Sweetbread and Chanterelle Tartlets

One of the things that first got me interested in exploring Eastern European cooking was the great potential for what high-end Hungarian cuisine could be. To help illustrate this, I adapted a recipe from Le Camélia in Bougival, France.

We start with a trio of Hungarian ingredients: wild mushrooms, offals and paprika. Of course one might object that chanterelles and sweetbreads are not that frequent in Hungarian cuisine, and I will answer that their scarcity doesn’t make them any less Hungarian. I know plenty of French people who never eat wild mushrooms or offals either!

Sweetbread and chanterelle tartlets
Yields 4 tartlets

8 oz sweetbreads (preferably from the nut)
8 oz milk
salt
7 oz pâte brisée
5 oz cleaned small chanterelles (or larger chanterelles, halved or quartered)
1 1/2 oz butter
2 oz heavy cream
1 egg
ground pepper
ground nutmeg
Hungarian sweet paprika
1 tbsp chives, thinly chopped

  • Soak  the sweetbreads in the milk mixed with 3% salt and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
  • Rinse and drain in a conical sieve. Place the sweetbreads in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then boil for 2 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water, and reserve.
  • Roll the pâte brisée and cut four 4 1/2″ discs. Line four tartlet molds with greased parchment paper. Transfer the discs to the molds and prick with a fork. Cook in a 375 F oven for 15 minutes, then remove the tartlets from their molds and reserve.
  • Season the chanterelles with salt and sauté in a hot pan with 1/3 of the butter until soft.
  • Whisk the heavy cream and egg with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Place half of the chanterelles on the tartlets and fill to the rim with the custard mixture. Bake in a 350 F oven for 15 minutes.
  • Remove the membranes from the sweetbreads, then cut into 8 pieces. Liberally season with paprika, and sauté in a hot pan with the rest of the butter over medium-high heat. Remove from heat when the butter turns brown.
  • Arrange the sweetbreads and remaining chanterelles on the tartlets, then bake for another 2 minutes. Sprinkle with chives and serve immediately.
About these ads

2 thoughts on “Sweetbread and Chanterelle Tartlets

  1. Of course one might object that chanterelles and sweetbreads are not that frequent in Hungarian cuisine, and I will answer that their scarcity doesn’t make them any less Hungarian.

    Interesting! Just curious, how would you define what is or isn’t ‘Hungarian’ (or any other ‘national cuisine’) if not based on whether a recipe or ingredient is a ‘classic’ of the area?

    • There are several factors that define a regional cuisine in my opinion, and not all of these factors need to be combined in every dish:
      - the availability of the ingredients locally, regardless of the amount or the use that people make of it.
      - the historical significance of the ingredients.
      - the techniques used to prepare the dish.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s