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Brown Butter Sweetbreads with Luxardo Cherries, Caramelized Pearl Onions, Gingerbread Pain Perdu

Posana Café, Asheville, North Carolina, Peter Pollay - April 2nd, 2014

Serves 4

Gluten-free gingerbread:

  • 5 cups gluten-free House Blend muffin mix
  • 3 Tbsps. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsps. ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsps. ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsps. ground allspice
  • 1 1/2 tsps. ground cloves
  • 5 oz. unsalted butter, melted (plus more for loaf pan)
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 4 lg. eggs
  1. Heat oven to 350˚F.

  2. Sift dry ingredients into mixer fitted with a dough hook; incorporate wet ingredients; blend on low speed; pour into a 9” by 4” buttered loaf pan; bake 40 to 45 minutes; remove from oven; cool; reserve.

Veal sweetbreads:

  • 1 lb. veal sweetbreads
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbsps. peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 Tbsps. salt
  1. Soak sweetbreads in milk 4 hours; drain; reserve.

  2. Bring 6 qts. water with vinegar, peppercorns, bay leaves, and salt to a boil; add sweetbreads; cook 5 minutes; remove sweetbreads; chill in ice bath; remove sweetbreads; clean with pairing knife, removing blood, veins, and outside membrane; place sweetbreads between two plates and weigh down with 5 to 7 lbs. pressure; remove and trim into 4 portions; reserve.

Caramelized pearl onions:

  • 1 lb. white and red pearl onions, peeled
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsps. honey
  • 2 Tbsps. Sherry vinegar
  • salt
  • 3 Tbsps. chicken demi-glace

Sauté onions in oil over medium-high heat until caramelized on all sides; add honey; deglaze, reducing by half; deglaze with Sherry vinegar; season; add demi-glace to glaze; reserve.


  • 3 Tbsps. unsalted butter
  • 2 lg. eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 Tbsp. orange zest
  • salt
  • 12 Luxardo cherries, with juice reserved
  • micro rainbow chard (for garnish)
  1. Heat butter in nonstick skillet over medium heat; add reserved sweetbreads; sauté 4 to 5 minutes, or until caramelized; flip and sauté 4 to 5 minutes until caramelized and sweetbreads are medium-well.

  2. Make a simple French toast batter: whisk eggs, milk, and zest in a bowl; season; slice reserved gingerbread into 2” pieces; dredge in batter; sauté 4 to 5 minutes per side, until fully cooked.

  3. Place 3 Luxardo cherries on the right hand side of a rectangular plate; dot with reserved cherry syrup; place 2 Tbsps. reserved pearl onions across from cherries; place French toast on opposite side of plate; top with sweetbreads; garnish with micro rainbow chard.