Do you remember the commercial from years ago whereby the gorgeous woman (Kelly LeBrock) states, “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful?”. That always made me laugh. Why? Because…too late! Hate you already! Anyway, now it’s my turn to say to you, “Don’t hate me because I love liver.”
Hello? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
Yeah, that’s what I thought. I can count on one hand the number of people I know that like liver. I’m talking chicken liver not beef or any other animal liver. Just plain ol’ chicken liver. My mom would fry it up and serve it along side of gnocchi with pesto sauce. Yummy. My whole family loved that meal. So I guess that if you eat it when you’re young and don’t have any siblings simulating vomiting sitting next to you, you’ll be ok.
Mr. Fae always hated liver and would shake his head every time I would order a pâté as an appetizer when we would dine out. Or I would order a special dinner at a restaurant long closed now called Spaughi’s. It was chicken livers fried up and put into a special sauce called Family Sauce. I’ve searched high and low on the www and can’t find it. Poor me.
Anyway, I tried this recipe years ago and made it regularly because it was the one way I could get Mr. Fae to eat liver. The only way. Recently, Fairie asked me if we ate organ meat as prescribed by a certain diet we’re on. I had to laugh because Mr. Fae had mentioned that he might like to try fried livers because ‘they’re good for you’ recently as well. And, by the way, I made him his fried livers and he ate the entire container, short of one or two that I snuck out before giving him the platter.
Come to the dark side…..
Please do yourself a favor. Make this. Give it a shot. It is muy yummy on toasted bagette slices or crackers or cucumber slices. Dip your crudités into it. Or just stick a spoon into it and enjoy!
Make this one day before serving.
If you’ve never cooked livers before here are a few tips to help. First, drain and rinse under cold water all the livers using a colander. With a sharp paring knife, cut off all pieces of fat still attached to the liver. Cook and then dice 8 slices of bacon reserving grease if you bake your bacon. Drain bacon on paper towels. Transfer grease to pan and saute’ livers in it. Cook until very little pink is left inside. Transfer cooked livers to a bowl and reserve. Pour brandy into pan and let cook, scrapping up browned bits left over. Add cream to pan and let simmer until one cup of liquid is left. Using the food processor, chop up onion then add livers and brandy/cream mixture. Blend until smooth. Add spices and mayonnaise. Then add the walnuts, parsley and bacon, blending until just mixed together. Pour into container and refrigerate overnight.
Pate Mousse with Bacon and Walnuts
- 8 slices bacon, diced
- 1 pound chicken livers
- ½ cup brandy
- ¾ cup heavy or whipping cream
- 1 medium-size yellow onion, chopped
- ¼ cup Hellmann’s mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- Large pinch ground nutmeg
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
- Crumbled crisp bacon and chopped fresh Italian parsley, or whole walnut meats and chopped parsley (garnish)
1. One day before serving, fry the diced bacon in a medium-size skillet until crisp. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
2. Sauté the livers in the hot bacon fat over medium-high heat until brown on the outside but still pink inside, 4 or 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and reserve.
3. Pour the brandy into the skillet over medium heat and stir, scraping loose browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the cream and heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer until reduced to about 1 cup.
4. Process the livers, onion, and reduced cream in a food processor fitted with a steel blade until smooth.
5. Add the mayonnaise, thyme, nutmeg, salt to taste, and lots of pepper. Process until smooth. Add the diced bacon, walnuts, and 3 tablespoons parsley and process just until blended.
6. Transfer the liver mixture to a crock or decorative serving dish and refrigerate covered overnight to allow the flavors to blend.
7. Garnish the pate with crumbled bacon and parsley or walnuts and parsley. Serve with crusty bread or assorted crackers.
Recipe courtesy of Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins; Silver Palate