Jennie Tai
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How To: Eat Like A Zombie, Offal-Style

Okay, so I may be in a bit of Halloween withdrawal – Hurricane Sandy blew most of the fun out of it this year – but the offal-trend of devouring every inch of the pig isn’t too far from typical zombie-thoughts. While Halloween may be over, The Walking Dead is only half way into its 3rd season. The flesh-eating carnage is currently in full force, and… I may be super a tiny bit obsessed with the show. AMC’s zombie comic-turned television series is four episodes in, with another four left to go. I promise not to reveal any spoilers (minus a little slip… see pork-throat), but I will say that…. sh!t’s gettin’ cray in zombie-town!

Below are a few recipes to try at home if you’re cheering for team-zombie next Sunday night… or if you just want to channel your inner offal.

 

Deep Fried Brains
[SeriousEats] Braaains! Who knew this organ would be so packed with soft, creamy chunks of fat? The texture of calf brains can be comparable to eating a bowl of scrambled eggs, and soaking them in milk before frying them in breadcrumbs is one of the most classic ways to cook them. Lamb, pork or calf brains vary only slightly in taste, and you can eat them individually with the green sauce in the recipe – or between toasted buns as a sandwich. The taste can also be described as ‘rich’, ‘custardy’, and ‘fluffy’. According to SeriousEats – “the interior almost melts on your tongue—it is so delicate and insubstantial, yet rich all at once.”
Crispy Intestines
[PanPinoy] Remember that part where Dale gets his intestines ripped out by a flesh-eater? Zombie pants should have probably considered frying them first. Fillipino style. The texture of large pork intestines (also known as bung) is tender and fatty, with some chewy resistance due to the dense mass of tissues unique to that region. There’s lots of fatty tissue inside, which makes it a tasty topping in asian noodle soups or snacks. Be sure to soak them in water and vinegar or milk to cut the gameyness. In the recipe above – they’re battered, deep fried and sauteed in thai chilies.
Beef Tongue Tacos
[Gourmet] Never trust a zombie reaching in for a kiss! Beef tongue is incredibly fatty, so you don’t have to worry about it getting too tough or dry. It’s not chewy, and absorbs a great amount of flavor. Also known as tacos de lengua – beef tongue tacos are a popular alternative to the typical beef or steak tacos for the adventurous foodie. The recipe above is perfect for anyone who wants to recreate them at home. In DC, you’ll find them on the menus at Casa Oaxaca, Pica Taco, and Taqueria Distrito Federal. If you’re cooking them at home, simmer them in water and pan fry them until they’re nice and crispy.
Seared Deer Heart
[HonestFood] Fact: A heart is just a hunk of muscle, just like tenderloin. Most venison hearts are pretty lean, and the only fat you’ll find will be at the top. Like most meats – let the heart sit at room temperature first so it can cook evenly. Ideally, you want to char the outside, and leave the inside slightly under cooked. When it’s overcooked, it can turn an unappetizing grayish color. What do hearts taste like? According to the author of ‘Hunt, Gather, Cook’ – “Grilled hearts have a smoky, charred flavor on the outside, a tang from your marinade and a dense, firm texture somewhere between ribeye and flank steak,” says Hank Shaw. No wonder zombies claw ribcages open to get to them.
Grilled Pork Throat
[SheSimmers] Yes. Throat meat can be devoured as well – just ask the zombie that *spoiler alert!* killed Morgan in the most recent episode. One of the most popular cuts of meat in Thailand, pork neck is featured in Seng Luangrath’s new menu at Bangkok Golden in Falls Church, VA. The texture is like soft ham, and is said to have the “right amount of lean meat, muscle, and fat,” says Leela [SheSimmers]. In her recipe, Leela marinates the pork neck in sugar, oyster sauce, fish sauce and brandy before tossing them straight on to the grill. “I’m tempted to say you could throw a completely unseasoned piece of it on the barbie, and the result would be quite good,” says Leela.
Blood Soup
[TopChef] A taboo-food in some cultures, blood can be served raw, or solidified. The recipe above was created on Top Chef Masters Season 4 (Episode 2) by Chef-in-the-hat Theirry Rautureau during an elimination challenge. Chef Rautureau, owner of Rover’s and Luc in Seattle was born in France, where pork blood is used in sausages and soup (where blood can be used as a thickener). Here, a shot of his ‘Grandma’s blood soup’ is made of butter, diced onions, garlic, cayenne, pork blood and thyme. Curdled blood can also be seen in Thai soups (Bami Haeng Ped) and as a main ingredient for Swedish pancakes, called ‘blodplattar’. In NoVA, asian restaurants like Quan Quynh in Eden Center serve duck blood soup, and Hong Kong Pearl Seafood across the street serves sauteed duck blood and pork belly.
Lamb Face Salad
[TheOffalCook] Dear Zombies – since, let’s be real, I’m not escaping any running zombies so long as I continue refusing to acknowledge my gym membership – I’m going to request that you eat anything but my face. Take a few inches off my muffin top if you have to, but don’t touch my face-eat LambChop’s (sorry, Shari Lewis). In the recipe above – slices of face meat from a lamb are tossed in a Chinese-style salad. “You’re getting bites of the cheeks, the tongue, that slip of especially tender meat behind the eyeballs, the eyeballs, and every gelatinous bit in between” [SeriousEats]. But do this away from squeemish friends and children- by the time you’re done peeling the meat from the lamb skull, it’s going to look a bite serial-killer-like in the kitchen.

Don’t feel like cooking? Dine out at these offal-themed restaurants in the DMV to satisfy your inner zombie…

Green Pig Bistro
Rated among Northern Virginia Magazine’s 50 Best Restaurants of 2012 – Green Pig Bistro specializes in offal-style cooking with dishes that incorporate chopped liver, bone marrow and pork shank.
1025 N Fillmore St, Arlington, VA; 703-888-1920; www.greenpigbistro.com.

The Pig
Chow down on braised pork cheek, stuffed pork belly, rabbit hearts and crispy pig ears at a DC resto that features ingredients from their very own farm in La Plata, MD.
1320 14th St NW, Washington DC; 202-290-2821; www.thepigdc.com

Three Little Pigs
An official member of The Butcher’s Guild – Three Little Pigs farm-sources their charcuterie, meat and salami. On the menu are brined pig’s feet, pate (liver), pancetta (italian-styled bacon), and much more.
5111 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC; 202-726-0102; www.threelittlepigsdc.com.

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