Crisp Potato Cake with Chicken Livers and Herbed Fromage Blanc

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 10 min
  • Prep: 50 min
  • Cook: 1 hr 20 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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For the fromage blanc:

1 1/2 cups fromage blanc

1 tablespoon finely chopped chives

1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley leaves

1 teaspoon finely chopped tarragon leaves

1 1/2 teaspoons finely minced shallot, rinsed in cold water and dried well

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar

Salt and freshly ground pepper

For the potato cakes:

Coarse salt

2 pounds (about 5 to 6) Yukon gold potatoes, washed and dried

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for molds

Salt and freshly ground white pepper

For the chicken livers:

1 pound chicken livers, trimmed and cut in 1/2

Salt and freshly ground pepper

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

For the salad:

Salad greens

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Olive oil

Sherry vinegar


  1. To make the Herbed Fromage Blanc: In a medium bowl, whisk together the fromage blanc, herbs, shallot, olive oil, and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Store in an airtight container, refrigerated, up to 2 hours before serving.
  2. To make the Potato Cakes: Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Spread an even 1/2-inch-thick layer of coarse salt
  4. in the bottom of an ovenproof skillet large enough to hold the potatoes. Arrange potatoes in the skillet.
  5. Place skillet in the oven, and bake 1 hour 10 minutes; the potatoes should give easily when squeezed. Remove potatoes from the skillet, and let cool 5 minutes.
  6. While the potatoes are cooling, arrange six double layers of foil (each about 4-inches square) on a baking sheet. Butter 6 (3 by 3/4-inch) round ring molds; place 1 on each square of foil.
  7. To get the best texture from the potatoes, you must work with them while they're hot. Peel the potatoes, and place in a wooden bowl. Add 4 tablespoons butter, and crush the potatoes; season with salt and pepper. Spoon the potato mixture into the molds, mounding them a little on the tops.
  8. Place a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the remaining tablespoon butter, and cook until hot. Lifting the foil squares, transfer potato cakes to pan, and invert cakes into hot butter.
  9. Cook cakes on both sides just until golden, about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Return the cooked cakes to baking sheet to keep warm.
  10. To make the Chicken Livers:
  11. Rinse the chicken livers under cold running water, and pat them dry between paper towels. Season with salt and pepper. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a saute pan over high heat. When the butter is hot, add livers. Cook 2 minutes on 1 side. Turn over, and
  12. immediately add the shallot; cook 2 minutes more.
  13. Add vinegar, and boil 1 minute. Remove pan from heat. Reduce heat to low, and return pan to heat with remaining 2 tablespoons butter.
  14. To assemble the Salad: Place salad greens in a large bowl, and season with salt and pepper. Dress with a little olive oil and vinegar.
  15. For each serving, place a spoonful of fromage blanc on top of a hot, crisp potato cake, and adorn the fromage blanc with the chicken livers. Drizzle the chicken livers with the pan sauce, and put a small mound of salad on the other side. Serve.