1 Free Flow Recipe
I was looking through an Italian cookbook for an Alfredo sauce (no
luck there) and ran across a section on sweetbreads. Here’s a short
run down on what they are, how to prepare them for cooking and three
recipes. Veal sweetbreads are more tender and flavorful than any
other variety and are the type most commonly found in American
Sweetbreads are very similar to brains in texture and flavor.
However, they are somewhat less delicate, and the receive the same
preliminary preparation and generally the same cooking treatment. A
whole sweetbread is the thymus gland of the animal and consists of 2
nodules, or lobes, of which the more rounded is the tenderest and
best part. This choicer lobe is sometimes available separately,
although it is more expensive.
If sweetbreads are to be sauteed or broiled, first soak them in
several changes of cold water for 2 hours. Drain and carefully
remove as much as possible of th membrane that covers them, being
careful not to dig into the tender flesh. Soak them again in cold
water acidulated with lemon juice or vinegar and again remove was
much of the membrane as possible. Cut off the connective tubes and
then blanch the sweetbreads over low heat for 15 minutes in lightly
salted water acidulated with lemon juice (about 1 tablespoon of lemon
juice to 1 quart of water). The water should be maintained at a point
just below a simmer; do not boil. Drain and plunge them in cold water
for 5 to 10 minutes. They are now ready to be sliced and sauteed.
Sauteing is the more popular method of cooking sweetbreads. If,
however, they are to be braised, blanching them is not necessary.
From “Great Italian Cooking-La Grande Cucina Internazionale” by Luigi
Carnacina, edited by Michael Sonino, Agradale Press, New York