I have a love-hate relationship with offal. I have never eaten brains, testacles or heart and do not intend to either. I did have to change my attitude to duck hearts, though, so who knows. But kidney, liver and sweetbread I do like. Offal is rather perishable so you need to buy it fresh from a reputable shop. On one of my weekly visits to […]
One Monday morning on our weekly farmers’ market in Mirepoix, the poultry lady had chicken livers. Not the soggy reddish things in a plastic container at the super market – which are more than decent – but, well, big livers. The point is that most “chicken” killed and sold are in fact still chicklets – boiler, broiler, pullet, roaster – that hardly reach one year […]
There was an offer on veal kidney on the market and I bought some. Two went straight into the freezer and one was for a weekend meal. I had been reading several recipes, and discussed it with my hairdresser as one does in France. What had caught my eye is that in several Italian recipes (for rognoni) the kidneys are first put in a bowl […]
The butcher had some nice veal kidneys – bright purple in white kidney fat that he removed for me. I like kidneys but we do not eat them often because of the high cholesterol content. But they are a source for many minerals. Cauliflower has no cholesterol and is rich in vitamins and minerals.
The French eat more offal than many other nationalities. In the Netherlands, I sometimes ate liver or blood sausage but that was about it. In France, I discovered sweetbread, kidney and spleen but I have not yet dared to eat heart or lungs. A French editor once tested my willingness to adapt to France and the French way of life by ordering me a plate […]
We had bought some chicken liver at the poultry stall on the market and I had a package of pie dough left in the refrigerator. With some shallots, raspberry vinegar, eggs and cream, I made a nice quiche-like open pie. Why raspberry vinegar? It is one of those French habits. The vinegar helps to kill any bacteria that might be lurking in the innards and […]
I must confess that this dish came together because what I had left in the refrigerator when we wanted to have veal kidney. There was still half a cooked cauliflower waiting for use. The rognons are popular in France. In the Netherlands, most people would not think about eating it. In England, the kidneys of the adult cows enter in the steak and kidney pie. […]
Liver, and especially calves liver, is full of nutrients. Offal are cheap compared to the more noble cuts of meat but a good piece of young calves liver costs a bit more while remaining good value. Liver is often paired with onion. On the one hand, going back to the theme of economically priced offal, onions were usually abundant.
I can still remember the first time I had veal kidney, rognons de veau. It was in 1994, I had started to work in Paris and the local editor-in-chief invited me for a lunch in rue Montorgeuil. Upstairs in a smokey restaurant, he ordered the days’ special and recommended it to me. Unsure whether it was a test, I acquiesced and a while later there […]