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My mom served liver for dinner a lot when I was a kid, and she only made it one way, broiled, with a slice of bacon on top. No doubt you've heard the expression "like shoe leather." Well, it was probably first used to describe the way my mom prepared liver.

Fast forward to a few months after Mr. Lear and I married. The food I prepared was edible, sometimes, even good. Like most young brides I cooked what my mother cooked -- mostly because I didn't realize there were other ways to prepare food. Liver, however, was never anything I wanted to inflict on the love-of-my-life, or anyone else for that matter.

Then one day I asked him if there was something I hadn't prepared yet that he would like me to make.

"How about liver?"
"Are you serious?"  
"Yes, I like liver."

The next time I went to the grocery store I bought liver and cooked it like my mom's. He ate it and didn't say much so I asked if it was okay. I recollect that his answer was rather non-committal.


So now I had a mission: figuring out how to prepare liver. Fortunately, it wasn't hard. The first cookbook I picked up gave me a big clue: sauté. All it took was one attempt to fix my misconceptions about how liver should taste. Just sauté the slices on both sides for a 1-2 minutes over medium heat. Don't overcook it!

The rest is history. Do we eat a lot of liver? No. But show me properly butchered calf liver in the meat case at my local and it's destined for my fry pan a few times a year.

Serve it with some garlic mashed potatoes, or basmati rice.

Try it. Even Mikee likes it.

Liver with Peppers and Onions

1 cup sliced onions, separated into rings
1 cup green bell pepper, cored and sliced thinly
½ tsp. marjoram
3 T. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
dash ground pepper
10 ounces calf liver, sliced into steaks
2 T. butter

1. Melt 1 T. butter in a non-stick fry pan. Add the onion and pepper and sauté stirring occasionally until tender.

2. Remove the vegetables from the skillet and sprinkle with marjoram. Set aside while you cook the liver.

3. Combine the flour, salt and pepper and dredge the liver covering both sides.

4. Melt the remaining 1 T. of butter in the fry pan and heat until bubbly. Add the liver slices and sauté until lightly brown on both sides.

5. Plate and top with the peppers and onions.

Serves 2.

As a rule of thumb, the darker the liver the stronger the taste. Calf liver is pale colored compared to liver from a mature animal. Don't be fooled by the term "baby beef liver." It's not calf liver, it's from a slightly older animal. Choose the palest color liver and buy it fresh from a reputable butcher. Stay away from the plastic-wrapped frozen slices.

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