ROCKY MOUNTAIN OYSTERS WITH PANKO
Shinin' Times at The Fort
by Holly Arnold Kinney
Even as a little girl, I worked in the Fort's kitchen as a prep cook, and peeling and cleaning Rocky Mountain oysters was a routine job and I barely gave it a second thought. One day I invited my sixth-grade school friends to the Fort and before they arrived, I prepared a large bowl of lightly seasoned, deep-fried Rocky Mountain oysters. "These are delicious! What kind of sausage popcorn is this?" one friend asked as she and the others happily downed the little tidbits. "You are eating buffalo bull testicles with a light breading and salt and pepper," I answered.
They looked at me with disbelief, but didn't stop munching them. To this day, they still tell this story with much delight. Now they bring their friends and children to the Fort and surprise them with the same dish ordered off our menu. Calf fries—another name for testicles—are smaller and more tender than bull fries, so ask your butcher for them.
• 6 calf or veal testicles (or turkey fries—testicles—may be substituted)
• 1 cup panko bread crumbs
• 1 teaspoon black pepper
• 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• Canola oil, for deep frying
• Sweet Red Chile Sauce (see below), for serving
With a sharp paring knife, cut and peel the skin away from the testicles. They will peel and slice much more easily if they are slightly frozen.
Cut the testicles into 1-inch pieces.
In a shallow baking pan, combine the panko, black pepper, salt, and cayenne. Roll the "oysters" the mixture of panko, salt and peppers
Heat the oil to 375°F and preheat the oven to 200°F.
Fry the breaded "oysters" for 3 minutes, until a light crust forms. Drain on crumpled paper towels and keep warm in the oven.
If you are serving them as an appetizer, skewer each one on a toothpick. Serve with Sweet Red Chile Sauce for dipping.
SWEET RED CHILE SAUCE
makes about 1½ cups
• 3/4 cup chile sauce (found in the ketchup aisle)
• 3/4 cup hot mango chutney, such as Major Grey's
• 1½ tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
In a small mixing bowl, combine the chile sauce, chutney, and mustard seed.
Chill the sauce for at least 6 hours to give the flavors a chance to mellow and mingle.