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Archive for Chanukah

GIFTS OF THE DAY: Artisan Honey, Spicy Honey

SAVANNAH BEE COMPANY ARTISAN HONEYS

Anything from this wonderful company makes a great gift, including the honey beauty products. Since 2002, we’ve been avid customers.

The company gathers varietal honeys:

  • Acacia Honey
  • Lavender Honey
  • Orange Blossom
  • Rosemary Honey
  • Sourwood Honey
  • Tupelo Honey
  •  
    They’re sold in different sizes, with prices varying slightly by varietal. These prices are for the tupelo honey:

  • 3 ounce jars, $15.00 for a two-jar package
  • 12-ounce jar, $22.00, 12-ounce pump top jar, $27.00
  • 20-ounce flute, $38.00
  • 80 ounces (for foodservice, unless you eat a heck of a lot of honey), $150
  •  
    You can’t go wrong with anything, but if you need a recommendation:
     
    FOR ANYBODY: WHIPPED HONEY

  • In Original, Chocolate, Cinnamon or Lemon. The cinnamon version is nicely seasonal; the chocolate flavor is a must for chocolate lovers. There are also samplers.
  • This creamy honey spreads like butter. We especially like it for breakfast with toast or spooned into oatmeal or tea.
  • Anyone who has a jar may or may not admit to eating it by the spoonful as a snack.
  • A 12-ounce jar is $16.55, two 3-ounce jars are $12.00 (put one jar each into each of two stockings).
  •  
    FOR THE CONNOISSEUR: TUPELO HONEY

       

    Savannah Bee Whipped Honey

    Savannah Bee Tupelo Honey

    [1] Whipped honey: spreadable in four luscious flavors. [2] Tupelo honey: 12-ounce jar, 20-ounce flute, 3-ounce jar (photos courtesy Savannah Bee).

     
    Tupelo honey is “the gold standard by which all other honey varieties are measured,” says company founder Ted Dennard. “It’s like a thick, slow-moving river of liquid sunshine.”

    For two weeks each spring, white tupelo trees in the Southeastern swamps bloom with flowers that glisten with nectar. The bees flock to the blossoms. The result: tupelo honey with its buttery undertones and mellow, clean sweetness.

    Tupelo honey complements numerous foods, and it’s definitely another one of those “eat from the spoon” delights.

    The entire line is certified kosher by KSA. Just try some on those latkes!

    NOTE: The honeys recommended here have nothing to do with “supermarket honey,” which is gathered overseas from many sources and blended to create a profile that will appeal to the lowest common denominator (with all due respect).
     
    THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF HONEY

    THE HISTORY OF HONEY

     

    Bee's Knees Honey

    Bee's Knees Spicy Honey

    Oh honey: The spicy honey is one of our favorite new [to us] products of the year (photos courtesy Bushwick Kitchen).

      SOME LIKE IT HOT: CHILE PEPPER-INFUSED HONEY & OTHER SPECIAL FLAVORS

    Sugar with spice is certainly nice. We love the palate buzz that comes with the chile-infused honey from Bushwick Kitchen.

    Wildflower honey from New York State’s Hudson Valley is infused with fresh chiles in Brooklyn, delivering a New York state of mind that we love.

    The artisans also produce Meyer Lemon Honey and Salted Honey, flavored maple syrups and other products that we hope to try soon. Take a look at Bushwick Kitchen.

    The honey we’ve had several times (and loved so much we didn’t sufficiently pay attention to the other flavors) is the Bee’s Knees Spicy Honey. The honey is first infused, and for a finishing touch a single red chile is suspended in the bottle.

    This charmer of a hot honey condiment goes well with…

  • Berries and other fresh fruits
  • Beverages, including hot and iced tea, club soda and cocktails
  • Cakes and other baked goods
  • Cheese and charcuterie plates
  • Chicken and other poultry
  • Croissants, muffins and toast
  • Ice cream and sorbet
  • Ribs
  • Sandwiches and crostini
  •  
    A 13½-ounce squeeze bottle is $15.95 at King Arthur Flour.

