Veal Piccata with Cavatelli

Slice 2 small zucchinis lengthwise, cutting off ends. Place in a baking pan, peel side down. Drizzle with olive oil. Spread a pinch of cayenne on each. Place in the oven until it reaches 400 degrees. Then, broil until crisp on top. Remove from oven. When cool, cut into small chunks. Finely chop 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes.

In a large non-stick fry pan, heat a thin coat of olive oil on high heat. Quickly brown milk-fed veal cutlets, pounded to about 1/4″, on each side. Do it in stages so they don’t touch. Sprinkle with ground pepper and garlic powder. Remove to a plate after each stage. In the same pan with leftover drippings, brown a minced shallot. Add a couple pats of butter. Deglaze with 1/4 cup dry white wine. Add juice of 2 lemons and 1/3 cup capers. Stir. Turn off heat.

In a large pot, add fresh cavatelli to boiling water. After water comes to a full boil again, cook for 5 minutes until tender and not too al dente. Drain. Bring fry pan back to high heat and place veal cutlets and juices back into the sauce until just heated. Serve with shallot, lemon, caper sauce and cavatelli topped with zucchini and sun-dried tomatoes. Sprinkle with romano-parmesan grated cheese.

Passover Strahl Brisket

Lovingly derived from Birdie Sandler Strahl’s original, enhanced by daughter Betsey Strahl Levine’s creative touch:

4-5 lb. first cut fresh brisket of beef. Not too lean, need some fat. Serves about 8-ish. It shrinks. In a dutch oven, brown brisket well on both sides to sear. Take out and place on dish. Brown at least 3 large sliced onions, the more the better. Put the brisket back into the pan and season with generous amount of paprika, pepper, garlic powder, salt. Pour 16 oz. canned tomato sauce over the meat.

Bake at 350 degrees tightly covered for one hour. Uncover and add 1 cup sweet Jewish or another fruity red wine. Bake covered for another hour. Uncover and take out the pot roast and slice against the grain. Put sliced meat back into the pot and make sure it is covered with liquid, add chicken broth if necessary. Bake another hour or until it falls apart.

Serve with hot horseradish and Dr. G’s Potato Latkes.

New Year’s Lamb Vindaloo

Spicy start to 2017. Trim a 2 lb. leg of lamb and cut into 1-2″ chunks. Dry on paper towels. In a stock pot, brown meat, in stages to assure browning. Sprinkle meat with garlic powder and ground black pepper. Stir. When browned, remove meat to a bowl. In the same stock pot, to the browned bits, add a little olive oil and brown 1 red and 1 yellow onion, sliced. Add 1 yellow or orange bell pepper, sliced. Brown. Add 2-3 jalapeño peppers, de-seeded and sliced. De-glaze with 1/2 cup chicken broth and stir. Turn off heat.

In a small bowl, mix 2 tsp. coriander, 1 tsp. turmeric, 1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger. Turn up heat and add 1-2 cans whole San Marzano tomatoes. Stir tomatoes with peppers and onions. Sprinkle half the spice mix over them. Add the lamb with any juices into the pot. Stir. Sprinkle the rest of the spice mix over the lamb and sauce. Stir. Bring to boil. Cover. Turn to low.

In a small bowl, mix together  1 tsp. cardamom, 1-2 tsp. cayenne, 1/4 tsp. ground cloves, 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, generous 2-3 tbs. sesame seeds. Can add 1 tbs. poppy seeds as well. In a small fry pan, heat 4 tbs. olive oil. Toast spice mix in the olive oil, stir and when hot, pour into stock pot. Add a little water to the fry pan to get any leftover spices, scrape and add to pot. Stir spices and olive oil into lamb and tomatoes thoroughly. Bring back to boil. Cover. Simmer on low for 2-3 hours.

An hour before serving, add raw carrots, chunked; small or diced potatoes; and/or large cauliflower florets. Serve when vegetables are cooked tender but not mushy. Can add a handful of frozen peas until tender, a couple of minutes. Stir and serve in large bowls with naan and chutneys.

Vitello Balsamico

veal-chopsSautéed Veal Chops with Balsamic & Thyme.

Bring 1″ veal rib chops to room temperature. Pat dry. Season on both sides with ground black pepper, garlic powder, dried thyme, sea salt to taste. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

On the stovetop, heat a dry sauté pan until hot. Place chops into pan and sear on both sides for 4 minutes each side until carmelized. Place pan with carmelized chops into the preheated 400-degree oven and bake for additional 4-5 minutes, depending on preference for medium-rare to medium. Remove pan from oven. Place chops on plate to rest for 5 minutes.

On the stovetop, under low heat, place 3 tbs. butter into the original sauté pan with veal drippings, and add 3 tbs. Fini or best Balsamic vinegar to deglaze for a sauce. Scrape and stir to incorporate all drippings. Serve chops drizzled with sauce, roasted fingerling potatoes and string beans. Serves 2.

la-crema-pinot-noir

La Crema 2014 Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon.

Debate Steak

1 prime strip steak / person from Citarella or your favorite butcher. Pat dry each steak. Press cracked black peppercorns into each side of the meat. In a large preheated cast iron skillet, sear steaks dry until blackish on each side. Finish in preheated 400 degree oven to desired wellness from 3-6 minutes depending on thickness of steaks. Remove from pan. Add 3 tbs. butter to same skillet and brown a finely diced shallot. Add chopped Crimini mushrooms, and 2 cloves mashed garlic. Stir until mushrooms are tender. Add 1/2 cup Pinot Noir and another 1-2 tbs. butter, stir and reduce liquid by half. Cut steaks into thick slices and plate. Pour sauce over them. Prefer steak sliced so the sauce permeates the meat. But, can plate steaks whole with sauce over each as well.

