Thursday, March 24, 2011


 I wouldn't even know where to find chicken livers at my grocery store. OK maybe I'm exaggerating, but honestly I don't ever recall seeing them in the meat freezer, and in all of my 35 years of marriage have I served them.

My sister tells the story of some 45 years ago when her and her husband, as newly weds and still a little naive about life, bought their first home after saving their money to do so. Little did they know after putting this money down as a down payment , that there would still be extra costs involved. She recalls how when faced with this dilemma the only choice they had was to cut back on their already meager grocery bill. One option was to buy chicken livers which at the time was the cheapest source of meat . The good news was that for the next 4 months  , she collected about 100 different ways to serve chicken livers. The bad news , her husband now refuses to even look at a chicken liver, let alone eat one!

That being said , I have my own issues with any type of liver, but that's another story. However, I do have a hubby that likes to whip up special little dishes. and  He made this mousse for our special family dinner ,and this was the perfect little appetizer  much to my surprise and very tasty.Everybody agreed.

 This recipe is not one of my sister's but rather our own Ricardo TV cooking show host.  The process starts with melting butter. adding chopped shallots and browning the chicken livers. Season with salt and pepper and deglaze with wine and cognac. Reduce heat and cook until livers are pink in the center.
Transfer to food processor.
Add sugar,oregano &1/4 cup of cream . Puree until smooth.

 Push through a sieve into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 45 minutes.
In a bowl, whip the remaining cream until soft peaks form.

 Using a spatula, fold the whipped cream into the liver mousse. Adjust the seasoning.

If serving as a teaser, spoon the mousse into individual shooter glasses. Smooth the top and refrigerate  for another 45 minutes or until ready to serve. Or put the entire mousse into a little terrine dish and serve as an appetizer like you would a pate.

Chicken Liver Mousse
1/2 lb. chicken livers. trimmed
2 shallots chopped
2T. unsalted butter
1/4C white wine
1 T cognac
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. oregano
3/4C 35% cream

GARNISH 1 firm pear diced very small
2 tsp. marmalade
2tsp/lemon juice
a few fresh chives
Mix all ingredients

recipe makes 12 shooters.
The morale: Don't turn your nose up to chicken livers, try this recipe and be pleasantly surprised.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


 'No matter how long the winter Spring is sure to follow." Proverb

For me nothing says Spring more than asparagus and rhubarb. After a bit of a hiatus from blogging and having to host a family dinner party on Sunday, I knew that I was going to build a menu around these two ingredients.
The asparagus soup started the meal and the rhubarb pie and a  coffee were the perfect ending to a wonderful meal that was shared between my family and my son's future in-laws.

 There are many great versions of asparagus soup, but I was in particular, looking for a lighter version of a cream of asparagus soup. Came across a few that substituted the cream with yogurt, but in the end decided to go with the basic 'tried and true', version and left the cream as an individual option.

As you can see, the soup , after blending, can stand alone. It was tasty, smooth and velvety even without the addition of the cream. In the end I chose to add the cream as a garnish and swirled it around the asparagus tips. ( not shown in the photos).

The recipe is very basic and quantities will vary accordingly depending on how many people you are serving.
The basis starts with, leeks that are washed and cleaned and sliced, in this case you can use both the white and part of the green stems. Saute these with a sliced onion in some butter and olive oil.
I like to roast the cleaned and sliced  asparagus ( discard woody ends) in the oven with a coating of olive oil salt and pepper. Add everything to either a homemade chicken stock or vegetable stock . I like to include a large diced potato. Simmer until everything is soft, adjust seasoning and then blend when cool in small batches.
 The soup can be made a day ahead,  then reheated before serving. At this point the addition of cream/yogurt can be added for additional richness, garnishes can be shredded cheese, bacon bits, asparagus tips or swirls or dots of extra cream. Enjoy