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Photos, Recipes & CookTales For Those Who Enjoy Cooking

Category Archives: Offal

Serves 2

A CookTale

A byword in this household is: “when in doubt ask Julia”. It’s especially true with recipes for lamb or veal kidneys. She is Madam Reliable. On the occasional occasion that we can find fresh kidneys (as we did this week at Adam’s Fairacre Farm), Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 1, comes off the shelf, opened to page 417, as it did last evening.


4 Lamb Kidneys (White core of fat removed)
4 TB of Butter
1 TB of minced Shallots
1/2 Cup of White Wine or Vermouth
1 TB of Lemon Juice
2 TB of Dijon Mustard+Combined with 3 TB of Butter (softened)
Salt & Pepper
3 TB of minced Parsley


1. Heat a deep sided saute pan & add the Butter. When the foam
subsides roll the Kidneys in the Butter & saute for about 4 minutes, turning every minute. The Kidneys will stiffen but not become hard, they’ll brown slightly & be pink in the center.
2. Remove to a warm plate & cover.
3. Stir the Shallots into the Butter & cook for a minute. Then add the Wine or Vermouth & the Lemon Juice. Boil until the liquids reduce to about 4 TB.
4. Off the heat swirl in the Mustard-Butter by spoonfuls, & add Salt & Pepper.
5. Rapidly slice the Kidneys crosswise 1/4″ thick. Return with their juices to the pan, sprinkle on the Parsley, & toss over low heat for a minute or two. Don’t allow the sauce to come near a simmer.
6. Serve on warm plates.

Serves 2

A Cooktale

For days before July 14th, Cathie announced, “for my birthday dinner I want Sweetbreads”. Who am I to argue? Sweetbreads it shall be. and was! She was a happy birthday person & I received kudos for a dinner well done, Not well done, she requires rare, but well done!

RECIPE Veal Sweetbreads


3/4 Pounds of Veal or Beef Sweetbreads
Milk to cover
4 cups Water
Kosher or Sea Salt
Juice of half a Lemon plus 1 TB of Lemon Juice
1/4 cup Wondra or other finely milled flour
Fresh Black Pepper
2-3 TB of Clarified Butter
2 TB of EVOO


1. The day before cooking, place the Sweetbreads in a bowl or small container, cover them with Milk, and allow them to soak in the refrigerator overnight. Remove the sweetbreads, discarding the Milk, and trim any veins or dark bits. Rinse them well and set aside.
2. Place the Sweetbreads in a small pot, cover with water, and add a big pinch of salt and the juice of half a Lemon. Add the Sweetbreads, bring the water to a boil, and blanch them for about 5 minutes. Remove the sweetbreads and plunge them into an ice bath.
3. Line a small sheet pan with a kitchen towel and place the Sweetbreads on the towel in a single layer. Fold the towel over them to cover, place another sheet pan on top, and weigh it down – a heavy pot or a few cans of tomatoes work well. Place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
4. If your Sweetbreads are large, slice them into medallions. Spread the Wondra on a plate and season with lots of Salt and Pepper. Toss the Sweetbreads in the seasoned flour until well coated on all sides.
5. Melt the Clarified Butter & EVOO in a heavy bottomed skillet and cook the Sweetbreads over medium heat until golden brown, about 1-1/2 minutes to a side. Do not overcook them. Place the browned Sweetbreads on a paper towel-lined plate and set aside, tenting loosely with foil to keep warm.

RECIPE Sauteed Shitake Mushrooms


24 Fresh Shitake Mushrooms
1/4 Cup of Shallots finely sliced
1 Ounce of Demi Glace dissolved in 1/2 cup of water
A splash of dry White Wine or Vermouth
2 TB of Clarified Butter


1. Heat a saute pan & add the Clarified Butter. When the Butter is heated, add the Shallots. Do not let them burn.
2. Add the Shitakes face side down, & saute until them until wilted & have a light brown color. Turn & repeat. (cook in 2 batches if necessary)
3. Return them all to the saute pan, add the Wine or Vermouth & simmer for 3 minutes.
4. Add the dissolved Demi Glace & continue to simmer for a few more minutes. Or until the sauce has thickened.
5. Remove & keep warm.