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Casual Testicle Curry Turned Indian Feast

22 Aug

The Indian Feast part will be focussed on here. The Casual Testicle Curry you will find over at Juls’ blog PepperandSherry. Juls has been a really supportive reader of here and offered lots of encouragement. She also gets a prize for being the first person to ask me write a Guest Post. I am also available for weddings and bar mitzvahs! So if you go over and read my guest post, I hope it doesn’t reflect too badly on Juls’ wonderful blog. Btw she blates loves the offal too.

To start with, I continued my ear obsession and made Sticky Tamarind Pig’s Ear Salad. This was made in pretty the same way as the rest of my pig’s ear salads, but I marinated the ears in tamarind, lime juice, chilli and garlic paste.

Then obvs, we had testicle curry. I invented my new method of de-sacking a testicle using scissors. I’m very proud of it. You can read the whole recipe for the testicle curry over at PepperandSherry (my first Guest Post), but to go with it I made some black cardoman chick peas, some celery seed flatbread and some raita!

All three extras were really simple to make.

The chickpeas were simply one onion chopped and fried, with a can of chickpeas, a can of tomatoes and four black cardoman pods added, then simmered for one hour.

The raita is really a sort of cucumber salad. You mix some white malt vinegar with a tablespoon of sugar and a pinch of salt, then mix them all togerther.

The celery bread comes from ‘Cook, Brew and Blend’ which is a great volume from the old Yard. It mixes a materia medica of herbs with advice for different organ systems, lifestyles, tips on using herbs, tips on making your own products and lots more. I love it. You can buy it here. The flatbread was very simple and went along the lines of add celery seeds to flour, with a bit of water, mix, then roll flat, then griddle on each side.

Then for dessert we had some chilli and lime sorbet that I made a while ago after a FoodiePenpals package. Nowadays I’m the sort of person who just has the perfect dessert in the freezer.

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Pig’s Ear Popcorn

29 Jul

So my current obsession with all things auricular means an infinite variety to my creations. As you might have noticed I also tend to be all over a food or ingredient for a few weeks and it’s all I want to use/eat. Lately I’ve been experimenting with making popcorn at home. An excellent mix to go on your popped corn is paprika, salt, sugar and dark chocolate.

But what would happen is crispy pig’s ears and popcorn got cooked together to make a delicious snack?

Offal snacks have been on my mind, as there are few offally bits that you can just pick up and run with. Scratching are one. I’m not sure about biltong. Gone are the days however, where my afternoon snack could be a couple of slices of ham. Oh dear. What to do? Tongue is an option, but what else could be out there?

Cue my patented pig’s ear popcorn! Similar to creating crispy pig’s ears, instead of a frying pan, use a saucepan. Fry the ears in hot oil for five minutes, then add your popping corn. Wait til it’s all popped and then shake through your salt, sugar, paprika, or whatever flavouring you’re balling with currently! I like some fennel and cumin seeds thrown in with the popping corn.

I made some to take on a long car journey with me and below is the picture of the remnants, because they were SO BLOODY DELICIOUS I snacked down on them all and forgot to take a good picture.

I used salt, sugar and paprika to shake on, leaving out the dark chocolate … chocolate and pork didn’t seem quite the perfect combination.

Next time you’ve got some pig’s ears lying around your fridge have a go! Or just pop some corn, it’s bloody great!

Crispy Auricular Salad

15 Jul

How delicious does a Crispy Pig’s Ear Salad sound? I know. Incredibly delicious.

You may remember that I postulated that my off the cuff whim of buying pig’s ears might result in a pig’s ear carbonara from the Foodie Penpals Recipe … well, Crispy Pig’s Ear Salad is not that. Mostly because I kept coming across people saying how good crispy pig’s ears are. (You know who you are, Brian.)

You do need to prepare your ears first. Shave the hairs off (Bic razors are a good tool) and then scrub all the crevices (a toothbrush is another good tool) to remove any dirt/wax. It’s not as gross as it sounds. I did it when I roasted Arthur.

Then you need to poach your ears in a delicious stock. Since they are made up of skin, cartilage, tiny bits of meat and other thin tissues, there isn’t a huge amount of flavour there already, but they do carry the stock flavours on.

Here the ears are in their poaching liquid. I poached them for two hours until the skin was just beginning to come away. I added a bay leaf, a bouquet garni and a fresh lovage leaf (bobbing in the middle of the picture). When you fish the ears out, don’t through the stock away. The stock is awesome.* In fact if I was to make pork stock again I’d probably just use ears.

Then you need to press them. I put them on a plate, with another plate on top, and then a few bottles of beer top of that in the fridge overnight.

Now they are ready for you to make creations with. For a crispy pig’s ear salad, you need to slice the ear into long strips, that you then toss in corn flour and fry. I got most of my instructions from After Hours with Iggy – go check an awesome food blog!

That is the cross-section of a pig’s ear. Informative. Biological. Interesting. The white line is the cartilage and the pinkier bit at the bottom is some meat. Don’t worry about the cartilage being too tough. The poaching and then the frying makes it tasty nice! So cut as many fine slices as you want to eat. Then toss them in corn flour (for extra crispness – it makes a big difference to the taste). Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a pan (or if you have a deep fat fryer use that) and fry them until they are pretty crispy.

Sizzling in the pan! I used olive oil so they take about 4 mins on a high heat to get to the Crispy Factor. If you use sunflower oil that gets hotter, so it will probably take less time. Just watch as you toss.

While these were frying I made my vinaigrette. I’ve been experimenting with herbal vinegars (yes, I do live in 1992) and am currently enjoying strawberry vinegar (thyme and honeysuckle are also on the go). If I’m making dressing for one I use my indispensable tiny Tiptree jam jar. So I added one-third strawberry vinegar, two thirds Beauty Oil, a squeeze of lime and some chilli flakes. Then I shook my tiny jar. Presto! Dressing! Pronto!

The rest is history. Put the ears on kitchen towel to drain. Add leaves, ears and dressing to a bowl and enjoy.

I love pig’s ears. There will be more pig’s ears posts coming soon. Auricular pickles anyone?

* We used the stock to make an aromatic risotto of just onion, rice, orange zest, a teaspoon of dried mugwort and this stock. IT WAS SO GOOD.