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Liver Pate Vs. Chopped Liver


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#1 ditsydine

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 05:05 PM

I saw another post regarding liver pate and it made me wonder, is there anything different between the Jewish chicken liver vs. liver pate, except the moniker? Texture?
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#2 jackal10

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 05:09 PM

Very different.
Texture: chopped liver is, well, chopped cooked liver. Pate the liver is pureed raw then cooked with the other ingredients.
Ingredients: Chopped liver has hard boiled eggs and fried onions in it. Pate doesn't usually. Well maybe fat or schmaltz, but garlic, wine, brandy, cream etc,
Taste: different.

#3 -sheila mooney

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 05:26 PM

Very different.
Texture: chopped liver is, well, chopped cooked liver. Pate the liver is pureed raw then cooked with the other ingredients.
Ingredients: Chopped liver has hard boiled eggs and fried onions in it. Pate doesn't usually. Well maybe fat or schmaltz, but garlic, wine, brandy, cream etc,
Taste: different.

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years ago i used to make a recipe called foie gras de volaille -- "chicken liver foie gras." livers cooked til barely firm with sauteed shallot, then pureed in the cuisinart, cooled and enriched with ungodly amounts of butter. seasoned with i can't remember what and flavoured with port. chilled in a terrine, then served with thin slices of sourdough (poilane) toast. have to unearth that recipe... damn good stuff.

#4 Jmahl

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 05:53 PM

Unlike some purists I submit pate and chopped liver are a continuum of the same thing. French and Eastern European cooking are both cuisines of poverty and scarcity. No doubt chicken liver pate is refined - rich, a development of wealth. Molly Goldberg said on early TV "I'm going to go and chop mine liver." She was making pate. Now go and please discuss it among yourselfs.
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#5 mizducky

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 08:31 PM

Unlike some purists I submit pate and chopped liver are a continuum of the same thing.  French and Eastern European cooking are both cuisines of poverty and scarcity.  No doubt chicken liver pate is refined - rich, a development of wealth.   Molly Goldberg said on early TV "I'm going to go and chop mine liver."  She was making pate.  Now go and please discuss it among yourselfs.

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It's been ages since I last saw the movie version of "Funny Girl," but I distinctly remember a scene in which a still-new-to-stardom Fannie Brice (played, of course, by Barbra Steisand) surveys some fancy spread of unfamiliar foods, samples what I figure must have been a canape spread with liver pate, and muses that it tastes just like chopped liver. :smile:

While my family liked its chopped liver with a relatively coarse texture (achieved with the trusty ol' hand-cranked meat grinder), I know other families who prefered their with a much finer, creamier consistency, almost like a mousse ... and verging on the French pate territory. And while I know much, much less about French pates, I've gotten the impression that the traditional home-cook versions vary a great deal too. And IMO that's the beauty of home/folk cooking--lots of local familial variation.

Edited by mizducky, 08 December 2005 - 08:31 PM.


#6 SuzySushi

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 08:50 PM

I've read -- mind you, I can't say how true this is -- that French liver pates had their origins in the chopped chicken or goose liver made by the Jewish community in medieval Alsace.
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#7 Jaymes

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 10:20 PM

years ago i used to make a recipe called foie gras de volaille -- "chicken liver foie gras." livers cooked til barely firm with sauteed shallot, then pureed in the cuisinart, cooled and enriched with ungodly amounts of butter. seasoned with i can't remember what and flavoured with port. chilled in a terrine, then served with thin slices of sourdough (poilane) toast. have to unearth that recipe... damn good stuff.


Yes, please do. :rolleyes:

#8 budrichard

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Posted 09 December 2005 - 12:41 AM

Recipes are not really needed when you understand the science behind chopped chicken liver, pates and mousses. FAT and seasoning along with cooking techniques are what does it.
Typically chopped chicken liver is made from ground cooked livers with schmaltz and additives. The chicken fat adds binding and palatability. Additives are up to your taste. Butter can used also as the fat.
Pates can be made from cooked or raw livers of any kind or from veal/pork chunks with pork liver/veal or any other kind of fat for a binder. Seasonings again are up to you with the knowledge that the seasoning has to be more intense for a cold dish.
Cooking is usually done in a terrine in a water bath.
After cooking and cooling, a layer of fat can be added to seal the pate/mousse. -Foie Gras can be done whole, or processed with little addition if any of fat because of the fat content of the foie. Seasoning is still needed. -Dick

#9 Jaymes

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Posted 09 December 2005 - 09:07 AM

Recipes are not really needed when you understand the science behind chopped chicken liver, pates and mousses. FAT and seasoning along with cooking techniques are what does it.

Additives are up to your taste. Butter can used also as the fat.

Seasonings again are up to you with the knowledge that the seasoning has to be more intense for a cold dish.

