Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Gay Guy in Seminary Day 142 (Lengua)

I am so exhausted right now! 6 hours of Hebrew followed by a hike in the woods (saw some really cool mushrooms; I'll make sure to bring my camera next time) and a massive pile of dishes. But, I think the straw that broke the camel's back was peeling the skin off of the cow tongue.

Ain't she a beauty? This is my first foray into cooking cow tongue, inspired by the most amazing lengua I have EVER eaten when I went to visit my family over the winter break. My brother James introduced us to this place in Thousand Oaks that serves the bestestest Mexican food. It wasn't a restaurant, it was a Mexican grocery store that also sold food that was ready to eat, kind of like the deli you would find at Vons or Albertson's, ONLY ABOUT 100 TIMES BETTER! As you know, I am on a pretty strict budget (the tongue was pilfered from my parents freezer), so I did not go to the grocery store for any ingredients to make this dish. Luckily, I have a pretty well stocked kitchen so I had carrots and onions to help flavor the meat. I also had some frozen jalapenos left over from some other culinary extravaganza...I think it was salsa. Added a couple of bay leaves, some garlic, cumin, salt and pepper and a couple of tablespoons of marinara sauce to make up for my lack of tomatoes (Martha's gonna kill me O_o) Smells pretty good, should turn out okay I think.

Since I have never cooked cow tongue before, I looked up a few recipes on the Internet for so tips before I started. It's a good thing I did, because I was about to cut the sucker up into chunks and toss them into the pot. Apparently, you need to simmer it for about an hour and then peel off the tough and I suppose inedible skin. For those who have never felt the surface of a cow tongue, it is pretty rough. I think they have modified hairs on them to help the cows eat, maybe like a cat's tongue? Anyway, all of the recipes said to cook the tongue, let it cool off and then peel off the skin like it's this totally normal and easy thing to do. So, I cooked it, let it cool and tried to peel the skin off, except that skin was not coming off without a fight! I don't know if I didn't cook it long enough or if I cooked it too long, but this part was much more difficult that the recipes so nonchalantly implied.

BTW, peeling the tongue of a cow is a very strange experience. Also, a cow's tongue is enormous compared to what you're probably thinking of.

The really tough top part came off without too much trouble, but the side parts kept breaking. I finally gave up on peeling and just cut it all off. I cut it up into big chunks and they are now simmering on my stove.

Just tasted the broth. The second jalapeno might have been a mistake @_@

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