The following recipe was used as a garnish for Mock Turtle Soup (recipe found in Fannie's Last Supper)
This is an odd recipe to start with since one simmers a calf’s head cut into five pieces to make a broth but the finishing garnish is even stranger, fried brain balls! They are actually quite good – just be sure to tell your guests what they are after they have eaten them!
No, this was not a typo. These are actually quite good even though the recipe name leaves a lot to be desired. Be sure to let the brains cool thoroughly before chopping. Another hint: handle them gently before and after cooking. They break up and dissolve easily if manhandled.
1 quart water
1 cup white wine
1 carrot, sliced thinly
1 celery stalk, sliced thinly
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
1 teaspoon salt
2 bay leaves
6 parsley stems
1 calf’s brain, soaked in 1 quart cold water for 24 hours (change water 3 to 4 times)
½ cup grated dried bread crumbs
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¾ teaspoon fresh thyme
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup finely chopped cooked calf’s brain
1 cup peanut oil
1. To Cook Brain: Combine all ingredients for in medium saucepan, except for brain; simmer 30 minutes. Add brain, simmer gently 10 to 15 minutes until soft but firm (about 180 degrees on an instant read thermometer). Transfer to plate, covering with damp towel. Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until cold. Chop fine; reserve.
2. To Make Brain Balls: Combine all ingredients, except brain, until mixture is smooth. Add chopped brain and mix until combined. Scoop out 1 teaspoon portions and drop in dried fresh breadcrumbs. Heat oil in 10-inch skillet over medium heat until oil reaches 375 degrees; cook balls, until golden and crisp all around, about 2 to 4 minutes; transfer to paper-towel lined plate and season with salt.