Sunday, January 15, 2012

Fried Chicken Hearts

I find myself increasingly open to trying organ meats. I was hesitant about the tripe, I was slightly apprehensive about the tongue, and when I saw a package of chicken hearts I excitedly purchased it without a second thought.

Really, who could resist?

Since this is something I’ve never cooked before, I’ll go to my old standby and fry them up.

You need:
Chicken Hearts
Total: $1 - $10

Coarsely chop as many scallions and garlic cloves you’d like. I used three of each.

Sautee them in oil until the scallions and garlic start to brown slightly.

Add the hearts. Stir occasionally, to turn the hearts and keep the veggies from sticking to the bottom of the pan.  You want the hearts to turn dark brown.

It’s like a fatty piece of dark meat, only it’s a bit hard to bite through. Cardiovascular muscle is pretty dense and these feel almost like they have a sausage casing over them. It's not half bad, especially if you like dark meat. I even made a sandwich with it.  There is the slight disadvantage of my girlfriend refusing to kiss me, but that shouldn’t affect you because I’d punch you if you kissed her anyway. Despite devouring the hearts of an entire farm of chickens, I'm not sure if I absorbed any of their power. Hopefully I’ll gain their strength and courage in addition to what I have already, and not as a complete substitution. Stay queer!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Turkish Halva

While in a Polish grocery store in Queens, I happened upon this.

I’ve never heard of Halva. The first ingredient is tahiri, which I later discovered is ground sesame seed paste. My girlfriend asked the cashiers if they knew what it was. Apparently it’s some kind of dessert thing but neither of them could really describe it.  How intriguing.  Apparently halva is made in several countries, comes in several varieties, and originated in Iran.

For some reason, the marbled appearance gave me the impression that it'd be soft, like a spread. It’s actually very firm and crumbly and you have to break it apart. The texture is kind of odd.  The best comparison I can think of is ultra-densely packed fine ground peanuts. It starts off really easy to chew but, as you continue, it gets this kind of toffee-ish consistency. It’s sweet, kind of peanutty-tasting, and there’s a hint of coco.  It’s pretty good, if insanely rich.  A friend of mine tried it and seconded my assessments. Watch yourself if you have fillings, dentures, or just bad teeth in general because I could see this pulling something out if you're not careful. It’s enjoyable while you eat it, but it’s very easy to have too much and end up sprawled across the couch, feeling like there’s a billiard ball-sized wad of honey in your gut, and making noises like a walrus with gas pain.  Stay queer!

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Lengua is a Mexican beef dish.  Wanna see what part of the cow it uses?
That pan is about 10 inches across.
You know, I had tongue once before.  I visited my best friend in Philly recently and she was kind enough to buy me a quarter pound of sliced beef tongue from a deli. It smelled like a mix of pastrami and cat food.  Tasted alright though.

Unfortunately, girlfriend is not currently available to be traumatized. Luckily, my good friend Emi, who is also a vegetarian, has opted to be present during the bulk of its preparation. Lucky thing too. Half of the fun of this blog is inflicting it on others.  Of course, this is one of MY friends we’re talking about here.  They don't horrify easily and they tend to bounce back quickly. As I began prep we bantered about how the cow probably wanted to be an actress when she grew up, and had a loving family, and was going to go to college before it was all tragically cut short. Naturally, I held it in front of my mouth while standing very close to Emi as she was looking at something else and made a loud, throaty “BLULULULUAAAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGG” sound when she noticed me. You know, the usual stuff people do when cooking. You know, I can't help but notice that the taste buds are pretty prominent.  You could feel them through the packaging.  By the way, if you’re a tongue aficionado and the color of the tongue seems a bit off, it’s because it was pre-smoked, not raw.

You need:
Beef tongue
5 Green chilis: I used serrano peppers
2 cans of corn
4 roma tomatoes
A small white or yellow onion
4 cloves of garlic
Total cost: $20 - $30 

Before you do anything else, you have to boil the tongue for 40-50 minutes per pound.  Why?  Because you need to skin it, of course!  Who ever heard of eating the skin on a cow tongue?  That would just be gross. By the way Emi noted that it smells like hot dogs.  As it boiled the smell became more and more prominent, until it filled every inch of my tiny, studio apartment.  Infer from that what you will. When it's done, set the tongue aside to cool for a few minutes.

