The Motherload!

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Over the years, I have tweaked, adjusted, and morphed my meatloaf into what is lovingly called meatload in my house. This is not your mother’s meat loaf, nor my mum’s for that matter. It is a dense, almost-terrine like version of the original that packs a herbaceous punch with a smokey backbone. More…

I am not exactly sure why, but many comfort foods out there have cheese or tomato sauce–or both. This is an issue for me as I am not a big fan of either. In fact, I really only eat smoked cheese. As for tomato sauce, I rarely use it and when I do, it is used rather conservatively. The thing is, I still like comfort food, so I lean towards the meat and potatoes side such as hearty Irish stew, braised short ribs over vegetable gravy, or a simple meatloaf over a bed of mashed potatoes adorned with sweet, vibrant carrots. And when I have not thought ahead but still need a reassuring meal, the latter is a perfect option.

Over the years, I have tweaked, adjusted, and morphed my meatloaf into what is lovingly called meatload in my house. This is not your mother’s meat loaf, nor my mum’s for that matter. It is a dense, almost-terrine like version of the original that packs a herbaceous punch with a smokey backbone. I have also rebranded mashed potatoes for my family’s taste with a few key ingredients: rosemary and white chocolate. The white chocolate was actually not my idea, I saw it in a magazine while sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, but it is a damn good one! The result is a blanket of scented creaminess that is still dense. And my carrots are are boiled in salted water and rosemary, and once cooked, finished with a knob of butter. Simple, familiar, and delicious. All in all, this meal is like a strong, warm hug from that big bear uncle, you know the one. It’s the perfect thing to brighten a bad day, but always welcome!

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Meatload with Rosemary Mashed Potatoes & Herb-infused Carrots

INGREDIENTS

Meatload Ingredients

  • 454 grams (16oz/1lbs) ground beef
  • 454 grams ((16oz/1lbs) turkey Italian sausage
  • 113 grams (4oz/1/2 cup) Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 slices of bacon

Rosemary Mashed Potatoes Ingredients

  • Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled & quartered
  • salt, for boiling potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary, minced
  • 2 ounces white chocolate, shaved
  • 57 grams (2oz/1/4 cup) of heavy cream
  • 57 grams (2oz/1/4 cup) of butter
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper

Herb-infused Carrots Ingredients

  • carrots, peeled and cut on diagonal
  • salt, for boiling carrots
  • 1 sprig of rosemary (or 2 of thyme)
  • 1 knob of butter
  • salt & pepper to taste

MISE EN PLACE

  1. Get meats and egg out of fridge. Set out loaf pan. Measure out bread crumbs and seasoning.
  2. Peel and quarter potatoes. Fill stock pot with water. Mince rosemary, shave (or cut) white chocolate. Measure out cream, butter, salt, and pepper.
  3. Fill medium sauce pan with water. Peel and cut carrots. Get out rosemary, butter, and salt and pepper.

STEP ONE
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix meats, bread crumbs, egg, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper until . Pack into loaf pan, making sure to press firmly removing any air pockets. Place bacon over the top, cutting as necessary. Cook until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit (1 to 1 1/2 hours). All to rest for 10 minutes (or more).

STEP TWO
When the meatload internal temp is at approximately 130 degrees, bring large stock pot to a boil. Add salt and potatoes. Turn down to a simmer and cook until tender. While waiting for potatoes to cook, in a small sauce pan over low heat, warm cream, butter, white chocolate, rosemary, salt, and pepper. When potatoes are done, drain and rice into large serving bowl. Pour cream mixture over riced potatoes and stir. Taste for seasoning.

STEP THREE
Once the potato water is at a boil, turn on the medium sauce pan to bring to a boil. Once there, add salt, carrots, and herb sprig(s). Turn down to cook at a simmer, checking for doneness periodically. Once done, drain, pick out any rosemary, and add butter to melt. Add pepper. Taste for seasoning.

STEP FOUR
Cut meatload into 1/2″ or 1″ slices. On a serving platter, place sliced meatload, potatoes, and carrots. Bring to the table, and dig in!

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Curry in a Hurry!

