A tart, spicy, fresh alternative to the usual soggy liver and onions
Course Main Course
Keyword fresh, liver, red onions, sumac, tart
Prep Time 15minutes
Cook Time 10minutes
Marinating Time 12hours
Total Time 12hours25minutes
1lbcalf liverLamb liver is also excellent.
2tcumin seedsToast the seed whole in a dry pan for a few minutes over medium heat, then grind or crush in mortar. If you have ground cumin, you can toast that gently in a pan, but be careful not to burn it.
1Tdried red pepperGrind finely. Any tangy hot pepper will do. Stay away from smoked peppers.
1Tfresh thymechopped fine, leaves only
3Tsafflower oilor other vegetable oil
1/2cupparsleychopped, preferably flat-leafed
1red onionmedium sized, cut in half lengthwise and then sliced thin
Soak the liver in the milk the night before you want to make it.
Put the masa harina, ground cumin, red pepper, and fresh thyme into a bag (paper or plastic) big enough to hold the liver and the masa and shake it around, because that's what you'll do.
Drain the milk, cut the liver into about 3/4" (2 cm) cubes. Toss the cubes in the bag of masa and spices and shake until coated. If the liver is still wet, add a bit more masa. Cubes should be coated and dry to the touch, but not very thick with the corn flour.
Heat the oil in a pan over a medium-high heat. You want the oil hot enough that the liver will sizzle when it hits and stay sizzling while it cooks. I use a well-seasoned cast-iron pan because it heats evenly and stays hot easily. Make sure the pan is big enough to hold the liver cubes in a single layer. Let the cubes brown on one side before turning them -- about 2-3 minutes. Turn and cook for another minute or two, so the second side browns, then gently flip them with a spatula until all sides are cooked, but not overdone. This whole process should take about 6 minutes if the oil is the right temperature. Right before the liver is cooked (at around 4-5 minutes), add the garlic and saute for a minute, then turn off the heat, put the pan on a cool burner and stir in the parsley. Turn immediately into a serving bowl. I use a salad bowl that can handle warm ingedients.
Squeeze the half lemon over the liver and then gently toss the liver with the red onions, sumac, and coarse salt.
This goes well with Turkish bread, and a salad made with fruit and greens.