A little Seattle Foodie group has been in place for awhile with an offal theme.... (Yes, offal, not awful)... What is offal? In the simplest terms, offal is typically the unused bits and pieces of an animal used for cooking. But I am far from an expert, so I'm turning it over to Som Kesa to explain the meaning of offal, cooking with it, and more on the local "Offalicious" dinner party.
Offalicious by Som Kesa
I was invited by Karen Kinbar who found me at Seattle Foodies to join. They have an idea that we should eat every part of the animal. I took this as a challenge to make these odd bits delicious. I don't get a chance to cook these things much since I had no audience before. My family and my friends are not crazy about eating these things. My family likes tongue, cheeks, pig head, chicken hearts, tripe (my son mainly) but now it's a chance for me to branch out to see if I can transform offal into something delicious. I have cooked gizzards and pig stomach. Also it's a chance for me to meet new people and maybe learn something from them as well.
Yes, cooking offal is challenging. You have to clean it very well so there is no offensive smell. If they are smelly, no one will eat it. Secondly, you need to make sure that the texture is right. I had lamb heart once that was like saw dust in my mouth. Not good. For flavor, you need to take into account the flavor of offal you are cooking and come up with seasoning that go well with it. I adjust the flavor as I go. If the dish is not good enough, I will keep adjusting it until it's delicious. The seasoning has to stand up to the flavor of offal well. It's not easy but fun especially when I find the right combination. People in this group are not all experts in the subject but at least they are willing to experiment cooking it and are more than happy to eat offal.
Tongue and Cheeks, Squid Ink Paella with Shaved Foie Gras, Green Salsa, Garlic, Black Lemon Powder and Fish Sauce Aioli plus Pork Fat Roasted Snap Peas
Thank you Som for sharing... For more on what Som is cooking up in the kitchen, as well as updates with Foodie Empire, our memberships and what we're planning, click here.