Thursday, September 24, 2015

Fegato di vitello alla Veneziana a Polenta al Formaggio di Capra

     Venetian Style Veal Liver with Goat Cheese Polenta!  
     Fegato di vitello alla Veneziana is a traditional Italian veal liver entrée.  Just forget about any tough, chewy liver you might have experienced in the past.  Today's recipe nothing like a typical overcooked strong tasting plate of liver and onions that customers endure at a greasy spoon diner.  Venetian style liver and onions is tender and light on the palate.  Fegato di vitello alla Veneziana is a delight to eat!
     Fegato di vitello alla Veneziana is usually cooked lightly with almost no caramelization of the liver or onions.  When lightly sautéed, the coating on the liver pieces have a velvety feel.  The Italian cooking technique word "delicato" accurately describes how this recipe should be prepared.  If the liver and onions are caramelized, the delicate lemon and sweet onion flavors would be lost.  
     Polenta al Formaggio di Capra translates to Goat Cheese Polenta.  The sharp flavor of Goat Cheese Polenta is a nice accompaniment for this delicate tasting Italian liver entrée.  In the Venice region of Italy, Polenta is a popular accompaniment.
     Fresh Chevre Cheese is what most American chefs choose for making Goat Cheese Polenta.  In reality, just about any kind of goat cheese can be used to flavor polenta.  Feta is a good choice, because it usually sells for a much cheaper price than soft Chevre.
     Because goat milk contains almost no fat, goat cheese will only soften when heated.  It does take time for Feta Cheese to soften enough to blend with the polenta.  
     Polenta al Formaggio di Capra:
     This recipe yields 2 to 3 portions of polenta.  
     No broth is used to make this polenta.  Use only water.  The sharp flavor of the goat cheese is should be featured on its own.
     Corn Meal is used to make most modern polenta recipes.  Originally polenta was made with local old world grain.
     The exact amount of corn meal cannot be accurately measured, because the finished texture is a matter of personal preference.  Some prefer soft loose polenta and some prefer thick stiff polenta.  Polenta that has the consistency of creamy mashed potato will hold its shape on a plate.
     Step 1:  Boil 2 cups of water in a sauce pot over medium high heat.
     Slowly add 1/2 cup of fine ground corn meal while constantly stirring with a whisk.
     As soon as the polenta thickens, reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Constantly whisk the polenta till it smooth and creamy.
     Step 2:  Add 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
     Add sea salt and black pepper to taste.
     Step 3:  Reduce the temperature to very low heat.
     Add 3 tablespoons of crumbled Feta Cheese while whisking.
     Whisk occasionally, till the cheese softens and blends into the polenta.
     Step 4:  Remove the pan from the heat.
     Add 2 pinches of minced Italian Parsley while whisking.
     Spoon the polenta into a star tipped pastry bag.
     Keep the polenta warm on the stove top.
     Fegato di vitello alla Venezia:  
     This recipe yields 1 generous portion.
     Thin sliced veal liver is required for this recipe.  Grocery store pre-packaged sliced veal liver is usually cut too thick.  A good butcher shop can thin slice a portion of veal liver on request.
     Adding sea salt to veal liver too early while cooking will cause the veal liver to become dry and tough!  Always add the salt last when cooking veal liver.
     Step 1:  Heat a sauté pan over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil.
     Add 3/4 cup of thin sliced onion.
     Gently sauté till the onions are cooked soft and they are clear in color.
     Remove the pan from the heat.
     Set the pan of sautéed onions aside.
     Step 2:  Cut 8 ounces of thin sliced veal liver into ribbon shaped strips that are about 1 1/4" wide.
     Lightly dredge the veal liver strips in flour.
     Step 3:  Heat a wide sauté pan over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 1/4 cup of olive oil.
     Add the floured veal liver strips, a few at a time, till they all are in the pan.
     Sauté the veal liver strips till they are almost fully cooked and very light brown highlights appear.
     Step 4:  Drain off some of the excess olive oil.  (Leave a little in the pan.)
     Step 4:  Add 1 finely minced garlic clove.
     Add the reserved sautéed onions.
     Add 2 pinches of black pepper.
     Add 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar.
     Add 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice.
     Add 1 1/2 cups of beef broth.
     Step 5:  Simmer and reduce the sauce till it is a thin consistency.  The sauce should just be thick enough to lightly glaze the liver pieces.  (Some olive oil will seep out of the sauce, but that is the nature of this sauce!)
     Step 6:  Add 2 pinches of sea salt while tossing the ingredients together.
    Remove the pan from the heat.  
     Fegato di vitello alla Veneziana a Polenta al Formaggio di Capra:
     Pipe the goat cheese polenta onto the plate.
     Mound the Venetian style veal liver and onions against the polenta on the plate.
     Pour any sauce that remains in the pan over the liver.
     Garnish the polenta with an Italian Parsley sprig.
     Serve with steamed sweet snap peas or a vegetable of your choice.
     Tender, delicious and no heavy liver aroma!

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