When I was little, Sunday brunch was an absolute family occasion; no AWOLs allowed. Our solemn attendance was rewarded by homemade coffeecakes and spoonbread and souffle's and country ham and, on very special occasions, eggs benedict and the like.
My favorite was a kidney and liver saute', which works wonderfully as a quick dinner, and is a bargain, at that. Lamb kidneys are best, but veal does well; the chicken livers are optional. Only fresh mushrooms are acceptable.
KIDNEY SAUTE (4 rich servings) 8 lamb kidneys (substitute 2 veal kidneys) 12 large mushrooms 1/2 pint chicken livers* 1 onion, sliced 4 tablespoons butter 1 lemon Salt and pepper, to taste Splash of dry vermouth Noodles, rice or english muffins, for serving
Slice the kidneys about 1/2-inch thick, trimming around the tough white core; blot with paper towels. Wipe off mushrooms and slice medium thick; cut the chicken livers into 4 or 5 pieces. Cut onion slices in half.
Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat and add onions and mushrooms. Squeeze half a lemon over the skillet and salt and pepper to taste. After the mushrooms and onions start to soften, splash with dry vermouth.
Add kidneys and livers, turning until browned on all sides. Repeat lemon juice, vermouth and pepper (there's salt in vermouth). Cook for a couple of minutes, continuing to turn or to shake the skillet. Do not overcook, or the meats will toughen. Serve over noodles, rice or english muffins, spooning on the pan juices.
Note: If you don't like chicken livers, use 12 lamb kidneys or 3 veal kidneys.