    But we bet your bottle won’t last the week. So…

    A gift set of all three bottles is $44.99 at Bushwick Kitchen.

    Honey Trivia: Honey is the oldest edible food, found in the tomb of a pharaoh. It doesn’t decay because it has virtually no moisture. That’s also why it was used to dress wounds in ancient times: No bacteria could survive to infect the injury.

    MORE HONEY TRIVIA

     

      

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    FOOD FUN: Snowman Cake Or Cookies

    Snowman Cake

    Melted Snowman Cookies

    Snowman cake. This is actually a stacked cookie from Lila Loa, but we baked three cake layers instead. [2] Melting Snowman cookies (photo courtesy Pillsbury; here’s the recipe).

     

    If you don’t celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, or other year-end holiday, you can still have a special seasonal cake.

    Make one with a nonsectarian snowman or snowflake motif. These work for New Year’s Eve, too (perhaps with a sparkler or two).

    Snowmen are easier; snowflakes require some serious piping chops.

    This photo is actually a stacked cookie from Lila Loa. We love the idea.

    But we needed a cake. So we baked and stacked three graduated cake layers.

    We made lemon pound cake* layers with coconut frosting (vanilla frosting topped with coconut).

    Of course, carrot cake, chocolate cake, red velvet or any flavor you prefer would be just as nice.

    MORE TASTY SNOWMEN

  • Snowman California Rolls (sushi)
  • Snowman Cheese Ball
  • Snowman Fruit Bowl
  • Melting Snowman Cookies
  • Snowman Cupcakes
  • Snowman Latte
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    ________________
    *We wanted a dense, easy-to-cut cake rather than an airy one with a delicate crumb.

     
      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Instant Holiday Ice Cream

    Christmas Ice Cream

    Turn any flavor into “Christmas” ice cream with red and green sanding sugar. If you want to save calories, check out Halo Top: our favorite of the low-calorie ice creams with just 240 calories for the entire pint. And it has extra protein—really! Here’s our review (photo courtesy Halo Top),

     

    When you hear “Christmas ice cream,” you probably think of candy cane (a.k.a. peppermint stick) ice cream.

    We love it and gobble it up over the holiday season. But not everyone is a mint fan.

    So here’s the easiest way ever to serve Christmas ice cream:

    Sprinkle colored sanding sugar over the top.

    Sanding sugar, also called colored sugar, decorating sugar, nibbed sugar, pearl sugar or sugar nibs, is coarse granulated sugar.

    It’s processed to have larger granules that sparkle, and is used to decorate candies, cookies, cupcakes, sweet breads and other baked goods. You can find it in white as well as a rainbow of colors.
     
    SPRINKLE YOUR HOLIDAY COLORS

    For Christmas, sprinkle red and green sugars on ice cream.

    For Chanukah, get blue and white sugars.

    For Kwanzaa, get black, red and green.

    For New Year’s Eve: gold and silver.

     
    Use the colors of any special occasion for an instant celebration dessert.

    You can find sanding sugar in some supermarkets, baking supply stores and online sites like TheBakersKitchen.net. Here’s their selection of colored sugars.

    CHECK OUT THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF SUGAR IN OUR SUGAR & SYRUP GLOSSARY.

     
      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Holiday Bundt Cakes

    Classic Bundt Cake With Topping

    Chai Spice Bundt

    Gingerbread Bundt Cake

    Orange Bourbon Pound Cake

    Red Velvet Stained Glass Bundt Cake

    Maple Leaf Mini Cakes

    Here’s the current selection of dozens of bundt pan designs. [1] Classic bundt served with bourbon pecan sauce (photo courtesy Spice Islands). [2] Pumpkin cake in the Elegant Party Bundt pan. [3] Gingerbread Cake in the Elegant Party Bundt. [5] Orange Bourbon Cake in the Heritage Bundt Pan ( (photos [3], [4] and [5] courtesy King Arthur Flour).[4] Red Velvet cake in the Stained Glass Bundt (photo courtesy Nordicware). [6] Maple Leaf Pan for cakelets or muffins (photo courtesy Nordicware)

     

    You don’t have to know how to decorate a cake to put a lovely one on the table. That’s one of the reasons bundt cakes are so popular.

