Case in point, yesterday's mystery ingredient on Name That Food...Criadillas (bull testicles). Yes, you read correctly. I think you'll agree with me that it sounds so much nicer in Spanish.
This weekend was my second time eating Criadillas and I just have to say that it was a much more pleasant experience than my first time.
My first time (eating Criadillas) was during my first year of living in Mexico. My sister-in-law had prepared them (as a treat) for a late Saturday morning breakfast with the entire family. Back then, I was still a skeptical young Gringa, afraid to try anything new, mostly out of fear that I was going to eat some icky, gross, exotic animal part. (Nothing like the fearless food blogger that I am today.) I took one bite and decided that I didn't like them. Yes, the flavor was a bit on the strong side, but my decision had more to do with me freaking out just thinking about what I was eating than the actual flavor and texture.
Thank goodness, times have changed. I'm older, wiser and a little more mature. I've learned to base my decisions about food on taste rather than judging a food by what part of the animal it's from. (Most of the time.) This time as I bit into my Taco de Criadillas, I took the time to really savor the flavors and feel the texture. And you know what? It was absolutely delicious AND I liked it! I really, really liked it.
The texture was like biting into a hot dog and the flavor of the Criadillas, sauteed with Salsa Mexicana, was like a spicy sausage.
I still can't believe how much I liked them, even knowing exactly what I was eating.
Somewhere, Andrew Zimmern is smiling.
Criadillas a la Mexicana
- 2 pounds criadillas
- Manteca (lard) or vegetable oil
- 3 large roma tomatoes
- 1 medium onion
- 2 to 3 fresh serrano and/or jalapeño chilies
In a 4-quart stockpot, bring the Criadillas and just enough water to cover the meat to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer for about 30 minutes or until the Criadillas are soft to the touch.
While the Criadillas are simmering on the stove, prepare the Salsa Mexicana by chopping the tomatoes, onion, serrano chilies and a handful of cilantro.
Once the Criadillas have finished cooking, drain and chop them into bite-size pieces.
Heat 2 to 3 tablespoons of manteca (lard) in a large pan or skillet over medium-high heat. (If using the same pot the Criadillas were cooked in, be sure to dry completely with paper towels.)
Add the chopped Criadillas and Salsa Mexicana. Saute for about 10 to 15 minutes; season with salt.
Serve with warm corn tortillas for delicious Tacos de Criadillas a la Mexicana. Enjoy!!!