Showing posts with label offal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label offal. Show all posts

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Pig Tails. Asian Marinade, Braised and Roasted


nose to TAIL

we're talkin' PIG TAILS...

PHAT ! FATTY fabulous !

done them before (BBQ Style HERE) and i'll do them again.  this not for the weak, diet conscious, cholesterol high, tenderloin pansy palate bacon only-vegetarians.

THIS IS FOR THE, NOSE-TO-TAILERS, SNOOTER TO THE TOOTERS,  TIP-TO-TOE AND EVERYTHING INBETWEENERS


not what you'd expect them to look like ?...

NO, they aren't those cute little curly things on adorable little baby piggies you see in cartoons.

THEY ARE ACTUALLY QUITE UGLY
BUT...TO THE PORK LOVER AND TRUE "NOSE-TO-TAILER" THESE ARE A BEAUTIFUL THING.
porky, meaty, unctuous and fatty.

Shhhh....pig tails are still a CHEAP cut of the pig.
4 lbs. for about 6 bucks !

i just cooked the PIG SNOUTS in a Spicy Mexican Chipotle Adobo so i thought i would go Asian-style with these.  i thew together this marinade.  it worked very well for the braise and dipping sauce as well.  use whatever marinade you see fit, i'm sure it will be as tasty as ever with all this porky fatty goodness that comes together after hours of cooking.
MARINADE

1/2 cup soy
1/4 cup honey
2 big Tbsp brown sugar
juice 1 orange
zest pieces from 1/2 orange, use a potato peeler
6-7 thin slices of ginger
1 scallion, sliced
3 cloves smashed garlic
3 inch piece of smashed lemon grass
1 tsp chili garlic sauce

heat this in a small pot for a few minutes to get the flavors together and let it cool to room temp before pouring into bag of tails.  don't forget to do a taste test.
i had too many tails for 1 bag AND not quite enough marinade.  this was 4 lbs. of tails!!!  i split the contents and i had to substitute in a little Soy Vay Hoisin Garlic Sauce/Marinade.

seal the bag with as little air as possible, put into a pan to prevent leakage and place in the fridge over night.  try to turn the bag if you're up and about.

INTO THE OVEN FOR BRAISING

put in oven proof dish that will fit all the tails.  add marinade and liquid tails were in.  if it doesn't seen like enough you can add some stock, but as you can see i might have had just 1/2 inch of liquid...that worked great.  i would have used a huge cast iron dutch oven with a lid, but it was just too big so i put them in a pyrex glass dish in one layer.  i will probably have to check on them every hour to make sure the braise liquid is still there.
cover TIGHT with aluminum foil and they are ready for the 300-320 F oven
APPROX. 3-3 1/2 HOURS WILL DO IT


i started the oven at 320 F, but didn't realize it was on convection.  after an hour i peeked...they were already getting a lovely golden brown.  i turned convection OFF and lowered to 300 F for another hour.  the last hour was down to 280 F (i had to go to the sore and didn't want to over do it)
they should be done when you can easily pull a piece of the bone from the meat.

seriously...i could not stop eating them straight out of the dish.  i might have over done it on my PHAT quota for the week.



once again, my eyes were bigger than my stomach.  i packed some away with the delicious braising liquid for another application...something with pickled slaw, kimchi?, noodles...
or maybe a pulled pig tail banh mi ?

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Duck Tongues. Two ways. Slow Simmer and Oven Braised


DUCK TONGUES !

OFFAL DELICIOUS


YES, ducks do have tongues
YES, people DO eat them and...
YES...i DID go there.

