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Sweetbreads in NY


Stone
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Craft is a great place to try most any single-ingredient in a relatively pure preparation. You can be pretty sure you will be getting a first-rate specimen prepared with a high level of technical proficiency.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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'Crisp Sweetbreads' at Veritas may be deep fried, not my favourite preparation.

When looking for fresh ones, you will have to find out just what they are selling. The thymus (neck gland) from a young calf is preferable to the pancreas gland from an older animal. It may be sold after being soaked in brine, which must be removed by several changes of water, under a weighted plate. The sweetbread may even be sold par-boiled, so you will have to ask what they have done to it.

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They were on the menu when we ate at Prune over a year ago. I thought they were terrific -- and a very big portion.

But Stone, I don't know how you'd fit in -- literally -- at Prune; it might be kind of cramped for a big guy like you.

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My husband, the sweetbreads fanatic in our house, has had them at Veritas as an appetizer and says they were terrific.  According to their web site, a sweetbreads preparation is on the current appetizer menu (updated 6/16/04).

I'll second that, fried or not. I went to Veritas a few weeks ago and had the sweetbreads appetizer; it was amazing :wub: . If they were fried, then it was very lightly, they were not very crisp. I had never had sweetbreads either & wanted to try them. Now I have Veritas sweetbread cravings & there's nothing I can do about it (as I don't live in NY). Good luck!

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Mario Batali's fennel dusted sweetbreads with sweet and sour onions, duck bacon and membrillo vinegar at Babbo is one of their signature dishes and also one of the best sweetbread dishes I have had anywhere.

--

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I second the Prune suggestion and would add that if you're a big fella like me, going early or late is a good option for less elbow jousting. Also if you're a little squeamish (shouldn't be, sweetbreads aren't an organ, they're a gland, and as such are less challenging than say a sauteed veal kidney which you should get involved with after falling in love with sweetbreads) try them at Hearth where they're served alongside a beautifully braised piece of veal breast. It's a small portion and somehow the juxtaposition enlivens the breast and mediates the bread. Great dish.

Good luck.

You shouldn't eat grouse and woodcock, venison, a quail and dove pate, abalone and oysters, caviar, calf sweetbreads, kidneys, liver, and ducks all during the same week with several cases of wine. That's a health tip.

Jim Harrison from "Off to the Side"

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Also if you're a little squeamish (shouldn't be, sweetbreads aren't an organ, they're a gland,

Oh yeah, that ought to make the squeamish feel a lot better. :biggrin:

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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Hooray! I get to write about my new favorite food obsession for my first-ever egullet post. :biggrin:

I had the ones at Babbo--they were pretty good, but after having them at Aquavit, and at a few places in New Orleans the week before (they seem obsessed with the darned things down there!?), the Babbo versions didn't really rock my world. Also, the entree portion only had three little, uh, gland-pieces. (Is there a technical name for "chunks of thymus glands"? I wonder what a typical serving size is...)

Anyway, I'd highly recommend the sweetbread, lobster, sausage entree at Aquavit. It's not all tossed together like a salad--rather, the mulitple sausage, gland and lobster bits are presented rather nicely and simply on their own, scattered on the plate. And the portion was surprisingly large.

The real question is (and I'll pose it some day, once I get used to how message boards work and where the question should go and all that), how to prepare sweetbreads at home? I'm determined. Maybe a NY sweetbreads potluck?

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Hi Tobey. Welcome to the dark side.

I love some of the search engine results I get when Googling eGullet. I was checking to see if we had an existing topic on cooking sweetbreads at home and this snippet came up: "... a bit of trouble getting fresh blood here in New York. ..."

Does anybody remember if we've discussed 1) cooking sweetbreads at home, and 2) where to buy sweetbreads in NYC for the purposes of cooking them at home?

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Here's one: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=45122&hl=

Off the topic of this thread:

On where to buy sweetbreads: Ottomanelli's usually has them But the best breads I've gotten are from Sylvia Pryzant of Four Story Hills Farms. She'll Fed Ex them to you. It's worth the trouble. PM me if you want to get in touch with her.

You shouldn't eat grouse and woodcock, venison, a quail and dove pate, abalone and oysters, caviar, calf sweetbreads, kidneys, liver, and ducks all during the same week with several cases of wine. That's a health tip.

Jim Harrison from "Off to the Side"

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I loved the sweetbreads at Casa Momo. I recall, they were served with an assertive garnish. I'm hard pressed to even remember where I've had them recently. Mrs. B was quick to respond "Daniel," when I asked her where she'd had the best sweetbreads. I didn't have them at hearth, but someone else at my table did and they were very good.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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Thanks for all your suggestions. Well, I haven't done much research on the cooking-sweetbreads-at-home idea. There's a little bit of info in J. Child, re: having to soak them for hours and having to be very careful about the membrane, etc. removal and how to separate the various parts. And I have called Lobel's and they say "yeah, of course, we sell them" but require 24 hours' notice. But that's as far as I've gotten. Now this Fedex situation, Ned, sounds like a fair deal to me! I'll try to make them sooner or later, but feel like I should try more good expressions of what they can and should be before I go through all the trouble.... :smile:

Thanks, all. I look forward to hearing other good restaurant/preparation ideas...

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And I have called Lobel's and they say "yeah, of course, we sell them" but require 24 hours' notice.

The 24 hours' notice is to give you time to get to the bank.

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I really enjoy the sweetbreads at Landmarc (179 west broadway). They have been reviewed a couple a couple of times on these boards. They are served crispy over greenbeans with a light horseradish sauce.

On of my favorite dishes as a kid was a sweetbreads dish my mom would make on Fridays for Sabbath dinner. She would simply saute sweetbreads in a pan, add some stock, peas and pearl onions, simmer for a bit and spoon the mixture into the Pepperidge Farms puff pastry shells that are sold frozen in supermarkets. I have had a love for sweetbreads ever since.

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I'll try to make them sooner or later, but feel like I should try more good expressions of what they can and should be before I go through all the trouble....  :smile:

The gland from a young calf can be sublime, prepared, sliced, and sauteed in butter with a simple sauce. There is a creamy flavour and almost starchy texture from the smooth organ. It is definitely worth the effort of preparation, but something to do on occaision.

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