Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bunnies and Sweetbreads

How is it that the class vegetarian, (me), was the only one who actually knew what sweetbreads are? All my classmates thought we had to make a soup to accompany some "tasty bread that is sweet", (giggle!). I don't know where I ever learned about sweetbreads, but I certainly knew that it isn't made from flour. 

Last night chef gave us our recipes of what we were to cook for tonight, on the menu was sweetbreads with a port wine sauce, a green salad, and we were to come up with our own soup to accompany the sweetbreads and salad. And for second course, we made rabbit two ways, with carrot pasta and a mustard sauce, and veggies. 

So that meant that there was going to be some kind of butchery of a poor wittle wabbit. And yes, there was. A whole rabbit. I've never seen a rabbit so up close and personal. They are odd looking creatures, very lean. Mine did not have much meat on it, so I wonder why in the world do people eat them. Poor little guys.

Back to the menu, for the soup, originally I wanted to make an asparagus soup, but I couldn't find any asparagus, so that became a cream of mushroom. It wasn't my best. But my port wine sauce was gorgeous! I definitely burned the sweetbreads, and chef kind of made fun of me, so we had a laugh about it! Or at least I did. And my second course came out fine, but again, not my best. I was rushed for time. The rabbit was cooked fine, well seasoned, but I did forget to slice the rabbit breast (duh!). My mustard sauce was a bit thick, I should have added a bit-o-water to thin it out, but again....time. 

And for anyone wondering what the heck sweetbreads actually are.....well, they are an offal (organ) meat. Yummy, huh?!? They come from either the neck or pancreas of usually a calf, cow, or lamb. And people eat them. Odd little people! Nobody really knows where the name "sweetbreads" originated. The best we could come up with was due to their sweet flavor, and they are usually served breaded, and/or that they have a bready texture. I cooked mine in two ways tonight, I farined (lightly floured) the filets, and then I breaded the nuggets and pan fried both. We also par-cooked them last night in a poaching liquid, so they did not need much tonight.  I wasn't very interested in tasting the sweetbreads, although I really probably should have. But I did taste the rabbit, and, I hate to say it, but it tastes just like chicken, only leaner.

Plate 1 - Sweetbreads Filet and Nuggets with a Port Wine Sauce, Cream of Mushroom Soup, and Mixed Green Salad with Housemade Vinaigrette. Plate 2 - Braised Rabbit Leg and Stuffed Breast, with Carrot Fettucini in a Mustard Sauce, and Side Veggies. Enjoy!

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