Liver mousse


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Just the thing when you're drinking a Sauternes and you're out of foie gras.

1 lb chicken or duck livers

~ 2 oz stock or water

1 large quince or tart apple

Salt to taste (~1/2 tsp)

1/2 tsp white pepper (should be fresh-ground)

1/2 tsp allspice (should be fresh-ground)

2 oz (maybe more) heavy cream

vegetable oil

pita triangles or baguette slices, toasted

food processor, steel blade

heavy frying pan

Trim the livers of excess fat and connective tissue. Peel, core and dice the fruit.

Heat some oil in the frying pan over moderately high heat - the smallest amount that will keep the food from sticking. Stir-fry the livers in batches so that they aren't touching as they brown. Slice open a sample and verify that it's pink but not raw at the center. Remove them to the processor as they're done.

When the livers are done, add some stock or water and scrape the pan up to deglaze and reduce to about 1/2 oz. Pour this over the livers, rinse the pan and dry it.

Heat a small amount of oil in the pan, get it moderately hot and stir-fry the fruit until it is brown on the outside and cooked through.

Put all ingredients except the cream into the processor and puree. With the motor running, add the cream through the feed tube and let it blend in. The mixture should be slightly thinner than you want the finished product to be, as chilling will firm it up.

Scrape it into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill.

Optional: decorate it with a bay leaf or herb sprig and pour a clarified and chilled port aspic over it. Nothing succeeds like excess. It doesn't have to be good port.

Serve with the toast.

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