Although the main ingredient for this menu may be eaten in other parts of the south, North Carolina is famous for it. But before I offer the details, I would like to suggest that you open your mind by considering the following. It wasn’t that long ago that gourmet chefs started introducing polenta on the menus of some of the most renowned restaurants in the world. Truth be known, it had always been a part of Italian cuisine, and further it was a staple in many rural American kitchens by another name: cornmeal mush. But when the term polenta was introduced, folks who had heretofore never considered eating something remotely resembling a mush, were suddenly extolling its virtues.

So, let me introduce the uninitiated to a southern delicacy known as livermush. It’s a bit like polenta…it’s a bit like liver pate; indeed both pork liver and cornmeal are the main components along with sage and other spices. It is cooked into a loaf until very dense and then chilled until even more firm. Right from the fridge it can be enjoyed much like pate. But even better to my mind are slices that are fried in a cast iron skillet until crispy on the outside. It is most often served fried for breakfast with eggs on the side. In its “pate” state, it makes an appearance at lunch. But I don’t think I had ever encountered livermush as a dinner item until I decided to experiment with it tonight. After heating a thin film of oil in the skillet over low heat, I added thinly sliced onions which caramelized slowly until crispy. The slices of livermush were then added to the onion-infused oil which elevated the flavor of the dish.

Who knows…maybe in a few years, this rural southern favorite will become just as “gourmet” as cornmeal mush has become. Perhaps it will be renamed “liver polenta” or “polenta pate.” If you live outside of the south, you’ll be hard-pressed to find this on the shelves of your local grocer, but there are many recipes on the web for making livermush from scratch. Parting words–don’t judge a dish by its name.

Fried livermush with crispy caramelized onions
Mashed potatoes
Steamed sugar snap peas and baby carrots
Buttermilk drop biscuits

A perfect Georgia peach