The Grey Stuff from Beauty and the Beast
Lumiere: Soupe du jour / Hot hors d’oeuvres / Why, we only live to serve
Try the grey stuff, it’s delicious / Don’t believe me, ask the dishes
– Beauty and the Beast (1991)
In many parts of the world (or at least in my part of the world) school is now out for summer. That means three whole months of Spaghetti-o’s and daytime TV! For a lot of families with young children it means taking the trip to a Disney related theme park. And depending on the theme park you end up at, you can actually try the Grey Stuff from Beauty and the Beast and it looks like this:
Of course, this DOES look delicious. But, here’s a question: when Lumiere presents Belle with a giant plate of hors d’oeuvres did you think the grey stuff was supposed to be some kind of sugar filled monstrosity? Because even as a kid I certainly didn’t. And as a (somewhat functional) adult I definitely think the grey stuff is meant to be pate. Pate is one of the few grey (or kinda grey) foods that exist and is also delicious.
Of course, children aren’t really known for eating pate and so Disney serves this grey goo with the little shiny edible sprinkles. I’m not sure why exactly this upsets me, it’s probably a combination of the fact that kids already eat way too much sugar and there are already so many other things that are sweet that are served by Disney. Why, why did they have to do this? Oh it’s for money? That makes sense. So, let’s try making something slightly more accurate to 18th century France grey stuff then whipped sugar.
- 1/2 pound chicken liver
- ~1/2 cup of water
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 teaspoons of red white or sherry
- 1 onion
- 1 garlic clove
- Salt and pepper to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon each)
- Crackers (for the grey stuff)
Trim the livers of any connective tissue or tough little stringy bits (cartilage?) and set to one side. Also, quick note: these livers did NOT smell very good…
Chop onions and mince the garlic and set aside, separately. Melt the butter in large sauce pan and add the onions and cook them on medium heat until they are translucent. Next add the garlic, livers, salt and pepper, and water. Heat for 5-8 minutes, until the livers are barely pink inside. Let stand (off the heat) for 5 minutes. Add everything in the pan into a blender and add the wine or sherry. Blend until everything is smooth enough to pip out – but also allow this to cool and somewhat solidify in the fridge. Pip onto a round cracker of your choice!
This wasn’t quite as labor intensive as I thought it was going to be. Plus I can now say that I have actually made kidney mush, as opposed to that other time when I kind of did but really didn’t. I made a small batch of the grey stuff since there’s really only so much pate one person can eat. With a lot of my other creations, especially my baking, I can take things like cookies or muffins to work and people will eat them. No one is going to eat my “super special homemade pate” that I make for my weird blog. Anyway, this tasted pretty good, but dealing with chicken livers was less than fun so in the future I will leave this to the professionals.
Cromulence: 7 Culinary Cabarets out of 10
The Grey Stuff recipe from: Beauty and the Beast (1991)