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Sweetbread in Cardamon Cream
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Gerard's Relais de Lyon, Seattle, Washington

Serves/Makes:2 or more

  • 1 lb (.5 kg) sweetbreads
  • 20 asparagus tips
  • 15 shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 cup (225 ml) diced carrots
  • 1 cup (225 ml) diced onions
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) diced celery
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) diced shallots
  • 6 fresh garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) green cardamon pods
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) dry white vermouth
  • 1-1/2 cups (350 ml) cream
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1-1/2 cups (350 ml) chicken or veal stock
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • Dice the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, and shallots into 1/4 inch squares. Saute them in hot oil.
  • Add a sprig of thyme and bay leaf.
  • Remove from heat and place sweetbread on top.
  • Season on both sides with salt and pepper.
  • Place a tbsp of butter on top of each piece and bake at 375 degrees (200 C.) for 30 minutes or until evenly firm.
  • While the sweetbreads are braising, blanch the asparagus tips in boiling salted water, then cool them in ice water to keep them green and crisp.
  • Cut the stems off the mushroooms. Take the stems and add them to the vegetables in the sweetbread pan.
  • Slice the mushroom caps into 1/4 inch strips and saute them in hot olive oil, with a whole clove of garlic until golden. Discard the garlic, season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
  • Place sweetbreads on a plate to cool down and add vermouth and cardamon pods to the pan with the vegetables.
  • Reduce by half and add stock.
  • Reduce by half again. Add cream and season to taste.
  • Strain into a sauce pan. Reduce until it reaches a light and creamy consistency (not thick, but rather brothy).
  • Remove fat, skin, and dry parts from the sweet breads, and slice.
  • Add sliced sweetbreads, asparagus, and mushroooms. Bring to a boil.
  • Serve in deep soup bowls.
A rich, creamy sweetbread appetizer for a special occasion.

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