Racion’s Fried Sweetbreads

We step into Anthony Cafiero’s molecular arena for a taste of his steakhouse-inspired fried sweetbreads.

By Benjamin Tepler December 16, 2013

Welcome back to Anatomy of a Dish, our weekly dissection of Portland’s most delicious, multi-layered creations. This week we join muscle-bound modernist Anthony Cafiero at his Spanish-inflected Racion. His dish of fried sweetbreads (that’s thymus gland for the uninitiated) is a play on the classic steakhouse menu, with the sweetbreads standing in for steak and a slew of deconstructed side dishes reborn onto one plate.

Veal Sweetbreads: Fatty, rich nuggets with a shattering golden crust and a grind of black pepper. The sweetbreads are brined for two days, sous vide with white wine, lemon, and thyme, soaked in buttermilk, drenched in rice flour and baking soda, and fried in rice oil.

Spinach Granita: Icy, intensly vegetal shavings of frozen juiced spinach mixed with simple syrup.

Chile Panna Cotta: Thinly sliced rounds of gelatinous cream infused with Veridian Farms piment d’espelette chile powder. Eaten with the spinach granita, the vision of creamed spinach comes into focus.

Milk Powder: The “gratin” in the steakhouse equation, made with milk powder mixed with butter and flour and caramelized into sweet crunchy crumbles.

Radishes: Painterly watermelon radishes for peppery “horseradish” heat. 

1205 SW Washington St
Tue-Sat: 5-10 pm

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