Have you ever had chopped liver?
I’m sure you’ve heard of it in an idiomatic sense, as in “What am I? Chopped liver?”
If you’ve ever been to a traditional delicatessen, you may have seen an odd-looking tan paste covered in chopped egg in the cold salad case, or if you were lucky, on your table.
It’s honestly quite gross-looking. It has history in the “use every part of the animal” of most cultures that was prevalent before we all started wasting the nasty bits. There was almost always fat and liver left over after cooking a chicken or duck for its meat, so these would get fried with onions and then chopped into a paste that would be eaten with bread or crackers.
But really, the thought of buying, cleaning, and cooking chicken livers totally grosses me out, beside the fact that it’s a completely and totally unhealthy dish. Many many years ago, my mom found and perfected a recipe for a mock chopped liver that completely fooled many chopped liver connoisseurs. The secret ingredient?
She gave me the recipe about a year ago, and I have her permission to post it tonight, and because I love you all, I even took pictures of a lot of the process. Actually, I wasn’t going to, but then the lentils made me laugh. Don’t ask, you’ll see.
Start off by hard-boiling at least 5 eggs. I did 9 because we like hard-boiled eggs, but 5 would suffice.
Then, slice a large onion and realize its near impossible to take a photo of a round food with a pink chef’s knife without it looking totally inappropriate.
Heat 2-3 tablespoons of oil in a skillet, then add the onion slices and sprinkle them with a teaspoon of kosher salt.
Cook until they’re brown and almost caramelized.
This is about halfway:
There we go…
While the onions are frying, cook the lentils. I opted to microwave-cook them because, to be honest, I was lazy and only had one clean pot at the moment. I covered the pound of lentils with about 6 cups of water and microwaved on high for about 12 minutes. When I opened the microwave door, the lentils made me giggle.
- 1 lb dry lentils
- 6-7 cups water
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 2 Tablespoons oil
- 5 hard boiled eggs (2 whole eggs, 3 whites)
- 2 teaspoons salt
Put the lentils in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with the water. Microwave on full power for 12-15 minutes. While the lentils are cooking, fry the onions in the oil, lightly sprinkling with salt, until the onions are lightly browned and soft. Drain and rinse the lentils when cooked, and place in the food processor with the onions and eggs. Add salt and process until a coarse paste forms. serve
If you try this out, please let me (and mom!) know what you think, we love it around here!