Today’s Tip: The Proper Preparation of the Red Legged Frog (Step 1 – The Selection)
One of the most common questions I receive from my readers relates to the toughness of most endangered species meats. Brent Butler from Linda Mar writes, “Why do my Red Legged Frog legs always come out so tough? They always look appealing and my guests always complement their presentation. Unfortunately for my guests, the culinary joy usually ends there. The temporary esthetic glee is soon replaced by grimaces as my guests struggle in their attempts to masticate their formidable entrée. Please help!”
My heartstrings go out to you, Brent. The RLF has always been a bit of paradox, even to the skilled gourmet chef. The conventional tools, e.g., marinades, will be of little assistance to the endangered species gourmet chef. Not to worry. The inherent toughness can usually be overcome through the selection and preparation. With that in mind, I would like to offer today’s Endangered Species Gourmet Chef Recipe of the Day, “Red Legged Frog Fricassee”:
The journey to a delectable RLF Fricassee always begins with the all-important selection of the species. I recommend to Brent in Linda Mar that he “hop” in his Prius and make the journey north to Sharp Park Golf Course. Make sure you bring along at least 5 pounds of crushed ice and a long piercing object, e.g., a spear. Now when you get to SPGC, the first thing in order is to sign in with the starter and rent a golf cart. Don’t worry. You will not be required to play golf. However, it will be necessary for you to operate the golf cart. Load the crushed ice and your piercing device onto the rear of the golf cart and wait patiently until the starter announces your tee-off. At that time, push the pedal to the metal and proceed due west, ignoring the excited cries of the starter over the public address system for you to return back to the first tee in order to properly initiate your round. Remember, you are on a mission.
As you drive along the fairways, you will notice hundreds of mauled carcasses of the RLF. The temptation is always to grab the first ones and be done with it but I must remind you that patience often has its rewards as is the case here. The selection process is very precise and can never be rushed. Ignore any of the frog carcasses with imbedded golf balls, five irons or buckshot from the so-called “closed down” rifle range – they are much too difficult to sauté and have been known to destroy a Cuisinart. Look for the ones that appear to be maimed by some sort of bladed device, e.g., a golf course lawn mower. These RLF’s tend to be fresher and have the added benefit of already being tenderized. Utilize your spearing device and place the selected RLF in the crushed ice in the rear of your golf cart. Your work is done here.
Next week: Step 2 - Gentlemen, start your blenders…