Mrs Bailey’s Pan-Fried Brains
Martian girls are robust little creatures on the whole, and not inclined towards squeamishness. The same is doubly true of Crater School girls, who are very much trained to take their world as it comes. Even some of Mrs Bailey’s charges, though, might draw back if presented with a dish of brains, especially in its raw state.
Should they dare to complain, of course, Mrs B would offer them short shrift, as you may readily imagine. Fortunately, the girls are in no danger, for she is wise in her generation and keeps brains off the dining-hall menu. Like the lamb’s kidneys, she holds them to be a cook’s perk, and shares them with very few.
[As it happens, I myself was raised much like a Martian girl; my childhood was replete with kidneys and liver and lamb’s tongues and, yes, brains. Which I adored, then as now. They are harder to find these days, especially post-BSE in the UK; I do find that Chinese supermarkets tend to stock pig’s brains in the freezer section, though. Pig’s brains are delicious.]
Flour, salt and pepper, cayenne
Toast, to serve
First, rinse your brains. Giggle if you wish to; it’s a fine first line. Peel off any remaining membrane; they should separate into lobes, more or less. Now put them in a saucepan with water to cover. Add a spoonful of salt, and bring to a boil.
Simmer for a couple of minutes, then drain and leave to cool.
Put a couple of tablespoons of flour in a bowl and season heavily with salt, pepper and cayenne, for brains are actually quite bland; it’s all about the texture, really. Which is soft and delicate and the very definition of melting in the mouth.
Toss the separate lobes of brain in the seasoned flour till well coated.
Heat a skillet, and add butter or oil or bacon fat as preferred. Lay in the floured brains, without crowding the pan.
Fry until golden brown and crisp on one side, then turn and repeat.
Serve on toast, traditionally with scrambled eggs, though I am also very fond of lightly fried eggs as an alternative companion, just for that little difference in the texture.
You can read more of Mrs Bailey’s recipes here:
And the Crater Schools girls’ many adventures are recorded here: