Partly green shallotIt’s still cold, but I think I am going to make a bistro style dish tonight from Anne Willan‘s “French Country Cooking.” I’ve really got to rein it in after the holidays. At least for tonight (work on my béarnaise tomorrow, perhaps?). Plus, I’m craving liver.

This one is really simple, called “Salade tiède aux foies de volaille,” that is, a warm chicken liver salad with a few wild mushrooms I’ve decided to add. I mean, in most cases I am sticking to the recipe with no reservations, but I’ve got a few oyster mushrooms sticking around and Anne actually has a variation of this recipe sans chicken livers but avec mushrooms. So. Here we go.

chicken livers sauteed in shallots and butterFirst thing was making a vinaigrette with half vegetable oil (in French cooking, the oil is supposed to be without scent or character, unlike in Italian cooking) and half walnut oil. Which I’m not sure I like, but it may taste better once it sits for a bit. It just tastes very walnut-y.

That gets tossed with arugula, frisée, etc.

It’s really gross to handle chicken livers, but you really have to in order to ditch the tough membranes before frying. So I did, and fried them up in clarified butter and shallots. Willan asked for two, but my shallots were huge. I cut them up anyway. And included the green part shown in the photo. Which I might regret. Does anyone know if the green on a shallot is like the germ in a garlic clove? Bitter? We’ll see.

Ok, this was delicious. Only thing was to add more salt and a little extra ground pepper. I went off the grid and made a side dish of oyster mushrooms sauteed in butter and chopped parsley, with salt and pepper. FANTASTIC. I am definitely going to use this concoction in an omelette soon.

final saladAnd the chicken liver salad was delicious. After the livers are fried up, the pan is deglazed with red wine vinegar and the juices mixed with chopped fresh tarragon leaves. I kept the frying light, wanting to keep the livers smooth at the center. Mark thought this salad would be awesome with steamed mussels.

It was difficult tonight. I finally got the Vanity Fair with the Theresa Duncan/Jeremy Blake suicide story and was multi-tasking my cuisine. Bad idea. Too stressful!