A chip off the old block

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A chip off the old block

   Uncategorized   April 25, 2017  Comments Off on A chip off the old block

My daughter recently informed me she tried Lengua and Menudo at some Mexican restaurants. She loved the dishes.

For the uninformed, Lengua is beef tongue, Menudo is tripe soup.

She also told me she wanted to make beef tongue. I will giver her my recipe.

My daughter is a chip off the old block. She is an adventurous eater and offal does not put her off.

Offal is usually organs, tails, or feet and hooves. Anything that is not from the skeletal muscle portions of an animal. Offal has been eaten by humans since forever. Some offal is more nutritious than muscle meat, providing higher levels of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Blood is included in the offal category. Blood is an ingredient in sausages and various other ethnic dishes, including the dense, rich, Italian pudding, Sanguinaccio dolce.

Offal has been eaten by humans since forever. Some offal is more nutritious than muscle meat, providing higher levels of protein, vitamins, and minerals.

Blood is included in the offal category. Blood is an ingredient in sausages, soups, and various other ethnic dishes, including the dense, rich, Italian pudding, Sanguinaccio dolce.

I have been eating offal in one form or another since as far back as I can remember. My parents cooked all kinds. Calves brains with scrambled eggs and onion, kidneys, liver and onions, chicken livers, gizzards, and eggs, tripe, tongue, pig ears, tails, and snouts in tomato sauces, blood sausage, liver and onions, just to name what I remember.

Pig ear terrine.

Once in a while, I make beef tongue, tripe, or other offal. This past winter, I had some leftover pork stock from snouts, tails, and trotters I cooked to make into a pig ear terrine. I used it to make chili. It was terrific.

My parents had a rule about eating. You don’t have to like it, you just have to try it. I tried everything. I do not remember one particular thing I did not like. Of course, my parents were terrific cooks.

There is no bad food. There is only badly prepared food. Anything can be made to taste good or even great.

Poor people throughout history have taken what are considered the nasty bits and turned them into something wonderful. Even lobster and other now popular seafood were once considered trash fish.

With the emerging interest in the nasty bits and nose to tail eating, offal became more expensive. When I made tripe, I could not believe how much it cost.

The cooking world calls offal variety meats or uses other terms to make the products more appealing.

Tripe two ways.

If you want to be a good cook, you must be an adventurous eater. You must get past the ick factor and dig in to try things. You might be amazed.

You do not have to spend a fortune. There are small ethnic restaurants that serve a variety of dishes made from the nasty bits. Do a little searching, take a chance, and surprise yourself.

There are amazing things to eat waiting for you.

So, get out there and try eating the nasty bits. Amaze yourself. No matter what is prepared, if it is cooked, seasoned, and flavored properly, you will enjoy it.

You may even want to try cooking offal at home. Look for good, easy recipes. If the recipes are too complicated or time-consuming, they are not worth trying, unless you are an accomplished cook.

Properly prepared food, no matter the origin, is a delight. Improperly prepared food will not make the best ingredients taste good, forget about better or best.

The nose to tail movement has taken off and is here to stay. Enjoy the ride. Be adventurous. Go out there and try the nasty bits, the offal or variety meats. Amaze yourself.

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