After a long, long silence, I am back!!!
Life’s been hectic lately. I’ve had an exam, an extensive training program at work, and also the hubster left the country again. (and we all know how much work sending this creature off is. We basically prepare for a famine and a half and pack for several winters when he does. It’s a Sri Lankan thing. One is in constant and dire need of one’s stock of dry fish, fish ambul thiyal, halmasso and the polos curry you know )
And now, the exams are done, the hubster sent off and training program has come to a close. Now I am suddenly left with not much to do. Hmm….
Realization number 1 – Husbands take up a lot of time :P
Anyways, I do miss the creature much. But I shall comfort myself with the thought that I will see him again, soon enough. He can’t stay away that long. See, I KNOW ;)
On an entirely different subject, I found myself thinking about Khal Drogo the other day.
I know, I know, that is so last year (literary) but my point is that if you are a real Game of Thrones fan, you don’t actually forget any of them now, do you?
See, I am right.
So back to Khal Drogo (and Jason Momoa *swoon*). Honestly, that Stark kid has got NOTHING on him. I don’t understand how the mighty Dragon Queen ended up bedding that whiny, puny fellow who’s only skill is bad decision making and getting himself (and his troop) into hot water (or into the midst of Undead/Wildling/Lanister armies) whenever he does.
He’s got neither brains nor looks. Nor any redeeming quality for that matter. Good manners don’t get you anywhere in that wolf-eat-lion world. I don’t know how he has ended up being the main character by the end of the last season.
Anyways, back to Drogo (and his rollicking Dothraki accent “swoon*).
I will never forget the scene where Danny eats a horse heart. This scene, contrary to the few who grew faint with disgust and horror, gave me an insight into what the Dothraki may be eating on their regular diet – earthy roots, gamey meat and rustic, simple cooking. Which is what gave me the idea of this earthy, full-bodied liver pie.
Now don’t run a mile just yet. I do admit that chicken liver is an acquired taste (so are horse hearts, duhh!) but it is a taste that once tasted you will never go back again. I am one of the converted ones who initially could not stand it but fell in love eventually with its almost-buttery, gamey taste.
These pies are a heady marriage of intensely gamey liver, caramelized onion, pungent garlic and a mix of piquant cinnamon and clove encased in an earthy whole wheat crust. Rich and bold, earthy, simple and full-bodied, these wholesome pies will have you speaking Dothraki the moment you taste one.
Yes they are amazing. And yes, you must try them.
Chicken liver pie
- Butter - 200g, cold, cut into cubes
- Whole wheat flour - 2 cups
- Salt - Per taste
- Ice water - 2 tsps
- For the filling
- Chicken liver and heart - 1kg, cleaned, cut to 1 inch pieces
- Onions - 300g, sliced
- Garlic - 2 tblsps, ground to paste
- Oregano - 1 tsp, dried
- Raisins - 50g
- Cinnamon - ½ tsp, powdered
- Clove - 1/3 tsp, powdered
- Olive oil - 1 tblsp
To make the dough
- In a food processor, combine the flour, the salt and the cubes of butter. Pulse until a large crumb forms.
- Slowly add cold water 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture clumps into a ball. It should not be sticky and come away easily from the ball.
- Lightly form into a ball and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
To make the stuffing
- Heat oil in a pan. Add in the garlic and let it fry till fragrant. DO NOT BURN.
- Add to this the onion and let it caramelize. When the onions are done, they should be translucent and caramelized in places.
- Sprinkle in the oregano, cinnamon and clove. Add in the salt and pepper to taste. Seep well.
- Add in the washed and drained liver. Cook until the liver is cooked through but the mixture is still juicy. Take off heat.
- Add in the raisins.
- Grease a muffin/mini pie tray.
- Roll out the previously prepared dough to ½ cm thickness. (I like to do this in between two pieces of baking paper so as to avoid sticking. Cut squares sufficient to cover the insides of the muffin holes completely. Make sure there is still enough to spill over the edges.
- Stuff as much filling as you can. Cut rounds of dough of the same thickness and cover these mounds (it is better if they are a little elevated. Prick with a toothpick to make tiny holes on the top of the pies. This helps them breathe easier J
- Bake at a moderate heat (360 F) in a preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until the pie crusts are starting to brown a bit at the top. Serve warm!
I am yet to taste something as rustic and so “Dothraki” as this.
This is Khal Drogo and Danaerys merged together in a gunny bag. No, I’m not kidding. Through the crusty, flaky pastry with a wonderful earthiness of its own, your teeth sinks into the buttery mellow of the liver, encased in caramelized onions and the roasted garlic. The combination is aromatic with the scents of cinnamon and clove plucking at your taste buds while the oregano blows a tender kiss of meadow-freshness across your tongue. The raisins fattened during its sauna in the oven simply pops in your mouth, unleashing a flood of sweet-tart reminiscent of fruit cake and Christmas times. The flavors are simple yet delicate, rough at the same time, elegant. If wholesome is a taste, this is what wholesome will taste like.
Give liver a chance. Not only is it oh-so-nutritious, when prepared the right way, it is also an amazing treat!