Thursday, January 27, 2011

Stomaching Tripe

Tripe is cow stomach -- # 2 of 4.  I've tried to like tripe, but no matter how it's prepared, I just can't seem to stomach it.

People are usually put-off by the bubble-gum-chew texture, but I think it's kind of playful. The taste, however, is another story.  The strong, persistent taste of grass & buttholes dominates every bite. It wouldn't be so bad if you could just gobble it up quick and be done, but that's not how it goes.  Each bite is a barnyard in your mouth and takes forever to finish because it's so damn chewy!  I suppose that's what you get for trying to eat the stomach of a 1200lb herbivore.


Tripe Tagliatelle

2 # tripe
1 # fresh tagliatelle pasta
1 large red onion, large dice
1 pobalno pepper, large dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 cup basic tomato sauce
1 bunch mint leaves, finely chopped
salt & pepper; lemon juice to taste.

  1. combine the tripe, vinegar, and vanilla in a large pot w/ enough water to cover the tripe by 2 inches. bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer. cook until the tripe is very tender, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. be diligent about skimming any foam that rises to the top. also, make sure the water level is maintained throughout the cooking process (adding more water when necessary).  when finished, drain the tripe and cut into bite sized pieces.  reserve.
  2. sauté the diced onion and pepper in a splash of olive oil over medium heat.  cook until limp, about 5-6 minutes.  add garlic and continue to cook for another minute.  add tomato paste and a splash of sauce. cook for an additional 5 minutes, then add the remainder of the sauce. 
  3. add reserved tripe to the sauce. bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer.  simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.  
  4. cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water according to the instructions -- probably around 4-7 minutes.  toss cooked pasta w/ tripe sauce, add the chopped mint and a squeeze of lemon.  embellish w/ some extra-virgin olive oil and try to enjoy.

© 2011 c. c. villani @ "mission: insatiable" -

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Barley Legal

Barlotto is a cheeky rendition of the Italian classic, risotto. Risotto is typically made w/ arborio rice; a short grain rice favored for its high starch content. Barlotto is -- you guessed it -- made w/ barley; pearled barley for best results.  Grains aside, the techniques are nearly identical -- sauté aromatics, add the starch, ladle in hot stock, and slow simmer until al dente.

The addition of oyster mushrooms gives this dish a mellow earthy feel.  Once you get the technique down, experiment w/ different flavors -- think beets, orange & chard.

Mushroom Barlotto

1 cup pearl barley, soaked overnight & drained
2 cups oyster mushroom, chopped
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme, minced
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  1. in a small sauce pot, bring stock to a boil; reduce to a simmer and maintain a scolding temperature.  
  2. in a 10-inch sauté pan w/ straight sides, sauté mushrooms in some canola over high heat until the moisture gives out; 4-6 minutes.  lower the heat, add a splash of butter or olive oil, and then add the minced shallots and garlic.  sauté until fragrant; 1-2 minutes. add the drained barley and cook for an additional 2 minutes.  frequent stirring will prevent the barley from sticking to the pan.  
  3. start adding ladles of hot stock to the barley mixture, 4oz at a time.  the barley should be *just* covered by the stock.  maintain a slow simmer, stirring frequently, until about 80% of the stock has been absorbed.  repeat this process w/ the remaining stock -- the end result should yield al dente barley, suspended in a creamy liquid; about 30 minutes.   
  4. add the herbs and grated cheese.  if necessary, thin w/ any leftover stock or a bit of hot water.  i make it a point to leave the barlotto/risotto mixture a bit loose in the pot, as it firms up when plated.  
© 2011 c. c. villani @ "mission: insatiable" -

Monday, January 10, 2011

Taylor Made

Pork roll! The cornerstone of any nutritious breakfast --

New Jersey pork roll, aka "Taylor Ham" is a Garden State exclusive -- I've heard tales of the stuff, but never thought I'd find it this side of the Hudson.  According to the package, "Taylor" brand pork roll is an import of the exotic Trenton, New Jersey.  Fancy.
The "Jersey Breakfast" -- pork roll egg & cheese on a roll.
The flavor is mild and smoky -- kind of like Canadian bacon only a bit more assertive.  The dense, grainy texture is reminiscent of SPAM, but far less thick. Taylor ham is usually pan-fried and enjoyed w/ eggs & cheese. Apparently, you're supposed to score the patty from the outer edges inwards around the circumference before frying; this prevents the pork roll from curling up.  I was not keen to this trick at the time of preparation so I had to go Medieval on this one w/ a potato masher.  

Taylor ham is dirt cheap and endlessly delicious, too bad each 6oz pack risks a massive coronary.

© 2011 c. c. villani @ "mission: insatiable" -