Recipe Improv with Michael Psilakis


Today we’re playing Recipe Improv with Michael Psilakis, exec chef and co-owner of Anthos, Kefi and Mia Dona. This has been a good year for Psilakis—Food and Wine magazine named him Best New Chef, and Anthos was nominated for a James Beard Award. But we’re sure that playing Recipe Improv was most thrilling of all.

The mystery ingredients: Avocado, prosciutto, chicken liver

We threw the mystery ingredients at Chef Psilakis, and he came up with a cold avocado soup, garnished with fried chicken liver, prosciutto and melon. It sounds absolutely, completely delicious. I may try it sometime soon and post the results here.

Chilled Avocado and Yogurt Soup with Crispy Chicken Liver, Prosciutto and Cantaloupe

Yield: 6 servings
3 cups whole milk
3 avocados
1 1/2 cups strained Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
salt and pepper
extra-virgin olive oil for frying and garnish
6 slices prosciutto
12 cilantro leaves
rice flour, for dusting chicken liver
8 ounces chicken liver, cubed
24 cantaloupe balls, scooped using a melon baler

In a blender, combine milk, avocado and yogurt. Purée, and then strain the mixture through a chinoise or any fine strainer. Stir in the lemon juice, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside in the refrigerator to chill. In a deep pan over medium-high heat, pour in the oil to a depth of about 4 inches, and allow it to get hot. Fry the prosciutto until crisp; remove from pan and place on paper towels. In the same oil, fry the cilantro leaves until crisp, and remove onto paper towels. Keep the oil hot. Spoon rice flour into a shallow bowl. Season the chicken livers with salt, and then roll cubes of chicken liver in rice flour, and shake off excess. Fry the chicken livers in the hot oil until crispy and brown. Reserve livers on a paper towel and allow to cool to room temperature. In a small bowl, dress melon balls with 2 tablespoons olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. To serve, pour soup evenly into six shallow, large bowls. Scatter an equal serving of fried chicken liver, melon balls and fried prosciutto in the center of each bowl, and garnish with fried cilantro leaves and an additional drizzle of olive oil.