Chester Arthur's Sweetbreads with Truffle Aioli

 I don’t care how overused and abused truffle oils and aiolis have become; I still gladly ladle it on and every edible surface. Even on a sweetbread. Back in fashion, sweetbreads were heavily represented on the menus we found from President Chester Arthur dinner receptions. So what are they? For those who couldn’t handle Garfield’s squirrel soup (not a judgment, I get it), look away. Sweetbreads are an organ meat (offal) from the thyroid gland.  Actually quite mild in flavor, they have a spongy texture similar to that of a fast food chicken nugget. Frying them is best for the beginner as we can all agree fried foods are always palatable.

Recipes from “The Capitol Cook Book adapted from the White House Cookbook” (1896)


There are two in each cow and they are considered delicacies. Select the largest. The color should be clear and a shade darker than the fat. Before cooking in any manner let them lie for half an hour in tepid water; then throw into hot water to whiten and harden, after which draw off the outer casing, remove the little pipes and cut into thin slices. They should always be thoroughly cooked.

Fried Sweetbreads.

After preparing them as above they are put into hot fat and butter, and fried the same as a lamb chop, also broiled the same, first rolling them in egg and cracker crumbs.



·         I soaked the sweetbreads for one day in tepid water before boiling. When it turns white (5 mins), remove from heat and put on ice. When cold, use your fingers to remove the casings. What are left are nugget size chunks.

·         Instead of coating with cracker crumbs, I used panko. Any coating will do.

·         I fried mine in several inches of peanut oil, in batches. Sprinkle with rock salt before serving.

Easy Truffle Aioli:

Combine the following:

·         2 Tbsp mayo,

·         2 Tbsp truffle oil or fresh truffle

·          1 garlic clove, minced

·         Salt and pepper to taste

Posted on April 12, 2016 and filed under appetizers, condiments, main event, sides, time travel.