The High Holidays are often times that we recall our beloved bubbie’s recipes and splurge away from healthy “rabbit food.” Terri Hitzig, who is in the process of marketing a Jewish home-based comfort food business, recalls her Hungarian grandmother Elsie’s traditional cooking through memories and the use of her ancient meat grinder.
“I believe for most of us, we started cooking seriously when we left home and started our own household. Cooking has since become an important connection to my Jewish background. There is a comfort factor in making traditional Ashkenazi dishes of those who came before me. Although I have many holiday specialties,
I’ve been told my chopped liver is just like ‘their grandmother’s.’ When I am making chopped liver, I always feel Elsie’s spirit and love with me.”
Hitzig specifies “tradition” through details such as insisting on saltine crackers as an accompaniment to chopped liver. This old-fashioned soda cracker was considered a “stomach settling” home remedy when it appeared in Webster’s Dictionary in 1906. Note her use of mayo for moisture. In many households, it was schmaltz.
Grandmother Elsie’s Chopped Liver
1 pound chicken livers
1 onion, chopped coarsely
2 tablespoons to ½ cup mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste
Sauté chicken livers in oil, over medium heat. Livers are done when firm and brown. Season as they are cooking.
Remove liver and add onion to pan. Add extra oil if needed, and sauté until translucent. Remove onion from skillet and combine with cooked liver.
Process in a meat grinder or food processor until a roughly-textured paste forms. Add mayo, salt and pepper as needed.
Chill in fridge. Serve with saltine crackers.
Coconut Chocolate Ganache Pie
2/3 cup all purpose flour
5 1/2 cups shredded coconut
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Spray 10-inch tart pan with nonstick cooking spray. Combine flour and coconut.
Stir in sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla and almond extracts. Press into bottom and up sides of prepared pan. Press firmly.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until edges are golden. Cool completely.
For filling, place heavy whipping cream in double boiler. Heat until small bubbles are visible. Add chocolate chips. Let sit for about 10 to 15 seconds, then whisk until smooth. Pour into crust. Let sit at room temperature, then place in fridge.