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September 10, 2010

Chopped Liver with Schmaltz and Gribenes

I grew up on chopped liver, from Grandmom’s to my favorite Jersey diner’s version (on one of those crazy traffic circles) but I never really saw chopped liver for the gourmet item it is. It’s rich, so it is not everyday fare, but so delicious that I find a reason to eat it now and again. The Jewish New Year or Rosh Hashanah is the perfect time to celebrate Yiddish Cuisine and break out the family favorites. This recipe is quick and delicious!

Grandmom had a few rules for making this dish. Use chicken livers that have never been frozen. Chicken liver only, no other kind.

Use schmaltz, which is rendered goose or chicken fat. Gribenes (literally, “scrapings” in Yiddish) which is crispy chicken skin makes a nice garnish. So do Kosher dill pickles and pickled beets.

Hand chop the ingredients. Grandmom would never think  of using a machine! The texture should be coarse, akin to a rustic pate du campagne, not smooth like a purée.

Chopped Liver


Chopped Liver with Schmaltz and Gribenes
1 pound chicken livers
2 cups finely chopped white onion
3 hard boiled eggs
6 Tablespoons schmaltz
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Gribenes to garnish

Preheat broiler to 500°. Broil livers close to the heat for 3 minutes or so. Remove from the rack and chop finely.

Melt the schmaltz in a heavy skillet and sauté the onions until just browned. Add the chopped livers and sauté for one minute more.

Pour the onion and livers into a mixing bowl. Separately chop the eggs fine and add to liver mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Miix all together until well blended.

Chill before serving. We like this spread on crispy little toasts.

Try this recipe for chopped liver with a good chardonnay or another medium dry white wine.

Laura Cabot is an MF&L columnist and blogger, a French trained chef with a long career as a chef/restaurant owner, and president of Laura Cabot Catering in Waldoboro.


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