What to do with blood pudding?
My potluck group last night decided that the next week's theme would be 'blood'. I missed the decision process and have no idea how they came to that conclusion as some of them are vegetarians, but they were talking about ingredients like blood oranges, beets, etc. I, of course, would like to do it proper, and bring in a blood sausage or pudding to make everyone squirm.
The only ones I can find in my town are Tommy Moloney products:
I've never had Irish blood pudding and have no idea what it tastes like or what the seasonings are like. Can anyone give me some hints? Also, I don't think it'd be very interesting to just slice it up and fry it - do you know of any preparations I can incorporate it in?
There's a fairly length article on blood pudding on Wikipedia, covering styles and uses around the world.
The reason for slicing and frying is that it enhances the texture. Texture, of course, depends a lot on the filling, but can be soft and uniform. Flavor can vary. I've had a Scandinavian version that was sweet with raisins, Korean with rice and mugbean noodles (served with a spicy dipping salt), and a more strongly flavored Mexican moronga.
I have seen Spanish recipes that call for morcilla, including the antithesis of vegetarian meal, the Cocido Madrilleno.
the different national variations are surprisingly different...
I'd suggest bringing blood pudding/blutwurst/black pudding primarily just as a squicky taste -- it's expensive, and quite likely to not be finished off. (I've eaten it in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the UK, France, and Germany, and can now say I've given it a fair shake, and I really don't care for it.)
The only way I've ever enjoyed it was in Germany, where it was in a strange salad containing chopped pickles and was extremely refreshing on a crazy-hot day.
You might also consider SANGria -- named for its resemblance to blood.
I like it best sliced and fried also, even without the scallop. The Irish/UK variety kind of reminds me of liverwurst as far as the taste - and has so much oatmeal it's almost like a kind of liverwurst toast, if that makes sense. I like it myself but as with liverwurst a little bit goes a long way - it's very rich.
Assuming you're buying an Irish or British black pudding, then we usually eat it at breakfast, along with bacon, eggs and so on.
However, some recipe ideas from one of the producers near to me:
As specific ideas that we've tried, it works as a stuffing for chicken breast. I also like it as part of a "breakfast salad" - dressed leaves scattered with with fried black pud. and bacon (or pancetta) and halved quails eggs (or simply a poached egg which pretty much forms the dressing in itslef.
I have made a "gratin" of pudding using French Boudin Noir with a layer of the sausage (though the Irish/English versions are a little dense) and a layer of potatoes and apples.
Hey! even found a recipe with the British version!
Tastewise, what you have is going to be surprisingly mild, like a slightly grainy, spiced oatmeal. Very good, very soothing and perfect with apples and potatoes. In fact, my favorite meal is a one pan fry of boudin, apples and potatoes with a bottle of red. Great breakfast!
Here's a recipe I've tried with French style Boudin. I think it would work well with the Irish version.
*Buy frozen puff pastry and cut into circles 3X larger that the pudding. Prick with fork and bake until golden and puffy. Let cool and cut in half (like a hamburger bun).
*Caramelize onions with thyme and salt & pepper.Keep warm.
*Pan roast apple quarters in butter s&p and a little more thyme.Keep warm
*Sear a little bacon, onion, garlic. Add cream.Reduce.Seasaon.Strain. You don't want it too thick.
*Slice the blood pudding in rounds and pan-sear.
Puff base/Onions/Blood Pudding/Apples/Puff top/Drizzle of sauce around the plate.
Hope you like it
Irish black pudding is a bit bland to my palate. There's a little bit of warm spicing, but it mostly tastes of oats with a minerally aftertaste to me. Of course the simplicity is what makes it so brilliant fried in bacon grease with beans for contrast. However you serve it, you might consider serving it with a similar sweet and sour sauce. Blood sausages of all types are especially good stuffed into grilled squid, though I especially like morcilla in this manner.
If you have access to pigs' blood, you should try making dinuguan, hot and sour blood stew. It's got enough pork belly to keep it au courant, with a good kick and a venerable history. The modern Filipino recipe is very similar to the black gruel that sustained the ancient Spartans and was reputed to be the source of their vigor and ferocity.