Monday, April 13, 2009

Chopped Liver


I know what you're thinking. Admit it. "Ew!" Right? I understand, really I do. When I told my boyfriend I was making chopped liver that was exactly his reaction and he's Jewish so I can imagine what its like for people not accustomed to the delicacy! Anyways in honor of Passover I've decided to make chopped liver not feel like chop liver. Get it?

In all seriousness I've always liked chopped liver. Well maybe not when I was little, but my Grandma always puts it out with crackers when company is over so I've become accustomed to the pate. For those of you who don't know what chopped liver is. Its sauteed liver, fried caramelized onions and hard boiled eggs all mixed together and chopped to a smooth consistency. Actually, to be accurate the consistency of chopped liver depends on who's making it and by what method its been chopped. Copped liver is going to be a lot creamier if made in a food processor versus by hand. As for the kind of liver used some people use chicken, others use beef and some use both. It also depends on where you live and how friendly you are with your butcher. Chicken liver is a lot easier to find and I've been told that it has a milder taste. I'm not sure how to describe it so I won't go there, but I would like to say that if you try chopped liver you'd probably like it.

I looked through three Jewish cookbooks and the Internet to find out the history of chopped liver and came up with nothing. All I can attribute it to is that it uses a ton of eggs and onion just like many other Jewish dishes. So maybe people just wanted another way to use eggs. I don't get it, but to make a Passover Seder you really need around 3 dozen eggs!

I generally go home for Passover and since I wasn't able to this year I decided to take a shot at making this traditional Jewish appetizer. I'm gonna admit that it was a little scary. I'm not a big fan of working with meat of any kind and this is liver we're talking about. I'm also not going to attempt a recipe, because even though mine tasted how it should, I was surprised. I also didn't follow an exact recipe. My Grandma's recipe uses beef and I wasn't able to find that in the supermarket so I went with the container of Perdue chicken livers. I'm also not sure how she'd feel about me putting her recipe on the Internet because for all I know if could be a guarded recipe. Don't laugh I've been told that my Great, Great Grandmother cooked for the King of Austria. Actually, my mother just told me that it was my Great Grandmother Sophie on the other side of the family that cooked for the King and she used chicken liver. My Great, Great, Grandmother Leah is the one that used beef liver and she had a catering company. Apparently, beef liver was very expensive back in the day. Anyways, the worst part by far was cooking the livers (they aren't pretty), but once they hit the pan the consistency and color quickly changed. Afterwards, I just popped everything in the food processor and it was done. Spread it on some matzoh and daliver's delicious!

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