Today's inspiration is the poet Maya Angelou, who also happens to be a cookbook writer (who knew?). A recipe from her second cookbook, Great Food All Day Long (Random House, 2010) was featured in this week's Parade magazine, but what caught my attention was this quote: "Kidneys have wonderful flavor, and yet few Americans eat them. First remove the veins and fat and soak in salt water. Veins will take all the joy out of a meal." [my emphasis] True, so true, Maya. Yet even the fabled Culinary Arts Institute has omitted this crucial step. Thus, prepare today's recipe at your own risk. It is destined to be a joyless meal.
3 lamb or pork kidneys
1 sprig parsley, chopped
1/4 tsp. thyme
1 bay leaf, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoon drippings
1 cup water or consomme
1 teaspoon vinegar
Wash kidneys, slice very thin and season with salt and pepper. Cook with herbs in drippings until tender. Add water and vinegar, heat to boiling and serve at once. Serves 3
250 Ways to Prepare Meat, Culinary Arts Institute, 1940
Perhaps the boiling water that you will down along with your serving of kidney will distract you from the sad vision of veins on your plate. Then again, it may just double your reasons to think this a joyless meal!