At the back of the hill

Warning: If you stay here long enough you will gain weight! Grazing here strongly suggests that you are either omnivorous, or a glutton. And you might like cheese-doodles.
BTW: I'm presently searching for another person who likes cheese-doodles.
Please form a caseophilic line to the right. Thank you.

Monday, December 11, 2006


This past Saturday evening I ended up in an irritating conversation with a young missy from Prunedale or Prunevale (some burg in the California hinterlands - I should know?).

Part of the conversation dealt with food. About which she had strong opinions: Macaroni and Cheese - divine. Stewed Tongue - gross ew yuck.

Now that last is an opinion I cannot share (I'm also of several minds about the first).

A nicely prepared bit of tongue is a wonderful party dish. And so delightful.

Coincidentally, a conversation on a mailing list to which I subscribe veered off into food recently - what Elvis ate (peanut butter and banana sandwhiches), and, oddly, boiled tongue.

So without further ado, here's my recipe for tongue.

SAMOR LIDA - Indonesian Stewed Tongue

One three pound beef tongue.
One large onion, sliced thin.
Half dozen cloves garlic, slivered.
Half cup each: stock, rice wine (or sherry).
Quarter cup each: ketjap manis (sweet soy sauce), olive oil.
Two TBS each: lime juice, wine vinegar.
Half TBS ground coriander.
Half Tsp each: cayenne, turmeric, dry ginger, ground cumin, whole peppercorns.
Half dozen Roma tomatoes (or three beefsteak); peeled, seeded, chopped.
Bay leaves, stalk lemon grass, chopped fresh ginger.

Boil tongue in salted water for fifteen minutes. Remove, drain and dry, scrape off skin that covers the tongue. Trim the root end. Rinse and dry.

Heat oil in a large chetty. Gild the onion, garlic, chopped ginger. Remove to a plate. Put the tongue in the chetty and brown it all over. Re-add the gilded onion, garlic, and ginger. Add the tomatoes and spices - cook till the fragrance rises and bottom starts to crust. Add remaining ingredients plus water to cover, turn heat low and simmer for three hours.

Remove tongue to a plate and let it cool. Meanwhile, reduce pan-broth to a pourable sauce or gravy thickness, and remove the lemon grass. Slice tongue, arrange on a platter, and nap with the sauce.

Serve with stir-fried long-beans, crisp veggies, pan-roast potatoes and crusty bread to sop up the juices. Make sure that a little pot of Indonesian hot-sauce (sambal) is on the table. Also good served with rice.

Note one: a chetty is a deep fire-proof pan with thick sides, either plain cast-iron or enamel ware (Chasseur or LeCreuset).

Note two: Ketjap manis is a sweet soy sauce manufactured in Indonesia and the Netherlands. If unavailable, an approximation can be achieved by adding sugar in nearly the same quantity as regular soy-sauce.

Note three: Lemon grass is available at South-East Asian markets and some Caribbean and Chinese stores. Add it whole after whacking the stalk to bruise. If unavailable fresh, simply add a nice big curl of fresh lemon zest to approximate the taste. Although a Chinese person from that part of the world would be likely to instead add a goodly piece of dried orange peel (specifically from Citrus Aurantium).



Sometime tomorrow I'll post some more stuff about chanuka, and either tomorrow or Wednesday I'll post notes on this week's parsha (Vayeshev).

Maybe I'll also post something about Rabbi Elazar Bogomil from Seattle, who seems to have been insanely optimistic about the idea of sharing the meaning of Chanuka with Gentiles in an airport - although Halacha states that one who is traveling need not light Chanuka candles, if the family members at home are doing so. And travellers might get in trouble if they light anything, aside from which the obligation might be just baffling as all git-out for most of the Judaism-impaired anyhow. Who knows. It may not have been wise to give the airport the opportunity to make him look like the Grinch. I can just imagine what the O'Reillys of the world will say about this affair.


  • At 10:11 AM, Anonymous mevaseretzion said…

    Yum!...Boiled tongue!

  • At 1:58 PM, Anonymous Rabban Gamliel said…

    Tongue. I love tongue. But as the good book says life and death is in the power of the tongue so cook it well.

  • At 6:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Quite literally, a lashon tov.



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