Veal Scaloppine Marsala

Many who follow along with my blog know that I created this as a means to share my recipes with my daughter.  She follows hundreds of fashion blogs so I knew this was the way I could “fit” into her world of social networking.  It began with a simple request for homemade hummus and vinaigrette and grew into recipes she missed from home.  As I continued to add in family recipes I wanted to make sure she had the “classics”. 

The classic dishes I’m referring to are my personal list of basic dishes that I know I can always fall back on in a moment’s notice and create a delicious dinner.  These are the dishes that I notice so many people order out in Italian restaurants; ala Francese, Piccata, or Marsala!   Made just right, they are tender and flavorful dishes.  Each one is perfect for a comforting week night dinner or impressive for entertaining guests.  Doubled and tripled these are great party entrées as well.

I’ve already posted my Chicken Piccata and Chicken Francese recipe (ugh,I must replace that awful pic!) and now my Veal Scaloppini Marsala recipe.  There really are a lot of variations to the recipe.  Sometimes broth is added to the Marsala sauce, which I will do when I’m preparing for larger quantities, but when making it just for a small group, I like using dry Marsala only. 

My daughter loves mushrooms and for many years I’ve had to avoid them as way back in my 20’s I was allergic to them.  Did you notice “was”???  I am really happy to find that I’ve been adding in mushrooms lately and finding no reaction!  I’ve heard people will grow out of some allergies; guess that’s one good thing about the years passing! 

Also, the choice of meat can vary, which is another reason I love these dishes.  Instead of veal, pork or chicken cutlets work beautifully.  Whatever is used, the meat should be pounded to about ¼ inch thick.  For veal I like to ask the butcher to slice it thinly across the grain (which they should know!)  But if it is sliced incorrectly, the veal will curl and bubble as the muscles/grains tighten and your veal will not be fork tender!! 

Veal Scaloppini Marsala

Serves 4

8 veal scaloppini or thin sliced cutlets (I like to present 2 scaloppini with each serving as they are so thin; however use your judgment as to the size and serving amount)

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/3 cup flour

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

6 – 8 0z mushrooms, cleaned and sliced thin

1 scallion thinly sliced (optional)

½ cup dry Marsala (Marsala wine is sold either sweet or dry; I prefer to use dry)

Between two sheets of plastic wrap, pound the slices to about ¼ inch thick.  On a sheet of wax paper or using a pie plate, mix the salt and pepper into the flour and set aside.

Heat a large skillet with ½ of the butter and oil.  Add in the mushrooms and scallion if using and cook about 10 minutes until soft and lightly browned.  Transfer to plate and set aside.  Add in the remaining tablespoon of butter and oil to the pan and return to medium high heat.  Dip the veal into the flour on both sides and place in skillet.  Do not crowd the veal in the skillet, cook in batches if necessary.  Saute for 1 minute on each side until just lightly browned; remove to plate with mushroom. 

Pour in the Marsala wine allowing it to simmer into a rich sauce.  Add in the mushrooms and veal simmering until heated.  If the sauce is too thick add in additional Marsala.  For an additional touch of richness and shine, add in an additional pat of butter.  Serve immediately.

Pork Cutlets a la Purgatory

During my recent, and can you believe, still ongoing ankle injury, I was forced to do a lot of couch time with my foot elevated and iced.  Lying around has never been something I could tolerate; but not having any other choice, I settled down with some good books…and my remote control.  I was overwhelmed by the selection of reality shows, popular mini series, survivors, bachelors, dancers, housewives, who’s hot, who’s not, home staging, selling, buying, remolding,  hoarding… so much to see, so little time.  I settled on Millionaire Matchmaker, The Real Housewives of New Jersey, last season’s Boardwalk Empire series and of course, the Food Network channel.  I wonder now how my viewing choices reflect my personality 🙂

Not having to challenge my choice on watching the Food Network, I’ll continue forward on that note.  I passionately watch the chefs mostly to get ideas, learn new tips and frankly, anything that has to do with food truly grabs my attention.  Ann Burrell is one of my favorites to watch; in her casual, witty entertaining way around the kitchen she shares a wealth of information and great recipes.

