Friday, 20 April 2012

Cookbook: Eggplant Chopped Liver Style

For reasons which only those extremely well-versed in recent history will understand, today – Fry-day April 20th – is a particularly apt date to offer you a Jewish recipe on Alfred B. Mittington’s Cookblog, dear reader.

But which one should it be? The choice is immense! A nation that’s been around for – give or take a few centuries – 3,500 years, and lived in 2,009 of the 2,010 countries that the world has ever seen, naturally has built up quite an impressive culinary heritage. Should I go for a Biblical approach, and do the Manna Sandwich? Yeah, fine, but that’s a desert recipe, right? So that would be somewhat disappointing for those of my readers who live in humid areas, where the sand which the recipe requires is not so easily gathered. Should I do, perhaps, one of the delicious Tongue dishes that my Jewish Cookbook provides? Boiled Tongue, Smoked Tongue, Filled Tongue or Smothered Tongue? Hmmm… Each one of them makes my mouth water; but why is it I have the impression that the present generation will do just about anything with their tongues – stick them out at their elders, jam them into their cheeks, speak or do unspeakable things with them - except eat them? Perhaps Chicken Soup then, that famous panacea of every Jewish mama? Nah… too common. What about Gefillte Fish? No… Too darn laborious.

The motto of the Mittington Cookblog is Please Through Ease, remember? So a simple yet gratifying dish it ought to be, something made in a jiffy yet eaten with relish… And one which preferably contains some Mayonnaise…

Hey, but wait! I got it! Of course! How could I forget the occasion of one of my most shameful defeats at the hands of my good friend Nick Shay Deutsch, hobo player in several of the world’s better philharmonics? The good fellow once assured me he could make simple eggplants taste like delicious chopped liver without the involvement of meat. Loudly I laughed and dared him to do so. And lost a shockingly expensive bottle of Jean-Louis Chave in the wager…

So here goes with a neat Jewish recipe for those with taste and sophistication!

Eggplant ‘Chopped Liver Style’

Boil 4 eggs for 6 minutes. Once done, let them cool in a container full of cold water. Now take two or three small eggplants. Peel them and cut them in small cubes. Fry them slowly in olive oil until they are nice and mushy. Remove from the pan to a plate and let cool on the side, as you fry three medium sized, finely chopped onions. Peel the eggs and cut to small pieces. Put eggplant, onions and eggs into a bowl. Add salt and pepper and 2 good spoonfuls of quality Mayonnaise. Mix well. Eat cold, with bread, as a side dish or a dip.

Two final remarks: first of all, remember that looks and loveliness do not always go together. Despite its excellent taste, this dish has a rather unappetising, grey hue (which is why I haven’t included a picture of the final result here…) You can improve matters somewhat by sprinkling the top with chopped parsley and egg yolk, but if the honest truth be told, the only real solution is to eat in the darkness by the light of a single candle. Some things simply cannot be helped.

Secondly: depending on the proportions and the quality of the eggplant, the dish sometimes comes out a little too wet and watery. If this happens, try pounding up some old dry bread and mixing it in until the mix acquired the desired consistency.

Postscript at 12.29 h

OK. I got some mildly negative feed back from certain loud-mouthed and uppity young folk here in the village as to that ‘particularly apt date’ for a Jewish recipe. Or to quote in direct speech: ‘What the f… are you jabbering about this time, dedushka?’ Ah, the ignorance of the iPod Generation…! But I guess there are more of you out there who haven’t a clue. So let me give you a subtle hint.

Go to your fridge and look for a sausage, preferably an old Austrian Käsekrainer Bratwurst way beyond its shelf date and containing ample rotten meat. Paint onto it the famous fuckface as shown below. Now light a good red-hot barbecue fire. Put the sausage on top of the smouldering embers. Let it burn there until it’s perfectly incinerated (don’t even think of eating it!) as you sing this mighty jolly birthday song from a Dante libretto:

Happy Fry Day To You
Happy Fry Day To You
Happy Fry Day Dear Führer
Happy Fry Day To You!

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