Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.


Romantic dinner.

1. The meal

Chop three medium onions finely and fry on low heat in half butter and half olive oil - about a tablespoonful of each - until transparent.

Add a cup of white wine and the juice of a lemon. Grate some nutmeg into the onions (or nutmeg powder if you haven't a nutmeg) and add salt and pepper. Keep the heat low and cook the onions until the fluid is reduced and the onions are shimmering.

Remove onions. Using the same pan, quickly fry thin slices of floured calves' liver, adding a little more butter and olive oil if necessary. A few minutes either side is adequate depending on thickness.

Place fried liver on the onions and serve with spinach and polenta or baked scalloped potatoes.

As the onions in the recipe melt down with the lemon juice, wine and nutmeg, the resulting aroma will have your neighbours at the door if you're not careful. You don't want your neighbours over tonight. Lock the door from the inside before you start. Call the dish Fegato Alla Veneziana if you wish but it is just calves' liver with onions to me.

2. The song.

What a Difference a Day Makes, by Dinah Washington. No-one on earth has ever tired of this song.

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