Fact: I will eat anything, excluding pork, at least three times. Yes, three times. The first time you dislike it could be because the chef has a dark soul and shouldn’t be allowed in the kitchen. The second time, maybe your taste buds are to blame or you have toothpaste lingering between a tooth, influencing the flavor. The third time, if you don’t love it, it’s just not for you. Or me.
I’ve traveled the world, wandered into strange kitchens, and eaten food from the hand of strangers, and like my role models, Ainsley Harriot, Andrew Zimmern and Tony Bourdain, I have no intention to stop anytime soon. One of the most amazing things about travel is being able to come home with stories. Because I love food so much, I began collecting recipes so I could sit with the open-minded foodie folks who are listening to my stories and not starve.
Oh, it’s important to know I put my own spin on all of these, since I learned from folks who didn’t write things down! Feel free to do the same.
Oh…these are not for the boring folks:
Deep-Fried Calf Brains | Barcelona, Spain
• 1 Pound Calf Brains
• Garlic (I use 4 Tablespoons because I love it so much)
• 4 Black Peppercorns
• 1 Bay Leaf
• Italian Herbs & Seasoning
• All Purpose Flour
• 2 Eggs
• 1/2 Cup Milk
• 1 Cup Bread Crumbs
• 1 Quart Vegetable Oil For Deep-Frying
• Salt (I use sea salt because I’m fancy AF)
• Boil 2 gallons of water to a simmer then throw in the Italian spices and herbs, garlic, and peppercorns. Let simmer for 15 minutes. Put the brain into the water for 6 minutes. Remove the brains from the water and let cool and firm. Once firm, cut them into bite-sized chunks.
• Prepare your 3 bowls: 1) The Flour (I season my flour with the Italian seasoning and a seasoning salt to taste). 2) The Eggs and Milk Whisked. 3) The Breadcrumbs.
• Heat the oil to frying temperatures (about 350). Roll each brain segment in flour, then coat it in the egg mix, then coat it in the breadcrumbs. Deep-fry the breaded brain nuggets for 3 minutes until they are golden brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels, sprinkle with kosher salt, and serve immediately.
Baby Goat Sweetbreads | Buenos Aires, Argentina
• 10 Ounces Of Baby Goat Sweetbreads
• 1 Medium Onion, Sliced Thin
• 4 Tablespoons Butter
• ¼ Cup Oil (I use Truffle)
• ¼ Cup Flour
• 2 Teaspoons Garlic Power
• 1/4 Teaspoon Turmeric
• 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
• Clean the Sweetbreads by removing membranes and sinew.
• Cut into 1-inch cubes.
• Mix flour, turmeric, and garlic power. Add in the Sweetbreads.
• Place a skillet over Medium-High heat and add butter and oil until hot. Add the sweetbreads and let the cubes brown on one side before turning. Sprinkle in the sea salt. Let sauté on all sides for 5 minutes then remove from pan.
• Add more butter if needed and the onions. Sauté until browned, about 10 to 15 minutes. Move the onions to one side of your skillet. Add the sweetbreads back into the pan and stir everything around. Sauté for two more minutes to let the ingredients mix together. Serve hot.
Lamb Heart Stew | Marrakesh, Morocco
Ingredients (Lamb Stew):
• 3 Pounds Of Lamb Hearts
• 1/2 Cup Red Palm Oil
• 1 Teaspoon Cumin
• 1 Teaspoon Coriander
• 1 Teaspoon Fresh Grated Ginger
• 1 Teaspoon Turmeric
• 1/2 Cup Dried Apricots
• 4 Small Sweet Potatoes
• 5 Carrots
• Crushed Garlic (I used 5 cloves, but they used 4)
• 2 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
• 1 Large Yellow Onions
• 1/3 Cup Kalamata Olives, Pitted And Sliced
• 1 Cinnamon Stick
• 2 Bay Leaves
• 2 Cups Bone Broth (Preferably Lamb, but Chicken or Beef Will Do)
• Cut lamb hearts into desired cube size. If you’re weirded out a bit, remove the vessels you may see. But trust me, they will tender up and be edible as well in the end. Put the hearts in the bowl.
• Grind all your spices together (Cumin, Coriander, Tumeric, Ginger, Garlic)! Then pour in palm oil and lemon juice. Whisk if necessary.
• Pour your mix over the hearts and coat them evenly and juicily. Cover the hearts and marinate them in the fridge for a few hours (I suggest at least 4, but I’m also fat, and I usually do 3, if not overnight).
• Preheat oven to 300F.
• Slice onions into soup sizes (basically whatever size you like your onions to be). Slice olives however you want. Slice carrots into bitable sizesChop the apricot into small pieces as to not get too much in one slurp. Slice your sweet potatoes into small cubes.
• In a large frying pan, over medium-high heat, brown your hearts. The oil and fat on the heart will be good enough to keep it from sticking. Once all are browned to golden deliciousness, remove from heat and place in a bowl on the side. In the oil remaining in the pan, sauté your onions until soft and beautiful. Add a little oil if need be.
• Pour your bone broth into a big enough pot and add in EVERYTHING.
• Cook uncovered in the oven for 2 hours. Die from joy!
Pan-Fried Lamb Testicles (Rocky Mountain Oysters) | London, UK
• 4 Lamb’s Testicles
• 1 Cup Breading (The Kind Used For Frying. I Prefer a Fish Breading)
• 2 Eggs, Beaten
• 1 Teaspoon Mustard
• Seasoning Salt, Pepper, and Italian Seasoning To Taste
• Cherry Peppers to Garnish
• ¼ cup of oil
• Cut the testicles into1/3 inch slices. Remove the membrane from each slice after it’s cut.
• Combine the egg with the mustard in a small bowl.
• Put your breading alone in a bowl and make it wait.
• Heat the oil in a frying pan or a wok.
• Dip each slice of testicles in the egg and mustard mix, then dip into the breading
• Slip slices into the oil and fry from 1 to 2 minutes on each side, until golden brown.
• Remove from the oil and place on a rack.
• Slice cherry peppers however fitting and places them on top! Dig in!
Guinea Pig (Naw, it ain’t pork) | Lima, Peru
• 4 Guinea Pigs
• 10 Yellow Potatoes Or Whatever Potato You Like
• 3 Peppers (Red, Green, Yellow)
• 8 Cloves Crushed Garlic (For The Dressing)
• ¼ Cup Oil (Garlic Flavored is my fav, of course – This Is For The Guinea Pig)
• ½ Cup Oil (To lightly Fry Potatoes)
• Cumin, Seasoning To Taste
• Seasoning Salt, Lemon Pepper, Sea Salt (To Your Liking)
• 1 ounce Of Aji Panca
• Seasoning: Combine oil, garlic, seasoning salt, pepper, sea salt and cumin and cover the guinea pig. Let it marinate for at least 2 hours.
• Heat oven to 350 degrees.
• Place the guinea pig in the oven, covered by aluminum to keep the sweet juices in.
• Boil your potatoes until they are tender. Cut them into slices. Heat oil on medium-high and drop potatoes in oil. Cut your peppers however you like them and place in pan with potatoes. Throw in some seasoning salt and pepper.
• Remove potatoes once they are softer with slightly crispy edges. Pleased on paper towel to get rid of some oil then Put them in a dish.
• Place guinea pigs on top of potatoes. Add a chili sauce if you’d like. Enjoy!
If you try any of these, please please please share the results, and definitely feel free to shoot me any recipes you have that I should try! Let’s cook!