    Although a classic bundt pan (photo [1] is always lovely, Nordicware, inventor of the bundt pan, produces many elegant bundt pan designs, plus charming seasonal designs. We can’t help ourselves: Every couple of years, we buy another one.

    This year it’s the Turkey Bundt Pan (how could we resist). Last year it was the Elegant Party Bundt (photo [2]): The flutes are narrower, creating smaller slices with no fuss. We’ve come to prefer it to the Classic Bundt Pan.

    Fall themes include:

  • Autumn Wreath, with acorns and leaves wreath
  • Tom Turkey, a stand-up stunner you can use as a centerpiece
  • Many others, including loaf pans, mini loaves and cakelets
  •  
    We looked at the entire selection, and found these styles to be fall-appropriate, including Chanukah and Christmas:

  • Crown Bundt Pan
  • Diamond Cut Bundt Pan
  • Harvest Leaves Bundt Pan
  • Heritage Bundt Pan (giant swirls, photo [3])
  • Jubilee Bundt Cake (crown-like)
  • Kugelhof Bunt Pan, the classic European turban shape that led to the creation of the Bundt
  • Stained Glass Bundt Pan
  • Star Of David Bundt
  • Vaulted Cathedral Bundt Pan
  • Vintage Star Bundt Pan 
  •  
    HOLIDAY BUNDT RECIPES

    These recipes are from King Arthur Flour, the source for the finest baking ingredients and recipes.

    Be sure to read the tips from customers who have made the recipes (scroll to the bottom of each page).

  • Apple Spice Cake
  • Butter Rum Walnut Cake
  • Caribbean Rum Cake
  • Chai Spiced Pound Cake
  • Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cake
  • Gingerbread Bundt Cake
  • Maple Pound Cake With Mable Rum Glaze
  • Orange Cranberry Nut Fruit Cake
  • Orange Pound Cake With Bourbon Glaze
  • Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake
  • Rum Glazed Eggnog Cake
  •  
    In the words of The Great British Baking Show: Ready, Set, Bake!

    RECIPE: GINGERBREAD BUNDT CAKE

    This recipe from King Arthur Flour fills a 10- or 12-cup bundt pan.

    Ingredients For The Cake

  • 2-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons gingerbread spice*
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1-1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 cup water
  •  
    Ingredients For The Glaze

  • 1/3 cup rum or water
  • 1/2 teaspoon gingerbread spice; or 1/4 teaspoon ginger and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  •  
    __________________
    *Blend your own: 2-1/2 teaspoons ginger, 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon cloves and 1/2 teaspoon allspice.
    __________________
     
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 10- to 12-cup bundt pan.

    2. WHISK together the flour, gingerbread spice, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a large bowl. Set aside.

    3. BEAT beat together the butter and sugar in a separate bowl, until fluffy.

    4. ADD the eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl after each addition. Stir in the molasses.

    5. ADD the flour mixture in three additions alternately with the water, starting and ending with the flour. Mix just until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top.

     

    6. BAKE the cake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. While the cake is baking…

    7. MAKE the glaze by stirring together the water spice and sugar. Set aside.

    8. REMOVE the cake from the oven, cool it in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a rack. Brush the cake with the glaze, and allow it to cool completely before serving.

     

    HISTORY OF THE BUNDT CAKE

    It started with a special cake pan, the Kugelhopf, from Vienna; but let’s begin a century later, with the modern bundt pan.

    The History Of The Bundt Pan

    The Bundt pan was created in 1950 by H. David Dahlquist, the founder of Minneapolis-based Nordic Ware, a manufacturer of kitchenware products. He did so at the request of Rose Joshua and Fannie Schanfield, members of the Minneapolis chapter of Hadassah, a Jewish women’s service organization.

    According to an article in the Fall 2005 issue of Generations, the newsletter of the Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest, Fannie remembers a Hadassah luncheon when Rose lamented the quality of light and fluffy American-style cakes, and longed for the rich, dense cakes of her European childhood. These, however, required a special type of of pan—one with a hole in the center that allowed heat to penetrate heavy cake batter from all sides.

