Here we are at the 8th installment of The Liver Experiment where I will try to acquire a taste for liver. Over a 10 week period I will cook, consume and post my experience once a week about trying to appreciate my food nemesis. I hope my experiment will inspire you to try the same with your own personal food nemesis. And even if you are determined to hate liver for life I hope you will follow along throughout the whole series.
And for a second time I am so happy to be able to combine Week 8 with this month’s Creative Cooking Crew. This month our theme was rice. I decided to combine the old and the new in this Moorish and Louisiana fusion dish named Stuffed Baby Eggplants in a Dirty Rice Pilaf.
Although rice is not the biggest crop in the world, it is the most widely consumed food item on earth and rice is believed to have been cultivated for possibly up to 13,000 years ago. Since we find rice in so many parts of the world, we can find hundreds of thousands of ways to prepare it. A very popular recipe which has been prepared for centuries in more than half the countries in the world is Pilaf. Pilaf is described as a dish where the rice is cooked in a seasoned broth. Often the rice take on shades of colors from the from being stirred with bits of cooked vegetables or a mix of spices. To make a complete meal one can add meat, fish and vegetables.
Dirty rice is a type of pilaf made with chopped chicken livers and other bits that one can add. It’s not the most intense liver dish of the series but it is quite time appropriate as I am counting down the next 7 days before my trip to New Orleans for a holiday! I am so excited and I cannot wait to eat all the food over there.
Of course I had to play around with the basic recipe and put a Middle Eastern touch to it. I saw these gorgeous baby eggplants nestled into a pilaf pan in a picture online with gorgeous notes of exotic spices like sumac and cumin. I had found my fusion combination.
Educational notes of the week:
Dirty rice is a traditional Cajun dish from southern Louisiana with perhaps not the most appealing name. The name comes from the fact that the white rice develops a dirty color from being cooked with small pieces of chicken livers, hearts, gizzards or giblets, as well as from the cooked green bell pepper, celery, onion (called the Holy triniy in Cajun cuisine), and spices like cayenne and black pepper.
I am so thrilled with how this dish turned out. First I think it is just a gorgeous presentation. I loved the mix of spices, tomatoes, the pork meat and the chicken livers I used. Every bite bursts with flavor. If there is one dish you should try where you will not even know there is liver in it, this is the one. The stuffed eggplants are the delicious crowning jewels as well. Week 8 is a total winner in my books.
Thank you Lazaro Cooks and Foodalogue for this month’s fun challenge. Check out what the other members have created on our Pinterest board by clicking on the banner below.
Stuffed Baby Eggplants
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 onion chopped
- 1/4 cup Tomato paste
- 1 tbsp oil
- pinch of salt
- 4 baby eggplants
- In a blender combine all the ingredients except the eggplants and blend to a paste.
- Gently cut the eggplants from the base to the stem in quarters, leaving a 1/4 inch of the flesh uncut.
- Delicately press on the eggplant to separate one of the cuts, spread a tablespoon of the paste in the cut, then do the same by turning the eggplant with the other cut. Work gently so that the eggplant does not break apart.
Read the entire The Liver Experiment series:
Week 1: Chicken Liver Pate and Absinthe
Week 2: Liver & bacon sauté with potatoes & parsley
Week 3: Austrian Liver Dumplings (Leberknödel)
Week 4: Indian Liver Curry
Week 5: Stuffed vine leaves with liver and apple
Week 6: Spiced Chicken Liver Tacos with Mole Sauce
Week 7: Lamb Liver Raspberries and Hazelnut Salad
I am just loving this dish. Those eggplants are calling my name and that first picture is beautiful.
This sounds delicious. I love eggplants and these stuffed baby eggplants look very pretty over the rice pilaf! I’d enjoy the bold flavor in this!
So glad to hear you enjoyed this liver dish! I’m a big fan of dirty rice. Nice work.
wow, this looks soooo delicious! i’d love to dig into it! hope you have a wonderful and delicious trip!
Gorgeous dish Evelyne! You’ve blended two different cuisines in a delicious way. This one is my favourite from your Liver experiment.
Making dirty rice is such a smart way of marrying your liver experiment with the rice challenge! I also love those sweet baby eggplants!
nice dish – my first thought when I saw the photo was that you decided to incorporate lamb fries (testicles) in your liver challenge – imagine how surprised I felt.
Ha ha ha Christo, took a moment to get it but now I am laughing my head of.
Well, the experiment you are doing is very impressive. Facing your food fears is commendable. I think fowl livers are easier to like than meat livers — beef, lamb and pork. There is so much to like about chicken and duck livers. You’ve done a marvelous job of sneaking them into a great dish. Love dirty rice and the color is amazing!! Good luck with your journey on the liver trail. Hopefully you will love it when you are at the end of it.
I have been many times in Louisiana, specifically New Orleans but never had this rice…like it…must taste delicious with all the ingredients in it…and so pretty with the baby eggplants.
Thanks for introducing me to this dish, hope you are having a great week Evelyne 😀
I’m crazy for dirty rice and adding eggplants to it is a great idea Eve! Well done on your 8th installment! 😀
This is a beautiful dish. I make liver only one way ” the Alexandrian way” 🙂 can’t stand the smell while it is cooking.
Can’t believe you’re still doing Project Liver 🙂
This is a beautifully presented dish!
Too cute to pass up! Beautiful work, Evelyne! 🙂 ela
what a festive lamb liver, i had this once in spanish restaurant, they add some roasted veggies too..
pretty damn delicious!!!
Afraid this is not something I’d like to try. Eggplants, liver, and rice pilaf? Ack.
Have been raised in Louisiana, I learned to love dirty rice! My mother made a mean one. I’ve never had it with eggplant however but I can see how that would definitely complete the meal. Great looking dish!
What a beautiful dish, Evelyne!!!This is one liver dish I wouldn’t hesitate to eat…and love that you added stuffed eggplants 🙂
OMG, this is a first from you Liz, so happy I am tempting you with one of the liver recipes lol 😀
I don’t know how you do it, girl, but I admire you for your efforts! I love the addition of the eggplant. Is the sumac and basmati rice part of your Middle Eastern modification too? haha! I’m going to the farm on Sunday and she always has a great variety of eggplant, your dish has inspired me to pick some up! (sans liver!!!) I will say this again: You are brave, Evelyne!
Thank you for all your encouragement in my crazy adventure 🙂 And come on give liver a try, the pilaf is just 1/2 cup chopped up 😉
Yes the sumac and basmati rice was inspired by a Moorish recipe
The Liver Experiment is such a great idea! There aren’t many foods that I don’t like, but I could do well with my own liver experiment, lol…or a sardines experiment, for that matter. 🙂
This is one gorgeous dish, and it might be the perfect way to get non-liver-lovers to eat liver! Love those little stuffed baby eggplants too. 🙂
Ha ha sardines would be on my list too, forgot about them lol. Thanks Faith!
G’day and wow Evelyne! You still have this live thing going on! Good on you!
Your recipe looks yum and you might be converting me to try liver again; the funny thing about live is I love pate, just not a fan as/in a dish! 🙂
Please to try liver again Joanne, your the closest to convert 🙂 I got 2 more weeks to go.
This is something I would love to try too. The rice looks very delicious, Evelyne.
I think I could totally have this, love it and never know it had chicken liver in it.