Wednesday, December 15, 2004

what am i, chopped liver?

Well, preparations for the Polish/Russian birthday feast are well underway. I made this vegetarian chopped liver and it's pretty tasty. For anyone who doesn't know - chopped liver is a traditional Sabbath dish for Eastern European jews. It's thought that Pate might have originated in this dish, also made by Jews in France long ago. And of course it's become a classic NY deli sandwich - chopped liver on rye, with lettuce, tomato and sliced onion.

I first tried vegie chopped liver at B & H Dairy, an awesome little Kosher diner in the East Village. There's no meat at B & H, just amazing Challah french toast, greasy blintzes and a changing roster of wonderful soups - Borscht, Matzoh Dumpling.... And I love the flirtatious old guys there.

Anyway, the chopped liver recipe above is well worth a try even if you don't have a nostalgic longing for B & H. Think of it as a walnut and lentil pate if that makes it seem more appetising. Sarah was a little disappointed because she'd always thought chopped liver referred to little jelly-ish cubes of liver... somehow "what am I, cubed liver?" doesn't have quite the same ring to it.

We also spent Saturday night cooking - making and freezing a big batch of Pierogi. I love Pierogi, which are kind of Polish ravioli - little half-moon dumplings that can be served fried or boiled. We had three fillings: sauerkraut; potato and dill; and apricot and cottage cheese. We used this recipe and it wasn't nearly as tricky as I thought - it just takes a little while. We tripled the dough quantities, which is why we were still boiling them at midnight. Sarah was much better than me at rolling the dough out thinly so we have a variety of dumplings. I guess that's what home cooking is about though - they don't look like they came out of a packet.

Ooh yeah honey, we're gonna be a feasting.

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