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For the most part, I love cooking. But there are some days when I just want to kick my feet up, sip on a hearty glass of wine, and enjoy the moment. Today was one of those days. But just because I was not in the mood to spend too much time in the kitchen did not mean that I did not want a robust dinner to match that full-flavored glass of vino. More…

For the most part, I love cooking. But there are some days when I just want to kick my feet up, sip on a hearty glass of zinfandel, and enjoy the moment; maybe even watch the sky fill with twinkling lights as the day turns into night. Today was one of those days. But just because I was not in the mood to spend too much time in the kitchen did not mean that I did not want a satisfying meal to match that full-flavored glass of vino.

One of my favorite no-fuss meals requires just a smidge of prep and then it is only a matter of sitting back patiently to reap the flavorful results. The funny thing about this recipe though it that it was the result of a fluke mishap in grocery shopping, or lack there of. I had forgotten to get some chicken to add to a basic Japanese curry and had no desire to venture out to get the missing ingredient as night was falling. My lovely daughter had told me at some point previously that she had started putting chickpeas (garbanzo beans) in her curry instead of potatoes and I always have a can or two on hand so I thought that might be a good protein replacement, but I still needed some bulk beyond the sweet carrots and tender onions. I took a look in the fridge to see what I might be able to steal from another planned meal later in the week (I am a fan of putting off today what I can do tomorrow; at least when it comes to grocery shopping). The cauliflower was yearning to be used and, if I am not mistaken, winked at me. And with that, a star was born–or at least a stellar meal!

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Cauliflower Curry in a Hurry

INGREDIENTS

FOR RICE

  • 1 cup of basmati rice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ghee
  • 1 1/2 cups of water

FOR SAUCE

  • 1 large organic sweet onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 1 29oz-can of garbanzo beans/chickpeas, drained
  • 1 small head of cauliflower, cut in florets
  • 6 medium carrots, peeled & cut in 1″ pieces
  • 1 3.5oz-packet of golden curry sauce mix, broken in pieces
  • 2 1/2 cups of water
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • fresh herbs, if desired
  • crispy onions, if desired

MISE EN PLACE

  1. Measure out rice, salt, ghee, and water for rice.
  2. Mince onion, drain chickpeas, cut cauliflower, peel and cut carrots, and mince herbs (if using)
  3. Break up curry block and measure out water for curry.
  4. Make sure ghee, salt, and pepper are within reach.

STEP ONE
To make this foolproof rice and quick and easy curry that is protein packed and loaded with fresh veggies, start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Once preheated, bring water for rice to a boil in a medium ovenproof sauce pan. Stir in rice, butter, salt and water. Cover and return to a boil. Put rice in oven and set timer for 15 minutes. Once done, remove from oven and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes (until sauce is done). Fluff.

STEP TWO
In a large sauce pan over medium heat, melt ghee. Add minced onion, cooking until tender and slightly golden(approx. 5 mins). Add cauliflower florets and 1″ carrot pieces. Cook for 5 minutes. Add water and bring to a boil. Add golden curry pieces. Stir to dissolve. Add chickpeas and stir. Lower heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until veg is tender (approx. 10 mins), stirring occasionally. Ladle sauce over prepared rice, and some fresh herb and crispy onion, and serve!

Makes four generous servings.

As you can see from the lack of steps, this curry in a hurry is not only quick, it is easy! But don’t let that make you think it might be lackluster. By using the golden curry sauce mix, the flavor is anything but boring. Personally, I like the hot golden curry sauce mix, but there is also mild and medium hot, and extra hot available. You can normally find it at your local grocery store in the ethnic/international aisle, but if not, you can also purchase through Amazon.com via the links above. And yes, I get a few pennies for your purchase, but whether you buy at your store or online, the most important thing is that you try it. The combination of ingredients marries so well in the curry. Because the curry cooks so quickly, there are no muddled flavors or textures. The carrots are sweet and chunky, the onion slightly caramelized and soft, the chickpeas have a slight chew, and the cauliflower is toothsome yet mellowed from its raw state. And when you pour this spicy mixture over fluffy, tender rice, everything visually pops–all your senses are engaged. As I sit here sipping the last few drops of my wine, I can’t help but wonder when the stars will align, and we–the cauliflower curry and I, that is–will meet again.

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On the Frittata Fence?