Seasoning is still needed.


So, as I said, Sheila, I'd really like that recipe you mentioned that you thought was particularly good. Be sure to include what sort of fat and seasonings it called for.

#10 Luckylies

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Posted 09 December 2005 - 10:15 AM

this holiday season as a cheapa and nice gift i'm giving out chicken liver mousse- decorated with cornichons in little ramikens.. I'm looking for a recipe now though... call it faux gras.
does this come in pork?

My name's Emma Feigenbaum.

#11 Lynnette

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Posted 13 December 2005 - 01:49 PM

Hi All,

This is a slightly different kind of liver question. I have never cooked liver (other than chicken livers) and now have some grass-fed lamb's liver. Can anyone recommend a method of cooking it for liver novices, that might convert us to liver-lovers?

Thanks,
Lynnette

#12 Mayur

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Posted 14 December 2005 - 10:59 AM

Yes. cook it like calf's liver. If you have the French Laundry cookbook, I'd recommend Keller's "Liver and Onions" recipe. If not (or if you want something simpler), try this:

1) Buy the following ingredients if you can get them:

-Star anise, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaf, garlic (separated into cloves), thyme sprigs, chopped fresh herbs (chervil and flat parsley are nice)
-Apples, pears, or other seasonal firm fruit (roughly 1 apple or pear per 2 pieces of liver), quartered or cut into eighths (if using very large, firm fruit)
-pearl or cipollini onions (4-5 per piece of liver), peeled and scored on the root end
-bacon (slab is preferable, strips are fine too), 2 slices strip or 1 oz. slab per liver piece. If using slab bacon, remove the rind and chop it into 1 1/2-inch cubes (lardons).
-Red wine
-chicken stock (optional)

2) Segment liver into 6- to 8-ounce pieces ranging between 3/4" and 1" in thickness (this is actually the most essential part of the process). Clean and refrigerate.

3) Put star anise, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaf, some peppercorns, and thyme into a sachet. Place the fruit slices and sachet in a saucepan large enough to hold all the fruit in a single layer, add red wine to 1/2 the way up the fruit, and simmer until the fruit is soft. Transfer all the contents of the pan to a bowl or other container. (If you're doing this ahead, which you can, cover it tightly and refrigerate it, bringing it back up to room temperature when you're ready to cook the liver. It keeps for several days; you just have to make sure you don't eat all the apple slices as I sometimes do!)

When ready to cook the liver:

4) Cook the bacon. If using strip bacon, you can either fry it (simple) or bake it at 375 F for 15 minutes. If using slab bacon, cut off the rind, chop it into lardons, and bake it at 375 F for 20 minutes, removing it to stir after 10 minutes. (Note that some stores sell lardons already cut; these are a GREAT shortcut.) In either case, drain the bacon. LEAVE the oven on at 375 F.

5) Cook the onions. Peel them and score the root ends. Heat butter in an ovenproof skillet until brown. Add the onions, 1-2 whole, peeled, crushed garlic cloves and a thyme sprig and saute them over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes. Then add water (or chicken stock, if using) to half way up the sides of the onions and bung them in the oven. Turn them after 15 minutes and return to the oven. Cook for another 15 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven, but leave the oven on!

6) Cook the liver. Pat it dry, season with salt and pepper, and dredge in a little flour. Heat some oil (preferably grapeseed or canola, something with a high smoke point) in a large skillet over high heat. (If the skillet is large enough to hold all the liver without crowding, great. If not, cook it in batches. I'm sure you know this, but NEVER crowd the pan when you're sauteeing.) Turn the heat down to medium-high and add some butter. When the butter is brown, add the liver and saute for about 2 minutes, or until the pan side has developed a rich golden-brown crust. Turn it and saute for another minute or so, basting it with the butter and oil in the pan. Transfer the liver from the pan to a baking dish.

7) Finish the liver. Scatter a few thyme sprigs and whole garlic cloves over the liver (you can even poach the ones from the onions you cooked), arrange the cooked fruit around the liver, and place the pan in the oven for about 3 minutes. (This is for medium rare; if you're going by internal temperature, the center of the liver should be 125-130 F.) If there's room in the oven, you can also stick the onions and bacon back in to warm up.

8) Arrange the fruit on the center of each plate. Stir some chopped fresh herbs into the onions, and then arrange these around the fruit. Scatter the bacon among the onions (if using lardons) or place two strips on top of each grouping of fruit/onion. Place each piece of liver atop the fruit AFTER removing any herbs or garlic clinging to it. Scatter a little Maldon salt and more fresh herbs on top, if you like, and serve!