    With this type of form, a heavier batter could be baked without leaving under-baked dough in the center. Fannie’s husband arranged a meeting with Dahlquist, and Rose joined her to show Rose’s mother’s ceramic kugelhopf cake pan. This became the prototype for the Bundt pan (a contemporary aluminum version of the kugelhopf is shown in the photo at the right).

    Dahlquist modified the design by introducing folds in the fluted edges, and fashioned the pan out of aluminum. Some months later, a dozen Nordic Ware factory “seconds” were delivered to Hadassah member Mary Juster’s home, and Hadassah sold the pans to members for $4.00 each.
     
    The History Of The Kugelhopf

    The original kugelhopf, a Viennese specialty, is a sweet yeast-bread similar to brioche and panettone; the traditional version usually contains yeast, raisins or currants and is topped by a snowy layer of powdered sugar. It was a favorite of the Austrian princess Marie Antoinette (yes, that Marie Antoinette).

    Over the years, denser cakes were baked in the same fluted molds. The original molds were earthenware; later molds were made of glass or metal. The name kugelhopf derives from the German word Kugel, meaning round or ball (“Kugelkopf,” with a “k,” means “spherical head”), although the actual kugelhopf somewhat resembles a pleated hat like a turban or toque.

    How The Bundt Got Its Name

     

    Kugelhopf Cake

    Iced Apple Spice Bundt Cake

    Vintage Star Gingerbread Bundt

    [7] The Kugelhopf [8] became the Bundt, [9] which engendered many different designs, like this Vintage Star limited edition (photos [7] and [9] courtesy Nordicware, photo [8] courtesy King Arthur Flour.

     
    The way the story is told, the name bundt comes from the German word bund, which means “community” or “a gathering of people”; and that Dahlquist just added the letter “t” to the end and trademarked the word. However, there is a citation for a “bundt form” as early as the 1903 edition of the famous Milwaukee Settlement Cookbook†, 63 years before Dahlquist filed for his trademark on March 24, 1966. One can imagine that the Jewish women of Milwaukee had the cookbook and asked for a bundt pan. Still, Dahlquist was granted the patent.

    In 1960, the Good Housekeeping Cookbook showed a pound cake baked in a Bundt pan; that feature turned the Bundt into the number-one selling cake pan in America. But it was the 1966 Pillsbury Bake-Off, where the Tunnel of Fudge Cake recipe baked in a Bundt won second place, that launched America’s love for Bundt cakes.

    While many Americans spell Bundt with a capital “B,” which is the correct German spelling, for the sake of consistency with English names (e.g. angel food cake, apple pie), we’ve decided to use the small “b.” The exception is with recipe names, e.g. Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake.
     
    __________________
    †In the 1903 Milwaukee Settlement Cookbook, “Bundt form” is found on page 319 in the following text (under BUNDT KUCHEN, No. 2): “Grease Bundt form (a heavy round fluted pan with tube in center) well, and flour lightly. Cream butter and sugar well, add beaten yolks and beat, then the raised mixture and the rest of the flour, and lastly the beaten whites. Pour in pan, let rise until very light, and bake until well done and brown in a moderately hot oven, about forty-five minutes.” (Read details of the Settlement Cookbook source material). The Settlement Cookbook, first published in 1901 in Milwaukee to raise funds for the Settlement House for immigrants, is considered to be the most successful fund-raising cookbook in American history. It is still in print; the 1976 edition was named to the James Beard Cookbook Hall of Fame.

      

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    RECIPE: Chicken Liver Crostini…Or Maybe Foie Gras

    Chicken Liver Crostini

    Chicken Livers On Baguette Toast

    Torchon With Toasted Baguette

    Dartagnan Foie Gras Torchon

    [1] This recipe from Emiko Davies at Honest Cooking is popular in Tuscany (it also contains mushrooms). [2] Food Network adds a garnish of chopped hard-boiled egg and sliced radishes (recipe). Other colored vegetables also work, from asparagus and coronations to grape tomatoes. [3] A torchon of foie gras with toasted baguette (photo courtesy Elle France). [4] You can purchase a ready-to-eat torchon from D’Artagnan.

