Hands up all of you who know that tomorrow is the last day of the month. Okay, smarty-pants, you can put your hands down now. And you in the back? No one said to stand so stop showing off. After 50 years of operating under the Gregorian calendar on a daily basis you’d think I’d have this February thing down pat. Not so. Today I was happily making my recipe for +belleau kitchen's Random Recipe Challenge, for which the deadline is normally a couple of days before the end of the month. And I was thinking that I was cutting it close but would nip in under the wire. I finished cooking, and eating, and sat down to write this, first just heading over to Dom’s to make sure I had the link correct and saw to my horror that the February recipe round up boat had sailed.
Which makes me sad. So, let me share something with you that made me happy, albeit briefly, today. It was the Chicken Liver Crostini from Stephanie Alexander and Maggie Beer’s Tuscan Cookbook. I know chicken liver is not for everyone but I think more people would give it a chance, especially cooked like this, if we called it something different. After all, look how many people eat pâté without a thought of liver! Chopped Foie Crostini? Or, since this is supposed to be Italian, how about Crostini con Fegato e Salvia. Doesn’t that sound better? Just give me a minute – Gotta change my title. Okay, I'm back. On to the recipe!
3 tablespoon butter
10 1/2 oz or 300g chicken livers, cleaned
8 sage leaves
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon tiny capers
2 tablespoon fresh flat-leaved parsley
8 slices baguette
1 clove garlic
Preheat your oven to 400°F or 200°C and lay your baguette slices out on a baking tray.
Cut your livers into 4-5 pieces each.
Mince your sage leaves and chop your parsley.
Go ahead and measure out the capers and set them aside since it can be tricky to get them out of a small-necked bottle without their liquid. And you don’t want their liquid, just the capers.
Melt the butter in a frying pan and add in a little drizzle of olive oil. Toss in the sage quickly followed by the livers and fry for just a few minutes.
Add in the capers, vinegar and parsley and increase the heat to reduce the liquid. You want to do this quickly so you can keep a little pink inside the livers. I figured they were done and enough liquid was gone when the butter started popping at me.
Transfer the livers, herbs and capers to a large cutting board, leaving behind the butter, and chop the lot into small bits with a sharp knife.
Return it all to the frying pan and stir it into the little butter that was left. Taste a small piece and add salt and pepper to your liking.
Brush one side of the bread slices with olive oil (I forgot this step and, frankly, didn’t miss it.) and toast in the oven until golden.
Rub a clove of garlic on the toasted bread or crostini.
Tuscan Cookbook was randomly picked number 27 in my Eat Your Books list and, as per Dom’s Random Recipe Challenge #25 rules, I made the recipe I opened to randomly. But it was delicious and I would definitely make it again. I had planned to tell you all about this beautiful book, written by two icons of Australian cooking. About how it was written with the menus of their teaching holidays when Ms. Alexander and Ms. Beer would rent a villa in Tuscany and explore markets and cook with their students. There was much laughter and good wine and delicious food and this is a cookbook I love to read as much for their camaraderie and adventures as the recipes. But I just don’t have the heart anymore.
But make sure to head on over to Dom’s blog and see all the lovely recipes from the smart people who know what day it is.