March 30, 2020
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Greetings my beautiful lovelies. Hello, it’s Emmy. Welcome back! Today I’m going to be starting a new series called Hard Times where I’m going to explore in recipes and foods that were created during times of difficulty like the Great Depression or like this recipe which was created in the 1990s in Cuba where there are food shortages and people created steaks out of grapefruit skins. Yes. Today, I’m going to be making Bistec de Toronja. Toronja is grapefruit. So this is going to be a faux steak that is made with the white pithy part right underneath this skin. It’s gonna be a little bit like a German schnitzel or a Japanese tonkatsu. It’s going to be breaded and deep-fried, but I’m really curious to see if this is gonna taste at all bitter; if it’s gonna have any sour grape fruity notes at all. What does the pith taste like when it’s cooked? It’s something that I always discarded. I love grapefruit So, this is a great example of nothing being wasted. We’re gonna just shave this top layer off save the pit and then you still have the juicy fruit inside So when I was researching Bistec de Toronja I found a video which this recipe is inspired by and I’ll put the link down below so this recipe was invented in the 1990s in Cuba during a period of time where food was very scarce and there was a lot of food rationing so people really had to make do so my goal for the series not only to satisfy my curiosity about what these recipes taste like but also to learn and to empathize with what people struggled with during these times and perhaps that’ll explain why for example Auntie or grandma is so frugal because she lived through those times right? She knows what it was to be hungry So I’ve mentioned this before but I loved learning about culture and history through the lens of food So the next thing I’m gonna be tackling in this series, I believe will be the Great Depression I just ordered a book that will be coming soon that includes recipes and stories about how people made things mean how they got by During times of difficulty. Alright, let’s go ahead and start making our beef steak I got myself the biggest grapefruit that I could find the grocery store and I’m going to remove the very top layer of the grapefruit as soonly as Possible in the video they use a paring knife, but I’m thinking that I can even get their lair with a vegetable peeler So I’m gonna try doing that Yes, I’m gonna use a vegetable peeler and just take off just the top layer of the grapefruit. Oh, it smells so good I love grapefruit fresh grapefruit. Juice is the best. Oh It smells so good My grandmother used to actually save these peels and use them in the bathroom If you squeeze it, you can see a little bit of the juice come out Oh, it smells so good and in Japan you actually see yuzu which is another type of citrus kind of lemony and they put it in their bathwater to Perfume the bath we’re gonna take this and cut it in half There’s my grapefruit and This looks like it has a pretty good pith layer. So over a large bowl, we’re gonna just carefully remove the fruit Using our thumbs to kind of leverage it out And want to keep this in one piece of at all possible because we want this to look like a steak Cut this so we don’t make a hole, Ta-daa! there it is The pith Wow look at that and there’s our fruit and then we’ll do the same with this side Let’s just love things sorted in the face. No, I don’t actually Rhetorical question. I yeah I talk too much So when I was a kid I was a pretty good student But on every report card my mom knew to expect that my teacher would say I talked too much like oh she talks too much she’s a very bright young lady, but she talks too much and My mom actually saw me talking to myself on the swing set in the backyard and she’s like, you know, we should have another kid But I still talk about It’s just my nature Okay There we have it. The fruit is separated from the pith. That’s actually quite lovely. Look at that -barap barap- like coconut shells But not okay, they actually don’t smell like much So all the grapefruit sense actually in the zest of it the color portion of the grapefruit. This actually doesn’t smell like much My hands on the other hand smell lovely and the fruit that’s more than much either. Awesome. Okay. Now we’re gonna prepare the cutlets You remove the little stem stock right there Do you know if you have like a pork chop and you want it to fry flat that if you give it little cuts around the perimeter that it will Cook flat. It’s true. Now. We’re going to season them with a bit of salt Both sides, and pepper Amazing what a little seasoning can do Crack an egg To my egg mixture I’m gonna add one clove of minced garlic Okay, so now we’re ready to bread and put some breadcrumbs now we’re going to bread our grapefruit so Coat that up. It’s kind of amazing how it does look a little bit meat like oh, okay so bad in there There it is, alrighty so now we’re ready to fry that grapefruit cutlets, I’ve got some oil heating here it’s on medium-high it smells good Looking great Browning up nicely And it smells delicious, smells garlicky and fried, that looks done, drain an on some paper towels. Merch Merch Merch Merch Merch Merch Merch Do you want a piece of Winston check out the link down below to see how you can get yourself an official Winston t-shirt only offering them for a limited time only so act Look at this, isn’t it incredible? I don’t think if you showed this to anybody in a million years will they ever guess that this is grapefruit pith Ever, ever, it looks just like me, looks like a chicken pork cutlet So I’ve garnished it with a little bit of cilantro and have a lemon wedge I love a little bit of acid with fried things, but I’m gonna try it plain first Nice crispy crust, look at that, it even looks like meat that’s amazing! It has a little bit of resistance and it looks like meat, look at that! itadakimasu Mmm There is a distinctive bitterness to it, it definitely tastes bitter, but the texture is surprisingly meat-like and The flavor is pretty good. The pith itself is pretty meat-like, it kind of got a slightly spongy, resistant texture, kind of like meat, the exterior is wonderful, nice and crisp and crunchy Which is a nice kind of compliment to the pith itself. the flavor, though. Hmm The outside is very familiar, it’s that same signature flavor that you have with mozzarella sticks that bread crummy, garlicky, crisp salt and peppery exterior exactly the same thin and crackly. The interior is completely different. This is actually significantly bitter. This is where the bitterness of the grapefruit is. It’s in the pith. So it has kind of an astringent, bitter quality to it particularly at the very end. It’s kind of like when you have tonic water straight up like tonic water without the gin it has that really pronounced bitterness and that’s what this has. Definitely is an assault on your senses and your expectations because you’re like, “oh this looks delicious. This looks like my little chicken cutlet” And then, when you eat it. Oh Wow, it’s very bitter Hmm maybe this is a time where condiments are in order. Let’s see ketchup and barbecue sauce Whenever you make a meal that’s a little bit questionable I always like to have insurance and that means condiments. So I have some ketchup barbecue sauce and good old sriracha All right. Let’s try it with the sriracha Mmm Love sriracha garlicky echoes the garlic notes better in the breading and You don’t notice the bitterness quite as much the heat, tough, is welcome as well Okay now barbecue sauce Whoa! Actually, that doesn’t work. Unh-uh. Barbecue sauce is too strong; too smoky; too sweet. Although it does eliminate some of the bitterness, it’s not a compliment to that combination. Unh-uh. All right, lastly ketchup. Mm. Mmm… Ketchup is good. That, again, goes back to the combination of mozzarella sticks/ketchup/kind of bar food… Yes. Ketchup actually works, in my opinion, really well with that; as does the Sriracha. Maybe an application of salt prior to and letting it kind of leach out a little bit, kind of similar to what you do to eggplant slices — if you’re making eggplant parmesan — maybe that would get some of the bitterness out. But all in all, very, very impressed with how this looked; how it cooked up; taste, not so much, but in times of difficulty you often don’t really have a choice, do you? All righty, so there you have it, Bistec de Toronja, the steak made out of grapefruit peel. I hope you guys enjoyed that one. I hope you guys learned something. Share this video with your friends; follow me on social media; let me know if there are recipes you want me to taste and try out; and I shall see you in my next video. Toodle-oo! Take care! Byee! ….follow me on social, and I shall *burp, burp, burp, burp* next one. Toodle-oo! Take care! Byee!!

Randall Smitham