Offal is the British name for animal gut, what we Americans euphemistically call or organ or ”variety meats.’ I prefer the British term because it sounds like “awful” which is the opinion most people have of this type of food. Because organ meats are high in fat and cholesterol lots of people won’t touch the stuff. They will however gorge on Doritos and guzzle coke . Sadly most offal ends up in sausages or in pet food when we humans should be eating it because it is super-healthy, bursting with vitamins A and D, many essential fatty acids, and lots of macro and trace elements.
Of course our ancestors knew this. Offals of all kinds were favored ingredients in the Jewish kitchen. Remember the Bible story about Abraham feeding his angel visitors tongue? For centuries, miltz or spleen occupied a place of honor at Eastern Euopean Shabbos tables . The Talmud (Brachot 61 B) links spleen to laughter. Maybe that is why. By the way, scientists have found that a good laugh is a great aerobic workouts beneficial to body and soul What better time to laugh than on Shabbos?
ing. Last Friday night, when I served the miltz I was expecting guffaws and maybe even some boos. Instead, I got smiles and a compliment from my husband. “Tastes a bit like liver,” he said. Since my husband absolutely loves liver, that was a rave.
I didn’t taste the stuff. I was afraid to. Yes idea of eating chicken spleen put me off . On Sunday the fridge was almost bare and I was hungry so warmed up the left over miltz stirring in some spicy eggplant dip and setting it all on a bed of basmati rice. Delish. No kidding.
Here’s one way to make miltz
1 package of spleen (approximately 1 ½ lbs)
Soak in cold water changing the water several times until it runs clear. You can do this three or four times over the course of an hour
Blanch in boiling water for about 20 minutes
Pour off water.
Saute one onion in 2 tablespoons of chicken fat. (you can add one stick of celery and a half box of fresh mushrooms sliced if you want)
Add the drained miltz . Season with salt and pepper to taste. Moisten with tomato juice (about 1/3 cup)Cook for 15 minutes or until soft.
Serve over rice or stuff into patty shells (vol au vents)
Serves four as a main course of 6 to 8 as hors d’oeuvres.