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I know how you feel! Frittatas were never my thing. In fact, until recently, I had never even made one at home. If you don’t believe me, you can read more about my egg adventures by clicking here. But that has all changed. I have broadened my horizons, and become a frittata lover. And not just because they taste so good. They also happen to be a perfect meal-on-the-cheap. And while their main gig is brunch, they can stand in for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! More…

I know how you feel!

Frittatas were never my thing. In fact, until recently, I had never even made one at home. If you don’t believe me, you can read more about my egg adventures by clicking here. But that has all changed. I have broadened my horizons, and become a frittata lover. And not just because they taste so good. They also happen to be a perfect meal-on-the-cheap. And while their main gig is brunch, they can stand in for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

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Yes, the humble frittata is extremely versatile–even in what you pair with it. You see, frittatas are the Garanimals of the food world. For every five or six eggs in your frittata, you simply mix and match about one cup of fillings and a handful of grated cheese–all based on your taste and what’s available in the fridge. Leftovers and eggs make for a really inexpensive culinary adventure. Every time I think I have found my favorite, I am surprised by a new combination and gobble it up with the excitement of a 1-year-old eating cake for the first time. I am not normally a second helping type of girl–just ask my husbandbut I now break that rule for frittatas (and Indian food, if I am being completely truthful)!

My favorite combo had been smoked ham with sauteed leeks and smoked Gruyere. But then a  few days ago, I made warm bacon, fennel, and Brussels sprouts over tagliatelle pasta with chicken liver alfredo sauce, which had leftover braised fennel and Brussels sprouts. I knew immediately that these veggies would play well with pancetta and, of course, smoked Gruyere. As luck would have it, our girls egg production has increased with the longer days, so six eggs was a drop in the basket.

Putting this light supper together was a snap. I simply cracked and whisked the eggs, added the accouterments, poured into a buttered fry pan, cooked over low heat until slightly giggly, and then popped in the oven until set. In the off chance you would like a more formal recipe, here it is:

Pancetta, Fennel, & Brussels Sprouts Frittata

INGREDIENTS

  • 5 or 6 free range eggs (depending on the size provided by your egg source)
  • 113 grams (4oz) of pancetta, precooked and crumbled
  • 1/2 cup (by volume) braised fennel & Brussels sprouts
  • 1/2 cup(by volume) of grated smoked Gruyere
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • knob of butter

MISE EN PLACE

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Get leftover veg braise out to bring to room temp.
  3. Cook pancetta.
  4. Crack and whisk eggs.
  5. Grate cheese.
  6. Get out butter, and make sure salt and pepper are within reach.

STEP ONE
Heat 8″ non-stick fry pan over low to medium-low heat. Add butter. Once butter is melted, add veg to reheat.

STEP TWO
Add whisked eggs, most of the meat and cheese, salt, and pepper. Slowly cook the mixture; gently but constantly stirring, making sure to scrap sides of pan as you go. Continue to stir until slightly giggly.

STEP THREE
Once slightly giggly, pop in oven until just set; approximately 5 minutes, but really dependent on your oven and how well done you like your eggs. Do keep in mind that they will continue to cook from residual heat after being removed from the oven.

STEP FOUR
Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes. At that point, you can run a spatula around the side of the pan and slip the frittata on to a cutting board to cut/portion. To serve, sprinkle a bit of the leftover pancetta and grated cheese on top of each slice.

Cook’s Notes
The addition of crusty grilled bread would be a nice complement at breakfast, while the grilled bread and a green salad would be satisfying lunch or dinner. I would also recommend that you try cooking for slightly less time than you think is appropriate. When the eggs are cooked to perfection, they are creamy; without being runny. But if you take the frittata out of the oven too late, the texture will become rubbery and lack the rich, velvety texture that makes this meal stand out.

Makes 4 servings.

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Meal Menagerie: Starring Cauliflower

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Every few weeks, we have a grocery standoff in my house. No one is interested in heading to the store, but we are all hungry. For the most part, when we do go grocery shopping, I plan the meals and make a detailed grocery list so that I do not have to frequent the store any more than necessary. This way of shopping helps keep down on wasted food, but does not lend itself to making meals up on the fly. So when we have a meal menagerie, where we have to put together a meal from what’s in the cupboard, it is a challenge akin to Chopped or Iron Chef except there is no time limit. More…

Every few weeks, we have a grocery standoff in my house. No one is interested in heading to the store, but we are all hungry. For the most part, when we do go grocery shopping, I plan the meals and make a detailed grocery list so that I do not have to frequent the store any more than necessary. This way of shopping helps keep down on wasted food, but does not lend itself to making meals up on the fly. So when we have a meal menagerie, where we have to put together a meal from what’s in the cupboard, it is a challenge akin to Chopped or Iron Chef except there is no time limit.

