Friday, December 13, 2013

FFwD: Mme. Maman's Chopped Liver (as prepared by someone who can't deal with chicken liver)

The very idea of sourcing, preparing, and eating Mme. Maman's Chopped Liver (pg 32 of Around My French Table) made me want to hide under the table and weep. Then, Cher said that she was swapping the liver out for mushrooms. That's a switch that I could get behind, and the only possible way I was going to participate this week. I'm still trying to figure out how to "adjust" the chicken liver pate the group made several months ago so that I don't have to handle chicken liver. Haven't come up with a solution yet.

While I'm stealing ideas from Cher, I may as well steal from our resident Doristo, Trevor, too, and turn it into what he always calls "stuff on toast." 
Adding the optional hard boiled egg makes it sort of brave, right? No.
This was good. It came together quickly, and was a satisfying lunch. I don't regret using the mushrooms. It's still a list of ingredients--mushrooms, onions, hard boiled eggs, allspice--that I would never have thrown together on my own, so it counts as a recipe. I have declared it!

I've made up two additional recipes this week.

First up, Go-with-everything Celery Root Puree (pg 354). I've been on the prowl for a celery root since the group made this, and I finally spotted one at the supermarket. I've never eaten one before. It smells a lot like celery, but fortunately, doesn't taste much like it. It's a bit sweeter, and after boiling in milk and water with an onion, one potato, and then adding some butter and pureeing it, it was delicious. What does a celery root count as, diet-wise? Is it a carb like a potato, or is it a vegetable? Whatever it is, it's a great option to replace mashed potatoes.

I've tried three times to email this pic to myself, and it keeps not showing up. You'll have to take my word for it that it existed.

Lastly, I've been avoiding Vanilla Eclairs since the group baked them way back in April 2011. I think this was shortly before I joined the group. I've stayed away because I was pretty sure I would single-handedly demolish the entire tray. This is the reason why most of my remaining "make ups" are desserts. I have no off switch.

Matt's office was having a bake-off today. Perfect! I could make eclairs, taste one, then send the rest out of the house while, undoubtedly, winning bragging rights at a bake-off. (I mean, homemade eclairs HAVE to win, right?) I believe that these may not have been so difficult for other people to make, because they're basically gougeres, which I've made dozens of times. However, between the time sensitivity involved in the creation and baking of the pastry, the making and cooling of pastry cream, the piping, then the icing, this was a nightmare for me. Charlie wouldn't leave me alone long enough to just follow through on any part of it. He was asking to turn off the tv to play with me, so I felt like a wretch getting fed up with him. Then he wanted to help. Not a good recipe for 4-year-old intervention. Man, he made this a hard recipe to complete.
No doubt, these are tasty. Not worth the work and aggravation for me right now. Maybe I'll try them again when he goes to college.

Oh, and Matt forgot to bring them to work today. Grrrr.


  1. Steal with pride my friend, steal with pride. I figure, I followed the recipe, just changed out one lone ingredient. On most weeks, I usually change more than one, so I am golden, right?

    Love celery root - it should exist more often. And boo for forgetting those eclairs. I hope you get to enjoy them :-)

  2. Love the substitution by you and Cher! I think I need to stalk the boards more often before I make my dish...though I did like the liver :)

  3. Those eclairs were darn tasty, but even without the 4 year old helper, I would have a hard time talking myself into making them again. Partly because they were time consuming and partly because, like you, I don't need all those temptations in my house.

  4. I think Dorie would say it's better to adapt the recipe into something you'd enjoy than follow the recipe to the letter. Fine job!

  5. Thank you Matt for forgetting them, because that means there were more for me. Hands down winner. (Have you discussed the weirdness of Matt's office having a bake off in which most of the cooking was done by spouses, who weren't invited to the party?)

  6. Although we enjoyed this recipe, I do like the idea of switching lovely mushrooms for the chicken liver in this recipe. This sounds nice on toast or on a slice of rye bread! And your Vanilla Éclair looks decadent! So nice that despite your busy life, you got a chance to make these!
    Have a nice weekend!

  7. Mushroom substitution is looking really good now! Must remember this! and I am so tempted by the eclairs but find them intimating!

  8. I like that mushroom substitution, I will have to try that. Your eclairs look scrumptious,
    and I remember the celery root recipe as being delicious. I don't know why I haven't
    made it again. It is a great dish for this winter weather. Have a wonderful weekend.

  9. You deserve each and every one of those eclairs- enjoy !!! And good for you about the Mme Chopped Mushroom Stuff On Toast :) If my husband had not promised to eat them and clean them, I think I would have bailed completely. I can't believe how much you knocked out this week - celery root too ?? Gosh we loved that. First time I ever recall even seeing a celery root and we were all curious up until tasting it- then in love. I don't know who figured out to eat this tough item but I owe them.

  10. Your eclairs look wonderful!!! Your mushrooms look terrific too. I have to say, that earlier recipe was awful, and I like chicken livers. So I'm glad that you were able to find something that you liked.

  11. I didn't even consider making the chopped liver. I'm impressed by your substitute version! Your eclairs look delicious, I can't even imagine tackling that project while alone with a 4 year old.