I've got a lot of food learnin' to do.
Although I reviewed restaurants and wrote about food for some ten years, (and have cooked professionally for another eight) I'm thrilled that there are dishes, and cuisines, about which I'm ignorant. Take Fegatini. Seared chicken livers, onion sauce, horseradish and apple.
Chicken livers? Huh??? No, really. It's amazing. Freaking delicious. My friend Spike made it for me the other night and I loved it so I made it for my mom. We had it on a night that my sister had other plans for dinner. (Anne doesn't like liver the way my mom and I do).
I love this dish because I didn't know that pureed, cooked onions would taste so good with liver, horseradish and apples. I wonder what other secrets Italian cuisine holds for me?
Knowing nothing more than the spelling of the dish, I set out to find a recipe to use as a guide. The one I chose was written by Mario Batali. He was a badass cook way before he was a famous, jolly, and badass cook. His recipes are solid and well-written (even tho' he's famous and no longer has to be a good cook).
Anyway, this is my take on Spike's take on Mario Batali's:
Fegatini con Cipolla e Cren.
1 pound chicken livers
2 bay leaves
+/- 2 cups Reisling (I used late harvest reisling)
1 pound Cippolini onions (or sub any yellow onion) cleaned (cippolini) or roughly chopped.
2 Tbsp XVOO
2 Tbsp Brandy
2 Tbsp butter
3/4 cup good chicken stock (Mario uses brown chx stock, I u sed regular, fresh stock)
6 Tbsp horseradish sauce (I just used Beaver brand creamy horseradish)*
1/2 ea Granny Smith apple, brunoise.
Linguine pasta to serve four
Marinate cleaned chicken livers in wine, peppercorns, and bay leaves for 2 - 6 hours.
Saute onions in olive oil until soft. Add water to cover by 1/2 and simmer for 5 minutes until soft. If using cippolinis cook until falling apart. Season with salt ver y sparingly. Drain and reserve juice. Puree onions in a blender until smooth and saucy. Return to pan and hold warm until ready to plate. Note: I added ba ck most of the water as the sauce thickened.
Cook pasta while you saute chicken livers in butter until fully caramelized (see photo). Deglaze the pan with Brandy and cook down until a light sauce forms. Season.
Assemble the dish. Place pasta on the plate, top with the onion sauce. Top with chicken livers and drizzle the pan juices atop the liver. Add dabs of horseradish and finish with a garnish of brunoise Granny Smith apple.
* If you want to make your own horse sauce, grate horseradish, (on the bias so it looks like a big pencil), then add it to vinegar; 1/2 cup of hourseradish to 2 Tbsp vinegar, and a pinch of salt.
Ciao From Olympia, WA.