17 April 2007


Man, chicken livers. Who knew? Last night, both M and I got home late after our respective workouts (racquetball for me, swimming for her... at different branches of the Y, no less). I swung by the awful grocery store as the butcher had long since closed. Overpriced and overprocessed meats were the order, of course. Then I spied them: Chicken livers! About half a pound for about a buck. Delicious, nutritious.

I took some of the schmaltz I'd rendered from the chicken we poached last Monday (waste not, want not) and fried up some onions in the melted fat. I trimmed the chicken livers, cut them into about thirds, just following the lines of the lobes, and fried them until the outsides were brown, but the insides were still pink and soft. Really delicious. M remarked that she'd never even consider cooking chicken livers for dinner. I'm sure I'll consider it more frequently now.

As a side: Brussels sprouts, steamed. I cut them in half and toasted some almonds in a little brown butter (in the unrinsed chicken liver pan... why not) then tossed the sprouts with that.

For a starch: a preview of our upcoming South Africa trip. Samp and beans, otherwise known as umngqusho. This dish is impressive for the string of consonants in its name, but it's really just white hominy and white beans boiled with chicken stock.

Umngqusho (Xhosa-style)

1 15oz can white navy beans, drained and rinsed
1 15oz can white or yellow hominy, drained and rinsed
1 cup reduced chicken stock,
OR half packet onion soup mix and 1 cup water,
OR half a large-size Knorr/Star stock cube (any flavor except fish) and 1 cup water.
Salt and pepper to taste.

Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan and boil 20 minutes or until thickened. Season and serve.

Serves 4-6 as a side dish. May be doubled. Keeps well.

It couldn't get any easier than this. Some people in South Africa stir some animal or vegetable fat into this dish to give it a little more richness and to make it satisfying when it's a main course. This didn't need any fat really, as the flavors of the hominy and the beans just fit together. It's quickly become one of M's most favorite side dishes.

No comments: