Faux Rocky Mountain Oysters
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I have a very broad appreciation of the unusual when it comes to food. I have been known to eat many things at least once. And I enjoy offering a food item to someone easily freaked out. Faux Rocky Mountain Oysters will be the highlight of a very memorable dinner party. The dish is inexpensive, unusual, fun and tasty.
Get a story going and make the most of it. Being Scandinavian, I talk about the reindeer roundup and my buddy Hans sending them FedEx straight from Sweden. The more outrageous and entertaining the story, the better. Know your audience and how far you can stretch their credulity. It has to allow them to feel adventurous but not repulsed.
Turkey gizzards is the main meat ingredient. They are nothing at all like real Rocky Mountain Oysters but your friends won't know that. Turkey gizzards are available year round if you ask. I got 4+ pounds and that yielded 32 "oysters". I was being extra picky about the shape, and the left over meat makes a nice stew.
Wash the gizzards and put them in a large pot, a pot large enough that it is only half to two-thirds full. Add finely diced vegetables adding up to about a quarter of the weight of the meat. I use a base of onions, carrots and celery. This is strictly a matter of what you like. I like peppers so I included some mixed red, green and yellow peppers.
To punch up the flavor add your favorite sauce. The one I would suggest in *ANY* variation is the Oyster flavor sauce. It is a great flavor and it is one that many people don't have in their every-day foods. The trick here is a light hand with any one sauce. Too much of any one flavor detracts from the experience for your guests.
If you are going to ultimately make gravy, skip the chili sauce. The sweetness is very strong, but it adds a nice flavor to the meat itself. If you like a little heat use a hint of Sriracha. BBQ sauce is easy to over do but it is good if you are using the oven-baked coating. Stay away from sage or other flavors that might remind your guests of turkey.
Use just enough water to cover the meat and veggies with water. Chicken stock or beef stock wouldn't add much since there are a lot of flavors already in the mix. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. While the oven is pre-heating, start to pot on the stove, bring it up to a simmer. This will take an hour off of the cooking time.
Cover the pot and bake in the oven for more than two hours. They are done is if the halves pull fairly easily by hand. If you need a knife or even if you need to pull too hard, cook an hour longer. Let the pot sit for two hours to re-absorb some liquid and flavor. After they cool pull apart the pieces and grade them by roundness and size.
Pick the largest and roundest of the pieces for the next stage. We need to do everything we can to maintain the illusion that these pieces of meat are testicles. You ought to be able to get at least 8 very good looking pieces of meat to a pound, depending on how picky you are. The smaller pieces can be kept for another meal.
The most fun is beer batter coating. There is something about the words "deep fried" and "testicles" in the same sentence that can make any man flinch. The oven baked has a very interesting crunchy texture. The third option is to sinply put balls in a bowl and thicken the pot liquor with cornstarch or flour for gravy.
I hope that you will try making Faux Rocky Mountain Oysters. Besides being fun, they are really quite tasty. They can be served a number of ways, not just the three I talked about. serve liberal amounts of wine or beer to increase the oyster consumption. If you select adventurous guests the party will be a night to remember.