Drink the rest of the Pinot with dinner. Serve with string beans and a crusty bread. Ready for a rowdy Clinton-Trump debate.

Passover And Over

Strahl Brisket. Dr. G’s Potato Latkes. It’s another Passover. Another year.

For the brisket: Lovingly derived from Birdie Sandler Strahl’s original, enhanced by daughter Betsey Strahl Levine’s creative touch:

4-5 lb. first cut fresh brisket of beef. Not too lean, need some fat. Serves about 8-ish. It shrinks. In a dutch oven, brown brisket well on both sides to sear. Take out and place on dish. Brown at least 3 large sliced onions, the more the better. Put the brisket back into the pan and season with generous amount of paprika, pepper, garlic powder, salt. Pour 16 oz. canned tomato sauce over the meat.

Bake at 350 degrees tightly covered for one hour. Uncover and add 1 cup sweet Jewish or another fruity red wine. Bake covered for another hour. Uncover and take out the pot roast and slice against the grain. Put sliced meat back into the pot and make sure it is covered with liquid, add chicken broth if necessary. Bake another hour or until it falls apart.

For Dr. G’s latkes: Grate 4 large raw peeled potatoes into fine strips into a bowl of ice water. Press out moisture and drain on paper towels. Put potatoes into a large bowl. Add 2 lightly beaten eggs and blend to bind. Add 1 cup matzoh meal and thinly sliced bunch of green onions (scallions). Blend together with fingers. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Fashion potato mixture into 4 inch diameter, 1/2 inch thick patties. Heat a non-stick fry pan and coat with vegetable oil until hot. Brown potato patties on both sides until crispy. Keep latkes warm in a 200 degree oven on a platter until ready to eat.

December Beef Stew

Late root vegetables still around. Comfort food on murky gray December days. Could use lamb from shoulder or leg instead of beef.

1 1/2 – 2 lbs. beef chuck, cut into stew-sized chunks. In a large stock pot, brown the meat in stages on all sides in a little olive oil. Season each time with garlic powder, ground black pepper, thyme, dash of cayenne to taste. When all sides are brown, add 1/4 cup chicken broth, deglaze and remove meat and broth to a bowl. Repeat until all meat is seasoned and browned. Leave meat and broth in the bowl.

In the same stock pot, brown finely chopped veggies, about 1/4 cup each: celery with leaves, carrots, onions. Add 2 cleaned chopped leeks. Brown with veggies. Season with oregano, thyme, garlic powder, basil. Pour the meat chunks and broth back into the stock pot and stir with veggies. Add 1 cup dry red wine, such as a French Beaujolais. Bring to boil. Cover and simmer for 1-2 hours. Add 2 peeled quartered onions, 10-15 whole fresh mushroom caps, large chunks of carrots and celery and another cup of red wine. Bring to boil and simmer half-covered for another hour or so. Meat tender, veggies cooked through but not soggy. Serve with horseradish mashed potatoes.

Chicken Foggia

Salute a mi Papa from Foggia, Italia where the black olives are plenty. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Pat dry 2 large meaty bone-in chicken breasts, skin on. In a deep baking pan drizzle olive oil on the bottom. Slice a sweet onion and place around the pan. Place the breasts in the middle. Drizzle olive oil over the onions and chicken breasts. Add garlic powder and ground black pepper liberally over the chicken breasts. Bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven and put aluminum foil over chicken until ready to eat.

For the sauce/ tapenade: Chop 2 tablespoons black olives, 2 tablespoons capers into a small bowl. Add 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots or red onions. Stir in 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar. Season with thyme and red pepper flakes. Stir and serve over the chicken or on the side with a baguette.

Dr. Husband’s Veal Chops

Perfect every time. 1 large loin veal chop per person about 1 1/2″ thick. Pat them dry and brush a thin coating of olive oil all around. Season with ground black pepper, garlic powder, sea salt to taste on both sides. Place in shallow pan under the broiler for 5 minutes on each side to get a crisp, brown sear. Then, remove from broiler and heat oven to 400 degrees and bake them for an additional 2-4 minutes for medium, pale pink inside. Remove from oven and allow chops to rest for 5-7 minutes before serving.

Top with a dollop of Stonewall Kitchen’s Vidalia Onion Fig Sauce.

Pulled Pork Tenderloin

2 lb. pork tenderloin cut in half crosswise. In a large stock pot, brown 2 thickly sliced sweet onions in a little olive oil. Brown both pieces of the pork on all sides. Season with garlic powder, ground black pepper, cayenne to taste. Deglaze with 1 bottle of Pilsner Urquel beer, or other Oktober brew of your choice. Bring to boil. Turn to low and add spicy barbecue sauce of your choice. I used Maple Chipotle and a little Sesame Sriracha, 2 cups total. Cover and simmer for 4-6 hours, until meat is easily pulled apart. Pour out excess liquid. Pull the meat and add more barbecue sauce to taste. Add 1 can Great Northern white beans. Simmer uncovered for another 1/2-1 hour.

Alternative: Brown sliced fall hot peppers and leeks with the onions. Braise a head of red cabbage in a fry pan with balsamic vinegar and sesame seeds. Use Honey Sriracha sauce for the pork. Serve pulled pork with the red cabbage.