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.