|Fried Miss Piggy's Ears|
After work my husband and I drove to Ogunquit, Maine for an evening out. We wanted to walk along the ocean and check out the town. We stopped for some tapas. One of the dishes was an octopus dish with a harissa sauce. Typically this sauce is made with various ingredients such as chili peppers, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, caraway seeds, garlic, and lemon juice. Below is my my version of this sauce using ingredients I have in my kitchen.
Boiled Miss Piggy's Ears
4 cleaned pig's ears (see How to Clean Pig's Ears post), cut in half
1 tsp salt
10 cups water
Boil the pig's ears in 1 tsp of salt and water for 30 minutes (may boil longer if you prefer more tender ears) in a 5 or 6 quart heavy pot. Remove and let them partially cooled before handling them. Cut the ears into 1/4 inch strips.
*These ear strips will get gelatinous if you leave them too long especially in a cool place. I cut these into strips and put them in the refrigerator to be used later. The next day they were all stuck together. You can gently and easily separate them apart with your fingers.
|boiled Miss Piggy's Ears|
1 batch of Boiled Miss Piggy's Ears (see recipe above)
Oil for frying
Deep fry the ears for about a minute (longer if you prefer them chewier). Remove the fried strips and put them on a plate with paper towels to let the oil drain off.
*Be sure to use a splatter guard over the pot while frying to prevent the grease from spurting out. I put down newspapers all around the pot for easy cleaning. Also be sure you are wearing goggles, long sleeved shirt and maybe even gloves in case the oil spurt out. The last thing you need is having hot grease in your eyes or other part of your body.
About 3 Tbsp olive oil
About 1/2 tsp ground cumin
About 1/2 tsp ground black or white pepper
About 1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper (add more if you prefer more heat)
2 garlic cloves, smashed, chopped
About 2 Tbsp chopped shallot
1 tomato, deseeded, chopped
A few pinches of salt
A pinch of sugar
About 6 fresh mint leaves, julienned
|cooked sauce ready to be pureed|
Heat oil in a small pan. Add cumin and peppers. Saute about 30 seconds. Add garlic and shallot. Saute about a minute. Add tomato and cook for about 1-2 minutes until everything is soft. Season with salt and sugar. Remove from heat and let cool. Puree the cooked sauce with mint leaves until everything is blended.
|fried Miss Piggy's ear salad|
|evening beach view of Ogunquit Maine (2016)|