Lamb Brain Salad with Herbs and Pickled Peppers (Salade de Cervelle)
A simple recipe for brains mixed with hard boiled eggs, mayonnaise, herbs and pickled peppers that will fool most people. It's delicious. You can scale this to fit your needs, but I stretch a modest amount of lamb brains here to yield about 12 egg halves.
2tablespoonsprepared mayonnaiseeither homemade or something good like Hellmans
1teaspoonchopped fresh oregano or another herb
Pepper confettioptional, see note
6hard boiled eggsoptional, see note
Soak the brains
Soak the brains in cold water in the fridge, changing the water until it runs clear, a few hours.
Mix the water, salt and vinegar, then put into a container and add the brain halves and leave overnight. The next day, discard the water.
Poach the brains
Cover the brain with fresh water, along with the bay leaf and a ½ inch wide peel of lemon zest and a pinch of salt. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then turn the heat down as low as possible and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
Cool the brain in the poaching liquid.
Remove the brains and pat dry, then dice into small cubes about 1/2 -1/4 inch size.
Mix the diced brains and remaining salad ingredients, spoon into the egg halves, garnish with dried pepper confetti if using, or just a few leaves of herbs and serve on lettuce leaves or another green thing to help make them attractive and fool your dinner guests.
I serve the brain salad here on egg halves as I like the shape and form, and deviled eggs are a vehicle most people I know enjoy. You will have extra yolks leftover, which are good mashed with oil and herbs and spread on toast, buzzed up into mayonnaise (send me a message if you want to try that) etc. If you don't want to serve them in egg halves, you could use toast points.
The pepper confetti here is meant to add color, but also adds a bright pop of flavor. To make it, take a few small, multi-colored lunchbox peppers, or just a red bell pepper, quarter them and remove the ribs, then dice into 1/8 inch or smaller dice if you can (size isn't crazy important, but it's good practice). Dehydrate the peppers at 150F (high setting) on a silicon mat or parchment paper until crisp, then store in an air tight jar in the fridge and sprinkle on things as needed. It's a delicious way to enjoy peppers.