chopped liver. Eastern European heaven. HG never realized how delicious calf’s liver could be until he had a broiled slice at a modest Paris bistro. A thick slice with a juicy, pink interior. The liver had been marinated in Xeres (sherry) vinegar and served with a splash of melted butter. Accompanied by potato puree. Simple French cooking at its best. Chicken livers are one of HG’s favorite bits of offal. Greek owned New York and New Jersey diners used to serve them over rice pilaf. The liver were dusted in flour and fried to a brown exterior and pink interior. Good eating. Surprisingly, the New York chain of Schrafft’s restaurants (long closed) served a hearty dish of scrambled eggs with chicken livers. In France, chicken livers are often served as a topping for green salad. Sautéed chicken livers are the foundation of Spaghetti a la Caruso, a favorite pasta dish of the great Italian tenor, Enrico Caruso. Try this lusty pasta variation and you might warble some arias.

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