Frog Legs, Provincial Style

(Oct. 25, 2019) Habitual actions are a sign of a willingness to accept monotonous routines without questioning their reason or purpose.

This way of thinking is perfectly acceptable, but for those who strive for excellence, variation must come into play.

“Change” is normally associated with major circumstances that can greatly influence our lives. However, modification does not have to be monumental; the very act of adjustment is the first step toward distinctiveness.

Chefs are no exception. They must continue to sharpen their skills and enhance their overall knowledge so advancement flourishes to the highest degree.

Do not allow predictability to become the norm.

Experiment with your menu to increase one’s creativity. Seek out new, exciting dishes to wow your guests. With that thought in mind, let us explore the cookery of frog legs.

Recently, I was dining in an establishment that offered frog legs as an entrée.

My first thought was absolute abstinence, but then it dawned on me I have partaken of venison, squirrel, rabbit, snakes, octopus, goat and pig’s feet, so why not give frog legs a shot?

Guess what, they are actually quite tasty.

Unless you are French or from the south, the idea of frog legs is undoubtedly something one would shun away from. If you ever have the opportunity, you might want to give them a try.

Frog legs taste like chicken, with a slightly fishy taste. They need to be skinned and then soaked in cold water, salt water, or milk before being cooked.

You can purchase frog legs at Harris Teeter. If they do not have any in stock, they can be ordered.

Four pairs of frog legs costs approximately $11, which is not bad for four appetizers. The skin and feet have been removed which makes the cooking process very simple.

My favorite preparation is called cuisses de grenouilles a la Provencale. This French dish consists of dredging the frog legs in flour and then sautéing them in butter or olive oil with chopped garlic, minced parsley and a splash of fresh lemon juice.

If you are going to cook your frog legs in butter, I highly suggest you take the extra time to make clarified butter.

Butter is mostly made up of fat, but it also contains small amounts of proteins, carbohydrates and minerals, which are often referred to as milk solids.

When the butter is heated, this emulsion is broken, which causes the different components to separate. The pure fat left standing is called clarified butter.

Since clarified butter has a higher smoke point than whole butter, food can be seared without the danger of milk solids burning and becoming bitter.

The easiest way to make clarified butter is to cut the butter in 1-inch chunks. Heat it in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat until all the butter has melted.

Let stand for 15 minutes and skim off the milk solids that have floated to the top.

If you have a fancy to try something new, consider serving frog legs, provincial style. Entertaining is about memorable food, and frog legs provincial style will have your guests talking for some time. Enjoy!

Frog Legs, Provincial Style

Ingredients

4 pairs of frog legs

3 cups milk

1 cup all-purpose flour

8 tablespoons clarified butter or 8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 large cloves garlic, minced

juice of ½ lemon

1 ½ teaspoons Herbs de Province

1 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary

1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Snip apart each pair of frog legs with poultry shears or a very sharp knife. Combine frog legs and milk in a bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

2. Transfer legs to a paper towel, pat dry and season generously with salt and pepper. Place flour on a plate and dredge frog legs in flour. Make sure they are completely covered, then shake off any excess flour and transfer to another plate.

3. Heat 4 tablespoons of butter or olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over high heat until sizzling. Add frog legs and cook, flipping once, until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer legs to a plate and set aside. Wipe out skillet with paper towels.

4. Add remaining butter or olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, Herbs de province, rosemary, parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to a simmer and sauté until garlic becomes translucent and fragrant. You do not want to burn the garlic, or it will become bitter.

5. Presentation: place frog legs in the center of the plate. You can serve them over a vegetable or baby potatoes. Drizzle the sauce over the frog legs and serve immediately.

Secret Ingredient – Taking a Chance. “Do you want to be safe and good, or do you want to take a chance and be great.”

– Jimmy Johnson

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