2013/01/17

No Do-Overs needed here... (French Fridays with Dorie: Chicken Liver Gateaux)

You know that one scene from "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" where Cindy Lou Who caught him trying to stuff the tree up the chimney?

Well, this dish made me feel a little bit like the Grinch when he told Cindy Lou Who that he was taking her Christmas tree back to his shop to fix the light that wouldn't light on one side.

Meaning that a whole heckuva lot of trickery was involved with this week's selection.

This one came up as part of our Christmas menu.


I was having my parents over for dinner and I figured if there was any one person in the world who would be at least open-minded to this, it would be my dad.

He grew up on a farm.

His mom was hard core with some of her food offerings.

I knew he would be up to the challenge (even though he didn't know he was in the middle of one).

Plus, my parents love me and I was fairly confident they would forgive me.

On Christmas Eve while The Dude and Culinary Kid were off an a wild goose chase, I threw everything into the blender and hid any incriminating evidence of what the mixture was. The smell was a bit off-putting, but I was determined to see this one through - I promised myself that I would stay open minded about the whole thing.

Chicken livers, eggs, cream, brandy and spices. All whirred together until smooth. Poured into ramekins and placed in a water bath for a bake.

Runner Girl was sworn to secrecy. Pinkie swear.

Hey, sometimes you have to bond with your kids in any way you can - even if it involves making her an accomplice to food deceivery...

I am sure that there will come a day when I have to pay her back. Sigh.


Any hoo, the gateaux was made and the outcome was not doing anything to sell me on the concept. However, I promised myself that I would keep an open mind and not pre-judge.

The gateaux showed up on the the Christmas buffet.

Thank you bites were taken and well, we won't talk about the rest. Even my father, the least fussy person I know, wasn't on board with this one; and I didn't even tell anyone what it was.

I wasn't trying to be passive-aggressive by feeding my parents one of the "torture" foods of my youth - although, some very unpleasant liver and onion dinner memories did pop into my mind while this was cooking.

Chicken liver gateaux is probably not going to make my top 10 favorite dishes list, but I am glad I gave it a go. I guess my palate is just not that sophisticated. I may need to find a new set of test subjects for the next liver recipe (perhaps a French Friday meet-up & we can all dive in together???). Le sigh...

While I may not be rushing back to the liver any time in the future, there was one major bright spot - the pickled onions. Something magical happens to onions that are allowed to hang out in a vinegar-sugar solution that has been infused with spices. They turn into this lovely condiment that I could put on a gazillion and one different things. I can't stop thinking about them. Yes, pickled onions are definitely happening again.

I am looking forward to making next week's dish of the shrimp with the cellophane noodles. Reading through the recipe didn't leave me with a solid vision of the final outcome, so I am really curious to see how that one turns out. I have high hopes. (I also have high hopes that the Ispahan loaf cake will climb up the runs in the February recipe poll... not that I am lobbying for it or any thing. No. I wouldn't dream of that. Ahem. Clears throat.)

Stay warm this week! (Or cool, if you happen to live in the southern hemishpere).

Peace out, my friends.

This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie.

27 comments:

  1. I´m rooting for the loaf too, even have the raspberries in the fridge... I passed on this liver pate, though I would´ve liked it; I´ve had variations of this recipe and have to say chicken livers are very different from regular liver. They do look wonderful Cher, too bad they didn´t wow the christmas crowd!

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  2. So funny. We thought the onions were "meh" and both loved the liver. You needed Mr Neil at that Christmas buffet ;)

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  3. It's pretty hard to make any kind of liver look attractive, but honestly, I LOVE chicken liver. I've got the book so I'll have to check it out.

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  4. I am with you - loved the onions, not too keen on the livers, espcially warm.

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  5. I applaud you. I didn't even try to find chicken livers. I decided to just pretend that last week's apple thing was this week's recipe, and act like this whole liver thing never happened.

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  6. If I had this on my Christmas buffet, not a soul would have touched it! I had to recruit my friends :)

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  7. You are a brave, brave soul! I truly admire that you try everything!

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  8. Oh Cher, I love ya!You tried, but I just kinda think there was no saving this one for most of us. I didn't even attempt.

