It was a cruel ruse but one that I think was probably fair. My sister’s friend Hero looked horrified when I suggested she try duck heart (“oh no gross”), which rather jarred with my belief that you should at least try something before saying you don’t like it. So I said no more but later that day when I knew she’d forgotten I set about cooking the plump little hearts on Dad’s improvised barbecue.
“Hero would you like a little barbecued snipe on toast?”
“Oooh, yes please…..(eats heart)….this is delicious. Wow! How have you cooked this?”
I explained briefly what I’d done and wandered off. A few minutes later she stomped into the kitchen.
“Jammy I can’t believe you made me eat heart!”
“But you said you liked it.”
“Yeah but that’s when I thought it was snipe. Heart’s just gross.”
It’s funny how much the mind rules the palate. I have no doubt that if I’d given it to her saying it was heart she’d have found it disgusting. Really the heart’s just another muscle, but there is understandably something a little squeamish about it. Like eating a voodoo canape, as Alan Partridge said.
Anyway, if you fancy giving it a go, here’s what I did. It’s incredibly straightforward, and will work just as well with a chicken heart.
* A handful of duck hearts – one each for a nibble or 2-3 each for a starter (they’re good in salads)
* A few shakes of tabasco
* A tbsp or thereabouts of soy sauce
* A tsp of honey
* A glug of olive oil
* A good pinch of salt
* Sliced baguette
- Butterfly the hearts but slicing 5/6 of the way through them and flattening them out.
- Marinate in the tabasco, soy, honey, olive oil and salt. This is very basic, due to a very bare kitchen, so do jazz it up. Garlic, herbs, you know what to do. Leave for as long as you like. I cooked them pretty much straight away.
- Grill or barbecue for 2 minutes on each side and serve on toast.