SUPER FUN STRANGE
yet quite delicious

now i see why these are considered a bar-snack or dim sum nibble in the Asian culture.  once you give in and try one you'll find yourself with a pile of 20 or so bones that you've sucked clean.  aside from the "odd-bits" factor, they are quite unique and fun to eat.  i would say it's most similar to a chicken tail or "the Pope's Nose" as my colorful 108 year old Grandmother used to call it.
SO HERE WE GO....i cooked them two ways.  1/2 pound was slowly simmered in an Asian flavored duck stock and 1/2 was marinaded in sweet, spicy soy, ginger, star anise... then braised in the oven.  i think the slow simmer worked best for cooking, but the sauce from the braise was delicious for dipping.
next time i think i will combine the two somehow or maybe i'll try Chichi' Wang's version over at "The Nasty bits"
NOTE...this is a very "Americanized" version of duck tongues.  i do not have a wok, a pantry full of fabulous Chinese ingredients or the proper skills to throw together an authentic Asian-style duck tongues recipe, so this is what i came up with...AND IT WORKED.  i will definitely be having these again SOON.



inflation has hit the duck tongues market.  i remember when i first saw these about 2-3 years ago.  i had no idea what to do with them so i never bought them...too bad.  had i known they were this much FUN i would have purchased a bundle.  i think they were about 5.00$ a pound...now they are 16.99$ a pound

1st...you must rinse

photo above is the cold water bath
2nd...you must do a short pre-boil
put about 7 thin slices of ginger in a pot of water, a good pinch of salt and enough water to totally cover the tongues.  bring the water to a boil and throw in the tongues.  let them boil for 2-3 minutes.  remove them, drain hot water and put them in a cold water bath to stop the cooking.

now you can cook them as you please.
I EXPERIMENTED 2 WAYS...


MARINADE then OVEN BRAISE
FOR THE MARINADE...
1/4 cup soy
1 large T minced ginger
2 star anise
3 T brown sugar
1/2 T sambal chili garlic sauce
splash of shauxing wine
1 small scallion sliced
put tongues in marinade for 30-40 minutes.
strain tongues from marinade and put in oven safe dish.  save the marinade, but it must be boiled if you intend to use it as a sauce.

i poured some "Soy Vay" Hoisin Garlic Sauce over the tongues with a few crushed garlic cloves, a drizzle of sesame oil and added just a bit of stock so there was enough liquid to braise, but NOT boil.
(photo above is before adding the stock)
i had this in the oven, covered,  at 320 F for about 1/2 hour.  checked it at 1/2 hour.  they were still a bit chewy so i lowered to 300 F and continued for another 1/2 hour.
the end result was delicious, but i found that these tongues shrank just a bit...they were not as plump as the slow simmer batch. (example below)
slow simmer on left...marinade/braise right
2nd cooking method...
SLOW SIMMER IN ASIAN DUCK STOCK

i was lucky enough to have some duck stock in my freezer.
find the recipe for Asian flavored duck stock HERE
i suppose you could use homemade chicken stock, but i wanted to get the full "duck" experience.
to the stock i added a couple of star anise, a few ginger pieces, a short stick of lemongrass (tied and slightly pounded), a little bit of garlic chili sauce and a chopped spring onion to the simmer.
bring to a boil and then to a very slow simmer.  check on them until they are done to your liking.  i wanted them fairly soft so they were in for about an hour.

they are delicious straight out of the pot.  serve with or without sauce, over noodles or deep fry to make them crispy good.  mine never made it to the fryer, but i will try this next time.
here's the weird part....
this is what you will find inside the duck tongue
the tip is flubbery and edible if cooked long enough, the flat part is hard cartilage and there is a pebble size bone at the very end.


Friday, January 24, 2014

Spicy Mexican Braised Pig Snouts


NOSE to tail

i suppose you are only here if you are TRULY into nose to tail eating...OR if this purely fascinates or disgusts you.
maybe just a LOOKY-LOO ?

BUT think of it this way...

