schmaltz

mrsjack_gw

I have been reading and found a recipe for schmaltz. Does anyone here use it, and if they do, how? I realize it is not very healthy, but a little bit in a recipe should make it tasty and not do too much damage!

Thanks for any ideas.

Gloria

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lindac

Only in matzoa balls for soup.

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gellchom

There is nothing like schmaltz! Not so good for the heart, but as you say, you don't have to use it every day. There is no substitute.

I certainly use it in matzo balls, like lindac. But remember that you have it when something just needs a richer flavor. Substitute schmaltz for some or all of the fat you were going to use in all different types of recipes for a wonderful surprise.

It's a better fat than margarine, anyway, according to my nutritionist friend, so when I cook with meat (we keep kosher, so I can't use butter with meat or chicken), I use oil or schmaltz rather than non-dairy margarine for everything except baking.

If you really want to upset your cardiologist, but eat something heavenly, try sauteeing chicken livers (dredeged in seasoned flour) with onions and mushrooms in schmaltz. Add a splash of sherry at the end. Serve over noodles. Just don't make it more than twice a year!

I hardly ever make my own schmaltz anymore. I get it frozen in the kosher section of my supermarket and keep it in the freezer to use as needed.

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maureen_me

I rendered my own so I could make chopped liver, because nothing else will substitute for schmaltz and it's not available where I live. But that's something I make only very rarely, and I've still got LOTS of leftover schmaltz in the freezer. It seems to keep indefinitely. I'll probably be leaving it to some lucky family member in my will.

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mrsjack_gw

Thanks for the ideas. Here is what I have come up with:
- Saute finely chopped veggies for chicken soup or stew
- Put some in any sort of savory crust
- Add some to oil when frying potatoes
- Rub some over chicken or turkey when roasting
Gellchom, I think my husband will love you for your ideas.
I stopped at my local store butcher today and he said he might have some problems saving that much fat and skin for me,as they raise chickens so quickly for butcher that they do not develop fat. I may have to look around, but I will let you know what I come up with.

Gloria

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jessyf

maureen_me, couldja share your recipes/techniques for both rendering the schmaltz and the chopped liver. I've taken to saving the chicken livers and whatever fat I can reasonably pull off whole chickens, when I make 'em. I toss the fat and livers into separate zip-loc bags in my freezer. I'm up to a pound of livers!

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gardengrl

Jessy, I made schmaltz for the first time last year and it was super easy. Defrost the fat and put it all in a dutch oven/large pot (depending on how much you have) and turn the burner on low.

The key to doing schmaltz right is low and slow. Basically, you're slowly melting the fat versus sauteeing or frying. It pretty much cooks itself...just stir the fat pieces around every now and again. Mine took about an hour to an hour and a half to render 3/4 schmaltz.

And the best thing? The cracklins! OMG, sprinkle with a little salt and put your cardiologist on speed dial!

The "cracklins" are the pieces of chicken skin lefover in the pot after rendering off the fat. They're like fried pork skins, only 1,000 times tastier.

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sffog

yum, chopped chicken liver on toasted rye with a smear of schmaltz, i am drooling

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dirtgirl07

I'm lost here, what is the difference between schmaltz and lard? They sound the same...

Leaf lard renders down and you will have "the good stuff" and crackling. Is that schmaltz?

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jessyf

dirlgirl, schmaltz is from fowl - chickens/geese. Lard is from pigs. The term is used mostly by Eastern European Jews but it simply means 'rendered fowl fat'.

Thanks gardengrl!

Here is a recipe for 'pate' by Joan Nathan...posting and clipping, does anyone have variations?

In France, It's Not All Chopped Liver
By JOAN NATHAN
FOR a long time I thought that all chopped-liver recipes were essentially the same. Then someone shared this tasty French recipe, the perfect start to a dinner at Hanukkah or on any other special occasion.

French Jews took lowly chopped liver and turned it into pé by passing it through a food mill, adding a little brandy and corn or potato starch and then pouring it into a terrine that they baked in a bain-marie (water bath) and cooled.

Voilà : completely kosher chopped-liver pâté.

A learned rabbi once told me that, aside from gefilte fish, chopped liver was the only distinctly Jewish dish. But in a way it's strange that it's Jewish at all.

Kosher dietary laws prohibit the consumption of the blood of any animal. The liver, though, has a higher concentration of blood than other organs. (In antiquity the human liver was considered the seat of the soul because it held so much blood, symbolizing life itself.)

Soaking and salting a piece of meat, the usual kosher process for removing the blood, is not enough with liver. Broiling is, but it dries out the meat. Non-Jews can use butter or cream to create a succulent pâté. But observant Jews, who can't mix dairy products and meat, can use only the heavier chicken or goose fat.

Lightened with onions and chopped hard-boiled eggs, traditional chopped liver -- as it is eaten as an appetizer for the Sabbath and holidays -- was born.

But the French can always make a good thing better.

French Chopped-Liver Pâté
Time: 45 minutes, plus refrigeration

1 pound chicken livers
3 tablespoons chicken fat or vegetable oil, plus more for greasing pan
1 large onion, diced
4 large eggs, hard-boiled
3 to 4 tablespoons Cognac or other brandy
1 tablespoon corn or potato starch
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
5 or 6 bay leaves, preferably fresh
Rye bread.

