Tag Archives: Niacin

Day 31: Bacon confited-Guinea Fowl Heart with Brussels Sprouts and Blackcurrant Preserves

23 Feb

Yesterday I put the liver saved from a whole roasted guinea fowl (guinea hen) to good use. Today I’ll be using the heart. Heart is a bit tricky, since it’s a tough little muscle, and cooking it over a high heat can give it an elastic band consistency. Slow cooking it in fat is a good way around this. I got the idea from a meal a couple of year’s ago at DC’s pig-centric restaurant Eola. Chef Daniel Singhofen served Confited Pork Heart with Mashed Turnip, Brandied Cherries, Pecans, and Bronze Fennel as an hors d’oeuvres, to get his diners to give offal a shot. It’s worth giving a whirl – it’s free since a lot of whole birds come with it in the cavity. Heart’s pretty healthy too – it does contain some cholesterol, like most animal proteins, but it’s also packed with Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Riboflavin, Vitamin B12, Iron and Zinc.

Bacon confited-Guinea Fowl Heart with Brussels Sprouts and Blackcurrant Preserves

INGREDIENTS
1/4 strip bacon
1 Guinea Fowl heart
1/2 Brussels sprout, cut in half
Salt
1 tablespoon vegetable broth
1 demitasse spoonful blackcurrant preserves

METHOD
Slice the bacon very thinly then render it in a non-stick pan. When the bacon is crispy, use a slotted spoon to remove it to a plate. Pour the bacon into a boiled egg cup. Allow the bacon fat to cool slightly, then add the heart. Put the egg cup in the microwave and set to “keep warm” for 2 to 5 minutes, or until the heart is cooked through. Heart gets tough very easily, so it’s important not to cook the heart on high. Sear the cut sides of the Brussels sprout quarters in the hot pan, and season with salt. Add the vegetable broth and simmer until the broth has evaporated. Slice the heart very thinly and reserve the bacon fat for another use. Serve the heart garnished with Brussels sprouts, reserved bacon, and blackcurrant preserves.

Day 30: Guinea Fowl Liver with Apple, Rhubarb-Apple Preserves, and Walnuts

23 Feb

We’re 30 days into The Ration Diaries now – thanks for reading! You now have a month’s worth of recipes at your disposal. I’m working on dividing them into a more user-friendly database, so stay tuned for more in the coming month.

Reach into the cavity of any whole bird, whether it’s a chicken, turkey, or guinea fowl (guinea hen), and you’ll usually find some of the offal, wrapped together. These usually include the neck, which can be added to the roasting pan towards the end to add to the pan drippings, and occasionally the heart and liver. If you buy a lot of whole birds over a month (they tend to be cheaper in the long run), you can save and freeze the livers to make a mousse, but during the war, my Granny didn’t have a freezer, of course. I thought I’d use the guinea fowl liver saved from making cinnamon-roasted guinea fowl for a little pre-dinner nibble, on this dinky little Steelite pedestal plate. It took me all of 5 minutes, since I just seared the liver and served it with some rhubarb-apple preserves, fresh apple and walnuts. Although it does contain some cholesterol, liver is rich in Thiamin, Zinc and Manganese, and is a great source of cheap protein, Riboflavin, Niacin, and Vitamins A, C, B6 and B12, so it’s worth serving it to your family. I find children pick up on grown ups’ sense of disgust for certain foods, so if you don’t make an “ew” face in front of them, they’ll probably at least try liver. In other cultures, offal and what some American or English kids would deem “gross” are actually favored. For example, Eskimo children used to fight over the eyeballs of fish, which used to be sort of like candy for them – a treat. So if you serve the liver with something sweet like fruit, which balances the strong flavor, and don’t make a big deal about it, it might become a family favorite!

Even though my Granny raised chickens, meat was still a scarcity in World War II Britain. The English in the 1940s were virulently of the offal-is-awful camp, so the liver, hearts and other innards were sometimes given to the cat in Granny’s family. A few people, like my Grandfather, ate liver with the traditional bacon and onions on toast.

Guinea Fowl Liver with Apple, Rhubarb-Apple Preserves, and Walnuts

2 hors d’oeuvres servings

INGREDIENTS
1 teaspoon drippings
1 Guinea Fowl liver, cleaned
Salt
6 slices apple
1 demitasse spoonful Rhubarb-Apple Preserves
1 walnut, toasted and quartered
2 sprigs watercress

METHOD
Heat the drippings and sear the guinea fowl on both sides. Season well with salt. Slice the liver on a bias. Plate half the liver on a spoon or small plate. Top with 3 of the apple slices, 1/2 demitasse spoon of the preserves and 1/2 walnut. Garnish with a sprig of watercress. Repeat for the other serving.

%d bloggers like this: