Hamachi Sashimi with Pickled Honshemeji Mushrooms, Pickled Watermelon Rind Ravioli, Tomato Water Ravioli and Red Curry Watermelon Sauce
Photo: Santiago Solo Monllor

Crisp Sweetbreads with Criolla Salad
Chef Francis Mallmann of Patagonia Sur—Buenos Aires, Argentina
Excerpted from Seven Fires by Francis Mallmann (Artisan Books). Copyright 2009.
Adapted by StarChefs.com
June 2009
Yield:4 Servings


1½ pounds heart or pancreas sweetbreads
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon coarse salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 lemons, quartered

Lemon Vinaigrette (Makes ½ cup):
½ teaspoon coarse salt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

To Assemble and Serve:
4 medium tomatoes, halved and thinly sliced
2 small red onions, halved and thinly sliced
4 cups young lettuce leaves, washed and dried


For the Sweetbreads:
Wash the sweetbreads under cold running water and pat dry. Pull away all the outer membrane, and divide the lobes into 3 or 4 sections along the natural seams. Remove all the exposed membranes, leaving the sweetbreads in large pieces. Rinse again, pat dry, and put in a medium bowl. Add ¼ cup of the olive oil, the salt, and pepper, turning to coat the sweetbreads.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the sweetbreads and reduce the heat to low. Add 4 lemon quarters to the skillet. Cook the sweetbreads slowly on the first side 10-12 minutes or until caramelized. Turn the sweetbreads and lemon quarters, and cook for 6 to 8 more minutes or until well browned. Transfer the sweetbreads to a cutting board, and discard the lemon wedges. Separate the sweetbreads into smaller pieces, following the natural seams. Raise the heat to medium and coat the cast iron pan with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Return the sweetbreads to the  host cast iron pan with the remaining 4 lemon quarters. Cook for 5 minutes or until sweetbreads are evenly crisp on all sides. Turn the lemon quarters as they brown. Drain the sweetbreads on paper towels.

For the Lemon Vinaigrette:
Dissolve salt in 1 teaspoon of boiling water. Combine the lemon juice, salted water, and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil and reserve.

To Assemble and Serve:
Combine the tomatoes and onions in a shallow bowl and toss gently with the vinaigrette. Arrange the lettuce leaves and tomato and onion slices in a serving bowl. Top with the sweetbreads and lemon wedges, toss, and serve.