So I invited Steve, my good docu-/mockumentary watching friend, over. And what menu goes with this film?, I asked myself. I could do turkey, because one of the main characters was a Zen Master of turkey hunting. Other possibilities? Ham perhaps? All my ideas seemed too conventional, and then it came to me.
I had seen frog legs in the seafood case at the United Market Street stores. I had heard they tasted like chicken. If ever there was a perfect dish to accompany a film about "Nub City," surely frog legs was it. I went to Market Street on 98th & Quaker and searched without success for frog legs. I asked the girl behind the counter if they had any frog legs. With a half smirk, she said they were out, but I should try the other Market Street store, because "they sell weird stuff."
I went to the Market Street on 50th & Indiana and approached the seafood case. There were the frog legs at $5.99 a pound. I made eye contact with the woman behind the counter. "I would like one pound of frog legs, please." The face she made was classic. It was a perfect combination of surprise, horror, and disgust. "You don't get that request often?" I asked.
I bought my frog legs and went home. The meat was almost as inexpensive as chicken. I had a recipe ready, Sauteed Frog Legs with Tomato Garlic Butter. Unfortunately the recipe did not specify whether to sauté the meat bone-in or not, and since I had not cooked frog legs before, I wasn't sure what the norm was - if there is anything normal about eating frog legs.
I set myself to the task of cutting the meat off the bones, and it took me awhile just to finish a pound of legs. It took me so long, in fact, that poor Steve had to go to work mashing potatoes. The meat cooked quickly. I added tomatoes, shallots, and substituted sherry for the white wine. I didn't measure it out, and I may have put too much in. Added a little chopped parsley and plated it up with mashed potatoes and corn on the cob. I tried the first bite. The frog meat was a little rubbery, springy, you might say, if you're into bad jokes. It had a slightly fishy flavor as well.
Suffices to say I wasn't the biggest fan of frog legs. What was even worse was that I tossed the bones and scraps of frog meat into the trash, but I didn't take out the trash for a couple of days. By that time, the stench was quite lethal. Scott said it could be used in chemical warfare.
For dessert, I made a Buttermilk Chess Pie, which sounded good and Southern to finish off the meal. I tried a recipe from the Good Book. I guess I undercooked the pie, but it was still especially awful. Perhaps it was bad kitchen karma on account of what I did to the frogs.
As for the film, it was interesting, though not quite the freak show I hoped for. I had to turn on the captions to understand the speakers due to their thick accents. The panhandle of Florida is a lot like the Panhandle of Texas. I could envision any one of those characters sitting at the local Dairy Queen telling the same wild tales.