This week’s odd pairing consisted of orecchiette pasta, a head of cauliflower, a few slices of leftover bacon, Italian bread crumbs, and some herbs–nothing to outrageous. I put all the ingredients in front of me, trying to make sense of what to do. It started off simply enough. I decided to roast the cauliflower, but as I began to unwrap it, I changed my mind. I decided that I would fry up the bacon and then stir fry the cauliflower in the bacon drippings. But then I had an interesting thought. What if I took a potato peeler and shaved the cauliflower, and then braised those tender slivers in a pan with a knob of butter and some chicken stock? I decided it was worth investigating. It took a bit of work to shave the whole head, but was well worth it,  it looked like pristine albino truffles when I was done.

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The rest of the meal came together rather easily and I was more than happy with the results. The orecchiette provided a nice toothsome quality that I have not found in other pastas; chewy yet somehow creamy. The cauliflower provided a sweetness, and by braising it, a small amount of sauce to stick to the pasta. The bread crumbs stood in for grated cheese. The bacon provided some guts and smoke. But what pulled it together were the herbs. They took what otherwise may have seemed a heavy dish and brightened it up; making my first bite of tonight’s meal menagerie enchanting! And as I watched my 9-year-old eat her entire bowl of pasta containing more than two servings of veg without arguing about it, I realized this dish was pure magic!

Orecchiette with Cauliflower, Bacon, & Herbs

INGREDIENTS

  • 250 grams (8.8oz) of dried orecchiette
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • a knob of butter
  • chicken stock to almost cover cauliflower in pan
  • 4 sliced of smoked bacon
  • sprinkling of Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp of thyme, cut finely
  • 1 Tbsp of tarragon, cut finely
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp of salt for pasta water

MISE EN PLACE

  1. Cook bacon in the oven at 400 degrees until fully cooked.
  2. Fill large stock pot with water.
  3. Shave cauliflower.
  4. Get out butter, chicken stock,bacon, bread crumbs, salt, and pepper.
  5. Cut herbs finely.
  6. Slice cooked bacon into thin strips.

STEP ONE
Turn pasta water to high. Once boiling, add salt and dissolve. Cook according to package directions.

STEP TWO
Heat large fry pan over medium heat. Add butter. Once melted, add cauliflower. Once fully coated with butter, add chicken stock and simmer over low heat until tender. Season with salt and pepper.

STEP THREE
Using a spider/slotted spoon, add cooked pasta to cauliflower pan. Add bacon, a sprinkling of bread crumbs, and most of the herbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

STEP FOUR
Serve in wide bowls, adding a bit more bread crumbs and herbs to garnish.

Makes 4 generous servings.

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Po’ Boy with a Twist

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Recently, I decided to introduce liver into my meal repertoire. And the first dish I made was a surprising success. I had decided the best way to present it for all to enjoy was to…well…disguise it. I made a medley of warm bacon, fennel, and Brussels sprouts over tagliatelle pasta with chicken liver alfredo sauce. It worked; the disguise, that is. But no one was saying that they now loved liver–they didn’t even know liver was in the sauce until I told them. It was at this point that I realized that I needed to push it a bit farther. I still had half a pound of liver to play with, so I decided it was time to hit the kitchen and find my inspiration. More…

Recently, I decided to introduce liver into my meal repertoire. And the first dish I made was a surprising success. I had decided the best way to present it for all to enjoy was to…well…disguise it. I made a medley of warm bacon, fennel, and Brussels sprouts over tagliatelle pasta with chicken liver alfredo sauce. It worked; the disguise, that is. But no one was saying that they now loved liver–they didn’t even know liver was in the sauce until I told them. It was at this point that I realized that I needed to push it a bit farther. I still had half a pound of liver to play with, so I decided it was time to hit the kitchen and find my inspiration.

