Friday, April 16, 2010

Culinary Smackdown: Mountain Oysters,

Err umm


Our host for this event is Heff of Heff's Bar and Grill fame. He and his lovely lady Donna were the winner of the last challenge. And he chose lobster. So here we go. First a little background information:

Clawed lobsters comprise a family (Nephropidae, sometimes also Homaridae) of large marine crustaceans. Though several groups of crustaceans are known as "lobsters," the clawed lobsters are most often associated with the name. They are also revered for their flavor and texture. Clawed lobsters are not closely related to spiny lobsters or slipper lobsters, which have no claws (chelae), or squat lobsters. The closest relatives of clawed lobsters are the reef lobsters and the three families of freshwater crayfish. Lobsters are found in all oceans. They live on rocky, sandy, or muddy bottoms from the shoreline to beyond the edge of the continental shelf. They generally live singly in crevices or in burrows under rocks.
They are invertebrates, with a hard protective exoskeleton. Lobsters have 10 walking legs; the front two adapted to claws. There are more than 45 different species of Lobsters. I have had several varieties varying from crawdad to spiny and maine. All are tasty, although I prefer spiny lobsters. I've chased these buggers around from the waters of Massachusetts to the Caribbean Sea. There as much fun to catch as they are to eat. I apologize for the lack of recipe pictures, real life got in the way.

For this recipe you could use fresh lobster or frozen tails. Freshly speared is best.

It's fast and easy.

The recipe is a lobster tacos:

1 or 2 strips of lobster tail per taco
1 6 inch or 8 inch tortillas
1/4 teaspoon of blackening seasoning (per tail)
One red pepper
One green pepper
One green pepper
1 tablespoon cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 red onion
One jalapeno pepper
One firm tomato or cherry tomatoes, include the juice in the bowl.

Lay the tail(s) onto a shallow pan partially filled water. Apply blackening seasoning to the tops of the tails. Cover with foil and put under the broiler. Timing of this depends on how hot broiler gets. When the meat turns white firm remove the foil and brown the tops of the tails. While they are cooking. Finely dice the peppers into one 16th to 1/8 inch cubes to make a salsa. (very this to taste, depending on how sharp you'd like it, I generally don't use all of the bell peppers)

Once tails are cooked, white and firm to the touch. Cut into strips and put in a bowl, serve with warm tortillas and coarse salsa served in a bowl. The spice and the salsa create a very interesting flavor with the sweetness of the lobster meat. If serving for a lunch they can stand alone. If serving for dinner, adding pigeon peas and rice and some guacamole will make it more a meal.

Beverage of choice for this meal is Kalik beer. A sweet Bahamian brew perfectly suited for the varying tastes experienced with this dish.

And for a few bonus points I will add one additional recipe. Heff, this is just for you buddy. I no longer eat organ tissue from animals so it has been several years since I've had these. They were rite of passage, when growing up on the ranch. The first ones I ate, I had harvested myself. I found they were not great, not bad.

Mountain Oysters, also known as prairie oysters, are that part of the male animal which is removed in his youth that he may thereby be more tractable and less, uh, masculine. They are considered to be quite a delicacy. Some butcher shops sell bull testicles. These are good but the best source is from young animals. The preparation of mountain oysters is quite simple:
2 pounds calf testicles*
2 cups beer
2 eggs, beaten
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup yellow cornmea1
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Vegetable oil**
1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
* Be sure to ask your butcher for calf testicles, not bull testicles. Calf testicles are the size of a walnut and are much more tender than the larger bull testicles.
** Use enough vegetable oil to fill your frying container halfway to the top (to allow for bubbling up and splattering) and to completely cover calf testicles while frying.
With a very sharp knife, split the tough skin-like muscle that surrounds each testicle. Remove the skin (you can remove the skin easily if the testicles are frozen, then peel while thawing). Slice each testicle into approximately 1/4- to 1/2-inch-thick ovals. Place slices in a large pan or blow with enough beer to cover them; cover and let sit 2 hours.
In a shallow bowl, combine eggs, flour, cornmeal, salt, and pepper. Remove testicles from beer; drain and dredge thoroughly in the flour mixture. In a large, deep pot, heat oil to 375 degrees F. Deep fry 3 minutes or until golden brown (will rise to the surface when done). Drain on paper towels.
Serve warm with your favorite hot pepper sauce and horseradish.


Boxer said...

I am horrified and yet.... laughed at the added "recipe" just for Heff.

Do you spear your own lobster, now that you've been cleared for "underwater"?

