Today's recipe comes from one of my culinary classes and is something that I would have never caught myself eating. I walked into class that day thinking to myself that I did not want to eat liver, much less smell it. As I entered the classroom that day, I found a giant and I mean, GIANT, calf liver on the center work table, I was actually kind of amazed at how large a calf liver could be.
Before I start the recipe, it should be noted that if a fresh liver is acquired, there is a thin membrane over the entire liver that must be carefully removed before preparations begin. With that said let the second course commence.
4 Tablespoons Spanish Olive Oil
1 ounce White Bread
2/3 cup Blanched Almonds
2 cloves Garlic, crushed
Saffron, a few strands
2/3 cup Dry Sherry, or white wine will work in a pinch
Salt and Pepper
1 ¼ cup Vegetable Stock
1 pound Calves' Liver
All-purpose flour, for dusting
Chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
Crusty bread for serving
Begin with making the sauce. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet. Tear the white bread into small pieces and add to the skillet along with the almonds. Cook over low heat, stirring, until the bread becomes golden brown. Stir the crushed garlic and sweat until the garlic is very fragrant. Add a few strands of saffron as well as the sherry to the skillet and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and add the vegetable stock. At this point a blender or immersion blender comes in handy. You want to blend the sauce into a smooth mixture. A food processor would also work but the mixture will not be as smooth.
Once done, set the sauce aside and dice the liver into large bite size pieces. Dust lightly with flour that has been seasoned generously with pepper. Heat the remaining oil in a clean skillet, then add the liver and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until firm and lightly browned. At this point the liver should not be thoroughly cooked. Once browned, add the sauce over the liver and reheat gently. Once at desired temperature, place onto a communal dish, top with the fresh parsley and then serve it warm, with the crusty bread!
While I might not eat this a lot, I will eat it while at any Spanish restaurant that features it as an appetizer.
Here is a picture of my plates after all my work:
As you can see, the saffron brings out a lovely shade yellow as well as adding a unique flavor. I also plated an extra plate as an appetizer to get a different feel. Having liver prepared right is definitely a must if you do not like liver. The dynamic of the entire dish was well thought out and is a must taste even if you loathe liver.
Until next the next dish!