Before you freak out and declare liver to be the worst thing ever, hear me out. Liver is very good for you, but many cannot stand to eat it in it’s traditional preparations. The thing about liver or any organ meat is that it has a strong flavor if not handled properly. One thing I do before cooking liver that makes a huge difference in the flavor, even when all I plan to do is fry it up with some onions, is to rinse it thoroughly. But my most successful liver ever is in cake form. Even people who swear they cannot stand liver will ask for seconds, I have seen it happen at my own table.
- ½ Bag Regular Pork Rinds
- 1 lb Liver, rinsed
- 1 lb Mild or Spicy Italian Sausage
- 1 medium Red Onion, diced
- 2 handfuls Matchstick Carrots
- 3-4 garlic cloves
- 1 Handful Fresh Basil Leaves or Cilantro leaves, stems and all
- Optional: 1 can diced no salt added tomatoes, drained
- Optional: ¼ C Shredded or grated Parmesan or Parmigiana-Reggiano cheese
- Optional: Mashed Yams or Potatoes to frost the cup cakes
- Pre-heat the oven to 350º F.
- Grind up a half a bag of pork rinds to make gluten free bread crumbs.
- Toss garlic cloves, diced onion, matchstick carrots and herbs (basil or cilantro) into the processor with the crumbs and pulse to mix and chop everything fine.
Note: If you are using the tomato option, drain the canned tomatoes and only put half of them in the processor, reserve the other half for topping the big cake with cheese.
- Add the sausage and rinsed liver and one egg and blend all into a chunky batter.
- Spritz a muffin tin with coconut or olive oil cooking spray for cup cakes.
For a cake, line the bottom plate of a spring form pan with foil, fit the pan together and fold the excess foil up around the outside of the pan. Spritz the interior with cooking spray.
- Load the pan with your meat loaf mix and smooth the top out with a spatula. If you are doing the cup cakes, load the cups all the way up. Meat does not expand like dough, it shrinks so piling it up is okay.
- Bake according to size: 1 Spring form pan needs 40 minutes of baking plus 20 more minutes once you top it with tomatoes and cheese. The cup cakes only require 30 minutes of baking time.
- Allow to rest for a few minutes before removing from pans. To remove from the spring form, release the catch and remove the pan you can trim the foil and set the whole thing on a pretty platter. To remove the cup cakes for frosting, insert a table knife between the cake and the pan and make sure the cake will separate from the pan easily. Lift it out of the tin and apply mashed yam or potato “frosting” with a cake decorator or an ice cream scoop. Dust with smoked paprika or a tiny bit of chili powder.