I do like to cook but traditional Jewish food is best made by and bought from the experts.
Tomorrow night Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, begins. So today, the faithful make the annual pilgrimage to Russ & Daughters on the lower East side.
If you like smoked and cured fish and to party like a Polish peasant, you will love this place. Their chopped liver is one of the best I’ve ever tasted.
A few years ago I found their chopped liver recipe in The New York Times Cookbook. It’s not the most complex recipe, just chicken livers, hard-boiled eggs, onions and shortening. But if you want to make it the recommended way, you need to bake a chicken beforehand so you can use the schmaltz (chicken fat) instead of Crisco. By the time I cooked the chicken, bought organic eggs and made two pounds of chopped liver, I probably spent $40 and five hours. Today I spent five minutes in the store and bought two pounds for $25.
Whoever came up with the phrase, “What am I, chopped liver,” clearly never had to make it or buy it. Being called chopped liver is the highest compliment.