Your Questions About Cooking Sourdough Rolls

Carol asks…

Is anyone else confused that sweetbreads are animal organs?

I just saw chefs on Food Network cooking sweetbreads and I was thinking yum, sourdough rolls or something. But no, it’s calf/ lamb/ chicken throat parts and other organs. That’s so weird to me that it’s called sweetbreads lol
CMC- I have been to other parts of the world- I’ve eaten guinea pig in Peru and other random things! I just think it’s weird that they name it something sounding so different from what it really is lol

sourdough answers:

I’ve known what they were since I first tried them on my honeymoon in 1990. I do agree that the naming is a bit confusing. But if you saw fried thymus gland on a menu, you’d be less likely to order it than if you saw sweetbreads. For the record, if properly prepared, they are delicious.

Ruth asks…

What kind of food should I make for a train ride?

Later this month, I’m taking the train down from Sacramento to Santa Cruz, and am trying to figure out what to fix to eat on the way. The food cart is too expensive, and I want to figure out something that doesn’t need to be heated.
No, Santa Cruz, CA. I’ve been on the train multiple times. The train goes from Sacramento to San Jose, CA, and then I take a bus to Santa Cruz. I forgot to put the CA part.

sourdough answers:

I’m a Sacramento girl myself! What a nice trip you have coming up, but you’ll be on the train for several hours most likely. Here are some ideas you might enjoy:


hummus and pita chips
carrot and celery sticks with ranch dressing (they have little containers that are perfect for travel)
trail mix packets
raisins and dried apricots
pretzels filled with peanutbutter
Laughing Cow cheese wedges and whole grain crackers

More Substantial Foods:

cold roasted herb chicken
ham and cheese or turkey sandwich on a sourdough roll
soup in a thermos (butternut squash might be tasty!)
deli sandwich on a french roll
hard cooked eggs
ripe pears wrapped with prosciutto and stuffed with gorgonzola


apples, oranges, pears, late harvest peaches, pluots, grapes

Sweet treats:

Oatmeal raisin cookies
chocolate chip cookie bars


Lots of water! For a special treat, bring some San Pelligrino and get a cup with ice.

Donald asks…

A dish to bring to a SuperBowl party?

Every year a friend of mine throws a SuperBowl party, and I always bring a dish to it. Last year I made cocktail franks (the ones made with tomato sauce and jelly) and I don’t want to make the same thing again. Any ideas on what I can make and bring? I have a crock-pot.

sourdough answers:

Crockpot Sausage Kraut

Very tender and great flavor! Try these on fresh sourdough rolls.

1 package bratwurst (or bockwurst, knockwurst, etc) – I used 6 pieces
1 package fresh sauerkraut (you could use 1 medium can)
1/2 bag frozen potato chunks (like homestyle hash browns)
1 small brown onion, chopped
1 can beer
garlic to taste

Add beer to crock pot. Drop sausages in, and add onions, sauerkraut and potatoes. Chop garlic and add to top. Simmer 3-4 hours.


3 lb. Chicken drumettes
1 garlic clove
1 C. Fresh or canned pineapple
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Ground black pepper
1 C. Honey
1/2 C. Soy sauce
2 Tbs. Vegetable oil

Rinse and drain drumettes. Mince garlic and cut pineapple into 1 inch cubes. Combine the salt, pepper, honey, soy sauce, pineapple, vegetable oil and garlic in a bowl and mix well. Place drumettes in slow cooker and pour sauce over the wings. Cook covered on low setting for 6 to 7 hours.

Steven asks…

Can anyone tell me the recipe for Rachael Rays Italian Wedding Soup?

My mum used to have it. But we lost it when we moved. I totally forgot when it was on but i think we lived in Ohio then so it was most likely in 2000 or 2001.
Pleeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaassssssssseeeeee help me if you have it!

Jasmine b.

sourdough answers:

The first menu that always comes to mind when soup and sammies are in order is Rachael Ray’s Mini-Meatball Soup and Grilled Four Cheese Sandwiches. She also calls this Italian Wedding Soup and you can find it in her Comfort Foods cookbook.

Other than making the meatballs, this is a very easy chop-and-drop recipe. There’s also a nice little “pocket of time” when the meatballs cook for you to make the grilled cheese sammies. So, despite the length of the recipe and ingredients, it can be made in around 30-40 minutes. And if you have a George Foreman Grill, then use it as a panini press!

