We are a multicultural family. My husband is Jewish, and I am, well, spiritual in my own way. My brother’s family is the same, his wife and daughters are Jewish, and he’s his own guide. Multiculturalism has become so common; nearly all of our friends are too.  A nice thing, besides exposing our kids to different practices, etc., is that families develop their own traditions.

One such family invited us to a potluck Passover dinner this evening. The event is being held at their new home, and while respectful of the traditions and holiday, the meal will not be entirely kosher or in keeping with the tradition. They assigned the dishes each guest would bring. We were assigned to bring chicken liver. I think traditionally it’s a chopped chicken liver dish with hard boiled egg and some other things mixed in but I’m honestly not a big fan of the most rustic versions of chicken liver pates so I made the Chicken Liver Pate from Animal’s recipe (Animal is a James Beard Award winning, top restaurant in LA that has an amazing chicken liver toast dish on their menu that I LOVE).

I had to overcome the ick factor of raw liver. I had never cooked it and am really only a fan of it in smooth, buttery rich pates. Snobbery, perhaps, but I managed to get the slimy livers into a buttery pan and cook them off without actually ever touching them!

Just let me say, it was all worth it. It was actually not as terribly as I imagined it would be and the pate came out beautifully. It tastes like Animal’s! I feel embolden! I can make pate! I scooped it into some jam jars, a couple for the party and smaller ones to share with a couple of office mates who are also fans of Animal’s dish.

Happy Passover, Good Friday, Easter…whatever you honor. It’s nearly the weekend, which pleases me!


ANIMAL’s CHICKEN LIVER TOASTS (I tripled this recipe for a party of 30 people)

  1. 1 stick, plus 2 tablespoons unsalted, grass fed butter, softened
  2. 1 pound chicken livers, trimmed
  3. Salt
  4. Freshly ground black pepper
  5. 1 medium red onion, diced
  6. 4 thyme sprigs
  7. 20 ¼ inch think warm baguette toasts
  8. Extra virgin olive oil, for brushing
  9. 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  10. Shallot Jam (recipe included)

Brush the bread slices lightly with olive oil. Grill or toast the bread until crispy. Rub with garlic.

In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Season the livers with salt & pepper. Cook over high heat until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Set aside on a plate.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the skillet. Add the onion and thyme and cook over moderate heat until the onion is translucent and softened, about ten minutes. Add the livers and cook until heated through for about 2 more minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool slightly. Discard the thyme.

In a food processor, puree the liver mixture and remaining 6 tablespoons of butter until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and season well with salt. Transfer mixture to serving bowl, jars and cover with plastic wrap pressed onto surface. Refrigerate until chilled and firm.

Spread onto the toasts and top with Shallot Jam for garnish.


  1. 2 tablespoons canola oil
  2. 4 large shallots, thinly sliced
  3. ¾ cup balsamic vinegar
  4. 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  5. Pinch of salt

In a skillet, heat the oil. Add the shallots and cook over moderate heat until softened and translucent, about ten minutes. Add the vinegar and sugar and cook until thick and jam like, about five minutes. Season with salt to taste.

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