Life's too short to eat bad food - Me

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic - Arthur C. Clarke

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Home For Passover, Part Two - Schmaltz

No. Not Maltz, the Klingon officer serving with Commander Kruge on the Bird of Prey going after the Genesis Device -- Schmaltz, rendered Chicken Fat! I know people who cringe at that description as gross, while at the same time having a can of bacon drippings in their fridge. Hey, I have that too.

Schmaltz is liquid at room temperature, it often appeared in a syrup pitcher on the table at kosher delis. When refrigerated, it is semi-solid - a good substitute for those who cannot eat dairy products (like butter) with meat. It's also great as a cooking medium, for things like potatoes. (My Dr. is revoking my Lipitor scrip as I type this.)

Now some tell you to simply render the fat - with or without a covering of water (I prefer with) - but my memories are of schmaltz flavored with onion. A glance at my mother/grandmother's favorite book of Jewish cooking proved me right. But, unlike many, I don't like to cook my onion with the fat - it has a tendency to burn before the gribenes (think cracklings) are done. So I came up with this utterly anal way of making schmaltz.

I sweat the onions down and get them good and caramelized, I then deglaze the pan with water and strain out the solids. The essence of onions remaining is used to cover the fat and skin. Voila! Beautiful golden onion flavored schmaltz and crispy gribenes.

I used the schmaltz for the chopped liver, and as a schmear, but my favorite use is for breakfast. Yep, those are farm fresh eggs, the choice of home fries of hash browns are up to you!

1 comment:

Andrew Galarneau said...

Oooo, and I've been throwing away my chicken skin.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
- Arthur C. Clarke

Life's too short to eat bad food -