'Nasty Bits' on Serious Eats

The Nasty Bits: Tongue Cemita Sandwich

I used to think that the best usage for beef tongue in Mexican cuisine was tacos de lengua, but that just goes to show you how little I know about tongues. Turns out I like tongue cemitas just as much as tongue tacos, if not more. A cemita is a class of Mexican sandwich with meat, avocado, white cheese, onions and some sort of red sauce, usually on a sesame seed roll. Regional variations abound. More

The Nasty Bits: Quail

I bought six little quails all for myself. They taste sort of like tiny ducks since their breast meat is dark rather than white. I cooked the six quails in different ways, on different days, and dined alone. My favorite way was the simmered quail with mustard and capers. More

The Nasty Bits: Shrimp Heads

I don't make this fried shrimp recipe just so I can eat the shrimp heads. That would be like making chocolate chip cookies just for the chocolate. You need both: the interplay between the richness and the supporting structure. But certainly the shrimp heads are the lure, the main attraction. More

The Nasty Bits: Goat Meat, Part One

The one thing I always like to say to disarm people who fear goat, is "Betcha didn't know that cashmere comes from goat." Once I say that, it's like the goat floodgates open, and people figure that if it's good enough to wear then it's good enough to eat. Goat is closer in flavor to lamb than mutton, which is to say, the flesh is not as gamey as you might think. More

Crispy Grilled Beef Tongue

Tongue is a stress-free option for the grill. You simmer the tongue in water or stock, adding aromatics and spices. If I'm really pressed for time and mental reserves, I may do nothing more than plop a tongue into a pot with water and keep the heat on low. A few hours of simmering does the bulk of the work. Once simmered, you peel the tongue and cut it into thickish slabs, perfect for tossing on the grill. Because tongue is so fatty, you don't have to worry about it getting tough or dry. More

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