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View Diary: What's for Dinner? v5.43: Obscure Kitchen Chemistry (242 comments)

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  •  Lamb is everywhere... (7+ / 0-)

    ...at our farmers' markets around here these days.  At least three or four separate farms sell it at our markets.  Pretty sure this wasn't the case only three or four years ago, but I may not have noticed as I was vegetarian for a few years back then.

    I love the stuff, but I mostly just go for ground these days.  $6 a pound seems to be the average on that, I can't recall prices for cuts offhand.  I know it's generally cheaper at the markets than the grocery stores around here, though.

    Still haven't picked up that lamb liver I've been wanting lately, but probably will sometime over the next few weeks.

    •  Oh, what will you do with the lamb liver? (5+ / 0-)

      Cook it as little as possible? Yum.

      Craft is what emerges when you hit inspiration over the head with a stick.

      by commonmass on Sat May 21, 2011 at 07:37:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The old saying about venison liver (6+ / 0-)

        was something like this:

        Fresh from the critter, and cooked just a little, is the best way to eat your liver.

        Warmest regards,

        Doc

        Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me over and over, then either I really love you blindly or I am a Republican.

        by Translator on Sat May 21, 2011 at 07:48:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  When I lived in Austria, we used to get (5+ / 0-)

          libamaj (raw foie gras from geese) from Sopron, Hungary, just over the border from Eisenstadt. Here's how we'd prepare it:

          Soak one fattened goose liver in milk for half an hour. Use unpasteurized milk if you can get it, but in all events whole milk.

          Slice the liver in 1 inch slices. Do not salt it.

          Saute some wine grapes (red or white, we'd often use veltliner or blauburgunder (pinot noir) which have been halved with the stone removed very lightly in butter. Remove, add a little more butter and saute the liver slices briefly over low heat, not enough to cook through. Remove from pan. Heat pan to a high temp and then deglaze with Tokaij wine. Add liver and grapes and pour a little more Tokaij over the top. Do not allow to boil, just heat through. Serve at once with a crisp green salad and a dry wine. Salt the liver at table if desired. This is a first course or lunch.

          In those days (1990-91) all of those things were affordable if you lived near Hungary. I doubt I will ever taste that dish again since the goose liver and the Tokaij are so prohibitively expensive (or prohibited) but if you ever get the chance, taste this dish.

          The liver, by the way, should be nearly raw in the center.

          Craft is what emerges when you hit inspiration over the head with a stick.

          by commonmass on Sat May 21, 2011 at 07:58:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Liver is one of the most (4+ / 0-)

            delicate things to cook.  Eggs and fish are similarly delicate, but liver gets really tough really fast when overcooked.

            Warmest regards,

            Doc

            Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me over and over, then either I really love you blindly or I am a Republican.

            by Translator on Sat May 21, 2011 at 08:28:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Velvety and succulent (4+ / 0-)

            A little savory, a little sweet. If that's what this dish tastes like, you've described it so well I can almost taste it.

            •  You are tasting it indeed. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              tapestry, Translator, zenbassoon

              That is EXACTLY what it tastes like. It is what I imagine the food in heaven would taste like, if anyone ate there. It is indeed food of the Gods.

              Now this is very un-PC, but I once gave that recipe to an anti-fois gras petitioner in Boston Common. Geese, by the way, are like dogs, natural gorgers. The force-feeding of geese is much less inhumane than some people think. In fact, I have seen it done, in Hungary, and the geese actually enjoyit, or at least seem to.

              Show me one anti-fois gras production activist that has ever tasted the stuff, and I'll show you someone with a great conflict of interest.

              Craft is what emerges when you hit inspiration over the head with a stick.

              by commonmass on Sat May 21, 2011 at 09:20:20 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  My anti-animal cruelty meter (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                commonmass, Translator, zenbassoon

                needle registers one notch on the "cruel" side. But that's because I can't afford fois gras. If I could afford it, I suspect the meter would register one notch on the "tolerable but lamentable" side. I would furrow my brow, somewhat shamed, as I savored the goose's sacrifice.

                •  It is, in some ways, much more tolerable (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  tapestry, Translator, zenbassoon

                  than what takes place (genetic engineering, too) in a battery turkey house.

                  Commercial battery chickens and turkeys should be outlawed if you're going to outlaw fois gras production. Don't forget: I have seen this done. I have also seen commercial turkeys in factory farms. I vote to ban that kind of turkey farming. That's how my animal cruelty metre registers.

                  Funny, since I moved to rural Maine even when I am here in Portland in the Winter instead of on the Rock, I take advantage of making sure I know the conditions under which my meat lived. I pay more, but I also sleep better at night. I am also probably healthier for it.

                  Craft is what emerges when you hit inspiration over the head with a stick.

                  by commonmass on Sat May 21, 2011 at 09:37:01 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  This is a very controversial (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                commonmass, zenbassoon

                topic.  That does not mean that I disagree with you, my friend.

                Warmest regards,

                Doc

                Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me over and over, then either I really love you blindly or I am a Republican.

                by Translator on Sat May 21, 2011 at 09:29:13 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  The true food of the Gods is (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Translator, zenbassoon

                oatmeal chocolate chip walnut cookies.

                Foie gras is good, but not that good, and as for ambrosia, pphhtt, I say.

                Strength and dignity are her clothing, she rejoices at the days to come; She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the law of kindness is on her tongue.

                by loggersbrat on Sat May 21, 2011 at 09:47:36 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  I think I'm going... (5+ / 0-)

        ...with chopped lamb liver, just to see if it's much different than beef or chicken.  Chopped liver is one of the two or three foods I could live off of forever, along with some good Jewish rye of course.  ;)

        Now if only I could actually find some of the latter here, heh...

        •  I agree with you on chopped liver. (5+ / 0-)

          I make my own liver pates in a French style sometimes, but when my friend Lenore's grandmother (I used to go to her sader every year though I am not religiously Jewish though ethnically a little) gave me her chopped liver recipe I nearly died. It was always delicious. I add some things to it, notably, a little Port or Madiera. But I'm always Frenchifying stuff.

          Craft is what emerges when you hit inspiration over the head with a stick.

          by commonmass on Sat May 21, 2011 at 08:17:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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