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  9. Cher, such a lovely presentation of your Chicken Liver Gâteaux all lined up on that very pretty green serving dish - too bad that they did not really meet with much approval but many more wonderful recipes are coming up and, as you, I am really looking forward to next week´s recipe.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

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  10. Nice try! I didn't go farther than mentioning it to the husband who said, no, don't do it. Even if I liked it, I knew I'd be the only one who would and somehow, I don't think I would have liked it enough to eat it all!

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  11. My dad hates liver (any kind), so I was never subjected to it as a kid, but I've seen the effect it had on my husband! I think you were pretty brave to give this one a shot. It's just too bad it wasn't well received. I probably would have had the same reactions (except from my mom, that woman will eat anything!) if I'd served it at Christmas. Good try though!

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  12. I am stopping in to only say positive things to you: Way to go girl--you are brave!

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  13. It looks quite different my friend, and your presentation is lovely :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  14. I personally thought that the onions sounded weirder than the liver and was pleasantly surprised by how tasty they were. I too envision many uses for them.

    And I think that campaigning for recipes is absolutely allowed. Unfortunately, I didn't see your post until after I had already voted so I'm afraid that I'm no help.

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  15. Well, I don't know what to say??? Christmas??? Family for dinner? Big mistake! I remember you were stressing out around Christmas time and now I really know why...just took till today to get the real story. Actually, you are a real trooper. I'm a wimp and for today I'm proud of that fact. "See" you soon.

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  16. You are braver than I'll ever be ... first to make the recipe, then to serve it to dinner guests! Ha!! I sat this one out.

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  17. I would like to say that I was brave by even trying this since I do not like the look, smell, taste, or thought of liver. But really with Nana dropping off cleaned up little specimens such that I literally dumped her Tupperware into the Cuisinart...well, I guess I can't really claim that big girl pants were involved. My guys were happy. I think the cat and dogs would have been happier, but I moved quickly. Stay warm and here's to next week's noodles ~

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  18. Yes, your daughter will be calling in her chip on the 'food deceivery' I feel sure: But you are right about bonding with the kids by any means possible. I used to tell my parents that when they became old and feeble I would sit them at the table and not let them get up until they ate their mushrooms...every last one of them! That was the one food they would NOT eat:) They didn't give me the chance to follow through on my threats. Kudos for your efforts Cher!

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  19. You are a champ! And to serve for a holiday meal with deception takes some guts (forgive the pun). Anyway, sorry it wasn't a hit, but at least you discovered the pickled onions. I, on the other hand, enjoyed it quite a bit. Hopefully the shrimp and noodles will have more appeal. Have a great weekend.

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  20. I love the idea of a French Friday meetup. We should put Alice in charge of arranging it - a FFwD conference for the last month of recipes. There'd be plenty of time to plan it. (Clearly, I've had too much sugar.)

    I can't top Betsy's pun in the comment above, but I agree that it's brave to serve this incognito on the buffet. Sorry it didn't make a splash.

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  21. Yum! shrimp with cellophane noodles;-) Just kidding!! I give you all the credit for trying this recipe and serving it to the fam at Christmas;-) Hope you are having a great weekend;-)

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  22. As Barack Obama said to Hillary Clinton (and, I paraphase here) , "You're sophisticated enough!" We're all allowed to not love everything Dorie suggests. Although you'd have thought one member of your family could have stepped up to the plate. The Culinary Kid, perhaps? I thought, compared to sardines, which I simply could not do, the chicken livers were a snap. I do think that as a salad serving, an entire ramekin of the stuff would be pretty rich and filling. As a paté, perfect. When I was thinking of all the recipes that I considered gross - for my Post, Salmon in a Jar was right at the top. I threw that entire concoction out without even tasting it or saving the jars nor posting about it. But, I decided that I wouldn't steal your thunder on that one - it's yours.

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  23. Not even your father liked it? Oh, that's too bad, Cher. You are so very brave to make this on Christmas Eve. I probably would have had a rebellion on my hands if I presented this to the entire family. Brilliant idea to sneak it in though - and in a buffet. It sure looks pretty.

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  24. I remember the liver and onion of my youth too. And that brings back all kinds of bad memories! lol Glad you were able to camouflage it on the buffet table. Too bad it didn't go over so well.

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  25. Le sigh indeed! :) At least you got people to try it, that's the first step and kudos for going for it! Are you going to try the others when they come up too?

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  26. That was actually a good idea to serve it as part of the Christmas spread, where I'm sure there were plenty of other good things to fill the gap. One reason I made this for myself for lunch was so that I wouldn't have to provide a "backup" meal.

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