SUNDAY FAMILY DINNER
Veal Loin Chops in Balsamic-Marsala Syrup with Anchovy Butter
For the anchovy butter:
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
4-5 anchovy fillets in oil
for the veal:
8 Veal Loin Chops
Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or Brown Rice Flour
Kosher Salt & Cracked Black Pepper
4 T Unsalted Butter
4 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Large Shallot, thinly sliced in rings or half-rings
Aged Balsamic Vinegar
¾ cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1. Begin with the butter. Mash the butter with a fork in a small bowl. Add the anchovies and continue mashing until fully incorporated.
2. Spoon the butter mixture onto a sheet of plastic wrap, folding and rolling the butter into the shape of a small log. Place in freezer to solidify for easier slicing later.
3. Pat each veal chop in clean paper towels to dry completely. Divide the butter and oil in two heavy bottomed skillets (not non-stick), so as not to crowd the chops, and melt over medium-high heat. (Patting the meat dry prior to flouring and using non-stick pans will ensure a good crust on the chops.)
4. Mix a mound of flour (whichever kind you choose) with a healthy amount of the salt and pepper as this will be the only seasoning for the meat. Dip each chop in the flour mixture and shake gently to remove excess. (Do not flour until ready to sear or flour will become soggy and won’t form the desired golden brown crust.)
5. Carefully place each chop in the pans as the butter and oil begin to bubble but not brown. Leave some room between the chops and don’t touch for 4-5 minutes. Then check for browning and turn over. Let sear for another 3 minutes. Remove from the pan and keep warm by covering with foil.
6. Scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan, add the sliced shallots and wilt. Then add the marsala wine and let reduce while scraping the pan some more. (This is called “deglazing the pan”.) When the shallots are soft and the marsala thickens slightly, add the balsamic and heat. Then add the veal chops and cook for a few more minutes until pink in the center.
7. Arrange the chops on a platter, pour the syrup over and slice the anchovy butter into eight pieces. Place a butter slice on top of each chop, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.
“Pasta Rags” with Asparagus & Shiitake Mushrooms in Parmesan Cream
1 bunch thick asparagus, ends peeled and blanched
1 lb thin sliced large white mushrooms
1 lb thin sliced shiitake mushrooms (or other wild mushrooms)
1 garlic clove, pressed
2 T unsalted butter
2 T olive oil
truffle salt, if available
or kosher salt
half and half
finely grated imported parmesan regianno
1. Melt butter and oil in heavy bottomed skillet. When bubbling around the edges, add the asparagus, mushrooms and garlic clove. Add a pinch of truffle salt, if using.
2. Sautee until soft, about 8 or 9 minutes, then add marsala. Let marsala reduce a bit, then add half-and-half and some grated parmesan.
For the pasta rags:
Refer back to my post entitled “Cooking Outside the Box” of July 12, 2010 in which I cite a recipe for homemade pasta dough by Mario Battali. While you can certainly use boxed or fresh store-bought pasta, (for this sauce, I would recommend either a tagliatelli or fettucine, but whatever you have in your pantry is perfectly fine as long as it’s not too delicate), I love using my pasta machine and still have so much to learn about making my own pasta, that I chose to make it while my family and our close friends hung out in the kitchen. If using a machine, connect the plain sheet roller and make long thin pieces of pasta, going all the way down to #6 or 7, so the finished product is really, really thin and delicate. (Remember, pasta this thin will cook almost immediately in simmering water, so do not walk away from the pot!)
To make the “rags” simply cut or tear the long, thin pieces into squares that are approximately 3-4 inches on all sides. This does not have to be perfect, in fact, a sort of rough look is preferable, so don’t sweat it.
To serve the pasta and sauce, I would spoon a little of the sauce liquids onto the plate to keep the pasta from sticking. Then, slowly ‘wrinkle’ the cooked pasta rags onto the puddle of sauce and place a scant ladle of the sauce with vegetables atop. Finish with another fine grate of imported parmesan. Yum!