Remember those French Fridays with Dorie ?? When we would prepare something awesome, something French every week and tell the tale of whether it fared well with the kids and the men... Well, sometimes I miss them.... I miss the excitement and effervescence that accompanied those Fridays... I miss the thrill of exploring new techniques, trying new flavors and the anxiety that accompanied on the Fridays when unusual dishes like that Pear Chestnut Soup or this Chicken Liver Cake was on the menu.
Surprisingly we enjoyed the French dishes that I prepared (at least most of the time) and more often than not these dishes earned themselves a place in the weekly menu. For instance when my son was smaller, I would often prepare this chicken liver gateau for him... The smooth pudding-like texture was easy for him to cut through and the flavors weren't too intense for his unaccustomed palate. Also, chicken liver is nutritious and the recipe was so simple that I made it a point to include it in the lunch-menu every week. Ehh.... lunch, because my husband could never warm up to the idea of a chicken-liver-cake. The very thought of it felt uninviting and wild to him.. but then not everything is meant for everyone. right ?
So as I was saying.. my son and I enjoyed it .. and I used to really like it a little warm....
I must mention however that the recipe I followed wasn't exactly French. While the idea of the gateau and the technique of preparing was borrowed from Dorie's book, the flavoring I used was Indian....half a teaspoon of garam masala and a small sautéed onion. Thats it. In spite of the garam masala, my version of the gateau never stood out as spicy. Guess it was the cream and the milk that helped mellow down the effect of the masala and made the dish suitable for the then two year old....
Chicken liver Gateau
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Yield: 4 6-ounce ramekins
- 4 oz chicken liver
- 1/4 cup whipping cream
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 tsp garam masala powder or allspice powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 11/2 -2 tsp olive oil
- Butter for greasing the ramekins
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 350°F.
- Butter 4 6-ounce ramekins. Line a baking pan (I used my 8×8 inch baking tray) with double layer of paper towels and boil a kettle of water.
- Heat the oil in a pan. Sauté the chopped onion until it softens and becomes translucent. Switch off the heat.
- Now put all the ingredients including the sautéed onion in a blender and whir until a smooth mixture is obtained.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared ramekins and rap each of them so that there are no bubbles in the mixture.
- Put the ramekins in the baking pan, pour the hot water into the pan so that it comes about half way up preheated oven.the sides of the ramekins. Then slide the baking pan into the oven and bake the cakes for 30-40 minutes. The custard should be set by then and the cakes should pass the usual done-ness test, that is a knife inserted in the center of the cake should come out clean.
- Carefully transfer the cakes to a cooling rack and wait for about 10 minutes or so before running a knife around the edges of the ramekins to unmold them.
As you might have noticed I refer to this dish as something we used to have in the past and do not have as often now.... Its not that we do not like it as much now... it just the non-availability of packs of chicken-liver in Bhubaneshwar. Of course, chicken liver comes here as a part of a whole chicken but that quantity is too less to prepare the chicken liver gateau....