Friday, May 30, 2008

Rosie's Mystery Dish.

Mr. Hawthorne and I were at the grocery store the other day, looking for some new meat, when I saw some tripe and suggested we try it. I thought he was going to lose his cookies right then and there.
"Well," says I, "what about some sweetbreads?"
Mr. Hawthorne: "Good God, no. That's disgusting. I don't eat organs."
Me: "But you eat the skin on fried chicken."
Mr. H.: "That's different."
Me: "And you love chicken livers. That's an organ, too."
Mr. H.: "It's not the same thing."
Me: "OK, then. What about oysters. That's just one big ol' organ."
Mr. H.: "No, no, no. It's not the same at all."
Me: "Well, what about soft shell crabs? Gotta be some organs in there."
Mr. H.: "That's totally different."

Are you beginning to see a pattern here?

Oh my goodness.
If only I could be a fly on Mr. Hawthorne's wall when he reads this post.
The look on his face would be priceless.

I called around yesterday and located my mystery meat.
Mr. Hawthorne glanced at the package and asked what it was.
"Veal," I said.
"Oh good. Are we having scappolini?" he asks.
"Not exactly, " I reply. "And that would be scallopini."

Now, I don't know how I prepared everything without
Mr. Hawthorne seeing anything,
but I did.

Let's unwrap my veal scallopini.
Does this look like any veal scallopini
you've ever seen?

Didn't think so.

That's because it's SWEETBREADS, veal thymus glands.

Now, how to prepare.
I get out my trusty Joy Of Cooking and
Marcella Hazan's The Classic Italian Cookbook.

First, I soaked the sweetbreads in cold water for a couple of hours, to release any blood.

I'm holding the sweetbreads up
so you can see the membrane.

Here I am, peeling the membrane off the pieces while they soak.

After about an hour, you can see that the water is a bit discolored.

So I changed the water and
soaked for another hour.

I drained the sweetbreads and
covered them with plastic wrap.

I weighted them down with an iron pan
and put in the fridge to set overnight.

Fast forward to today.
I put a carrot, a piece of celery, 2 TB vinegar, and 2 teas salt in a pot of water, brought it to a boil, then added the sweetbreads to blanch.

Barely simmer for about 6 minutes.

Then drain.

Now, here's my mise en place:
sweetbreads in the bowl, then a can of Italian diced tomatoes, some oil, frozen peas,
butter, and shallots.

Close up of

Are you still with us, Mr. Hawthorne?

Chop up the thymus glands into bite-sized pieces.

Hang on, Mr. Hawthorne, it gets better.

First, I melted 4 TB butter with 2 TB oil and added the chopped shallots.

I lightly breaded
the sweetbreads
in seasoned flour.

Then I added them to the pot and sauteed them until they were lightly browned.

Added in the can of tomatoes with juice
and stirred.

I decided to add in a fresh tomato
for good measure.

I slow simmered this for about 35 minutes.

Then I added in frozen peas and gently
simmered for another 20 minutes.

Mr. Hawthorne and Daughter Hawthorne walked in at this point and both said the house smelled wonderful.

"What are you cooking?" they wanted to know.
"Veal," I said.
"It smells delicious!"

I heated up some phyllo pastry cups and spooned the sweetbread mixture into them, then plated the risotto and the polenta.

I must say, this was some kind of good.

Here's Mr. Hawthorne, digging into his veal.

I asked him how he liked lunch today.
He replied,"I thought it was DAMN good. One of the best things you've done."

Heh, Mr. Hawthorne.
And like we always say, "Parts is parts."

Bon appetit, Mr. Hawthorne!

OH ... By the way, S is for SWEETBREADS.


Ticky said...

Uh, sweetbreads? Kind of a misnomer, don't you think? When I see 'sweetbreads', I think 'sweet', ah, something sugary. Combine with 'breads', and I want to see some coffee cake or donuts or something of that sort. I DO NOT want to see a membrane covered fetus. So....I don't know if I want to eat at your house anymore. Can she be trusted? Nope.....

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Ah, Ticky. It was delish. Trust me.