THAT WHOLE PIG GAVE UP IT'S LIFE FOR YOUR SLICE OF BACON.

we need to think out of the box...away from the "chop"
i know here in So California there isn't a lot of enthusiasm, but
i'm trying to do my part...
piece by piece


WARNING...PUT YOUR GAME FACE ON !

i'm pretty good with "odd-bits", but this was a doozy.
i hate to say it, but the pre-boil stinks.  ooo boy, it's bad.  i mean it smells like a "pig sty"
not to worry...only the pre-boil smells.  it will go away.
it's always important to do a "pre-boil".
this is a skinny-dip in boiling water for 10-15 minutes.  since these are some odd bits, maybe someone did not take care of them as they would a prized tenderloin, so you need to pre-boil to remove any impurities, contaminates and what-nots...
cover your bits with water and bring to a boil for about 10 minutes.  remove from pot and toss the water.  clean your pot and start fresh.
ALSO...if there are any hairs that might have been missed, you can shave those off with a cheap razor or singe them off, as i do, with a brulee torch.

photo before going in oven

WHAT YOU'LL NEED....
2-3 snouts
3/4-1 lb. of pork shoulder cut into large pieces
1-2 large white onion, sliced thick
8-10 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2 small can chipotle in adobo sauce.
approx. 2 cups of homemade stock...i used turkey/chicken
cumin, coriander, mexican oregano, chili powder, pepper corns, fresh ground pepper and salt
liberally sprinkle your seasonings all over and inside the cavity of the snout and meat....
NOTE...there are no exact measurements here, just use your judgement.
pre-boil the snouts as mentioned above.
add thick sliced onions to the bottom of dutch oven.  i always use cast iron enamel.  stuff the inside of the snout with the chunks of pork shoulder.  arrange snouts as you wish.  i did it this way so the main part of the snout would not be submerged in the stock.  stick your crushed garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves and chipotle peppers and adobo sauce evenly throughout.  i used about 1/2 a can...the broth was SPICY!

put in a 320 oven for the first hour.  take it out and check it.  lower heat to 300 F for another hour.  at this point i used a baster to remove some of the stock/juices.  (save this extra broth, you might need to add some back in.)  i wanted a braise, NOT a boil.  the onions will release a lot of juice.  you want the top part of your goodies showing so they will get a nice brown, golden roasty look (as shown below).
baste a few times when you do your peeking.   ALSO, make sure there is still some liquid in the bottom.  i think for the last hour i left the lid "ajar".  put back in the oven for approximately 1 more hour, but check it again in 1/2 hour.  baste again.  they should be very fork tender, but not falling apart and disintegrating.
NOTE...if you really are interested and would like a little more info, please leave a comment with your questions.

this is what it looks like after approx.  3 hours.

straight out of the oven these are quite delicious.
IMAGINE PORK BELLY ON STEROIDS
melt in your mouth fatty gelatinous skin with a fine layer of meat  and chunks of "confit-style" pork shoulder cooked inside the fatty nose.  it's very hard to describe, but definitely a nose-to-tailers delight.

PERFECT FOR STREET TACOS...
cut into bite size pieces and sear in a hot skillet
a little chopped white onion and cilantro
a squeeze of fresh lime with some pickled jalapeno.
wrap in a fresh corn tortilla


when in DOUBT...
make a TERRINE de SNOUT

i had no idea what on earth i was gonna do with 3 huge pig snouts.  there's no way anyone in this house would join me and as you can see they do not shrink much in the cooking.  i ended up making 2 small "Terrine de Snout" (gave one away) and froze a whole snout in the spicy viscous broth for future use.  if serving cold, your terrine might need more salt.  cold terrines usually need extra flavor.  do a taste test.  remember to put the tip of the snout down first if you want the shock value presentation shown in photos.
IF YOUR GOING TO MAKE A "SNOUT TERRINE" YOU BETTER MAKE IT LOOK LIKE A SNOUT TERRINE!
keep the shoulder meat tucked into the snout cavity and press the larger pieces of extra snout in and around the main piece.  pour a little broth into the terrine and press down to eliminate overflow.  put something flat over the top and weight it down.  i use a brick covered in tinfoil and a baggie.  put this in the fridge until it is set.  serve cold in thin slices with charcuterie OR cut off what you want and sear in a pan (it will break apart, but who cares?).  add to noodles, make tacos,  add to soup, fry it up and make snout chicharones?

