Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Liver and Onions

I have a confession to make. I was a very odd child ! While my siblings and friends would go nuts over pre- sweetened cereals , I could not stand them. I wanted eggs and some kind of meat for breakfast. Sadly that would only happen while camping. While they would sneak cookies from the cookie jar, I would swipe cans of mussels or tubes of liver sausage and eat them. I would crave protein with fats instead of sugars and carbs. Something tells me that way back then I was naturally trying to address my nutritional needs through cravings.  Another odd thing was that my favorite dinner was....liver and onions ! Truth be told I could have probably ate it every night, but for various reasons this did not happen. I continued to make and crave liver and onions till one day the "health" advocates determined it was a very bad food to eat, due to the cholesterol, fat and chemicals. We now know that blood cholesterol has nothing to do with cholesterol you ingest from foods and EVERYTHING to do with the amount of insulin your system pumps out in an attempt to balance the affects of carbs you ingest, in particular without fats and protein. In other words, an egg white omlette and fat free bran muffin is going to bring you a lot closer to a heart attack, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and so forth than the whole eggs, bacon and butter breakfast ever will.

But back to liver. Turns out our mothers and grandmothers were right- it is good for us. It is also something that we should eat once a week ( like fatty fish). What exactly is it good for ? 1 slice beef liver contains 78.2 grams protein,1,539 % RDA Vitamin A and 101% RDA Iron. It is  Low in sodium, No sugar, High in iron,
Very high in niacin,Very high in pantothenic acid,Very high in phosphorus,Very high in riboflavin,Very high in selenium ,Very high in vitamin B6, Very high in vitamin B12 and High in zinc.Liver has long been a part of the treatment for pernicious anemia because it is a rich source of heme iron (the organic iron in animal foods). This type of iron is five times more easily absorbed than non-heme iron. Pork liver contains the highest amount of iron, at 34 mg per 4-ounce serving.

Liver is something that I intend to serve once a week, and I was struck by the absence of liver recipes in most cookbooks. Liver is also something that you will no longer find in most fresh butcher counters of grocery stores ( along with heart, tongue, kidneys and brains/sweetbreads). You find it in the freezer case. Happily I remember how my mother used to make it, so I will show you how it is done. Liver, when cooked right, is absolutely delicious as well as nutritious.

 First, place your liver in a dish, cover it with milk and allow it to soak 30-45 minutes. This step pulls the "strong " taste out of the liver and makes it much more palatable to more sensitive pallets. Meanwhile, peel and slice a mess of onions and saute them in bacon grease or butter. Avoid vegetable oils or Crisco because they make the liver taste wrong.

When browned, transfer to a platter and add more bacon grease to the pan and bring to a high heat. Dredge the liver in a mix of flour, salt , pepper and paprika and quickly fry in the pan- no more than 3 minutes on each side. It usually winds up put it in the ban, count to 30, flip, count to 30 and transfer to the platter. Serve with grilled onions and katsup or balsamic vinegar, but nothing is really needed.

My son has only had liver a handful of times , but liver sausage sandwiches several times. He saw the platter, grabbed two slices of liver and inhaled them ! Something tells me he just might really be my son after all. Yes I carried him and gave birth to him but I became very suspicious when it was learned that he disliked chocolate. I could not believe that ANYTHING that came from my body could not like chocolate ! 


spunkysuzi said...

O.k kiddo now you've done it!!
Making me hungry :) I love liver!

Kristina said...

Ewww~ lol. When I was a kid, my mom made liver and onions and at that time, we had to clear our plate before being dismissed from the table. I set there for 2 hours without the first bite taken before my dad finally gave in and let me leave the table. Needless to say, mom never made it again! lol

Dutch said...

I love liver & onions. I think my mother used to over cook it. She would serve it with boiled potatoes & bacon. I am going to try putting it in milk like you do.

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Waisting Time said...

Oh this makes me wince! When I was growing up my dad loved liver and onions and my mom made it for him and forced the rest of us to sit at the table until we finished eating it! UGH. To this day the smell still gets me.

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Anonymous said...

Hate onions but LOVE liver. I loved liver as a kid and love it even more in my adulthood. My mother used to cook it in a gravy and we would have it with mashed potatoes and pork and beans. Now I spray each side with coconut oil, lightly season and broil on each side for 2 or 3 minutes. No gravy and no onions but green habanero sauce for dipping. Yum!

Lisa World said...

My parents are L&O pretty often. Kids got hot dogs on those days. I tried the L&O and loved it even though I was one of the most picky kids ever. Waiting for my L&O right now in Frank's Grill, Houston, TX.

Lisa World said...