We take sweetbreads and soak them in milk seasoned with 3% salt. We then remove them from the brine and cold-smoke them for 45 minutes. Then we put them in whole milk flavored with fennel, lemon zest, black pepper and nutmeg and poach them in the oven at 250°F for 2.5 hours. We cool them down in the milk. Then we strain them, reserving the milk, and trim away any sinew, damaged pieces, veins or dark spots and then break them up into bite-sized pieces. We put the sweetbreads into a fresh container and strain the milk over them to cover the nuggets. We store them in the refrigerator until we are ready to finish the dish.
At mealtime we use some of the poaching milk to make creamed Swiss Chard. Then we fold the pieces of sweetbreads into the mixture to warm through. The creamed Swiss Chard is a delicous accompaniment for fish or meat. The surprise inside is the bounty of smoked sweetbread nuggets. What is equally exciting is thinking about what else we can do with the smoked sweetbread nuggets.
June 9, 2005