ANYWAY YOU TRY IT WILL DEFINITELY BE EXPERIENCE...
GO AHEAD...I DARE YA
CROSS THIS ONE OFF YOUR BUCKET LIST!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Turkey Chicharones


TURKEY CHICHARONES
CRUNCHY CRISPY SAVORY SNACKY TURKEY SKIN...

a delicacy that only come around ONCE A YEAR
please excuse the quick photo...it's the only pic i got before they were GOBBLED UP !!!

HOW TO...
save as much skin as you can
(from your roasted turkey) 
large pieces, if possible.
bake in oven as you would BACON.

line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.
start in cold oven at 380-390 F
(i use convection)
set timer for 15 minutes
check and flip
set timer again for 5 minute intervals until done
keep a close eye and flip again for even crisping
GET THEM GOOD AND CRISP
set on paper towels to cool

EAT RIGHT AWAY !

Monday, June 10, 2013

Spicy Pickled Pig Feet


PICKLED TROTTERS...

WAIT...
these are nothing like you would expect.

YES...they are quite a bit to handle, 
but PUT YOUR GAME FACE ON AND GO FOR IT !

all this talk about nose to tail and sustainability...

now you need to
SHOW WHAT YOU'RE MADE OF
and WALK THE TALK



ease into it with a few tostadas...a popular Mexican street food.
REALLY...i'm not kidding.  these little puppies are delicious.
i always see everyone on the cooking shows talking about adding a little acidity to give things a balanced flavor.  pickled this and pickled that, a little balsamic here and a little vinaigrette there...

pickled trotter's could be the answer.... a perfect addition.
just think "PICKLES"
add them to a salad...a burger?...a sandwich?

these trotter's are mildly acidic with a few flavorful spices.  they do have an unusual texture that i can only liken to...well...pickled pig products...hummmph...
if you cook them long enough and are able to de-bone them properly the texture can be soft. pliable and porky.  when chopped into a relish or a topping for salad i bet the consumer would never know.  not to say you should rely on trickery, but not many people will jump at the chance to try a pickle pig product if asked.  i promise, this is not like that horrid looking dusty jar you see on the top shelf at the market...

these are done with a little extra CARE and a little EXTRA FLARE.


had i know they would be this good, i would have filled the jar !


SPICY PICKLED PIG FEET

2-3  trotters split in half
2 cups apple cider vinegar
5-6 cardamom pods, crushed open
4 dried chili de arbol
1 1/2 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
10 peppercorns
1/2 tsp red chili flakes...a little more s good
a few baby carrots and cloves of garlic

first...put the trotters into a large stock pot filled with water.  bring to a boil for about 5-10 minutes.  pull out trotters and discard water.  this helps remove any contaminants and just makes for clean feet.  clean the pot and fill again with water and put the trotters in.  you're basically just cooking the feet in a good broth...however you do it is fine, but this is what i did...add 1 quartered onion, a few smashed garlic cloves, a couple of bay leaves, a large pinch of Mexican oregano and a splash of apple cider.  bring to a boil, then to a simmer for about 2 to 3 hours or until trotters are very fork tender,(but not totally mush) and bones can easily be removed.
remove from broth and cool to the touch so you can remove as many bones as possible.   try not to mangle the feet.  try to keep the pieces whole or at least large.  this batch was cooked just right so i was able to get every bone and still leave the feet in good shape.
strain and save the broth for something else. keep the bay leaves and chilis for the finished jar.  the broth might not have too much meaty flavor, but it is full of collagen and very very viscous.  i keep it for the next round of pig braising or use it in cold terrines.
next...in a medium sauce pan add the cider vinegar, cardamom pods, dried chilies, salt, sugar, peppercorns and red chili flakes.  bring to boil, then a simmer.  add de-boned trotters in and simmer on LOW for 10 to 15  minutes.
remove from heat.  remove feet and put in jar(or jars) of choice.  strain broth/cider mixture and keep the goodies like the cardamom, peppercorns, bay leaves etc to put in the jar.  pour the cider over the trotters and put all your saved goodies in and around the trotters.
let come to room temp and refrigerate.  let sit in fridge for at least a few days and up to 4 weeks (maybe even a little longer...if the seal is not broken).  if you dig in to them, try and use with in 10 days.  NOTE...i am not the food police and i don't know for sure how long these keep...but they are "pickled" and that's how long i have kept them.

serve them along with your charcuterie platter, on Mexican Street Tostados, slice on top a savory pulled pork slider...heck, you could use them as the pickle effect on a juicy big burger.