Because of the lack of many things in my grocery store and my own laziness, I had to make lots of substitutions. Here’s the recipe with my comments in brackets:

Mini-Meatball/Italian Wedding Soup

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan in a slow stream
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 bay leaves, fresh or dried
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound ground beef, pork and veal combined [There’s no mix in my grocery store, so I just use lean ground beef.]
1 egg, beaten
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano, a couple of handfuls
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs, a couple of handfuls
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated or ground nutmeg
6 cups chicken stock or broth
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups dried pasta, rings, broken fettucini or ditalini [My store never has this. On the episode for this recipe, she recommended using the pasta salad macaroni. It looks like little rings.]
1 pound triple washed fresh spinach, coarsely chopped [I buy baby spinach and don’t chop it. Hey, I already admitted I’m lazy.]
Grilled 4 Cheese Sandwiches, recipe follows

In a deep pot over medium heat add oil, chopped carrots, celery and onions and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Cover pot and cook veggies 5 or 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While the veggies cook, combine meat, egg, garlic, grated cheese, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, nutmeg.

Uncover your soup pot and add broth and water to the pot. Increase heat to high and bring soup to a boil. When soup boils, reduce heat a bit and start to roll meat mixture into small balls, dropping them straight into the pot. You are making meat dumplings that will cook in the broth. When you are done rolling the meat, add pasta to the soup and stir. Cover and simmer soup 10 minutes. When pasta is tender, stir in chopped spinach in batches. When spinach has wilted into the soup, the soup is done and ready to serve. Adjust your seasonings. Serve soup with crusty bread or grilled 4 cheese sandwiches. [Make the grilled cheese, they are worth it!]

Grilled 4 Cheese Sandwiches

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
3 tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic, cracked away from skin
8 slices crusty Italian semolina bread [I used sliced sourdough.]
1 cup shredded provolone [Instead of buying all four cheeses individually, I just buy one bag of the Italian shredded cheese mix. It works out to a little over two cups, so it’s a good amount and the one in my store includes all four of these.]
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano
1 cup shredded Asiago
* All of these cheeses are available in specialty cheese case and dairy aisle already shredded

In a small skillet over medium low heat, combine oil, butter and garlic. Cook garlic in butter and oil gently for 2 or 3 minutes. Remove garlic butter mixture from heat.

Place a large nonstick skillet on the stove over medium high heat [or heat up your Foreman Grill]. Using a pastry brush, brush 1 side of 4 slices of bread with garlic oil and place buttered side down in skillet. Top each slice with equal amounts of the 4 cheeses, distributing them equally over the 4 slices. Top each sandwich with another slice of bread brushed with garlic butter, buttered side up. Flip the grill cheese sandwiches a few times until cheeses are melted and gooey and bread is toasty and golden. [See, if you use your Foreman grill, it cuts out steps. Just put the top down so the sammy grills on both sides at once.] Cut grilled 4 cheese sandwiches from corner to corner and serve.

William asks…

Some good & healthy ideas for a packed lunch in high school.?

I already feel like a dork for still bringing my lunch to school at this age, but I refuse to spend my lunch in line for crappy food. Last year I couldn’t think of anything better to bring than sandwiches, and my friends teased me for bringing them almost every day. I need something easy, yummy, healthy, not a pb&j sandwich, and consisting of things i’m likely to have in my kitchen. Thanks!

sourdough answers:

You shouldn’t feel like a dork for bringing your lunch, first of all. What the message should be to your friends is: 1. You don’t want to waste your money on overprocessed, high fat, high calorie fast foods that stretch your waistline and your wallet and, 2. You are developing eating and spending habits that will help you maximise your health and well being! Here are some ideas:

1. Turkey, dill havarti, and romaine rollups, yogurt with fresh berries, apple
2. Lean roast beef, horseradish cheddar, sliced tomatos and a sourdough roll, carrot and celery stix with ranch dressing, oatmeal cookies.
3. Chef salad: sliced lean meats and cheese, lettuce, tomatos, hard cooked egg, cucumbers, and ranch dressing; whole grain crackers, apple wedges.
4. Quiche: artichoke heart and green chili, grapes, brownie
5. Fresh fruit cubes, yogurt dressing, cheese stix, whole grain crackers
6. Bruschetta with sundried tomatos, mozarella cheese; sliced fennel salami, sopressata, marinated mushrooms and artichoke hearts, orange slices and fresh strawberries.
7. Soup: homemade vegetable tortilla, flour tortillas, cheddar cheese, chocolate chip cookies.
8. Turkey or chicken hot dogs, whole grain bun, coleslaw, pineapple chunks

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