Sunday, March 8, 2009

2009 Welcome to all !

Hello Friends,
It's been a while since my last post. For those who have just joined me, I am Chef Jules and have been in the hospitality industry for over 30 years.
I've been busy creating recipes, reviewing, and of course entertaining.

Despite the negativity concerning the economy in New Zealand and globally, I feel 2009 is going to be a good year. Lets make it a good one, plenty of gourmet food and wine I say ! 
I had some friends over last week and decided to serve lamb sweetbreads as an entree, followed by ossobuco on a bed of risotto, with a side dish of green flat beans in garlic butter.

Now, there is a bit of confusion among people as to what sweetbreads are. Basically they fit into the offal category and are glands located in 2 sites of the body, connected by a tube. The Thymus sweetbreads are elongated in shape and located in the neck region. The pancreatic sweetbreads are more spherical and are located closer to the heart. The later are more flavoursome and tender, in my opinion. Unfortunately when I purchased them, they came in a mixed bag, so I got both types. If you have the opportunity ask your butcher for the Pancreatic sweetbreads.
The Sweetbread recipe is as follows;
800-1000grams Lamb sweetbreads
Cracked pepper, salt, parsley stalks, 3 bay leaves, 1/2 lemon
500ml chicken veloute sauce
100grams butter
40ml cream, 1 egg yolk whisked together
2 tablespoons capers
24 button mushrooms, "Turned" or decorated (optional)
Tablespoon chopped parsley
Tray of flour

Prepare the veloute sauce following the standard recipe. In a medium sized pot, fill with water and add the pepper, salt to taste, parsley stalks, bay leaves, and lemon. Bring to the boil, add the sweetbreads, bring to the boil again, skim, remove from the heat and leave in liquid to cool.
In a large fry pan add 1/2 the butter, heat till foaming and just starting to turn brown, add the drained and floured sweetbreads cook for 2 minutes per side, remove from pan. Place remaining butter in pan and add the capers and mushrooms, cook till softened
Reheat veloute, add the drained sweetbreads, mushrooms and bring to simmer, take off the heat and add the yolk and cream, do not reboil. Serve immediately and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Chef Jules Tips
If fresh sweetbreads are unavailable and you are set on creating this dish, frozen are usually available. Just remember as with all frozen foods, defrost in the fridge overnight, it lessens the detrimental effect freezing has on the meat fibres.

Make sure the veloute is not too thick, if so, then thin with chicken stock at the reheating stage.
Well that's it for now, ciao !