Tag Archives: Walnuts

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

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

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.


Day 20: Raisin-Walnut-Stuffed Baked Apples

30 Jan

Since butter and sugar were in short supply during the war, I’ve fallen back on fruit-based desserts to deliver the sugar and acidity that make a great dessert without depleting my rations in one sitting. This recipe’s inspired by the baked, raisin-stuffed apples my mother used to make when I was little.

Raisin-Walnut-Stuffed Baked Apples

1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/4 cup walnuts
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon brandy
1/4 cup raisins
1 tablespoon dried cherries
1 teaspoon dried currants
2 Granny Smith apples
Vegetable oil in a spray bottle
1 tablespoon cinnamon sugar

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Put the butter in a small bowl. Toss the walnuts with the butter. Sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar over the walnuts and stir the mixture. Pour onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until the sugar begins to crystallize. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Turn the walnuts onto a cutting board and chop roughly. Warm the brandy in the microwave and soak the raisins, cherries and currants in the warm brandy. Peel and core the apples. Put 2 squares of foil on a cutting board. Put 1 apple on each. Combine the raisin mixture with the walnuts. Stuff the apples with the raising mixture. Spray the apples with vegetable oil and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar. Seal the foil around the apples, in individual pouches. Bake for about 40 minutes, until the apples are cooked through. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes before serving.

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