As luck would have it, we had a few things in the cupboard that were screaming to be made, and from my earlier research seemed a match made in heaven. I pulled out some rocket rolls and an onion. I then turned to the fridge and pulled out some mushrooms and spinach. At this point, my vision was clear: a Liver Po’ Boy. I set about making it happen.

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But before I spring the recipe on you, I have to tell you something in the spirit of full disclosure. This was the most painful meal I have ever made! No joke. Yes, the sauteed onions were perfectly caramelized, and the mushrooms plump and savory, with vibrant and perfectly-wilted spinach in addition to the main attraction having a delicate yet crispy crust with velvety interior. But the fact is, I burned the heck out of myself making the liver, and realized that I am not an expert on shallow pan frying. So be fair-warned, use a grease guard on this one! And maybe a glove. The grease spats like it’s pop rocks on the 4th of July–from beginning to end. So, if that didn’t put you off, here is the tasty, all-be-it dangerous, recipe in all its glory…

Liver Po’ Boy

INGREDIENTS

Filling

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 170 grams (6oz) of mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 handfuls of spinach
  • salt & pepper to taste

Liver

  • 227 grams (8oz) of liver
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp of smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp of kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp of freshly ground pepper

Extras

  • enough oil to shallow fry livers
  • 4 rocket rolls
  • salad greens, if desired

MISE EN PLACE

  1. Clean, remove stems, and slice mushrooms. Peel and slice onions. Grab two handfuls of pre-washed spinach. Make sure salt and pepper are within reach.
  2. Prep liver by removing sinew and odd bits, and chopping into similar-sized pieces, no more than an inch in size.
  3. Measure out the flour, paprika, salt, and pepper. Mix together in medium-sized bowl.
  4. Get out a large fry pan to cook filling in, and deep fry pan to cook liver in, and slice rocket rolls. Remove excess bread so that there is enough room for mushrooms, onion, spinach, and liver.

STEP ONE
Place little liver pieces in bowl of flour dredge.

STEP TWO
Heat large fry pan over medium heat and add oil. Add mushrooms and onions. Add a pinch of salt and some pepper. Cook until soft. Add spinach, turn down to low, and cook until wilted.

STEP THREE
Gently drop dredged liver pieces into oil and fry, turning over if needed. Cook until crisp on both sides; approximately 4 minutes total. To confirm that the liver is cooked, simply take one piece out and cut into.

STEP FOUR
Assemble the po’ boys by adding filling, the liver pieces, and them more filling into each rocket roll. Place over bed of greens. Serve and enjoy!

Makes 4 generous servings.

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The Offal Truth

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A couple of weeks ago, I was meandering through the aisles at the grocery store, when I passed by some packaged items in the the poultry section that caught my eye; chicken livers. Their brilliant hue of burgundy flesh was hard not to notice. As I investigated further, I was surprised at how reasonable the price was; less than $3 per pound. I had to know more. I went home and started looking online at how to prepare chicken livers, their nutritional value, and why they are not more popular. More…

A couple of weeks ago, I was meandering through the aisles at the grocery store, when I passed by some packaged items in the the poultry section that caught my eye; chicken livers. Their brilliant hue of burgundy flesh was hard not to notice. As I investigated further, I was surprised at how reasonable the price was; less than $3 per pound. I had to know more. I went home and started looking online at how to prepare chicken livers, their nutritional value, and why they are not more popular.

There are a few downsides to liver that I will get out of the way upfront. One: chicken liver is high in cholesterol so I would not recommend eating it daily, but as part of a well-rounded diet, they are near perfect. It is hard to find such a nutrient-packed offering of protein–7 grams per ounce–with so little fat and 75% of the vitamin A, almost 20% of the iron, and 0% carbohydrates; all wrapped up in only 47 calories. And this is in addition to providing 33% of the riboflavin, 15% of the niacin, 40% of the folate, 79% of the vitamin B12, and 33% of the selenium needed daily. And the cost for that same ounce is less than twenty cents. Talk about turning a frown upside down 🙂

The second issue has more to do with the prepping of the livers. Prepping chicken livers–or any livers for that matter–is not for the faint of heart. Removing the sinew and other offending bits can be a bit daunting for squeamish individuals (such as myself). I am not going to sugar coat it, it’s gross. And I don’t see it getting easier with practice. But the good news is that it doesn’t take much time at all. Before you know it, you will be done touching parts unknown and ready to start cooking.

