Sunday, January 27, 2013

{FFwD} Chicken Liver Gateau and Spam and Anchovies

I always feel like I am apologizing for being a blog sorry for being a blog slacker. 

This week's French Fridays with Dorie recipe was actually Shrimp but I am a week behind.  Last weeks recipe was Chicken Liver Gateau with Pickled Onions. Because I am kind of weird about textures and animal organs I was really tempted to skip this recipe and then jump in the next week. I was also worried about how much it was going to cost. But, I bit the proverbial bullet and decided to get over my revulsion and make the recipe. I mean livers are delicacies in some countries...right?

My cooking club, Spam and Anchovies, was meeting last Friday night. Our theme was pub food. After turning to my friend Google and perusing actual pub menus I found chicken liver on a couple of them. That was truly what made me decide to make this. My cooking club is pretty adventurous but I was still worried. 

Munchkin and I went to the grocery to get the liver. She kind of gagged when she saw the package and I was pleasantly surprised to see that chicken liver is not expensive. However, the packages were over a pound and I only needed half a pound. Publix (my favorite grocery store) will gladly break any package for you and they happily gave me half a pound of liver. Grand total? $.83. Yep! Under a dollar. That made me feel even better. If everyone hated this recipe I was out cents rather than dollars. The recipe came together really easily. Everything was thrown into the food processor and blended until smooth and then baked in custard cups in a water bath. It was easy. The pickled onions were also extremely easy and I had everything except the coriander seeds on hand. They made a really tasty addition to the recipe.

Before I tried the gateau out on my cooking club I had a few other tasters. My son and our friend that comes home with us from school both tried it. Little Man said he liked it. Our friend had kind of a funny look on his face. Both kids gave a thumbs up but then I asked our friend if he would like to spit his out. He politely nodded and then went to the garbage can. Of course, I did not tell either of the kids that there was chicken liver in the delicacy they were going to ingest.

Munchkin took more convincing since she was with me when I bought the liver. Trying to get her to put this in her mouth almost took me holding her down and forcing her to eat it. It did not take those extremes (and I wouldn't hold my kids down to make them try anything) but I am not sure she could actually taste the bite she took. It was pretty minuscule. She said it smelled gross.

My hubster voluntarily took a bite...with very little coercing needed. He said "It is not bad for what it is". For him to try it was a win! 

I even had 3 more testers before heading off to cooking club. My sweet neighbor has 2 adorable boys. I took the gateau over to her house with some pieces of Chicago Italian bread, it was kind of crusty and they went really well together. The littlest boy immediately dug in and said "Thank you Ms. Karen!" He just kept eating it. My sweet neighbor tasted it and said that it tasted good too. The next day when we went for a run she told me her older boy said "That brown bread Ms. Karen made was so good". From these responses I have to think as long as a kid doesn't know what is in it that they will think the gateau is good. Unless they are picky about that case they may spit it out. 

Once all of my neighborhood testing was done it was time for me to head off to cooking club. Sweet Sarah was hosting us. She has twin boys and blogs about them here. She is also a pretty adventurous cook and blogs about that here. She made Fish and Chips and Mustard-Cheddar-Pull apart bread as our main course for Pub Night.

The fish turned out perfectly. She fried cod in a beer batter and it was tasty. We all used malt vinegar on it so it was even more authentic pub food. One of my earliest memories is from when I lived in Scotland (ages 2-4) and having fish and chips in newspaper. It also may explain why I love malt vinegar on my fries, fish, chicken, sometimes tortilla chips....

Vanessa brought Pioneer Woman bacon wrapped jalapenos and a bunch of alcohol for Sunny Irishmen. The jalapenos were addictive and delicious. Sarah's husband stayed home to make sure the boys were in bed but he also took good care of us ladies. He makes coffee at a place called The Well and made delicious coffee for all of us that night.

Somehow I managed not to get a photo of Melissa's beautiful dessert. She brought Pioneer Woman Bread Pudding with Whiskey Cream sauce and it was delicious! The sauce made the dish! She did make sure to keep a few bites for her husband who loves bread pudding.

I took water crackers with me on which to serve the Chicken Liver Gateau. Everyone ventured out and tried it and a couple of people even said that it tasted good. Melissa and Sarah were both a little hesitant because it contained an organ. Leanne, who joined us later in the evening, said it looked like cat food. I agreed and even left some for our hosts to share with their cats. Hm, I should check back with them and see if the cats liked it. Sarah's husband really liked it and came back for more.  Vanessa suggested that it be served already on the crackers so it was more appetizing. I absolutely agreed because as I was plating it I though it looked like I could have opened a can of cat food.

Our evening was spent having fantastic, entertaining conversation and delicious food. These ladies are hilarious! We missed the rest of our group though and hope they will be able to join us next time. Of course they all had good excuses....Anne was coming home from the hospital after having a baby, Beth was in the throes of moving, our other Melissa is in the end stages of pregnancy, and Kenna had another conflict. One of these days we will all be there at the same time.

We found it funny that almost all of us were wearing Chuck's! :)

Sara's sweet husband, who has kind of a funny mustache right now, graciously took a photo for us.   This one does not include the biketard that Leanne brought with her because everyone was talking in that one. :)
Melissa, Leanne, Me, Sarah, Vanessa
Who knows what next month will bring but  not matter the fare it will be fun. Thanks ladies for another fun night!


  1. Good call bringing it to pub food night. We enjoyed this one, even if the preparation was a bit of a visual ordeal!

  2. Anonymous4:52 AM

    looks like you had a great night after all! and look at you, getting all sorts of people to share your FFWD experience! :) Good job!