Tuesday, March 15, 2005

I'm a little backlogged on recipes because I haven't had a lot of time to write. It's Irish week this week and as I live with a person of Irish descent, we could not escape the customary prep of corned beef and cabbage. It takes a great deal of time and the knowledge of a decent butcher to make proper corned beef. On Sunday, We went over to J's aunt's for a barbeque and I figured I'd fix up a faux Irish treat called Blarney Stones. I believe I have the recipe somewhere in my archives, but I didn't have the time here to link to it. Basically if you take a good white cake recipe, bake it in a 13 x 9" pan and cut into equal-sized squares. Frost with the icing recipe below on all sides and roll each piece in a mixture of finely ground roasted pecans and peanuts. If you're really lazy you can actually purchase a quality poundcake from your local bakery and substitute it for the white cake.

Blarney Stone Icing:
3/4 c evaporated milk scaled and set to cool a bit
2 tbsp melted butter
As much powdered sugar to form a thin but spreadable icing.
(Note, do not make the icing too thick or thin.)

Basically, after construction is complete you have tasty little cakes covered with a hardened coating of icing and roasted nuts. It took me years and the internet to be able to crack the "Barney Stone" (which was the name I had for them as a child) mystery. My one connection to the the tasty cakes when I was a child was a church woman who refused to part with the recipe. Of course, if I'd correctly applied my culinary smarts to solving the problem, I'd have probably figured it out eventually.

On another not so Irish note, here's a snacky item if you love liver and even if you don't. This is one of the few ways that I'll actually eat the stuff. P.S. marsala works just as great as port. I'd use a quality sourdough for the toast.

Deviled Chicken Livers on Toast
1/2 lbs chicken livers
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 large shallots chopped fine
2 tbsp chicken broth
4 tbsp port or marsala wine
2 tsp Dijon or stone ground mustard
2 dashes (or more) of hot Hungarian paprika
2 tbsp sour cream
Sea salt and Freshly Ground pepper to taste

Six large slices of sourdough bread cut up into quarters and toasted.
Choppped fresh parsley

Chop the livers. If you're not so crazy about the overall texture, which most people who are reluctant lovers of liver are, then chop them somewhat fine. The finer the liver is chopped, the more likely you are to have more of a spread-like consistency. Melt the butter on a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the shallots for several minutes until tender. Add the liver and cook for 2 minutes. Add the Port and broth and continue to cook for another 3-4 minutes until cooked through. Allow most of the liquid to reduce 0r become absorbed in the liver and shallots. Add the mustard, paprika, and sour cream. Combine well, and add salt and pepper to taste. Heat for a minute more. Set aside for a few moments to cool.

Top each piece of sourdough toast with the liver. Add a small dollop of sour cream and garnish with a generous amount of parsley. You've got to combat the liver breath in some way shape or form :)


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