From time to time, we like to take advantage of a deal that the good folks at Argenta Market run over at Half-off Arkansas offering $50.00 worth of groceries for only $25.00. This is a real steal, because as much as we’d love to be able to shop their great selection of local meats and produce all the time, we’re working class folks and it’s hard to stretch our grocery dollars far enough to do so. We’ve always found the quality of goods there to be excellent, though, and a trip to Argenta Market is always a fun time. On a recent trip, I had filled my basket with all sorts of wonderful food – bacon from Arkansas’ own Old Soul Organics, some Creekstone Farms beef, and a selection of locally grown onions and peppers; but I found myself a few dollars short of my coupon total. Heading back to the meat case, I came across a small package of what looked like a couple of rather large eggs for just a few dollars labeled “lamb fries,” and being the adventurous cook and eater that I am, I had to buy them. This is a rather traditional way to prepare them, but simple is usually best when working with new ingredients.
Lamb Fries (Sheep Testicles)
- 2-6 lamb fries, depending on how many people you can find actually brave enough to try them.
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 eggs
- 1-2 cups Panko bread crumbs
- Oil for frying
The first step in preparing your lamb fries is to peel them. Using a very sharp paring knife, work the outer membrane off of the softer interior, taking care not to damage the meat. The lamb fries will have a rather gelatinous texture, but don’t let that daunt you! Once you’ve removed the outer membrane, soak the fries in cold water for a couple of hours, changing the water after an hour. This will help firm them up and helps mellow the flavor. Remove the lamb fries and pat dry, then slice into 1/3 inch pieces with a sharp knife. Mix the slices with the mustard and let them marinate for 15-30 minutes. Beat the eggs, then dip the fries into the egg, coat with the panko, and fry until golden brown. Serve with lemon wedges, cocktail sauce, or aioli. This was my first time cooking and eating this dish, and I found the taste to be mild and flavorful, reminiscent of a slightly gamey (in a good way) oyster. The texture firms up considerably during the frying process, and the panko adds a nice, crunchy contrast to the soft meat. I’d definitely eat these again. Enjoy!