Sunday, April 20, 2008

Animelles frites - or Rocky Mountain Oysters

Larousse Gastronomique includes animelles [testicles, also an item of offal or abats blancs] and oysters among its list of foods considered aphrodisiacs. In 18thC France, de Troy's the Oyster Luncheon, depicts men seated around a luncheon table surfeiting on oysters, presumably prior to their afternoon trysts. Rocky Mountain Oysters, testicles from sheep, as well as other animals, are deep fried and served up in mounds at annual Western male rendesvous, where testosterone abounds in its purest form. This post is in honor of Meat and Greet #1.

ANIMELLES: name for the testicles of the ram [sheep]. Usually served three ways.
    Cut them into four or eight pieces after removing the skin; dredge in crushed salt & flour; fry until crisp.
    Make a paste [batter] of flour & beer or wine, add a little oil and salt and stir [set aside to allow the flour to moisten as in crepe batter]. Fry the animelles slices (or whole depending on size) until half done in hot oil, drain & then dip them in the batter [paste]; & fry until crisp; drain and serve with fried parsley.
    Marinate animelles with onions, parsley, pepper, clove, vinegar & a little stock [this will cause the testicles to firm up or blanch {set the flesh} and remove any excess blood or fluid]; drain, dip in beaten eggs; then into bread crumbs; fry, & serve with fried parsley.


    The animelles are nourishing & strengthening: they become even more so, when they are cooked with paste, eggs & spices; but they are less agreeable to delicate people with feeble stomachs.
* * * * *

ANIMELLES: on appelle ainsi les testicules du bélier. On les sert de ces trios façons.
    On les coupe par morceaux en quatre ou huit; on en ôte la peau; on met dessus un peu de sel pilé & de farine; on les fait frire jusqu’à ce qu’elles soient croquantes.
    On fait une pâte avec farine détrempée de biere, ou vin, dans laquelle on met un demi-verre d’huile avec du sel. On fait frire les animelles à moitié, & on les met dans cette pâte; & ensuite on les remet à la friture; on les garnit de persil frit, pour servir.
    On les fait mariner avec oignons, persil, poivre, girofle, vinaigre & un peu de bouillon; on les trempe dans des œufs battus; on les pane; on les fait frire, & on les sert garnies de persil frit.


    Les animelles seules sont un mets nourrissant & fortifiant: elles le deviennent bien davantage, étant accommodée comme elles le sont ici avec de la pâte, des œufs & des épices; mais elles conviennent moins aux personnes delicates & aux estomacs foibles.

Dictionnaire Portatif de Cuisine, d'Office, et de Distillation. Chez Vincent, Paris 1767, p. 49.

In addition to fried parsley as a garnish, consider saucing them with butter and cream.

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