It is THE time of the year I enjoy the most.
Not only as a mexican, also as a mix cultured gal. I-do-love-Halloween.
And Día de Muertos the best.
ALAS, the recipe I bring you is a japanese one, honest to god.
And it's a hack. Oh yes, a gastronomical hack.
I love this japanese restaurant, and they serve these rather pricey robatayaki skewers.
The marinade is to die for, and me being the foodie I think I am, I HAD to come up with the recipe.
Boy, I didn't fail.
The recipe works all year round, but I find it so appropriate to publish this for Halloween, because it's ENTRAILS!!
Oh, and because it's entrails, it's super cheap. I didn't spend more than five buck on this recipe, considering I bought the soy sauce, the honey and the hearts. The rest I had, but the three main ingredients sum up less than $5, and serves four (a skewer each).
Ok, let's rock and roll!!!
Step 1: The Marinade.
Ingredientes (yes, because yo hablo español, but it was actually a typ-o):
- 1 part honey
- 2 parts soy sauce
- half a part white vinegar (I want to try with rice vinegar, if you do it, please share in the comments)
- olive oil.
For a spoonful of honey, I used 18 chicken hearts. They were big!! Healthy fat chicken, indeed.
According to my mom, the heart contains A LOT of cholesterol, so:
DISCLAIMER: this is NOT a healthy snack. This is NOT a light snack. This is a delicious, filling, savory, meaty, awesome snack.
Not for the faint of heart, healthy or squirmy eater.
and a WARNING: you're going to handle raw chicken entrails. Please please PLEASE, wash your hands thoroughly before and after touching them. Do NOT touch your face, eyes, other less decent body parts.
So, moving on:
Mix together the liquids. I used a whisker to break the honey, it takes some wrist work. Drizzle some oil: with the vinegar this will create the emulsion. You can season the marinade with black pepper, cumin, paprika, but only if you feel like it. I've just started cooking with cumin and paprika after my first attempt at chili con carne (which is NOT a mexican dish, regardless the spanish in the name). So, I'm digging the cumin/paprika combo, and it goes well with this, although I bet there's other seasoning out there in the wild. Explore, experiment, enjoy...
Smother the hearts in this marinade, preferably them hearts being covered all to the top. The marinade will never be too much, specially considering we're going to reduce it. Besides, you can use it in other recipes, and I'll show you an option, yes I will.
Meanwhile, do something else, like dancing with yourselves, cook something else (this I did: hot wok, broccoli, cauliflower, diced prime meat, soy sprouts, and some of this honey marinade, YUMsies!!), drink a beer, play with the cat, or all the above. Oh, of course: put the hearts in the fridge in the meantime. It's super hard to dance with your cat while holding a beer bottle with one hand and the hearts with the other.
Step 2: Oh, the Gore!! Oh, the Horror!! Oh the Sizzling and the Yummy Aroma!!
After a couple of hours, take out and skewer the hearts "vertically". That is, from top to bottom or viceversa, not sideways (they don't char well sideways).
I used chopsticks for this, because I couldn't find the wooden skewers. I'm such a bad ninja I know, but I'm resourceful thankfully!
So, the hearts are firm, but tender enough so you can puncture them with a dull chopstick. Four to five for each skewer.
Next, VERY hot pan (I used a ceramic one, because the honey in the marinade will caramelize and it's SO HARD to take caramel out of a regular pan, or a grill. I do want to try with a coal grill, but right now let's stick with the non-stick ceramic pan)... hehe... got it?? stick... heheh...
You don't need to add more oil, they shouldn't stick. Char the skewers on every side possible. They need to get black and crispy.
The color of the cooked heart is not sexy, but grilled black is the new black.
MEANWHILE (this is a "multitask" word I use TOO much, because yeah, I'm such a multitasker), transfer the marinade to a small saucepan, medium heat and reduce.
It has to boil. It WILL generate a lot of bubbles. Don't be afraid, just move with a wooden spoon. You don't want to scratch the teflon out with this one, the marinade will end up VERY sticky.
Step 3: IT'S ALIVE!! Putting Everything Together, BWAAHAHA!! *thunder Thunder*
After the marinade has a good caramel consistency, and the hearts are charred on every side, take out the skewers and plate.
Cover them with the reduced marinade, which it has to have a honey consistency: runny enough to coat the hearts, but thick enough to remain in place. I cover them on one side and then turn and cover them on the other as well.
That's it, really. Simple and delicious!!
Leaving the marinating time aside, it's done in minutes, like 20 tops, depending on the amount of marinade you're trying to reduce.
Enjoy!! And gross out your squirmy friends!!!
Oh by the way, my mom is very squirmy, but I had her eat one without watching and she LOVED it.
After you´re past the "it's a heart" thing, you really get to enjoy this delicacy.