Nicely done, as always and I liked the background info too.

Have a great weekend.

Karl said...

Boxer: Well he called the ball, so to speak.

If the opportunity presents itself, yes I will. As long as they're in season. The lobster pictured, provided a hearty dinner of tacos for two and an overstuffed omelet the next morning.

Thank you, hope you have a great weekend.

intuitive eggplant said...

Thanks for the lobsta lesson. I'd heard about spiney lobsters and read a couple of recipes that called for slipper lobsters, and now I know the difference :)

Your tacos sound great, as well as that overstuffed omelet!


Karl said...

Eggy: Both were quite tasty.

I'm truly impressed with your presentation. Fine job.


sigh* i looove lobster...but mountain oysters are really good .

TROLL Y2K said...

They are fun to catch. You've motivated me to tickle a few during the SHORT summer season here. Nice dishes!

Heff said...

Oh, NO YOU DI-N'T !! Damn fine addition with the "Prairie Oysters", although VIDEO would've been nice, lol !!

I'll send Donna over here soon enough.

Hey, on a personal note, my blog started off with the same basic "Minima Black" template you're using in 2004.... ever think of CUSTOMIZING ?

Await the Donna.....

LaDivaCucina said...

Hello Karl! You forgot to add how quick those little buggers are with their 10 legs!!! I've been invited to catch my own during season but have yet to be bothered trying after hearing all the horror stories about the "one that got away!" Seems easier to just buy 'em!

LOVE the blackened taco idea! Yeah-uh! As for the mountain oysters, my girlfriend once ate a bunch of bull's balls in Afghanistan and loved them, said they were tasty but once told what they were became violently ill! You very brave man.

DonnaLuvsHeff said...

OMG ! You cooked Heff's balls !

Karl said...

Jackie Sue: Glad you like them.

Troll: Good luck. Save a few for me.

Heff: The last time I harvested any, they were still filming with 8mm. If you want to see the process, you could try U-tube.

I will check the site out. Is it yours?

I look forward to Donna's visit.

LaDiva: Yes, they are fast. It's part of the fun. Spiney are faster than Maine. No one bothered to tell me how fast they are until after I tried to catch a few. much to their entertainment

Interesting what the mind can do. To enjoy a food one minute and be revolted the next. Bravery had nothing to do with it, just part of growing up. Kinda like gutting a fish or dressing a kill.

Donna: Welcome! Well...only figuratively. So it he starts singging soprano, please don't blame it on me.

moi said...

Bwahahahahaha! I grew up on a ranch, so Rocky Mountain Oysters? No sweat :o) But right now? Lobsters are a leetle too close to the cockroach for me to find them appetizing. (See my recent blog entry). I think I'm steak-ing it tonight . . .

Aunty Belle said...

I'de chomp a lobster taco!

(an heck yeah! Crawfish is lobster family)

The oysters? I'se gonna save 'em fer Uncle.

Buzz Kill said...

You spear your own lobsters but don't eat organ tissue? And you call yourself a man? Bwahahaha

I could do without the oysters (although i will try anything at tleast once) and the tacos sound great. Some sort of mayonnaisse based sauce might be a good topper for this.

Funny post.

Kymical Reactions said...

Holy cowballs, Karl! you've done a fantastic job with your entry, here.

however, there is something about anything "fish" related and a "taco" together that makes me have a puke face. I'm sure it's really good, and I'd probably really like it, if I could get past the idea.

high 5!

Karl said...

Moi: One of the slang terms for diving after lobster is: "Going Bugging" so you may have a point. Enjoy your steak.

Aunty Belle: Glad to hear it. A bucket of boiled crawfish sprinkled with old bay hits the spot too.

Buzz Kill: What can I say, I'm a wimp.

A willingness to try, is a good thing. Many sauces could go well with this recipe.

I'm pleased you liked it.

Kym: Thank you. Next time you go fishing give them a try. Any light white meat could be used. That Crappie you posted about a while back, would work.

High 5 to you!

Anonymous said...

I know a guy that eats calf balls in Tennessee, he calls them calf fries. Not gonna try em. Haha.

Karl said...

Bama Trav: It will make you think twice next time someone asks: Would you like fries with that?

Gadfly said...

The lobster tacos sound great.

But when I was a kid at the family ranch, we just left the "oysters" where they dropped LOL

Karl said...

Gadfly: Well, I guess you Texans could afford be so wasteful. In Oklahoma we believed, waste not want not. Besides there were other members of the family that really enjoyed a good fry up.