Monday, December 03, 2007

Mollejas en Coco...Gizzards in Coconut Milk...

As I'm still convalescing, I haven't been able to wander the dark streets (the streets I wander are dark both day and night) for my usual fixes. So in honor of the historic vote by Venezuelans, I present a classic dish from Maracaibo, as lovingly prepared by my longtime companion, a Maracucha. This town gets so hot it makes Miami look like Chicago. I'm talking 120 degrees, with about 99% humidity. You begin to crave shade, and coconut juice.
The gizzards must be soaked overnight in lime juice, to soften, and the little membranes are then removed. After that it's a quick saute of onions and garlic, then the innards, stewing with water until soft, then stewing with enough coconut milk to keep it going for a while, adding more and stirring as necessary. You'll know when it's done by the aroma. Takes a while. Serve over rice.
For your cocktail party chatter, did you know that coconut milk contains no milk? Well, there's a thick milk and a thin milk. Thick coconut milk is prepared by directly squeezing grated coconut meat through cheesecloth. The squeezed coconut meat is then soaked in warm water and squeezed a second or third time for thin coconut milk. Fascinating. Sometimes it's just too hot to think...

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