Thursday, January 7, 2010

Bull "Fries"

What better way to fire off the new year with a mouthful of fresh bull testicles? Big, fat, juicy, bal--Woah, woah, take your mouse pointer away from that "X." The least you could do is finish reading this entry after I consumed roughly a pound of fries for the sake of culinary literature.

Why did I choose this tender vittle? Well, for one thing, I'd never tried them. (Then again, I've never tried arm wrestling Lincoln Hawk...and we all know that'll land you with a broken humerus.) Typically, they are breaded, fried, and served up with some sort of toe-curling hot sauce, remoulade, aoili, or tartar sauce in American (as well as Central American) states where bovine husbandry is practiced and, I suspect, probably vies for most popular appetizer with Skoal snuff. Bull fries are known by many names, but most commonly as "Rocky Mountain oysters" or the less extravagant "prairie oysters." A few other aliases culinary wordsmiths concocted are "swinging beef," "Montana tendergroins," and my personal favorite, "cowboy caviar."

Cheapest caviar you've ever seen, no?

I wanted to raise the bar above just frying the oysters and dousing them with hot sauce to mask the pungent flavor. So, you know, I decided to make a spicy curry instead and attempt to completely overpower them. I was a bit surprised by my candor when I saw them on the protein rack at the market between pork maws and beef hearts. After all, they are testicles. But while my grocer carries such treats as live conch, snails, and jellyfish, this trip was the first time I'd seen this particular delicacy. Large and squishy with a distinct offal smell, in their raw state these plump fries could make even the most iron-clad stomachs churn. When sliced, they resemble sea urchin in color and texture, though they are a bit more hardy.

Definitely a first date kind of dish.
Nut Curry
1 lb + of beef fries, peeled and small diced
1/2 onion, small diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 C chicken stock
1 14.5 oz can Thai coconut milk
1 1/2 T Thai green curry paste
lime slices, for taste and garnish
cilantro, for taste and garnish
1 C rice (per serving)
vegetable oil
flour
kosher salt & fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
Heat the vegetable oil while dusting and seasoning the fries with flour, kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper. Sear them in the pan and remove them. Add the onions, sweat them for 2-3 minutes, then add the garlic and curry paste and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the stock, wait until it comes to a boil, then add the coconut milk. Simmer the mixture and partially cover, cooking for 1-1 1/2 hours, or until tender. Serve with rice and garnish with plenty of cilantro and lime slices.

Not that bad, but try throwing in some peas or spinach for a little more color and flavor. In fact, you could definitely hide the oysters in a meal, serve it to your friends, and then cackle hysterically while they down the whole schmeer. But perhaps that's just my sick mind at work. The powerful and spicy green curry flavor matches well with the particularly strong tang of the fries, and the aroma of the dish is actually quite delectable. Use the green curry paste sparingly, as it will scorch your palate if overused. Note that it is very important to remove the elastin, or the whitish membrane covering the testicles, which is similar in nature the silverskin that you commonly see on pork tenderloins or ribs, for example. It will not break down during the cooking process and can make for an overly chewy meal. And if you know what you're eating, a chewy dish is an undesireable dish.

2 comments:

  1. Years ago, when wandering through a market in southern Mexico, I picked up a dry...thing. I asked what it was. "Huevos" (balls), the old guy answered with a leer. I scurried away, looking for my husband.

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  2. Sea urchin, as is sold, is testicles, too. Neat how they look similar in color.

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