     

    Crostini and bruschetta have entered the American mainstream over the past 20 years (here’s the difference).

    At better restaurants, a bowl of soup is often served with a side or floating garnish of crostini, which can be simple toasted baguette slices (or other bread) and a side of butter or other spread; or topped with anything from cheese (blue, brie, feta, goat) to mashed avocado and bean purée.

    As millions of Americans get ready to enjoy the customary chopped liver Rosh Hashanah dinner, take a detour from the customary on saltines, rye or pumpernickel. Make chicken liver crostini.

    You can make them with store-bought chopped chicken liver or mousse, but we always keep the tradition going with our Nana’s recipe.

    Nana served her chopped liver with Nabisco saltines or Stoned Wheat Thins. When we were young, Mom had moved beyond those to party pumpernickel and [homemade] rye toasts.

    Other families prefer triangles of white toast or rye bread. We like baguette crostini or (for a chopped liver sandwich) rye bread.

    At Passover, chopped liver is served with matzoh.

    Crostini is the Italian name for croutons—not American salad croutons, but small size pieces of toast like a sliced, toasted baguette or a similar Italian loaf. They’re splendid with chopped liver, and are commonplace in Italy as a base for chopped liver.
     
    A BRIEF HISTORY OF CHOPPED LIVER

    European chopped chicken liver dates back perhaps 3,000 years. The chicken, which originated in [take your pick—the jury is still out] Africa, China or the Middle East, didn’t get to Western Europe until about 1000 B.C.E.

    You can bet that every part of the bird was used, including the innards. We’ve seen some European recipes that of the chopped the liver liver together with the heart and gizzard, no doubt as their ancestors did.
     
    CHOPPED LIVER FOR EVERYONE!

    Many Americans think of chopped chicken liver as Jewish cooking, served at holidays and special events. But it’s also served by European Christians.

    In Tuscany, Crostini di Fegatini (chicken liver crostini) is on every Christmas table—made by nonna (grandma), or with her recipe, and spread on crostini. As in Jewish households, its served for every birthday dinner or special occasion meal, and can be found on “the menu of literally every trattoria in Tuscany,” per Emiko Davies, a food writer and photographer specializing in Italian cuisine.

    Here’s her recipe, adapted from one of those Tuscan trattorias.

    On the opposite side of the country, in Venice, the recipes use butter and calves liver. In France, heavy cream and cognac (no surprise there!).
     
    OUR VERY FAVORITE: FOIE GRAS CROSTINI

    As much as we love Nana’s chicken liver, for us the ultimate chicken liver crostini is not chicken liver at all, but a slice of a duck liver torchon or terrine (a.k.a. foie gras) on toasted brioche.

    The liver comes fully prepared, with nothing to do except slice it and make the crostini.

    If you’re used to spending on good steaks, you can afford it. A 5-ounce torchon (good for 10 or more slices) is $39.99 and a 1-pound torch is $99.99, at Dartagnan.com.

    It makes a lovely gift for a foie-gras (or chopped liver) lover.
     
    FUN WITH CHICKEN LIVER CROSTINI

    In addition to room temperature chopped liver on crostini, you can also serve crostini topped with warm sautéed chicken livers and onions. Just slice the livers into pieces after sautéing.

    For some food fun, serve a duo of chicken liver crostini as an appetizer: one with chopped liver, one with sautéed liver.

    What’s the difference between an appetizer and an hors d’oeuvre? See below.

     
    RECIPE #1: NANA’S CHOPPED CHICKEN LIVER CROSTINI

    This recipe calls for schmaltz, rendered chicken fat. Some European cultures use butter, cream or olive oil. Just keep to these fats.

    We once were served chopped chicken liver at a Passover seder, made with mayonnaise! The guest who brought it must not have been able to find or make schmaltz. We will never forget that taste (think of pastrami or corned beef with mayonnaise). Oy.

    Prep time is 20 minutes, cook time is 10 minutes, plus optional chilling time. Nana insisted on making the liver at least a half-day in advance, to allow the flavors to meld in the fridge.

