I had a guest around for a pre-Christmas dinner. He’s from Brazil and I had been out with him for dinner previously at one of those infamous Brazilian steak houses where he had asked for chicken hearts (a common grilled meat in Brazil). Unfortunately the restaurant was out of them at the time, so when he came for dinner I decided to serve a chicken heart appetizer (along with lamb chops). Shooting from the hip I came up with what turned out to be a tasty and inexpensive appy.
At the end of the meal he asked what the dish was called. Since I had created it from scratch, I told him it had no name. His response was swift, “I’ll give it a name! A Diego!” Well I couldn’t argue, so I present you with Diego’s Hearts.
- Diego’s Hearts (appetizer)
- Pan seared lamb chops
- Sauce Romaine
- Roasted yellow mini potatoes
- Steamed carrots
Recipe Diago’s Hearts:
- 1 lb Chicken hearts (trimmed and rinsed)
- Olive oil
- 1/2 tsp garlic salt
- 1/2 tsp hot paprika
- 1 tsp dried herbs du Provence ( or basil, oregano, etc.)
- Salt/Pepper to taste
- 1-2 Tbs butter or olive oil (for sautéing hearts)
- 1 cup Vegetable broth
- 4-5 Brown mushrooms finely diced
- 1 Tbs Salted butter (for sautéing mushrooms)
- 1/4 cup heavy cream (whipping cream)
- 1 medium Spanish onion thinly sliced and separated
- 2 Tbs Salted butter (for caramelizing onions)
- 2-3 tsp Fine white sugar
- Splash of balsamic vinegar
- 8 Thin slices french baguette cut on the bias, toasted, and lightly buttered
- 1 Tbs Italian parsley chopped finely
- Crumbled Chèvre or shaved hard cheese (optional)
- Combine the hearts and next five ingredients and marinate for 1-3 hours at room temperature.
- Create a mushroom cream sauce by sautéing the mushrooms in butter until well softened and then adding stock and cream. Simmer over low heat until slightly thickened. Keep warm.
- Caramelize the onions in butter with the sugar, finishing with a small splash of balsamic. Keep warm in the oven in a heat proof dish.
- Drain the and dry the hearts discarding the marinade and sauté in 1 Tbs olive oil or butter over medium to high heat until just cooked 3-5 minutes.
- Toast the baguette slices, butter and arrange 2 slices side by side on a small plate for each portion.
- Top each portion of toast with a “nest” of caramelized onions.
- Add the sautéed hearts into the nest of onions.
- Drizzle 2-3 Tbs of the mushroom cream sauce across the stacked dish and finish with a light topping of parsley, fresh ground black pepper and optionally crumbled Chèvre or hard cheese shavings.
- Serve hot.
Timing is the trick with this dish as all the elements need to be warm or hot.
The cheese topping is optional. I forgot to add it in my flurry of cooking, but I think it would have been a nice touch.