Crispy veal sweetbreads with olives By Franco Ruiz |



  • 2 tbs Hojiblanca Crumble
  • 2 Oz Fried Crispy sweetbreads 3 pieces
  • 1 Tonnato aioli in squeeze bottle
  • 10 Small leafs of mixed greens
  • 1 Thinly slice queen olive
  • As needed Olive vinaigrette


  • 1 CS Veal Sweetbreads
  • 1 QT Milk
  • 3 QT Water
  • 4 QT Milk
  • 2 cup Salt
  • 1 ½ cup Sugar
  • 12 Sprigs thyme
  • 3 Sprigs oregano
  • 10 Chives
  • 12 Sprigs parsley
  • 1 Tbs Black peppercorn (lightly crushed)
  • 1 Tbs Coriander seed (lightly crushed)
  • 7 Juniper berries (lightly crushed)


      • ¼ cup Queen Olives
      • 8 Oz Confit Tuna Belly
      • 4 Egg yolks
      • 3 tbs White wine vinegar
      • 1 QT Canola oil
      • ¼ cup Water
      • Salt
      • White pepper


      • 2 cup pitted Hojiblanca Olives
      • 4 cup panko
      • 2 tbs chopped thyme
      • 2 tbs chopped parsley
      • 2 tbs chopped oregano
      • Salt


      • 1 cup Hojiblanca Olives chopped
      • 1 Shallot minced
      • ½ cup Champagne vinegar
      • 1 cup Spanish Extra virgin olive oil
      • 1 tbs chopped parsley
      • Salt and pepper To Taste


      For Veal Sweetbreads
      Step 1

      Soak the fresh sweetbreads in 1 qt milk and water for twenty-four hours. Remove from the milk and water and rinse in cold water. Re soak sweetbreads in 4qt milk, for another 24 hours. Drain rinse and pat dry.

      Step 2

      To assemble the cure, combine salt, sugar, peppercorn, coriander and juniper in a mixing bowl. Toss the rinsed and dried sweetbreads in the salt and sugar mixture until generously coated.

      Step 3

      Open the cheesecloth and lay down on the sheet tray and rack leaving space to cover the sweetbreads. Place half of the herbs down and sweetbreads on top. Top the sweetbreads with the remaining herbs and cover with the cheesecloth. Place in refrigerator for twelve hours (overnight).

      Step 4

      Rinse the herbs and aromatics off of the sweetbreads and pat dry.

      Step 5

      In a non-reactive pot heat the rendered duck fat to 200 degrees F.

      Step 6

      In batches poach the rinsed sweet breads until the sweetbreads appear opaque and feel medium rare in temperature. (7-10 minutes) When the sweetbreads are still warm peel away as much of the outer membrane as you can. Leaving silver dollar size pieces. Reserve and cool. Top off with duck fat.

      Step 7

      Fry in oil at 350 F as needed.

      For Tonnato Aioli
      Step 1

      In a robot coupe mixer start with egg yolks, vinegar, ½ of the water, pinch of salt, pinch of white pepper.

      Step 2

      Turn mixer on and start to emulsify oil slowly.

      Step 3

      As Aioli begins to get thick add water to thin and keep adding oil.

      Step 4

      Season and adjust based on desired consistency and acidity Reserve basic aioli.

      Step 5

      In a blender, place tuna, ¼ of the aioli, and olives. Blend on slow until mixture begins to emulsify. Add the rest of the aioli slowly until combined. Adjust seasonings.

      For Tonnato Aioli
      Step 1

      On a round bowl, place cobia slices folded on them self in a circular pattern.

      Step 2

      Place Veracruz vinaigrette around the cobia in a freeform manner.

      Step 3

      Spread the puffed wild rice in piles around the cobia.

      Step 4

      Garnish with micro cilantro and squeeze charred lemon over the cobia.

      Step 5

      Finish with hojiblanca halves around the dish.

      For Hojiblanca Crumble
      Step 1

      Dehydrate olives.

      Step 2

      Mix in food processor till powder. Mix with panko, herbs and season to taste.

      Step 3

      Bake in oven at 300 until dry.

      Hojiblanca Vinaigrette
      Step 1

      Combine ingredients in a bowl and stir until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

      Step 1

      Place in a offsetting line, 3 pieces of crispy sweet breads.

      Step 2

      Place quarter sized amount of tonnato next to each piece of sweetbreads.

      Step 3

      Place 2 tablespoons of crumble on top of tonnato.

      Step 4

      Toss mixed greens in 1 teaspoon of vinaigrette, and season with salt & pepper.

      Step 5

      Place leafs over dish as desired. Granish with thin slices of queen olive.


      His passion for cooking started when he was a kid growing up in Southern California. “My dad was a chef in San Diego, and I started cooking with him in his kitchen at 13,” he said. “It was a big inspiration for me.”

      At age 17, Ruiz entered the San Diego Culinary Institute. After graduating, he went to work in Spain at such Michelin-starred restaurants as Ni Neu in San Sebastian, which focuses on contemporary Basque cuisine. He left Spain and came to Denver to help a friend open Hops & Pie in the Berkeley neighborhood. He’d planned to return to California but got hooked by Denver’s culinary boom. He began staging at restaurants around town. At Fruition, he prepared a four-course tasting for chef-owner Alex Seidel, who immediately hired him as sous chef. Since then, he’s won two local culinary competitions, including the People’s Choice award for best food and wine pairing at the Denver International Wine Festival, put on by the Wine Country Network.