Its name and location somewhat belie what chef Tyler Minnis and team have going on at The Market Italian Village.
Though the menu certainly includes Italian staples like house-made pasta and pizza offerings, it also reflects dishes from the entire Mediterranean region, from North Africa to Lebanon, Greece to Southern France. Since coming on board just over a year ago, Minnis has combined his regional inspirations with a focus on ultra-seasonal and local ingredients to put new spins on familiar dishes, such as za'atar biscuits and lamb gravy, or the Hawaiian Brussels, a clever combination of crispy Brussels sprouts, preserved tomato aioli, lardon pineapple jalapeño and Grana Padano.
The restaurant/market's open kitchen holds a rotating selection of cured meats and cheeses that are the foundation of charcuterie boards that also feature spreads like the chicken liver mousse below. Minnis recommends serving simply, with seasonal preserves and thick, crusty bread.
The Market Italian Village's Chicken Liver Mousse
Start to finish: 1.25 hours (includes chilling)
Yield: 3 cups
•?1 pound chicken liver, trimmed and cleaned
•?1 medium shallot, minced
•?1 large sprig rosemary
•?3 sprigs thyme
•?1 ounce butter, plus 2 ounces butter, cubed and reserved
•?1 cup cream
•?1 ounce brandy
•?2 tablespoons lemon juice
In a sauté pan, add a few tablespoons of oil and heat until almost smoking; add 1 ounce of butter.
Add freshly trimmed chicken livers to the pan.
Sear the livers hard on high heat to achieve some color, about 2 minutes. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
Flip the livers over to do the same thing on the other side.
Add the minced shallot and herbs. Cook for
1 more minute.
Add the brandy to deglaze the pan (it may flame up).
Burn off the alcohol and add half the cream; simmer for 1 minute.(Note: The above cooking process should only take about 6 minutes.If overcooked, the mousse will become grainy, dense and metallic-tasting.)
In a blender, add the liver mixture, discarding the rosemary.
While blending, add the rest of the butter
Add the lemon juice and more salt and pepper.
Taste and adjustas necessary.
Once the mousse is the consistency of a milkshake, strain through a fine mesh sieve.
In the refrigerator, chill the mousse completely.
When chilled, spread mousse on your favorite crusty bread.
Photo by Rob Hardin