Canine Cuisine

Pound-for-hound, some of the best doggone dishes around

Adventurous American eaters who scarf down durian, pig's intestines, and stinky tofu may feel admirably multicultural. But what about dog? The Korean dish poshingtan, which literally translated, means "body preservation stew," is considered a health food in Seoul. Dog has been on the menu in Korea for hundreds of years.

But in 2002, when international soccer teams visited Korea during the World Cup competition, Korean poshingtan restaurants and dog meat salesmen got a lot of heat from ill-mannered and culturally insensitive animal rights activists.

Ahn Yong-keun, a South Korean food-science professor, responded to Western critics. "I am sure that Westerners will like dog meat if they eat it," he told reporters. "It is tasty and healthy." Ahn Yong-keun's defense of his country's ancient canine cuisine failed to convert the foreign press who dubbed him "Dr. Dogmeat."

Part of dog meat's PR problem may be rooted in the Korean cooking style. Big hunks of bone with meat cooked in a soup have never appealed much to Westerners, whether the meat in question is dog or chicken. So in the interest of giving dog meat a fair shake, we have developed some recipes for dog dishes we think the average Houstonian will be sure to love:

Chihuahua Chalupas

Low-fat Chihuahua meat combines beautifully with the sweetness of caramelized onions on these crunchy canine chalupas!

1 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 pound Chihuahua meat
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup refried beans
4 chalupa shells
1/3 cup salsa
4 tablespoons crumbled queso fresco
4 cilantro sprigs

Preheat the oven to 375. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium size skillet over medium heat. Cook the onions for 12 to 15 minutes or until they turn nicely brown. Cut the Chihuahua meat across the grain into very thin slices. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium size skillet over high heat. Add the meat and cook for 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Remove the meat from the pan.

To assemble the chalupas, spread 1/4 of the beans onto each chalupa shell, put 1/4 of the onion mixture on top of the beans, then add 1/4 of the cooked Chihuahua. Spoon 1/4 of salsa over the meat and top with 1 tablespoon queso fresco. Place the chalupas in a warm oven until the cheese melts, about 3 minutes. Remove from the oven and garnish with a cilantro sprig and more sauce. Yields 4 chalupas.

Springer Spaniel Spring Rolls

Looking for a tasty alternative to greasy pork in your spring rolls? Try ground springer spaniel. It's inexpensive, and nearly fat free!

1 pound ground springer spaniel
1 cup shredded cabbage
1/4 cup shredded carrots
3 green onions, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger root
3 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon chile sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
12 (7-inch square) spring roll wrappers

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Heat the oil in a medium skillet. Cook the ground spaniel meat until evenly brown. In a medium bowl, mix together spaniel meat, cabbage, carrots, green onions, cilantro, sesame oil, oyster sauce, ginger, garlic and chile sauce.

Mix cornstarch and water in a small bowl.

Place approximately 1 tablespoon of the spaniel mixture in the center of each spring roll wrapper. Roll the wrappers around the mixture, folding edges inward to close. Moisten fingers in the cornstarch and water mixture, and brush wrapper seams to seal.

Arrange spring rolls in a single layer on a medium baking sheet. Brush with vegetable oil. Bake in the preheated oven 20 minutes, until hot and lightly browned.

German Shepherd Goulash

Hearty, flavorful, German Shepherd meat is just right for Hungarian goulash. Be sure to use the best quality paprika for the richest flavor!

2 pounds German Shepherd, cut into one-inch chunks
1 teaspoon salt
2 onions
2 tablespoons lard or shortening
2 tablespoons Hungarian paprika
2 bay leaves
4 peeled and diced potatoes
1 teaspoon black pepper

Chop the onions and brown them in the shortening. Add the meat and paprika. Let the Shepherd meat simmer in its own juices along with bay leaves and paprika for one hour on low heat. Then add water, diced potatoes and salt. Cover and simmer until potatoes are done and meat is tender. Serves 4 to 6.

 
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