The last issue with liver is–for many–it is an acquired taste, and texture. While I really would like to introduce this food into my mealplan every so often, I realize that not everyone is going to get on board the liver train. It was a challenge, but I realized that I needed to introduce liver in a more subtle way that removed some of the taste and textural issues from the equation. After coming up with several bad ideas, I eventually came upon one that I thought might work. It took advantage of the liver’s richness while removing its pastiness. It also mellowed its overall earthiness just enough to be pleasing to a teenager without dumbing down the essence of what makes liver appealing in the first place. The dish I came up with was a medley of warm bacon, fennel, and Brussels sprouts over tagliatelle pasta with chicken liver alfredo sauce.

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Each component played a part in the tasty outcome of this dish. The sweet, yet crunchy fennel paired well with the bitter shaved sprouts. The bits of bacon added a smokiness that seemed to bring out the best in the liver. When the meal was ready, I had a 17-year-old and a 19-year old try the dish without mentioning what type of sauce was so lovingly coating the noodles they were wolfing down–and they both loved it. Based on that alone, I consider this meal a rousing success!

Pasta with Chicken Liver Alfredo Sauce

INGREDIENTS

  • Enough milk to cover chicken livers
  • 227 grams (8oz) of chicken livers
  • Oil to coat fry pan, and as needed
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp thyme, minced
  • 1 Tbsp tarragon, minced
  • 2 Tbsp cream sherry
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 250 grams (8.8oz) of dried tagliatelle pasta
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp sea salt (for pasta water)
  • 114 grams (4oz) of double-smoked bacon, diced
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced thinly
  • 227 grams (8oz) of Brussels sprouts, peeled and almost shaved
  • 1 1/2 tsp of tarragon, minced
  • 57 grams (2oz) of panko

MISE EN PLACE

  1. Soak livers in milk for approximately 30 minutes.
  2. While livers are soaking, mince onion, garlic, thyme, and tarragon. Measure out sherry and butter.
  3. Fill stock pot with 4 to 5 quarts of water.
  4. Make sure oil, salt and pepper are within reach.
  5. Cut up bacon.
  6. Cut fennel bulb in half, rotate onto flat side, cut again so that you end up with four pieces of a pie, and slice thinly.
  7. Peel sprouts, cut in half, and slice (almost shaving) or use a mandolin.
  8. Mince additional tarragon and mix with panko and a pinch of salt and pepper.

STEP ONE
Drain liquid and pat the liver dry. Clean by removing stringiness, sinew, off colored bits, etc. Once done, cut pieces into similar sizes.

STEP TWO
Heat a large fry pan over medium heat. Add oil to coat pan. Add onion and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for approximately 5 minutes until soft, translucent, and starting to turn golden. Add liver and cook until starting to brown.

STEP THREE
Turn on stockpot burner to start heating the pasta water. When water is at a rolling boil, add salt, and pasta. Stir occasionally. Cook to package specs.

STEP FOUR
Add garlic to large fry pan with onions and livers and cook until fragrant. Add herbs and cook for a minute or so. Add sherry and cook until almost evaporated. Transfer to food processor and blitz until smooth. Set aside.

STEP FIVE
Using the same large fry pan, cook bacon bits over medium to medium-high until brown and crisped. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon  and set aside. Add fennel and cook until soft. Add Brussels sprouts. Cook until soft. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set veg aside.

STEP SIX
When pasta is within a minute or so of being done, scrape contents of food processor into large fry pan. Warm if necessary. Using  thongs or teethed spoon, add pasta from stock pot. Stir. Add pasta water as necessary to loosen sauce (approximately one ladle). Add 1/2 the cooked veg and 3/4 of the bacon to the fry pan as well. Stir to combine.

STEP SEVEN
Portion pasta dish in 4 large or 6 medium portions. Sprinkle with 1/4 more veg (leaving the rest for another recipe that I will be highlighting later in the week), panko/tarragon mixture, and remaining bacon bits. Serve, and enjoy!

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I would love to hear of any creative ways that you have made chicken livers, other livers, or offal, in general. I still have a half of a pound of livers to use…

UPDATE: To find out what I did with the other half pound of livers, click here!