    Chopped Liver Consistency

    Depending on the preferences of the cook, chopped liver can be coarse, medium, or blended into a mousse-type consistency with some extra fat.

    Our preference is medium-to-mousse, but cooks with less time can go rustic. It’s just as tasty; we just a finer texture on the palate.

    Ingredients

  • 2 pounds fresh chicken livers, rinsed and patted try
  • 1 cup rendered chicken fat (schmaltz—recipe below)
  • 2 cups yellow onions, medium to fine dice
  • 4 extra-large eggs, hard-cooked and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • Optional: 1/2 to 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary or thyme leaves (or more parsley
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  •  
    Preparation

    1. CHECK the livers and remove any fat or membrane. Heat a large sauté or fry pan to medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons of rendered chicken fat and add the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden but not brown—about 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the onions to a large plate and wipe out the pan.

    2. COOK the livers 1 pound at a time. Place the livers in the same pan in a single layer, and season them with salt and pepper. Add three more tablespoons of fat and turn the heat to high. When the fat begins to shimmer, place the livers in the pan in a single layer. Cook the livers for 2 to 2-1/2 minutes per side until browned, turning once. You want to to get the insides just pink. Never overcook liver!

    3. TRANSFER the livers to the plate with the onions and repeat with the second pound of livers and 3 more tablespoons of fat. Let the cooked livers to cool on a platter.

    4. CHOP the livers and onions to your desired consistency. If you don’t have great knife skills, the time-honored Jewish technique is to use a mezzaluna and a wooden chopping bowl. You can buy them as a set, but it’s much easier—and less expensive—to use a double-blade mezzaluna and purchase a separate 12″ wood bowl. You can use the mezzaluna to chop vegetables or anything else; and the wood bowl doubles as a salad bowl, chip bowl, etc.

    Don’t plus in a food processor without experimenting to see if you can get the consistency you want (it could end up like mousse). If you do use a processor, pulse in small batches so the bottom won’t liquefy before the top ingredients are well chopped.

    5. ADD the chopped eggs, herbs, seasonings and the remaining chicken fat to the bowl. Toss to combine. If you want a finer consistency, continue chopping. Refrigerate until ready to use.
     
    ________________
    *You can substitute turkey livers. Here’s a party-size recipe from the New York Times.

     

    MAKE THE RECIPE YOUR OWN

    If you love chopped liver as much as we do, play around with the recipe and see which suits you. Some people like less hard-boiled egg mixed in; others leave it out of the liver and use it as a garnish on top. Some people like more herbs and onions, some people prefer less.

    Some people like the Italian custom of adding wine or fortified wine, the addition of fresh sage and garlic, and shallots instead of yellow onions.

    Our favorite chopped liver appetizer preparation is our own Four-Onion Chopped Liver Crostini: chopped liver and onions (the basic recipe above), with a garnish of caramelized onions, some pickled onions on the side (red onions or cocktail onions), and a plate garnish of minced chives. Wowsa!
     
    Optional Mix-Ins

    Don’t use them all at once to find your ideal chopped liver recipe. Test small batches to see what you prefer.

    After you cook one or two pounds of livers, divide the batch and add the additional flavors you want to try.

    Some of the following are Italian touches; others were incorporated to Jewish-style chopped liver we’ve had along the way. If add adding wine or spirits, add them the last few minutes of cooking the livers.

  • 1/4 cup reconstituted dried mushrooms or sautéed fresh mushrooms, both finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons pancetta, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves minced sautéed garlic
  • Heat: a pinch cayenne or chipotle powder, splash of hot sauce, etc.
  • Wine or spirits: 2 tablespoons dry white wine, port, madeira, marsala, sherry, vin santo; or 1 tablespoon brandy or 80-proof spirit
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar or lemon juice
  • Crunch: ½ stalk celery or 1/2 large carrot, finely chopped
  •  
    Optional Garnishes

  • Apple or fig slicet
  • Baby arugula
  • Caramelilzed onions (delish!)
  • Chutney, fig or sour cherry jam, etc.
  • Coarse sea salt, plain or flavored
  • Cornichons, halved
  • Cress, microgreens or sprouts
  • Fresh herbs: parsley, sage, thyme
  • Hard-boiled eggs or yolks only (for more color), chopped
  •  
    ________________
    †Aside from a garnish, you can create bottom layer of sliced apple or fig, with the chicken liver on top.

