Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Lemon Butter Frog Legs Sauté

     A Classic Frog Legs Entrée!
     Sautéed Frog Legs finished with a lemon butter that is made in the same pan is a popular entrée in Florida.  Part of the reason why this entrée is so popular is because Everglades Frog Legs are considered to be a delicacy in this state.  The Everglades is a remnant from the age of the dinosaurs and Bull Frogs grow extra large in this swamp.  Everglades Frog Legs are very large and I have seen some that are as big as turkey legs.
     Frozen frog legs from India, Nepal, China and Iran are good too.  Foreign frog legs tend to be a little bit smaller in size.  Imported frog legs do vary in quality and sustainability can be an issue.  Doing a little research to check for resource sustainability and environmental issues should be done before purchasing any imported frog legs.  Practicing sustainable shopping helps to prevent frog species from going extinct.  If the frog legs are imported from a reputable source, then checking the quality is all that needs to be done.  The frog leg meat should be a pale translucent whitish color, just like fresh fish.  There also should be no noticeable odor.  
     The flavor of frog legs is very mild.  Some people describe the frog leg flavor as tasting like chicken.  Frog legs actually have a milder flavor than chicken.  Frog legs taste like clean fresh whitefish with just a hint of chicken flavor.  Alligator meat has a similar flavor, because frogs are a main staple of this reptile.
     Today's Lemon Butter Frog Legs Sauté entrée was an item that I cooked at fine dining cafés and yacht clubs in Florida.  This tasty frog legs entrée nearly always sold out on a Friday or Saturday night.  Tourists and Florida residents both like this local specialty!

     Frog Legs Saute with Lemon Butter: 
     This recipe yields 1 entrée.
     For this recipe, "the simpler, the better."  No attempt is made to emulsify the butter sauce at the end of the recipe.  Some of the flour actually turns brown and pools in the sauce.  This style of sauté creates a broader range of flavor.    
     Step 1:  Select 3 pairs of medium to large size frog legs.  (About 8 ounces total.)
     Split the hip joint with a chef knife to separate the individual legs.
     Trim off any excess cartilage.
     Step 2:  Place 1 cup of flour in a shallow container.
     Add 2 pinches of sea salt and white pepper.
     Mix the ingredients together.
     Dredge the frog legs in the seasoned flour.
     Step 3:  Heat a wide sauté pan over medium heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
     Place the floured frog legs in the pan.
     Sauté the frog legs till golden brown highlights appear on both sides.
     *The frog legs should only be cooked halfway done at this point.
     Step 4:  Remove the frog legs from the pan.
     Drain the grease out of the pan.
     Step 5:  Return the frog legs to the hot pan.
     Place the pan over medium heat.
     Add 2 1/2 tablespoons of lemon juice.
     Add 1/2 cup of water.
     Rapidly simmer and reduce till only about 3 tablespoons of thin sauce remains.  Turn the frog legs occasionally, so they cook evenly.
     Step 6:  Add 2 1/2 tablespoons of Unsalted Plugra Butter.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of minced Italian Parsley.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and white pepper.
     Gently shake the pan till the butter melts and blends with the reduced lemon pan jus.
     Step 7:  Remove the pan from the heat.
     *The carryover heat of the pan will break the butter emulsion.
     Step 1:  Place the frog legs side by side on the front half of a plate.
     *Fully cooked frog legs easily break apart, so use a long spatula to transfer them to a plate.
     Spoon the lemon butter and jus from the pan over the frog legs.
     Step 2:  Place a portion of rice and vegetable of your choice on the back half of the plate.
     *Saffron Turmeric Brown Rice and Sautéed Yellow Squash, Onion and Bell Pepper are the vegetables in the pictures. 
     Step 3:  Garnish with an Italian Parsley sprig and a fanned lemon wedge.

     Viola!  A tasty light frog leg entrée!            

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