Friday, May 24, 2013

BBQ Turkey Tails with Hoisin Sesame Glaze


if pigs could fly this would be the

PORK BELLY BITE OF THE BIRD.


"the last thing over the fence is the best bite of the bird"

TRUST ME !!!
this is not anything like the semi tough roasted turkey tail from your Thanksgiving Turkey.

IT IS FAR BEYOND.

you must try a turkey tail...
BUT it must be properly cooked.

i have posted about these before, but i feel i have not done the "tail" justice.  after quite a few years of cooking and sharing the turkey tail experience with any willing participant, i thought i better post again to get the message out there and add a few more de-tails...har har har

IN A NUT SHELL...
the goal is to simmer the tails in some good flavorful homemade stock for about 2 1/2 to 4 hours, until very fork tender.  then marinade them over night and BBQ them the next day with a nice char on the fatty bits smothered in a savory finger licking glaze.


HOW TO COOK, BBQ and EAT TURKEY TAILS


FIRST YOU'LL NEED...
12-15 turkey tails, as many as you can find !
chicken stock (see-NOTE), enough to fill pot and simmer your chosen amount of tails
1 big Tsp Mexican oregano
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 onion quartered
4-6 smashed cloves of garlic
put every thing into a large stock pot.  bring to a boil and then to a simmer for about 2 1/2 to 4 hours, depending on the size and amount of tails.  sometimes i let mine go for the full 4 hours.  they are hard to ruin, but must be cooked until tender.
remove from heat.  remove tails from broth.  strain broth and save for yummy viscous stock.
NOTE...i save my roasted chicken carcasses in the freezer for this event.  i throw everything in even if it's frozen, add a little water, aromatics and slowly heat it to a boil, then lower to a simmer.  the stock you end up with will be rich, viscous and delicious.


AFTER THE FIRST COOKING YOU'LL NEED...

"Soy Vay" Hoisin Garlic Sauce (or marinade/sauce/glaze of choice)
a sprinkle of cumin, chili powder and salt
sesame oil
sesame seeds (after grill)
chili garlic sauce and pickled ginger to serve.

YES...those little holes are where the big turkey feathers sprout from.  occasionally the tail has not been cleaned of every single feather and you might find a "nib" or two that you'll need to manually pull out (after braising, before grilling).  run your finger along the edges of the tails and check for any feather follicles that were left "behind" (PARDON THE PUN!) in the plucking.  you will feel any imperfections.  they should slip out.  it's kinda weird.  place warm tails in a tupperware ( i guess a ziplock baggie would work) and sprinkle with cumin, chili powder and a little salt.  put in fridge uncovered until chilled, then cover for over night marinade.(see photos below)


GRILLING...
now...this goes against grilling rules, BUT it's okay to put these on the grill straight out of the fridge.  it will even help keep them together.  they will warm through by the time you are done.  make sure your grill is clean and lightly greased.  fatty things with skin tend to stick.  put some more sauce on and try to continue putting sauce on as you grill to get a good sticky glaze going.  you want to sear both sides and occasionally stand the tails on end.  with long tongs, hold on and try to sear the fatty sides.  you can even lean them up against each other.  if you're a "griller", i don't need to tell you what your doing...right?


HOW TO EAT A TURKEY TAIL?...

above is an example of what you'll find.  there is quite a large tail bone that runs right through dividing the two unctuous nuggets.  if thoroughly cooked the two nuggets should separate from the bone very easily.
NOTE...please please don't be afraid of the fat....
think pork belly with wings.
eat one whole side in a single bite...like a big juicy meatball.  don't be timid.  just go for it.  for first timers, you can separate the nuggets from the bone.  the odd vertebrae might be a little scary for some.  for the less timid...hold the tail from tip to end and bite the whole side off...then, of course, suck the bone and ask for another!
ENJOY !