Ann’s Veal Chop Holsten Schnitzel, a schnitzel topped with a sunny side up egg and caper sauce, inspired me to make this with an Italian twist. Replacing the caper sauce with marinara drew on the taste of my Eggs in Purgatory.  I used thinly pounded pork cutlets, but veal or chicken, would be excellent.  I continued with the breading and sautéing of the cutlets as I have in my Schnitzel recipe and serving the meal by placing the cutlets in pool of marinara and topping with the sunny side up egg.

What more can I say, each tender bite of pork was bathed in a sauce of creamy yolk swirling in the spicy marinara.  Oh. yum.

Pork Cutlets  a la Purgatory

For the cutlets:

4 thinly pounded pork, chicken or veal cutlets

2 eggs

1 cup of flour

2 cups of breadcrumbs

¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Olive oil and butter for sautéing

For the marinara:

1 28 oz can whole tomatoes – blended to a puree

¼ cup finely diced onion

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper, optional for spiciness

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon dried basil

1 tablespoon tomato paste

¼ cup red wine

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 bay leaf

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the sunny side up eggs:

4 egg

Olive oil for sautéing

For the cutlets:  Prepare a breading station with 3 large dishes; one with flour, the second with 2 beaten eggs and 2 tablespoons of water, and the third with the breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.  Place a cutlet in the flour and lightly dust, shaking off excess.  Dip into the egg and then in the breadcrumb mixture.  Place on a sheet tray and refrigerate covered.  The cutlets can be made up to 1 day ahead or at least one hour.  When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 200 degrees.  Heat a large skillet with a combination of butter and oil.  Work in batches to sauté each cutlet until golden brown on both sides, about 6 minutes in total.  Place in oven to keep warm.

For a quick marinara:  In a medium saucepan, lightly sauté the onions and crushed red pepper until soft. Add in the pureed tomatoes, red wine, balsamic vinegar, dried basil, salt, pepper, garlic, and bay leaf.  Simmer gently for about 35-40 minutes stirring occasionally.  Remove bay leaf and discard.

For the sunny side up eggs:  Coat a nonstick pan lightly with olive oil and fry the 4 eggs sunny side up, about 4 to 5 minutes with the whites set and the yolks runny.  The eggs are not flipped but covered to gently steam and cook the egg whites.

To plate:  Place each cutlet on a pool of marinara sauce and top with a sunny side up egg.

City Chicken

 This recipe goes back to my childhood and I had to actually do a bit of research to determine where this really originated.  It was in my mother’s recipe book, handwritten with a vague listing of ingredient portions and brief notes on preparation.  City Chicken…. didn’t sound like a Sicilian dish to me.  I was familiar with Spiedini which were skewers of meat or fish she grilled or broiled, similar to shish kabobs. 

City Chicken, as I’ve come to learn, came about in the 1930’s when chicken was expensive and hard to come by unless you lived on a farm.  Grocery stores packaged up cubes of pork and veal along with the skewers, labeling them City Chicken.  Hard to believe that chicken was more expensive than pork or veal during the Depression years, but so they say!  And, I further learned that this was specific to the Ohio, Pennsylvania area, so no wonder I’ve never seen packaged City Chicken in my Florida stores!  I’ll have to check with my Ohio friends and family to see if they still carry this.

What I do remember of this dish, without having to do any research, is that the meat was so tender, moist from the simmering broth it baked in and flavorful from the mix of pork and veal.  It was comfort food, simple and easy.  

 City Chicken

 ½ lb. pork, cubed (I used a pork tenderloin)

½ lb. veal, cubed

1 cup bread crumbs, lightly seasoned with kosher salt and pepper

2 eggs beaten

1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1-2 tablespoons butter

½ cup homemade chicken broth or low sodium store bought

Wooden skewers, soaked for ½ hour (about 4-6)

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Heat a large skillet with olive oil and butter.  Alternate cubes of pork and veal on skewers.  Dip in beaten eggs, roll in breadcrumbs.  (Repeat for a thicker coating, optional!)  Fry skewers turning to brown all sides though not fully cooked through.  Place skewers in a 9 x 13 pan, pour in ½ cup chicken broth, cover with foil and bake for about 45 – 60 minutes.  Serve hot over wild rice or mashed potatoes.