1. For a strictly kosher preparation heat broiler and grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan or terrine. Broil livers on a rack 4 inches from the heat for about 2 minutes on each side. Take out livers, and drain. Turn oven to 350 degrees.
2. Heat chicken fat or vegetable oil in sauté pan over medium heat for 1 minute, and sauté onion in it 20 to 25 minutes, or until very soft and lightly golden. For nonkosher preparation add uncooked liver, and cook until just pink inside, a few minutes.
3. Place onions and liver in food processor with eggs, brandy and starch, and process until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. Arrange bay leaves shiny side down in loaf pan, and spoon liver mixture on top, pressing gently with spoon to get rid of any air bubbles. Set pan in a larger pan two-thirds filled with warm water, and bake 20 minutes. Cool, and unmold. Serve with rye bread.

Yield: About 20 servings.

Here is a link that might be useful: wikipedia

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canarybird01

Here in Tenerife there is a popular German restaurant that puts a basket of rye bread and griebenschmalz as an appetizer on the tables as soon as clients sit down.
I have tried a little of it and it is good!

SharonCb

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arabellamiller

Griebens makes me think of my DH's grandma - a very, very German woman! It's fried chicken fat. At the kosher butcher they sell it in huge plasic bags. Like deadly popcorn. ;)

I save the schmaltz when I make chicken soup, but the only thing I use it for is matzoh balls.

Technically, it's the same fat as margarine, saturated. Although I guess it depends on the type of margarine you're using. If the margarine is hydrogenated making it a transfat, then chicken fat is marginally better, but they're both saturated fats. Lots of butter substitues today are mono or poly unsaturated, making them better than schmaltz for your heart but certainly not for your tastebuds!

I don't worry about a little chicken fat in my matzoh balls, particularly since my family is active and healthy with no heart disease. If I was making it for my mother though, who has mild heart disease, I'd use canola oil.

AM

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dirtgirl07

Ahhh, thanks Jessyf - learn something everyday. Another reason this forum is so great!

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gellchom

How could I have forgotten chopped liver?!

No point even making it without schmaltz.

I like chopped liver more than pate, which I find too smooth and rich. My family uses beef liver rather than chicken livers.

My late good friend and former law partner, who was also a restaurant critic and noted cook, had Sandwich #2 named after him at the best deli in town. It was corned beef, chopped liver, and schmaltz on rye. I don't think they sold many; in fact, although we ordered from that deli countless times, I only saw him order it once himself.

Gribenes (the cracklings & the onions), which my family for some reason called it "greeven," are indeed wonderful, and everyone would hang around the kitchen when Grandma or Mom was rendering schmaltz. There would only be a little custard cup half full, and most of it had to go to Dad, though, so we kids prized the few morsels we got!

Jessyf, here is my mother's recipe for chopped liver.

Bubbie's Chopped Liver (can double)

1 lb. beef liver, membranes removed
1 large onion, raw
salt & pepper
3 large hard boiled eggs
1/2 c (or more, to taste) chicken broth (Bubbie uses bouillon powder)
4 T schmaltz

Broil liver just until lightly done (too well done will be dry).

Grind everything together. It will by mushy. Refrigerate; it will firm up. Bring to room temperature to serve with matzo, rye bread, challa, or crackers.

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pkramer60

Jessy, schmatlz is not just for the Jewish. Very popular in both German and Polish cooking. As SharonCB wrote, you will find it on talbes in pub type restaurants, and it served with good dense dark bread.

The fat from chickens or better yet, geese or ducks is rendered and then mixed in with carmelized onions and sometimes chopped apple.

We went to the Poish buffet last night and they always have it on the counter with the bread. Just what I need after the pierogi, glomcki, potato pancake....

Duck fat and fried potatoes, heaven.

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jessyf

LOL Peppi I knew I had forgotten about you after I hit 'submit' and there is no editing function!

Gellchom, I'll think about the beef liver....I mostly started saving the chicken livers because I detested (waste) throwing them out everytime I bought a whole chicken. I am not much of a liver fan.

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lindac

Well.....this shikse lady has been known to make a delicious "thing" by frying up some chicken livers with some bacon and onions.....
When done, grind up the liver and onions, crumble the bacon, add a bit of mayo and serve it on matzoa!
I know I know.....but it tastes good!

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riverrat1

I'll probably go to CF he!!, but, I never save the fat or livers or anything when it comes to a chicken. I do save bacon grease for the rare occasion...

I'll have to try this someday!

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mrsjack_gw

Lindac--I have made liver pate with mayo for years. It is delicious. I don't cook the onions, just grind them raw with livers cooked in butter and garlic. Then I add worcestershire, salt and pepper and mayo. It is a hit with friends and family.

Gloria

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doucanoe

Karen, I'll be joining you there! LOL

Schmaltz is new to me. Not familiar with it at all, and I am German and Polish!

Don't care for any type of liver so I guess this is as far as my "Schmaltz Education" will take me!

Linda

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