HELPING FAMILY FARMS FLOURISH. HELPING FEED THE HUNGRY.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Episcopalian Chopped Liver



        For my final Chewing the Fat post of the year, I wanted to share a recipe I developed about 25 years ago.  It appeared in Saveur magazine and if you google it, you’ll find it on several of recipe sites.  To me, what’s odd is that there’s no explanation on any of these sites that gives any indication of why it is called what it is.  The Saveur article gave the whole tale but neither the recipe nor the story (nor its author, by the way), made it onto www.saveur.com  So here is the tale and the recipe.  I just made it for our Holiday Open House and once again, it was a huge hit. 
“Among the delicacies of Jewish American cooking, chopped liver is surely one of the greatest.  Its ingredients are humble:  Chicken livers, onions, eggs, salt, pepper and schmaltz.  As anyone with a knowledge of Jewish American idiom will tell you, schmaltz and its adjectival schmaltzy  means something that is over-done, over-decorated, over-emotional, over-the-top.  Schmaltz is chicken fat.  And when you put it together with the other ingredients in chopped liver, you have an appetizer that is unquestionably over the top.   It is a marvelous taste, rich and satisfying and rivaling any great pate.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Savory Ham and Cheese Bread

          We’ve had the most wonderful Christmas and now we are virtually housebound, there having been a significant snowfall on the East End of Long Island the day after Christmas.  The snow has stopped but the wind is blowing and the eight or so inches of the white stuff are making driving treacherous.   At some point, someone will have to explain to me why a car made in Bavaria is so useless in the snow.  It’s just not in its genes.   So we are making do with the contents of our larder and our freezer and since we are Costco shoppers par excellence, we would likely not starve until after Memorial Day.  And Lord knows, above all, we’ve got ham.  This recipe is my gift to the 123 people who have received  Monte's HamTM this holiday season and for those of you whose ham is still to come, even the leftovers are really something to look forward to.  And special thanks to all our customers who've written us such incredible testimonials to the goodness of our ham.  We really appreciated every message we've received. 
        Amongst our Christmas gifts are a whole new library of cookbooks. Few things are more rewarding to me than reading these books cover to cover.   Then I go back and cook whatever truly appealed to me.  In the case of Dorie Greenspan’s “around my french table” (Houghton Mifflin
Harcourt 2010), I never got past page 34 before I headed into the kitchen to make a ‘cake sale’, or savory cake.    According to Dorie, anything baked in a loaf pan is a ‘cake’ in France.  And ‘sale’ means salty (apologies to all, I do not have a accented “e” to correctly spell the word). At any rate this bread is so good and so easy to make that I wanted to share it with you—especially those who have Monte’s HamTM leftovers on hand.  This is a truly an inspired way to use it.