1770 House Meatloaf

I saw Ina Garten make this meatloaf awhile back and made a mental note to try it out.  It was tagged the Best Meatloaf I Ever Had, so obviously I had to test this out for myself!  I liked that it was a change from the run of the mill tomato (or ugh…ketchup) coated meatloaf.  Not that a tomato sauce is bad, as in my opinion, all is good with tomato sauce.  This lighter sauce with specks of herbs and roasted garlic is ladled on the sliced meatloaf upon serving soaking into the tender meat for a drippy, yummy mouthful. 

I prepared the meatloaf on a baking sheet, as Ina suggests, and as I have been doing for many years now.  I like the more rustic look of the meatloaf this way; not the formed block out of a loaf pan!  It was easy to pull together and while it baked for 50 minutes, I took a short bike ride, coming home to an amazing aroma.  The sauce quickly came together while the meatloaf rested.  I did add flour (or cornstarch could be used) to the sauce ingredients to thicken it slightly. 

Leftover meatloaf is always good; I like to sandwich it up for my son in fresh baked rolls or frittata style with large chunks of meatloaf and cheese! 

 Adapted from 1770 House Meatloaf

 1 pound ground veal

1 pound ground pork  

1 pound ground beef  

1 tablespoon chopped, fresh chives, plus 1 teaspoon for the sauce

1 tablespoon chopped, fresh thyme leaves, plus 1 teaspoon for the sauce

1 tablespoon chopped, fresh Italian parsley, plus 1 teaspoon for the sauce

3 large eggs

1 1/3 cups finely ground Panko (place Panko in food processor to finely grind)

2/3 cup whole organic milk  

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Olive oil

2 stalks of celery, finely diced

1 large Spanish onion, finely diced

2 cups chicken stock, homemade or good quality purchased

8 to 10 cloves roasted garlic

3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

3 tablespoons flour or cornstarch

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the veal, pork, beef, chives, thyme, parsley, eggs, Panko, milk, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl.

Heat a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat with olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the celery and onion to the pan and cook, stirring, until softened. Remove the celery and onion from the pan and let cool. When the mixture is cool, add it to the mixing bowl with the other ingredients.

Mix the ingredients until well combined and everything is evenly distributed, using your hands is the best kitchen tool.  Place a piece of parchment paper or slipat on a baking sheet pan.  Place the meat on the sheet pan and pat it and punch it down to remove any air pockets. Shape the meat into a loaf.  Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until a meat thermometer indicates an internal temperature of 155 to 160 degrees. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, for the sauce, combine the butter and flour and cook a few minutes to combine and thicken.  Pour in the broth and roasted garlic and simmer over medium high heat for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until lightly thickened. Add 1 teaspoon of each of the chopped thyme, chives and parsley. Slice the meatloaf into serving portions and spoon the hot sauce over the meatloaf and serve.

Meatballs in Tarragon Mustard Sauce

These are truly melt in your mouth, flavorful meatballs!  Tender ground veal gently simmered in a beef broth and then bathed to perfection in a simmering tarragon mustard sauce.  Meatballs have become so popular, as fun to me as creating endless types of hamburgers and their topping and sauces in the summer months.  These can be made bite size for a tapas party and giant size for a cool presentation on a dinner plate.   For my son’s dinner, I opted to go with the standard, at least in my home, meatball size. 

 I could, and did, just spoon out the sauce to lick straight up…it was that good!  The flavor can vary depending on what type of Dijon mustard is used and I like fresh tarragon with a mustard sauce.   The meatballs can be made ahead and gently rewarmed with the sauce and leftovers, if any, are just as amazing the next day!

