Ram’s Eggs

Koç Yumurtasi

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When I put testicles on the menu many people thought I was trying to create a sensation, but I was actually making a point about sustainability. When I was growing up, Turkey was going through economically tough times, and it was important not to waste anything. The butchers would reserve offal for the families that had young children, as a source of protein. I grew up eating liver, kidneys, brains and testicles, and anyone looking at my height today would say that they must have been a great source of nutrition. Nowadays, when the food elite talks about sustainable eating, I like to ask: ‘How did we go from fillet steak to fried crickets without using the rest of the animal first?’

Ingredients

  • 4 ram testicles
  • 1 slice day-old white sandwich bread
  • 50 ml (1⅔ fl oz) milk
  • 80 g ( oz/½ cup) blanched almonds
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon isot (or chilli flakes)
  • 2 teaspoons sumac, to decorate

Method

It’s likely you will have bought the testicles frozen. Let them thaw for 15 minutes. Chop off the top and bottom. Remove the translucent skin and the white membrane, then cut the soft meat in half lengthways. Set aside.

Put the bread in bowl, cover with the milk and leave to soak for 5 minutes. Discard the crusts and squeeze the bread to remove excess liquid.

Put the almonds, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, salt and the bread in a food processor and purée, slowly adding the oil. If it’s too thick, add 2 teaspoons of water.

Melt the butter in a frying pan over low heat. Add the half testicles, cut side down, and sauté for 2 minutes. Turn, sprinkle on the cumin, isot and remaining salt, and fry for 1 minute more. Remove from the pan and rest on paper towel.

Spread 1 tablespoon of the almond and garlic sauce on one side of each plate, with pieces of testicle on the other side. Sprinkle with the sumac and serve.