Liver Crepe Cake

Today I present you with another favorite liver recipe.  Layered liver cake is part of my national Ukrainian cuisine, however I was first introduced to it by my mother-in-law.  It is not a dish typically made in the part of Ukraine that my family is from, so perhaps it is a regional cuisine. 

There are many different ways of making layered liver cake.  I was a bit overwhelmed by all the variations but decided to experiment with a few of them. 

I definitely recommend beef vs. chicken liver for this recipe.  It’s my personal preference; I think it just simply tastes better.  Most of the recipes call for some flour, but I decided to use soaked buckwheat instead.  You can even forgo the buckwheat altogether and still end up with good liver crepes, however I enjoy the flavor the buckwheat adds.  The carrot and onion filling is optional as well and can be omitted to save time.  But let's be honest, carrots and liver go together so well, that it would just be a shame to leave them out. 

The dill can either be used as garnish, like I have done, and/or added directly to the aioli.  To avoid a dry cake, don’t skimp on the mayo.  Some of it will get absorbed into the crepes as the cake sets.  Cucumbers, tomatoes, parsley, green onion, crumbled egg yolk, shredded hard cheese, and olives are just a few more ideas for garnish.  I have also included my favorite homemade mayo recipe from Butter Believer to create the aioli.

Liver Cake

¾ to 1 lb. beef liver (grass fed preferred)
2 raw eggs
½ cup half & half (or milk)
½ cup unroasted whole buckwheat, soaked overnight in water and rinsed clean
2 tsp sea salt
2 onions, thinly sliced or minced
2 carrots, grated
2 – 3 garlic cloves, crushed
½ cup mayonnaise (homemade preferred, recipe included)
Butter
Fresh dill weed, chopped finely
Cucumbers, sliced halves

Wash the liver in a bowl of room temperature water.  Place the liver, eggs, buckwheat, half & half, and sea salt into a blender.  Blend into a smooth, batter consistency.  Melt a pat of butter in a pan over medium heat.  Pour a thin layer of batter onto the pan, forming a thin crepe.  Cook for a few minutes on each side until golden brown.  Repeat with the rest of the batter.  Let cool slightly.

In the meantime, sauté the carrots and onions in butter, until soft and mix crushed garlic into the mayo.

To put the cake together, place a liver crepe onto a serving dish, evenly spread with about ½ - 1 tablespoons of the aioli and top with about ½ tablespoon of the carrot/onion mixture.  Cover with the next crepe and repeat.  Spread the top crepe with mayo and garnish with fresh dill weed and cucumbers.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferable overnight.  Cut into wedges and serve cold.

Coconut Oil Mayo

1 whole egg
2 egg yolks
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
Juice of ½ small lemon
½ tsp sea salt
½ cup olive oil
½ cup coconut oil

In a blender mix the eggs, yolks, mustard, lemon juice, and sea salt.  Melt the coconut oil over very low heat.  Slowly pour the melted coconut oil, followed by the olive oil, into the blender while running it at a low speed.  This will allow the mixture to emulsify and thicken.

Traditionally liver cake is served as an appetizer, however with a green salad it can also make the perfect lunch.  Although not a traditional Easter dish, it might look impressive on your table this weekend!

Rejoice! He is risen!  Hope you have a blessed Easter weekend, friends!

Chicken Liver Pate

Liver has been an unpopular super-food for a long time, but I think it’s making a comeback.  The way it flies off the shelf at my local market makes me think a whole lot of people are learning about its health benefits. 

Liver is a very nutrient dense food.  According to the Weston A. Price Foundation, it is not only a high quality protein it is also an excellent source of B vitamins (B12 in particular), vitamin A, folic acid, iron, copper, zinc, chromium, CoQ10, to name a few.  It addition it also contains a yet to be identified anti-fatigue factor.

It is a common misconception that liver stores toxins, which it does not.  It stores large doses of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to actually help clean and neutralize toxins so they can then be removed from the body.

Growing up, I often ate liver with buckwheat.  It is still one of my favorite culinary delights.  Liver was one of the first solid foods I introduced to my kids.  I am happy to say they love liver.  Here is our favorite recipe, the pate!  The kids eat it by the spoonful often fighting to get the last lick. 

Ingredients:

1 container chicken livers (about 1 lb.)

1 large sweet onion (sliced)

1 garlic clove (minced)

4 tablespoons butter (divided in half, room temperature)

½ teaspoon dry thyme

1 tablespoon white wine

1 teaspoon brandy

½ cup heavy cream

1 egg (soft boiled)

Salt and pepper 

  1. Wash and soak livers in a bowl of room temp water until ready to use, about 10-30 min.

  2. Sautee onion, garlic clove and dry thyme in butter (2 tbsp.) until soft.

  3. Add livers, cook until almost done then add the white wine and brandy. Simmer 5-10 min.

  4. Finally add the heavy cream, bring to a boil and remove from heat and let cool.

  5. Place in a food processor or blender add butter (2 tbsp.), egg, salt and pepper to taste.

  6. Pour into desired dishes, cover and refrigerate until firm.

Bon Appetit!