    RECIPE #2: HOW TO RENDER CHICKEN FAT

    Plan ahead: Save the uncooked chicken fat and skin you trim from chicken instead of throwing them away. Freeze them, and when you have enough, defrost and you’re ready to render.

  • You can also get chicken fat—often free—from butchers, who throw it away (except kosher butchers, who know their customers will buy it). Ask at your butcher shop or supermarket meat department.
  • You can also collect the fat from homemade chicken soup. Refrigerate it and skim the solid fat that rises to the top. It won’t be a whole lot, but every few tablespoons count.
  • You can see the entire process in photos from Tori Avey (who uses a slightly different recipe than we have here).
  •  
    Get Ready To Enjoy Gribenes

    The by-product of rendering the skin for fat are cracklings: crispy pieces of chicken skin. In Yiddish they’re called gribenes (grih-beh-NESS) or grieven (GREE-vin), which means “scraps” in Hebrew.

    They’re a prized treat to eat on potatoes or anything else. When a whole chicken is being used for soup and the skin isn’t needed (it just adds fat that needs to be skimmed off later), it can be cut into strips for gribenes. Cooked with sliced onions, the result is memorable.

    Ready to render?
     
    Ingredients For 1/2 Cup Or More‡

  • 8 ounces chicken fat and/or raw skin, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  •  
    ________________
    ‡Rendering fat only produces more schmaltz than rendering fat with skin.

    Preparation

     

    Chopped Liver With Caramelized Onions

    Chopped Chicken Livers

    Chicken Liver Crostini With Chutney

    Chicken Liver Mousse

    Chicken Liver Mousse

    [5] This double garnish from StaceySnacksOnline.com is a dynamite combination of caramelized onions and fresh sage. [6] Arugula garnish (photo courtesy DailyLife.com.au. [7] Kings uses a garnish of baby sage and cranberry sauce or chutney (the recipe). [8] Chef Craig Wallen whips the livers into mousse consistency and garnishes the crostini with coarse sea salt (the recipe; photo by Stephanie Bourgeois). [9] Alton Brown serves DIY crostini, with individual ramekins of chicken liver mousse and a side of toasts. His recipe uses cream and cognac (photo courtesy Food Network).

     
    1. COMBINE the chicken fat and any skin in a small saucepan, along with the thyme, garlic and water. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-low heat.

    2. COOK until the fat has rendered (liquefied) and the skin pieces are crispy, about 35 to 45 minutes. As liquid fat fills the pan, drain it into a measuring cup or other vessel; the gribenes will take longer to get crisp.

    3. EAT the gribenes as soon as possible after they come out of the pan. Don’t refrigerate; they’ll go limp. These delicious cracklings can be eaten with potatoes, garnish a salad or chicken/turkey sandwich, grits or polenta, etc. Both Nana and Mom ate them straight from the pan.

    4. COOL the chicken fat slightly, then strain it into a lidded jar. It will keep for up to one week, maybe longer.
     
     
    FOOD 101: THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN APPETIZERS & HORS D’OEUVRE

    The terms are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference:

    Hors d’oeuvre (there’s no extra “s” in French: it’s the same spelling singular or plural), pronounced or-DERV, refers to finger food, such as canapés, served with drinks prior to the meal. The name means “outside the work,” i.e., not part of the main meal.

    French hors d’oeuvre were traditionally one-bite items, artistically constructed. Today, the category of has expanded to mini quiches, skewers, tarts; baby lamb chops; stuffed mushrooms, etc.

    An appetizer is a first course, served at the table and in larger portions. While you can plate multiple hors d’oeuvres as an appetizer,

    What about crackers and cheese, crudités and dips, salsa and chips, and other popular American foods served with pre-dinner drinks? Since they are finger foods, you can call them hors d’oeuvre. American hors d’oeuvre.

      

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