What am I? Chopped Liver
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What am I? Chopped Liver

A Holiday Tradition Is Celebrated as A Party In The Kitchen.

Robyn Spizman Gerson is a New York Times best-selling author of many books, including “When Words Matter Most.” She is also a communications professional and well-known media personality, having appeared often locally on “Atlanta and Company” and nationally on NBC’s “Today” show. For more information go to www.robynspizman.com.

Eric Jacobson, Ellen and Ron Lipsitz and Ed Gerson get ready to make chopped liver.
Eric Jacobson, Ellen and Ron Lipsitz and Ed Gerson get ready to make chopped liver.

For over 30 onion-chopping, egg-boiling, liver-grinding years, Ron Lipsitz has celebrated a timely, eye- and mouth-watering tradition. Not your everyday gathering, Lipsitz has put his best buddies, who wholeheartedly volunteered to help, to the task of producing multiple containers of this holiday homemade delicacy — chopped liver.

Lipsitz shared, “I loved the Ashkenazic delicacy growing up in Savannah, provided by my mother and her sisters, whose parents from Romania taught them to make it. They prepared it just twice a year, for Passover and Rosh Hashanah. Now, one taste is instant nostalgia. In college, I got my mother’s recipe and started making it. Word got out and friends started telling me, ‘Hey, this is better than my grandmother’s!’

“That compliment is all a cook has to hear to want to make more for friends and family,” he said. “So twice a year, as I started getting more and more requests, that blossomed into ‘chopped liver parties,’ with as many as 40 friends coming to my house for a pre-holiday dinner or to pick up a container to-go.”

Lipsitz added, “Cooking has been a long-time hobby of mine, and it is a pleasure to make something that so many people love to eat and so few others know how to cook. This effort has been joyfully satisfying. Starting in the ’90s, I knew I needed help to make large quantities and that’s when I drafted two friends, Ed Gerson and Eric Jacobson as sous chefs, assigning them the job of onion-dicers, boiled egg peelers, and cleaner-uppers. Later, I promoted them to cooking and grinding, and their incentive was they could take as much as they wanted!”

Over the years, Lipsitz’s fans have included a long appreciative list of chopped liver lovers such as “Eddie Goldberg, Larry Weinberg, Nancy Isenberg, Nancy and Eric Miller, Natalie and Seth Toporek, Leslie and Bobby Levy, Lori and Kirk Halpern, Brenda and Bill Rothschild, Maxine and John Perlman, Phyllis Adilman, Rita Chaiken, Terry Spector, Lee and Arlene Katz, Sarah Woelz, Natalie Sarnat, Betty and Kenny Seitz, Barbara and Mike Wolfson, Gillian and David Piha, Rhonda Schweber, Irma and Basil Margolis, Maureen and Colin Richman, Sheryl and Alan Cohn, Lesli and Fred Wachter, Nanci and David Aronstein, Rita Chaiken, Janet and Jay Alembik, Ellen and Aaron Weinstein, Vicky and Mike Miller and Z and Barbara Rosenzweig.”

Lipsitz said, “This year will be the same as always, but much smaller quantities and fewer recipients.” Having married last year, Lipsitz added, “My wife Ellen was a great help for Rosh Hashanah 2020 and this year I’ll make a little larger quantity with Ellen’s help, and perhaps my dedicated sous chefs will return as well.”

While Lipsitz generously offered any aficionados of Eastern European shtetl cooking to pick up some of his chopped liver, his friends promptly advised him that he’d never (ever) get out of the kitchen. His response was to kindly share the recipe instead. Enjoy!

Roumanian Gehokte Leiber (Chopped Liver)
1 pound fresh chicken liver
(beef liver— feh!)
9 eggs
4 jumbo sweet onions
Wesson or other vegetable oil
3 chicken-flavor bouillon cubes
Onion powder

Cut onions into rings or dice and start frying in a generous amount of oil on medium heat in a large, deep frying pan. They will need stirring every few minutes, and need to cook until totally caramelized and brown, about 30 minutes.

Rinse livers and drain thoroughly.

Bring a pot of water to rapid boil, and place raw eggs in gently one at a time. (Doing it this way assures easy-to-peel eggs. Do not start eggs in cold water.) After water returns to boil, cook for about 10 to 12 minutes. Place pot in sink under cold water for a couple of minutes, then peel eggs.

Remove browned onions from pan and set aside.

Add more oil and start frying livers. Add bouillon cubes to pan, and after a few minutes, make sure they have dissolved in the oil. (If using kosher livers, there is a pre-broil requirement). Brown livers to very well done.

Set up meat grinder (hand crank or electric) and large bowl or container. (A food processor won’t work.) Use medium grinding blade. Alternatively, put liver, eggs and onions in grinder hopper until all ingredients are ground.

Mix well with big spoon. You will need to add a sprinkle of onion powder and sugar, maybe more to taste. Taste frequently, and add more salt as needed, and also more oil as needed to keep it quite moist. Do not use pepper or any other spices. It will firm up, and taste less salty after refrigerating.

Have a supply of cholesterol and stomach acid treatment ready and enjoy!

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