Deconstructed Chopped Liver
Chopped liver is delicious, for sure, but pretty it is not. Ruth Oliver, a talented food writer and cookbook author, came up with a clever solution: instead of chopping the ingredients, she layered them to create an attractive starter for an elegant dinner.
Ingredients (serves 8-10)
250 g (9 oz) frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 large egg, lightly beaten with a tablespoon of water and a dash of salt
500 g (1 lb) chicken livers, separated into lobes, trimmed, and rinsed
1/2 cup oil
5 large onions, chopped
1-2 tablespoons sweet red wine or port
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 eggs (preferably free range, with bright yellow yolks)
Spring onions, sliced, for garnish
Heat 1/2 cup oil in a heavy skillet. Add onions and sauté on medium heat for 15 minutes until golden. Be careful not to scorch the onions or they will get bitter.
Add the livers and sauté until they are done, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and season with salt and pepper. Remove from the stove and let cool.
Meanwhile, boil the eggs in salted water for 7-8 minutes. Don’t overcook them or the yolks will turn greenish. Cool in a bowl of water.
Preheat oven to 180oC (350oF).
Roll out the pastry, and using a cookie cutter or a glass, make a dozen 8 cm (3 inch) disks.
Brush with egg and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden and puffy.
Peel and slice the eggs.
To serve: Layer each warm pastry disc with a slice of egg and one liver lobe and some of the fried onion. Garnish with spring onion and serve while the pastry is still warm.
photo: Daniel Laila