Wednesday, November 05, 2008


serves eight

1 pound veal sweetbreads, rinsed thoroughly
lightly salted water for soaking
veal or poultry stock to cover
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1½ tablespoons unsalted butter
2 shallots, minced
1½ tablespoons flour
1½ cups brown veal stock
3 tablespoons capers, rinsed
1½ tablespoons malt vinegar
salt and black pepper to taste
8 slices lean smoked bacon, precooked until partially done but still pliable, cut into squares
16 medium crimini or button mushroom caps
8 wooden skewers, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
2 garlic cloves, very finely minced
salt and pepper to taste
1½ tablespoons parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
2 ounces dry unseasoned breadcrumbs

Soak the sweetbreads in lightly salted water for 2 hours. Drain, place in a saucepan, cover with veal stock, add the lemon juice, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the sweetbreads turn opaque and are firm.

Rinse the sweetbreads under cold running water until cool enough to handle. Remove any gristle and veins and as much membrane as possible.

Place the dressed sweetbreads under a weighted plate for several hours, refrigerated.

Cut the pressed sweetbreads into 1-inch squares and reserve.

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat and sauté the shallots until soft. Add the flour and stir well to form a light roux.

Slowly whisk in the stock and bring to a boil while stirring. Reduce the heat to a simmer, then stir in the capers and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve warm for service.

To assemble the skewers, alternate the sweetbread cubes, bacon squares and mushroom caps on 8 soaked wooden skewers and reserve.

Mix the butter, garlic, salt and pepper, parsley, and thyme together to form a basting mixture.

Brush the skewers with the basting mixture and broil or grill the skewers for 10 minutes, while basting and turning, using medium heat. Place on a platter and allow to rest 5 minutes.

Place the breadcrumbs in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add any remaining basting butter to the crumbs and sauté the crumbs to lightly brown.

For each serving, remove the wooden skewer and place the sweetbreads, mushrooms, and bacon on a small plate. Dust with browned breadcrumbs. Top with warm caper sauce.

courtesy of: The Appetizer Atlas: A World of Small Bites by Arthur L. Meyer and Jon M. Vann. Wiley, 2003

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