This was the stupidest meal I ever made, even though it worked out fine. When I was young and foolish, I invited a young man I was trying to impress for dinner. He liked liver. I didn’t. But I decided to make a liver dinner for him, despite never having cooked it or even knowing how it should taste.
I called my Dad and another liver-liking friend. One said cook it high and fast, the other said low and slow. I didn’t have a cookbook, or know anyone else I could consult. So I did both. Fast over high heat for a little while, then slow over low heat for a while. It looked horrible but, in my opinion, cooked liver always looks horrible. I can’t remember what else I made – fried onions, potatoes and vegetables maybe. I didn’t eat any of the liver. My young man did, and said it was good. What else could he say?
Thinking about that meal later, after I’d learned more about cooking and dating and dinner parties, I wondered what exactly I had been thinking. But it served as an illustration for me of a few key points about cooking, especially for others. Making him an edible meal from something I liked and knew how to cook would have impressed him just as much. Second, eating the food you cook is always the best way to know how the meal is. Third, a good cookbook is worth the investment for times when your dad isn’t around or you get conflicting opinions. My intentions were good, but the way I expressed them – well, I imagine he dined out many times on the story of that liver dinner.
My husband, who likes liver, says his favourite way to do liver and onions is to go to an old-style restaurant where they cook it on a regular basis.
Here’s the recipe for the liver and onions pictured above – not mine!