Month: April 2010

dinner, April 3, 2010

I generally avoid preparing or eating veal (for the expense;  the problematic ethics attached to most of its sources; and the fact that, unless sympathetically prepared, it can end up tasting pretty bland).  It’s probably been years since I’ve had it in my kitchen, but with the memory of one particular recipe I’d not been able to dispose of, I was tempted to give it a try when I came across an attractive package at Garden of Eden.

It enclosed two small veal loin chops described as “natural, untethered, no growth hormones or artificial ingredients”, and identified as the product of a family firm in southern Wisconsin, Strauss Brothers.  The price per pound was modest, especially considering the almost fabled luxury of the product.  Moreover, the chops themselves were smallish, and that makes sense to us.

Free-range veal?  I spent a lot of time on the dairy farms of our Wisconsin relatives when I was young, where I wondered where and why each cute newborn spotted calf disappeared before we could become very attached to them, so naturally I was intrigued, even if I knew the Strauss Brothers’ critters hadn’t really spent much time on those advertised ranges.

I didn’t go with the recipe I had in mind when I bought the chops, but rather one which absolutely could not be more simple and easy, and which would surely convince any skeptic of the potential robustness of veal.

  • Taralli Pugliesi (Finocchio) from Puglia Sapori purchased at Garden of Eden
  • drink:  Ricard and water
  • Veal Loin Chops with Balsamico, or two seasoned chops browned 3-4 minutes each side (once the pan and a bit of oil coating it has gotten very hot), over medium-high heat, the chops removed and allowed to rest five minutes, then each drizzled with a teaspoon of good Balsamic vinegar; accompanied by French Fingerlings (Solanum tuberosum) oven-roasted with rosemary; and small varicolored oven-roasted carrots, both vegetables from Norwich Meadows Farms in Norwich, New York, purchased at the Union Square Greenmarket
  • cheese and pears:  two Basques, Garroxta and Istarra, served with rosemary bread from Bobolink Dairy at the Union Square Greenmarket; Bosc Pears from Migliorelli Farm, also in the Greenmarket
  • wine:  Austrian, Blauer Zweigelt 2007 Weingut Anita und Hand Nitthaus, Burgenland, from Appellation Wines

dinner, April 12, 2010

This meal anticipated summer by a bit, as nothing required cooking at home, and everything was served at room temperature.  We would have continued with a third course of two great, and possibly Germanic-y, artisanal cows-milk cheeses I’d picked up at the Bobolink Dairy stall in the Union Square Greenmarket, if we hadn’t already been pretty satisfied with the two we had already enjoyed.

  • thin slices of some awesome, slightly-smokey cooked beef tongue purchased from Dickson’s Farm Stand Meats in Chelsea Market, served with “Cold Horseradish sauce à la Dresden” [image of the horseradish at the top], a simple recipe culled from the copy of Craig Claiborne’s “New York Times Cookbook” [the revised edition here] which I’d snatched up almost half a century back, and slices of rye bread from Balthazar Bakery, purchased at Garden of Eden
  • raw red cabbage salad, using Kurt Gutenbrunner‘s luscious recipe, the small tight super-dark cabbage, garnished with thin slices of golden delicious apples (both cabbage and apples purchased at Garden of Eden), also served with slices of the round rye loaf, here with sweet butter on the side
  • wine:  a Gruner Veltliner from Lower Austria, Kremser Weinzierl Gruner Veltliner 2008 (very inexpensive, and a generous full liter) from Phillipe Wine