Monday, November 28, 2011

Amazing Artichokes and Very Fatty Veal

Dinner: November 27

Again, I have been paging through a cookbook, this time Giada de Laurentiis’ “Giada’s Kitchen. I’ve been craving Italian food lately, so I’ll likely finish out the year with more Italian recipes.

That brought me to something new. I’ve never cooked veal, and my local grocery store just began carrying it. I decided to try a veal chop saltimbocca, though I had to leave out two of the main ingredients - the slice of prosciutto and lemon - because I simply forgot to buy them at the grocery store. I only bought one large veal chop because of the price, so I cut the recipe from four servings to one.

  • 1 boneless veal loin chop (about 3/4” thick)
  • 1 sage leaf (I used several small ones)
  • 1 thin lemon slice (omitted)
  • 1 large slice of prosciutto (omitted)
  • 1/8 cup dry white wine
  • 1/8 cup chicken broth
  • ¼ can of diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/8 cup heavy cream
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Basics: Seasoned the veal chop with salt and pepper, topped with small sage leaves. Added to hot olive-oiled skillet, cooked for 6 minutes, and flipped to cook for 3-4 minutes more. Removed from pan and tented with foil. Added white wine to skillet to deglaze, then added chicken broth and reduced. Added tomatoes, heavy cream, salt, and pepper. Poured over veal and topped with chopped sage.

On the positive side, the veal and the sauce over it were very flavorful. The sage and cream sauce were wonderful with the veal. The meat, however, was very fatty. There was so much fat, in fact, that I got tired of trying to separate the actual meat and stopped before I could finish the chop. I’m not a fan of fatty meats, so this was simply not a good choice for me.

For a side dish, I found a recipe using one of my favorite vegetables - artichokes. The frozen artichoke hearts are quite good, and this recipe for artichoke gratinata looked super appetizing. I made the entire thing because I wanted leftovers.

  • 1 pound frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ¼ cup Marsala wine (used another Italian red instead)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Basics: Heated garlic in hot olive-oiled pan, added defrosted artichoke hearts, parsley, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to pan until hearts began to brown. Put mixture in baking dish. Melted butter in same skillet and added bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkled mixture over artichokes and baked at 450 degrees for 10 minutes.

This was excellent! The artichoke hearts were extremely flavorful in the red wine sauce, and the red pepper flakes gave it a nice spicy bite. The bread crumb/cheese mixture on top made the dish even better, giving it that crunch that is missing from most artichoke dishes. It was super easy to make, and this is going on my must-cook-frequently list.

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