Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day Menu

Sure, you can have your chocolates, and your champagne, but what would be a more fitting dish on Valentine's day than heart? Beef hearts, known as anticuchos in Peru, are inexpensive (I find them regularly at the Stop and Shop in the Cross County Mall for $1.29/pound) and tasty (being a muscle, the heart is perhaps the best organ meat for those who normally avoid offal). Considered dispassionately, beef heart tastes much like any other muscle (it has a bit more of a gamy, "mineral" flavor than most cuts of steak) but the meat is less "fibrous" than typical skeletal muscle. The meat also tends to be lean. I find that beef hearts make a great substitute for packaged "stew meat", and go well in chili and "steak and kidney" pies.

For those unwilling to make the commitment to cooking beef heart at home, anticuchos are available at local Peruvian restaurants such as Viru in Yonkers and Cholo's Kitchen in New Rochelle.

Another personal favorite of mine is the chicken heart- I typically saute chicken hearts with onions, or skewer them, give them a dry rub (one favorite blend is cumin, coriander, savory, black pepper, and salt), and throw them on the grill. Chicken hearts are highly prized in Brazilian cuisine. Again, for the individual who does not wish to experiment at home, a good place to try chicken hearts is Port Chester's Brazilian churrascaria Brasil International Café.

Now, who needs Valentine's Day chocolate when they can actually munch on hearts?


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  2. I actually enjoy Deer hearts. My dad used to be an avid hunter before old age and alcoholism set in..and I always got the hearts..small ass things but so damn tasty.

  3. I've never partaken of the love muscle. Well, not the one that beats in the chest anyhow. ;0

    My parents were always eating that kind of stuff though. It just doesn't appeal to me.