Note that much of this is make-ahead; the fruit can be done days before, the onions and bacon hours before. Everything finishes in the oven at the same temperature and at the same time, so really, your a la minute preparation takes only about ten minutes.
Mayur Subbarao, aka "Mayur"

#13 TarteTatin

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Posted 14 December 2005 - 05:44 PM

Grew up with homemade Jewish chicken liver with eggs, onions, etc.

Yesterday, I made Elizabeth David's classic chicken liver mousse. Simple. Chicken livers cooked with brandy, salt and pepper. Delicious. Simple. Gorgeous.
(She also suggests gin or vodka in place of brandy if you don't have it)

Completely different than what I grew up with. Better? No, just completely different. Like the difference between country pate and mousse. Or Lox and Gravlax.
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#14 BobJones

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Posted 16 December 2005 - 03:36 PM

I recently had an appetizer dish at Bacchus at the Wedgewood Hotel in Vancouver which was a Chicken Liver and Foie Gras pate. It was in an individual ramekin and had a "creme brulee" topping. I assume they made the pate, put it in the ramekin, sprinkled on sugar and torched it. Served with a pear & sultana chutney.

I want to try and reproduce it. I'm guessing I'll make a chopped chicken liver recipe (which I have), blend in some foir gras pate (from a tin), and then sprinkle sugar on it and torch.

Are any of my ideas wrong? Could I do anything better?

Thanks

#15 -sheila mooney

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Posted 16 December 2005 - 04:03 PM

years ago i used to make a recipe called foie gras de volaille -- "chicken liver foie gras." livers cooked til barely firm with sauteed shallot, then pureed in the cuisinart, cooled and enriched with ungodly amounts of butter. seasoned with i can't remember what and flavoured with port. chilled in a terrine, then served with thin slices of sourdough (poilane) toast. have to unearth that recipe... damn good stuff.


Yes, please do. :rolleyes:

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here you go... from madame jean martin of paris
it was tucked into my copy of julia, which has followed me everywhere..
(i usually made half of this - and i misremembered about the shallots, sorry!)

1 kg chicken livers (no hearts or gizzards)
400 gr unsalted full-fat french style butter
1/2 liter white wine
4 soup spoons of port
a pinch of quatre epices (sub allspice), salt, pepper
optional: 1 truffle (i never used it)

In a pot bring wine to boil, throw livers in. very imp: watch the cooking they must be pink inside - not bloody but really pink. 3 minutes timed ("montre en main"). scoop out the livers with a strainer, drain and cool. process them, adding softened butter bit by bit . mix in port, season with spice, salt and pepper. you can then pass the mixture thru a fine sieve, but neither mme martin, who gave me the recipe, nor i did that. transfer mixture into an earthenware terrine and cover with a sheet of foil and lid (or just cover well with foil). refrigerate -- give it a good 4 to 6 hours. serve with thin slices of toasted poilane or any good sourdough bread.

bon appetit!

-sheila

#16 jackal10

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Posted 16 December 2005 - 04:13 PM

what a waste of good foie! Sounds like an exercise in budget control.

Chicken liver is NOT chicken pate; the taste spectrum and the texture is quite different. I really can't see caramel going with chopped liver.

Usually the foie is used as the fat component to flavour a baked custard The best retains the delicate texture, with a mild, thin caramel shell.

Foie Gras creme brulee is now almost a culinary cliche, and is widely served and imitated as it enables the chef to use up and extend scraps of foie. Many recipes on the web, such as http://www.cuisine-f...e_gras_ill.html

For 2 servings whiz together
100g Foie
2 egg yolks
100g cream

Strain, bake, strew with sugar and brown like a normal creme brulee.
You can replace as much of the foie with raw chicken liver and butter as your conscience allows.


Anyone know its origin?

Edited by jackal10, 16 December 2005 - 04:14 PM.


#17 Jaymes

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Posted 22 December 2005 - 09:50 PM

years ago i used to make a recipe called foie gras de volaille -- "chicken liver foie gras." livers cooked til barely firm with sauteed shallot, then pureed in the cuisinart, cooled and enriched with ungodly amounts of butter. seasoned with i can't remember what and flavoured with port. chilled in a terrine, then served with thin slices of sourdough (poilane) toast. have to unearth that recipe... damn good stuff.

Yes, please do. :rolleyes:

here you go... from madame jean martin of paris
it was tucked into my copy of julia, which has followed me everywhere..
(i usually made half of this - and i misremembered about the shallots, sorry!)


Hey, thanks. I'll be sure to try it sometime over the holidays. It looks wonderful and I appreciate your taking the time to post it.

:rolleyes:

#18 bloviatrix

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Posted 23 December 2005 - 10:20 AM

The New York Times published a recipe for Chopped Liver Pate this week which looks quite wonderful.

This is the accompanying article.

Edited by bloviatrix, 23 December 2005 - 10:20 AM.

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