Author(s): Jennifer McLagan
In a world of costly prime cuts -stately crown roasts, plump pork chops and regal racks of lamb- it's easy to forget about (and steer clear of) the more economical, but less lovable parts of the beast -bellies, brains, cheeks, combs, gizzards, hearts, hocks, kidneys, lungs, marrow, necks, shanks, spleens, tongues, trotters, and, oh yes, testicles. Historically, these so-called 'odd bits' have had a regular place on our plates and in our culinary repertoires. In fact, many are considered delicacies and routinely appear in regional specialties. So why do we eschew and waste valuable protein? Since when have our sensibilities become so squeamish? In short -when did we decide offal had become awful? Jennifer McLagan, award-winning author of Bones and Fat, is on a crusade to bring the nose-to-tail style of cooking and eating out of the closet and back onto our dining tables. Her mission: restoring our respect for the whole animal, developing a taste for its lesser-known parts, and learning how to approach them in the kitchen as confidently as we would a steak or a burger.
Much more than a cookbook, Odd Bits delves into the rich geographical, historical and religious roles of these unusual meats. McLagan's enthusiasm for her subject is contagious, and, with her insight and humour, will convert even non-believers to the pleasure of odd bits.
"It takes a daring author to list a recipe for headcheese as the first recipe in her cookbook. . . Consider that daring author a bit of a renegade in the world of cookbooks. Prior to Odd Bits, she tackled topics unsavory at the time in her cookbooks Fat and Bones and elevated them into something worth savoring. Her introductory recipe for headcheese may be intended to snap you out of thinking that the best parts of the animal are the ones that everyone eats. . . . [Odd Bits] will challenge your cooking skills as much as it will your palate."
--Men's Health, Guy Gourmet, 9/13/11
"Judging from the titles of her past two cookbooks, "Bones" and "FAT," you might guess that James Beard Award-winning author Jennifer McLagan has a slightly unconventional approach to cooking. You'd be right. Her latest cookbook, "Odd Bits: How to Cook the Rest of the Animal," shows you how to tackle tongue, bone marrow, and all those other strange cuts that you may have tasted in restaurants but haven
JENNIFER MCLAGAN has more than 30 years experience in the food business as a chef, caterer, food stylist, recipe writer, and cookbook author. She is a regular contributor to Food & Drink and Fine Cooking magazines.