BELOW IS A JUST LITTLE VISUAL AID


the tails should be done in about 2 1/2 to 4 hours depending on the size.  give them the fork test.  the end vertebrae should easily pull off.  this batch was simmering for about 4 hours.  i doubt you can hurt them, so longer is better on a slow simmer.


put the warm cooked tails into a tupperware.  season with some dry ingredients and slather on some sauce (while they are warm).  let come to room temp and refrigerate over night.


above is a quick photo of my tails ready to go into the fridge and all the delicious stock.  this stock was so deep and rich. it was almost like a demi glace when done.  the tails definitely add to the viscosity of the stock, much like when grandma used to add in the chicken feet.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Pig Head Experience...when OFFAL turns AWFUL


how much fun can you have with $ 3.62...???

let me explain...

i swear, i just went to the market to find some sweet basil seeds for a drink project i'm working on.  i took a left in the market and there it was...calling my name.  half a roasted pig's head with ears, nose and eyes intact.  the golden blistered skin, charred crispy ear, a whole hog jowl...it was flawless...it was right in front of me.  i couldn't pass it up.

"i'll take it, please."

"would you like that chopped up miss ?"

"NO, no...please wrap it carefully
AND don't break the ear !"


SO MUCH FUN...
ENDING WITH SO MUCH DISAPPOINTMENT.

i'll try to keep this short...

who in their right mind would come home with 1/2 a roasted pig's head ?  ME

i was a little apprehensive, but so excited and giddy to show off my new purchase.  grinning from ear to ear, i quickly unveiled it in all it's glory.  EYES POPPED, laughter aplenty, but come to think of it...there really wasn't the expected shock considering the odd purchases i usually come home with.
the niece and nephews were in town so i had to be a little cautious.  we all decided it was best to keep the two youngest out of the hilarious loop and not ruin their vision of "Babe".  not just yet.

BUT...the rest of the family?...
we were in stitches.
crispy skin pig cheek...looks delicious, right?...(read on)

i had my fun shooting the head every which way while family members stopped by in disgust, awe and amazement.  after an hour or two i had to call it quits.  even I was getting a bit...hmmm...queasy?
i quickly broke down the head with my trusty cleaver while the two little ones were at the park, removed all the edible meaty parts, packed them up and stuck them in the back of the fridge...
just wait 'til tomorrow...
i'll have my own private little pig party.



i wrapped up the bones and threw them away.
i had enough of the pig head for a day...deal with it tomorrow.

within an hour i was horrified that i could be so wasteful...roasted bones?  why not make a delicious stock?...i removed the tightly wrapped bones from the bin and set forth on a delicious porky-good stock.
5 hours of cooking, simmering and reducing with onions, celery, carrots, oregano, cumin, etc....
mmm... taste test...

IT WAS AWFUL...super bitter !
it had to go down the sink.
sad...so so sad...

i think this super charred side, the crispy ear and burnt snout were the culprit for the awful bitter stock.
this is the first stock i have ever had to toss.
SAD...so very very sad...

the next day i went straight for the crispy unctuous hog jowl.
i was so looking forward to this coveted bite.  i rewarmed and re-crisped it in the oven, watching the skin come back to "crispy perfection".  upon first slice i thought...i have to shoot this...it looks too good to be true.  after a quick impromptu photo shoot,  i settled in for the jowl feast of a life time..
  yikes!  it was like rubber.   we're talking "gummy bear" inedible!
the skin was crispy and delicious, but the meat was like a rubber tire.  it needed to be cooked for another few hours.  i ate the skin and threw the rest out.
i was sad...so very sad.

although the pig head turned out to be so disappointing, it was every bit worth the $3.62.
would i buy another?...maybe for a party and it's shock value.

next time i will cook it myself...BUCKET LIST

so there's my PIG HEAD EXPERIENCE...

and i'll wrap it up with this...

FOOD IS FUN

think outside the box...

you might not get a meal out of it, but you'll surely have an unforgettable experience.
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