Just before Christmas, all of a sudden, I had a kidneys craving. It was ironic as in October I’d suffered with a terrible kidney infection which had sent me rushing to A&E, off sick from work for a week, tending to myself with two lots of antibiotics and codeine (which I promptly put to the back of the medicine cabinet when I read how addictive they can be).
I have no idea where this sudden rush came from. In an ideal world, I wanted to have it at St. John or a similar restaurant but I instead decided that I would try cooking it. Off I went to Tesco, purchasing TWO packs of lambs kidneys. I read various recipes and settled on my trusted chef Nigel Slater, who had a great but simple recipe of devilled kidneys.
An unfortunate thing happened, I had a conversation with my dear cousin Serena and revealed how I was going to make devilled kidneys, she said her fiancé David was a fan and cooks them very well, but she said when she eats them, she can’t help but feel like it has a bit of a urine taste about it.
I made my devilled kidneys – and they were very nice.
BUT, I couldn’t get this idea out of my head that they had a urine sort of taste. Would I have thought this if I hadn’t spoken to Serena? Who knows, but I know it was what I was thinking now – constantly! I even spoke to David and mentioned that she had said this to me. “She’s a joker, don’t listen. It’s proper food of the gods, have some extra mustard with them” he told me. It was too late – I just couldn’t stomach the taste anymore. I put the second pack of kidneys in the freezer, vouching to cook them at a later date.
Two weeks ago, when I was thinking these bloody kidneys are rumbling around in my freezer and I just want rid, but can’t throw food away, I found a recipe in my Madhur Jaffrey cook book, Curry Nation for Curried Lamb’s Kidneys which looked delicious and had the right kind of spice (enough I hoped, to get rid of the urine taste). I recreated this recipe and to Madhur’s credit, it was delicious – but I only managed about four kidneys. Despite cooking the whole pack, I had to bin the rest of them.
Anyway the moral of the story is – stick to letting the professionals cook things like offal and any other weird complicated things of this nature. Sometimes it’s nicer having others cook things for you… and maybe don’t listen to cousin Serena (thanks a lot cuz)
Love FoodieClaire x