Now skin it.  I thought this would be difficult, but you can actually just peel it off with your fingers.  It comes off very easily.

Now thinly slice the tongue.  The meat is very tender and easy to cut, so this only takes a minute.  You can chop it more finely if your skillet isn’t big enough. 

Now get your veggies ready!  In a skillet, roast the peppers over medium heat until the sides are charred.  The more charred it is, the easier it is to skin them.  Take them off of the heat, let them cool off a bit and rub the skin off.  If you’re using very hot peppers, or doubt your manual dexterity you should wear gloves to keep oil from getting under your nails because that shit is ridiculously painful. I once got datil pepper oil under my thumb nail and I thought it was going to melt off. Now cut off the tops and coarsely chop the peppers.  If you want your lengua to be spicier, leave the seeds in.  Now thinly slice the onion, mince the garlic, and coarsely shop the tomatoes.  Get your cans of corn ready as well.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Transfer the peppers, garlic, and onion into the pan. Cook until the onions are translucent.

Add the beef tongue.  Cook for an additional 10 minutes to brown the meat.

Add the tomatoes, and cook them until they’re soft.  5 minutes should do it.

Finally, add drain and add the corn.  Cook for another 5 minutes or so to heat it. My skillet was not nearly big enough for this.

It tastes a bit like bland beef, but the fat gives it a hint of sweetness that's a bit like pork.  The slight heat from the peppers is quite nice and the firm texture of the corn compliments the tenderness of the beef. All of the meat and veggies absorbed some of the oil from the hot peppers, so the heat is nice and even, without being too strong.  All of the ingredients complement each other very nicely. This is really excellent.  I’m sure your average American meat-eater would love this as long as you don’t tell them it has tongue in it. That apparently works for hot dogs.  Stay queer!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Spicy Cornbread and Stuffing

Thanks to the kindness of one of my close friends (thanks, Mik!) we venture once more to Ass Kickin’ territory. I love stuffing, and what better way to ring in the new year than with some fire hole! (Ask a friend who eats a lot of spicy food.  They’ll explain that one to you) 

Fire hole: everyone's problem

You need:
Cornbread mix 
2 eggs
2 cups of milk
A third of a cup of butter or margarine
¾ of a cup of cheddar cheese

Total cost: $10 - $20

Melt the butter and mix it ina  bowl with the cornbread mix, eggs, milk, and cheese.  Like last time, I added the entire packet of ground habanero, much to the dismay of my girlfriend.  At least we both agreed that the batter smells wonderful.

Put it in the fridge for 15 minutes.  Stir and transfer to a baking pan.

Cook it at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes.  It’s done when a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Eating two pieces of this was a struggle.  At time of writing, it's one of the hottest things I’ve ever tasted, and I LOVE IT.  Girlfriend can’t handle it and is a bit pissed at me for adding all of the pepper.  It was totally worth it, more for me!  It’s not a flavorful as the beer bread because the heat comes really fast and strong, so it kind of drowns out the taste of the bread itself.  If you’re lucky, you’ll get a hint of cheese. It tastes very good with butter, which also dulls the heat somewhat.  From what I can tell so far, the cornbread itself is tasty.  I’m sure I don’t need to tell you this, but it ain’t sweet.  Now to make the stuffing!

You need:
A pan of the bread
Water or chicken broth (unless you’re dating a vegetarian, in which case you will be forced to use vegetable broth L )
½ cup of butter
A small onion

Total cost: roughly an additional 5 bucks.

Break the bread up into little pieces and finely chop a cup of celery and 4 tablespoons of onion.

Melt the butter in a pan and saute the veggies in it until they’re tender.

Take it off the heat and mix in the water or broth.  The recipe called for a ¼ cup, but I like my stuffing to be moist so I added a full cup.

Now mix the contents of the pan with the bread and toss it lightly.

It’s still very hot, but a bit less so and it takes a second to hit you.  You can taste the bread more now and it’s pretty damn good.  Girlfriend enjoys it too!  I’d love to try it with some chicken, or turkey.  I feel like this would be a hit at a barbecue. Stay queer!