Lord knows I am too old to be pregnant but a few days ago I was unaccountably overcome by the persistent desire for a particular food that was most akin to pregnant women’s so-called ‘crazy cravings’. Huh! Chicken liver paté. I wanted chicken liver paté. I just had to have chicken liver paté. On toasted bread too. So, once I got home after having bought the chicken livers …
I wasted no time in assembling the other ingredients.
Salted capers (I left them in some fresh water for a bit, then rinsed them several times to clear away any excess salt).
A few sage leaves and a couple of anchovy fillets (the kind that are processed in olive oil).
And then I slapped my forehead (gently, however, I am not into self harm) as I realised our home was completely out of both vin santo and any sweet, dessert wine. Mmm. What I did have, thank goodness, were some overripe figs.
I peeled the figs and set them aside. I got some white wine vinegar standing to attention …
And began sweating one onion that I had cut ever so thinly … using a mandoline in point of fact. Over a low heat and with some olive oil. Don’t rush this phase otherwise the onions will take on a nasty taste. I even added a pinch of sugar and a tiny bit of hot water after a couple of minutes.
Once the onions were cooked and soft, I added the capers, the anchovies and the sage leaves. I now know that one is supposed to add the anchovies only at the very last minute for a pasta sauce (see the bottom of my post https://myhomefoodthatsamore.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/clams-on-the-run-le-vongole-fuiute) but in this case it would not have made sense. I then added the chicken livers and raised the heat … liver should not cook too long otherwise it gets very tough. I added the figs straight away too … I now sprinkled some salt …. And, finally, a splash of vinegar. Once the vinegar’s vapours had vanished, I switched off the heat and added about 1 tablespoon of butter. At this point, I removed the sage leaves. Out came the mixer to process all the other ingredients. I added a little more olive oil. Tasted it. Added a little more salt and some pepper.And there it is … my lovely paté … bread about to be toasted … and a nice glass of cold, crisp white Frascati (Casale Marchese if you want to know). The overripe figs saved the day!
Not too shabby for an aperitivo, now, was it!
PS Joking aside, I read an article that maintains liver is a kind of superfood and excellent for when one is exhausted (which most of us are a lot of the time) so mayby my ‘craving’ was a sensible one, after all. Here is the link if you are interested:
Exhausted? Liver the Ultimate Superfood Will Get You Off the Couch