Friday, February 6, 2009

Dying Delicacy Or Appetizing Amphibian ?

While on a recent trip home to North Carolina, I was stunned to see a collection of flours like none other in the local Food Lion. Here in Los Angeles, when I go to buy flour, my choices are limited to a very small selection. So you can imagine my delight when I counted over 10 brands of flour to choose from!

Why does flour excite me so? Because I am on a crusade to make the best biscuit ever known to mankind. While I do enjoy the exotic treats my local L.A. grocery stores provide, like dragon fruit and tamarind pulp, either of which would be near impossible to find in a southern grocery store, they are lacking in the basics needed to make good southern food; in particularly biscuits. And there before me seemed to be the Mecca of biscuit flours (I’ve come to expect a wider pork product selection then anywhere else in the land, but never anticipated an abundance of flour).
I snatched up about 20lbs of flour and headed home for a biscuit-making extravaganza that would ultimately turn my mother’s kitchen into what would look like a winter wonderland (luckily she was out of town and therefore could not ground me for making such a mess).

But this blog is not about making biscuits. It is about what I ate while making biscuits. While I do love biscuits (There is little better than a warm flaky biscuit just out of the oven with a pat of butter (or, of course, a few strips of bacon or fried chicken and melted cheese {see previous blogs below}), I’ve been making about two batches a week and have grown a little numb to them for the time being. Thus it was necessary for me to pick up another item to nibble on for lunch.

After forcing myself away from the pork section of the store, I stumbled across the delicacy known as frog legs and knew they must be prepared.

If you’ve never had frog legs, it is true, they do taste a lot like chicken. And they are as every bit as simple to fry up as fowl.

But what alarmed me upon closer inspection of the package was that these frog legs were not yanked from a local creek, but rather were shipped from China??? Now seriously, Food Lion, is there some shortage of local frogs and local frog killers that you must have them shipped in from the other side of the world? I would like to think not. Shame on you Food Lion (but please keep up the good work with the flour and swine)!

Nevertheless, I ate them and they were very good. But my conscious really did ache ever so slightly (but that pain was replaced with overwhelming joy when I shortly thereafter nailed the master biscuit recipe! {And you can hang up any ideas that that recipe will EVER be appearing here.}).

But to my chagrin, said conscious again took a beating when I read an article released only 2 days prior claiming that frogs are rapidly disappearing due to human consumption.

We can blame the dwindling population on, well, the Frogs. Not the one’s on our plate, but the ones in Europe. For it is the French that consume the most frog legs in a given year and we will label them the bad guys (yet again. {Hmm, should we call heretofore call refer to them as ‘Freedom Legs?’}) for doing so. However, the US is a close second while Indonesia leads the world in frog leg exports.

Almost 11,000 tons of frog meat is consumed annually. That’s about 200 million – 1 billion frogs! In fact, Indonesia quit exporting frog legs after the country was so overrun by the flies and mosquitoes that were left to multiply exponentially without their #1 predator.

Years ago when I heard Chilean Sea Bass was dwindling away, I quit eating it (yes, that does make me a better person than you). It wasn’t easy due to it being the daily special on every Applebee’s & Cheesecake Factory menu between here and the moon. Yet I have successfully stayed away from that delicious fish for many years now…and so should you. I can make no such promise to the frog. While I will stay away from all frogs that had to buy a transpacific ticket just to get here, frogs that are killed by a good ol’ boy with a frog gigger are still fair game.

In the meantime, should you find yourself with your own dead frog on the end of a sharp homemade weapon, try this recipe for a crunchy treat. There are many gourmet recipes for frog legs, this is not one of them. But it is good eatin’ nonetheless.

Fried Frog Legs
Serves 4

8 pair frog legs
1 cup veg oil
1/2 cup flour
3 cups buttermilk
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
salt and pepper
1 dash oregano
1 dash rosemary

Frog legs from the store should be already skinned. If using fresh frog, skin legs and parboil for 3 min in one part lemon juice or white vinegar to four parts water before continuing. Cover with buttermilk and garlic in a mixing bowl, refrigerate for 1 hour. Pat dry, season with paprika, onion powder, cayenne and S&P. Add oregano and rosemary to the flour. Heat oil in a skillet. Lightly flour the frog legs and fry until golden brown.


  1. Here is a great recipe for frog legs...

    3 Louisiana teenagers
    2 cases of Bud Light
    1 airboat (AKA fan boat) powered by a chevy 454
    1 one million candle power q-beam

    Load teenagers, beer and q-beam into the airboat and head off into a local marsh. Consume beer and find frogs with q-beam. I have no recollection of how they were cooked, but we sure gigged a hell of a lot of bull frogs.

  2. I never knew frog legs were so interesting and apparently appetizing!