 Meatballs in Tarragon Mustard Sauce

 1 lb. ground veal

½ cup bread crumbs

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons milk or heavy cream

2 ½ cups beef broth

 For the sauce:

1 ¾ cup beef broth (strained from above)

6 tablespoons heavy cream

3 teaspoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon fresh tarragon

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon turmeric powder

 Mix the ground veal, beaten egg, 2 tablespoons heavy cream, salt and pepper.  In a medium large saucepan, bring 2 ½ cups beef broth to a boil.  Add the meatballs and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.  Remove from broth and set aside.  Strain broth and return 1 ¾ cup back into saucepan and bring to boil.  Dilute the cornstarch in a little cold water and add to the stock.  Add 6 tablespoons heavy cream, Dijon mustard, tarragon, cayenne and turmeric.    As the sauce begins to thicken, return the meatballs to the sauce and simmer and additional 10 minutes.  Serve immediately or make ahead and reheat gently.  Makes approximately 6 large meatballs.

On Top of Spaghetti

Meatballs!   I spent last Sunday making my sauce.  Enough for Sunday dinner and extra to freeze.  It won’t last long as I use it for so many dishes I prepare.  I flavor my sauce with Italian sweet sausage, pork neck bones and meatballs.  I won’t be sharing my mother’s sauce recipe, but I will share my meatballs.  While everyone loves my sauce, the meatballs receive equal praise.  And to Italians, and basically anyone who appreciates good food, biting into a flavorful, tender meatball vs a dense, bland softball is pure bliss. 

I have noticed lately that meatballs have become quite popular in restaurants.  I have seen giant meatballs served solo on a plate and I have heard of a restaurant in NY, the Meatball Shop, featuring a variety of ‘a la carte balls’ – how neat is that!  If I ever get to NY, I would love to check it out! 

Now those who know me well may be puzzled as to my eating pasta and meatballs together? during one meal?? NO, no.  I enjoy my pasta with complete abandon, sans meatballs.  When I go for meatball dining, I serve them either atop spaghetti squash, steamed spinach or ratatouile or with roasted veggies, sauteed broccoli and a mixed greens salad.  On rare occasions, truth be told, I have combined both 🙂

Meatballs

2 eggs
1/4 cup club soda or water
1/2 cup fine bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 large clove minced garlic
1/2 pound ground beef
1/4 pound ground pork
1/4 pound ground veal
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley

2 quarts Marinara Sauce of your choice

Preheat oven to 425.  Prepare a broiler pan by filling the bottom pan with about 1/2 cup water.  Place on the top and spray it with Pam.   Pour Marinara sauce into a large saucepan and begin to heat.

Mix the club soda or water with the eggs, bread crumbs, salt, pepper and garlic in a small bowl.  Let stand for 5 minutes.

Combine the ground beef, pork and veal with the cheese and parsley.  Drop in the egg and bread crumb mixture and using your hands combine thoroughly, but do not over mix.  Shape into balls of desired size and place on a broiler pan.  Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven and turn gently to maintain roundness.  Return to oven for 7 more minutes.  The meatballs are not completely cooked at this time. 

Drop meatballs into the simmering sauce and continue to cook on low heat until meatballs are cooked through and juices run clear, about 30 minutes.  Makes approximately 8 servings.

Florentine Veal Loaf

Comfort food at its finest!  Tender ground veal, spinach, ricotta and parmesan cheese, garlic and sun-dried tomatoes creates a moist and flavorful veal loaf.  An Italian twist to an American classic!   

The use of veal and the colorful spinach and sun-dried tomatoes makes this dish suitable for guests while also giving them that home-cooked, comfy feeling!  Serve with creamy polenta or rustic mashed potatoes.

 

Florentine Veal Loaf

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small finely chopped onion
2 large garlic cloves finely minced
1/2 tsp fennel seed
1 1/2 lb ground veal
1 (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley and basil
1 teaspoon salt & pepper
1 cup marinara sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Saute onion, garlic and fennel in heated olive oil until soft.  When cooled a bit, combine with all remaining ingredients.  Work the mixture lightly until combined well, but do not over mix.   Shape into a log and place in a loaf pan or casserole dish.  Bake for approximately 30 minutes, remove from the oven and top with the marinara sauce.  Continue baking an additional 30 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160.