My impartial panel of judges--who are admittedly kind of skittish eaters--have chosen Bebe Bahnsen's chittlin's stuffed with sour cream. Not sure what chittlin's are? Properly, they're called chitterlings, and they are the intestines of a pig, cleaned and stuffed. In this country, they are both a southern and African American tradition, part of "soul food" cooking. They must be thoroughly cleaned and rinsed several times before they are boiled or stewed for several hours. Some cooks put a half an onion in the pot to soften the possible unpleasant odor. Sometimes chittlin's are battered and fried after stewing, served with vinegar and hot sauce.
Bebe sends the following recipe:
Thaw 10 lbs. cleaned chitterlings; examine each for foreign matter and discard; run under cold water. Soak in to cold water baths. If the second doesn't yield clear water, soak again.
Place in a six quart pot and fill with cold water. Bring to a boil, then add 1 roughly chopped onion, 2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. minced garlic, and 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes. Simmer 3-4 hours. Serve with spaghetti or turnip greens, and pass the vinegar or hot sauce.
Bebe's mom said that sutffed with sour cream these outdo the best turkey.
Bebe, email me your address (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I'll send a copy of Skeleton in a Dead Space. But also, could you clarify how you can stuff chittlin's?
Other interesting entries I got include apple pudding and dried corn from Norma Huss. The corn is Copes dried corn, not available everywhere. It involves soaking in cold water and then cooking. Norma, I'd love to know why dried is better than fresh and what Copes corn is.
And turkey with apple/sourcream dressing, German red cabbage, butternut squash casserole, giblet gravy and a pear almond tart. Here's the recipe for German red cabbage:
Deutsches Rotkohl (Weight Watchers version)
1 small red cabbage finely shredded
1 medium red onion, thinly slices
1/4 c. wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
handful of dried cranberries
Pre-heat oven to 450. In a covered pan, mix vinegar, brown sugar and ground cloves. Add shredded cabbage, onions, and dried cranberries Cover and bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven and toss cabbage to mix. Return to oven and bake for 40 minutes. Remove and check seasonings--add a little salt if needed. If more liquid is needed, add a little red wine and stir again. It should be a dark red, slightly caramelized, and flavorful. Thanks to Suzanne Barrett for this one.
A personal opinion: with German blood in my veins, I'm sure I much prefer the red cabbage to the chittlin's.! Sorry, Bebe. I can eat a lot of offal--liver in several forms, kidneys--but I think chittlin's may be beyond me. But they are the most unusual and thus the winner of this admittedly small contest.
Happy eating in 2012!