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Liver Little

What a fantastic idea Alicia.  Thanks for always thinking of ways to keep us all together.

Wouldn’t luck have it that last night Jefferson and I had such a satisfying meal that we took pictures.  Unfortunately my Nikon was low on batteries so the little point and shoot got the job.  The pictures don’t do the meal justice  but it sure was  satisfying.

A couple days ago Jefferson insisted that we pull some beef liver.  I was skeptical, not really having any good liver recipes in my back pocket.  Then last night he took out “Mediterranean Cooking” by Paula Wolfert, which is one of the best cook books ever, and found Arnavut Cigeri (Albanian-style liver).  All of the recipes in this cookbook are exquisitely balanced.  The ingredients in this recipe were adapted slightly for what we had on hand and the fact that we are GFDF.



   The liver was served with green lentils and daikon salad

which were spontaneous creations.

   Arnavut Cigeri

1 pound beef liver

   Course Salt

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup minced shallot

 1/8  cup buckwheat flour

 1/8 cup chickpea fava bean flour

 3 to 4 teaspoons hot Hungarian paprika

   Fresh ground black  pepper

2 tbs finely chopped parsley

soak the liver in salted water for 10 minutes to help draw out the blood and tighten the flesh.  Peel off any thin transparent skin and cut away any tubes and hard pieces. Pat dry and cut in 3/4 inch cubes.

Heat oil in a wide skillet over high heat.  Rub the shallots with a pinch of salt and set aside to soften.

Meanwhile, put the flour, paprika, and pepper into a plastic bag.  Shake to blend.  Add the liver and toss so that each cube is well coated.  Dump the contents of the bag into a sieve over a bowl and shake to remove excess flour. immediately fry the liver cubes until well browned o the outside and juicy and pink  inside, about 2 minutes.

Tamp the sieve to remove any flour and then set it over a bowl.  When the livers are  brown on the outside but still very juicy within, dumb the entire contents of the skillet in the sieve and drain.  Transfer the liver to a serving dish, toss with the shallots and sea salt, and mix lightly.  Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Green Lentils

1 cup green lentils

3 cups  chicken stock

2 tbs chopped dried apricots

1 tbs  chopped dried bing cherries

 1/4 cup tosted hazelnuts

 one clove garlic minced

In a sauce pan add stock, dried apricots and dried cherries.  Heat until boiling.  Then add the green lentils and turn the heat down to a simmer.  Cook until the lentils are just tender but not falling apart.  Remove from the heat and strain through a sieve.

 Meanwhile,  using a mortar and pestle or a knife crush the hazelnuts into halves and quarter size pieces.  Toast them in a skillet on low.  Add the minced garlic to the skillet.  Stir frequently.  When the hazelnuts are golden and their scent fills the air it is time to remove them from the pan.

Mix the hazelnuts into the lentils and serve.

Daikon Salad

1-2 daikon radishes

1 large carrot

1/2 small red onion

 1/4 cup white wine vinegar

 1/2 tsp salt

 1 tsp honey

Was and peel the dikon and carrots. Remove the outer skin from the onion. Using a mandolin or a sharp knife shave the slice the dikon, carrot and onion at the finest setting.

In a bowl mix the rest of the ingredients together.  Add the slices roots and bulb and mix.  Let sit about 20 minutes until tender.