Veal scallops without a last-minute hassle Essay

Veal scallops without a last-minute hassle Tender sauteed scallops of veal served sizzling hot withinteresting seasonings might suggest a lot of last-minute activity inthe kitchen.

Not so with these three handsome dinner-party dishes. Ineach, the time-consuming steps of pounding and cooking the meat, pluspreparation of companion sauces, can be done a day ahead; later, youjust reheat each element for serving. In the first dish, three kinds of mushrooms enhance the vealentree.

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In the second, colorful peas and oranges accompany thedelicately flavored veal. In the last, veal combines with warmed pears,crisp buttered rye toast, and a smooth cream sauce. You might begin the meal with a salad. Slip into the kitchen toheat ingredients for the main dish as salad dishes are cleared. Amake-ahead dessert, perhaps from the freezer, would be appropriate. Veal with Three Mushrooms 1/2 pound fresh or 1 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms Water 1 3/4 pounds boneless veal, cut 1/2 inch thick, tough membrane andany fat trimmed off 1/2 teaspoon dry thyme leaves 1/4 cup all-purpose flour About 6 tablespoons butter or margarine About 3 tablespoons salad oil 1/4 pound regular small mushrooms (about 1-in. size), washed andends trimmed 1/4 pound oyster mushrooms, cut into individual clusters, or 2packages (3 1/2 oz. each) enoki mushrooms, with dark ends trimmed off 3/4 cup whipping cream Salt 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed 12 thin cross-cut slices of baguette Parsley sprigs Rinse fresh shiitake.

If using dried shiitake, submerge in warmwater for 20 minutes to soften, then drain. Cut off and discardmushroom stems. Place pieces of veal well apart on plastic wrap. Sprinkle withthyme. Cover with plastic wrap and pound with a flatsurfaced mallet until about 1/16 inch thick, approximately tripling size of scallops.Coat with flour, shaking off excess.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon oil in a 10- to 12-inchfrying pan over medium-high heat (or high heat with a nonstick pan)until butter begins to brown slightly. Fill pan with veal withoutcrowding. Cook until browned on both sides, 2 to 4 minutes total,scraping pan as needed. Lift out veal and lay scallops side by side ina rimmed 10- by 15-inch pan. Add remaining veal to pan as spacepermits; add butter and oil, a tablespoonful at a time, as needed. Pour juices from meat into the frying pan; stir to free brownedparticles. Stir shiitake and regular mushrooms into pan drippings;cover and cook on medium heat until fresh mushrooms are translucent incenter when cut, about 7 minutes. Uncover, boil away juices on highheat, add oyster mushrooms, and continue cooking to brown mushroomslightly, about 1 minute longer.

Stir in cream; boil, uncovered, untilreduced to a slightly thickened sauce. Salt to taste. (If meat andsauce are made ahead, cover and let stand at room temperature up to 3hours, or chill as long as overnight.) Blend 3 tablespoons butter with garlic.

Spread on 1 side of eachslice of bread, using all; place, buttered side down, in a pan (at least9 by 13 in.). If made ahead, cover and let stand as long as overnight. Uncover veal and buttered bread and set in a 450| oven until vealis hot and bread is sizzling, 5 to 6 minutes. At the same time, stir sauce over medium heat until hot. On a warm platter, overlap veal slices.

Lift mushrooms from saucewith a slotted spoon and put beside meat; arrange crisp bread on theother side. Serve sauce to spoon onto individual servings. Garnishwith parsley. Makes 6 servings.

Veal Saute with Chilies and Peas 1 3/4 pounds boneless veal, cut 1/2 inch thick, tough membrane andany fat trimmed off 2 teaspoons mustard seed 1 teaspoon crushed dried hot red chilies 1/4 teaspoon cumin seed 1/4 cup all-purpose flour About 1/4 cup (1/8 lb.) butter or margarine About 3 tablespoons salad oil 3 tablespoons orange-flavored liqueur or orange juice 1 tablespoon lemon juice 2 teaspoons soy sauce 1 package (10 oz.) thawed frozen peas 1 or 2 medium-size oranges, peeled and thinly sliced 1 green onion, cut lengthwise in half Place pieces of meat well apart on plastic wrap and sprinkle oneside with mustard seed, chilies, and cumin. Cover with plastic wrap andpound with a flat-surfaced mallet until about 1/16 inch thick,approximately tripling the size of the scallops. Coat with flour; shakeoff excess. Melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon oil in a 10- to 12-inchfrying pan over medium-high heat (or high heat with a nonstick pan).When butter begins to brown slightly, fill pan with veal withoutcrowding.

Cook until browned on both sides, 2 to 4 minutes total,scraping pan as needed. As meat is cooked, lift out and lay in a singlelayer in a rimmed 10- by 15-inch pan. Add remaining veal to pan asspace permits and add butter and oil, a tablespoonful at a time, asneeded. Drain juices from cooked meat into the frying pan; stir to freebrown particles. Add 1 tablespoon butter, liqueur, lemon juice, and soysauce. Heat, stirring, to simmering.

(If meat and sauce are madeahead, cover and let stand at room temperature up to 3 hours, or chillas long as overnight.) Pour peas into a 9-inch square pan. Place peas and veal, bothuncovered, in a 450| oven until hot, about 5 minutes. At the same time,return sauce to simmer over medium heat.

Overlap veal on a warm platter. Tuck orange slices betweenscallops; spoon peas alongside. Pour sauce over meat. Garnish withgreen onion. Makes 6 servings. Veal Scallops with Pears 1 3/4 pounds boneless veal, cut 1/2 inch thick, tough membrane andany fat trimmed off 3/4 teaspoon ground sage 1/4 cup all-purpose flour About 1/2 cup (1/4 lb.) butter or margarine About 3 tablespoons salad oil 2 cups whipping cream 2/3 cup dry white wine 1/3 cup pear liqueur or rum (optional) 3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard Salt 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed 6 slices dark rye bread, crusts trimmed off and bread cut in halfdiagonally 1 tablespoon lemon juice 3 small firm-ripe pears Parsley sprigs Place pieces of veal well apart on plastic wrap; sprinkle withsage.

Cover with plastic wrap, then pound with a flat-surfaced malletuntil about 1/6 inch thick; scallops will approximately triple in size.Coat with flour, shaking off excess. Melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon oil in a 10- to 12-inchfrying pan on medium-high heat (or high heat with a nonstick pan). Whenbutter begins to brown slightly, add veal without crowding. Cook untilbrowned on both sides, 2 to 4 minutes total, scraping pan as needed.

Lift out meat and lay pieces side by side on a rimmed 10- by 15-inchpan. Add remaining veal to pan as space permits; add butter and oil, atablespoonful at a time, as needed. Drain any juices that have accumulated with the cooked veal intothe frying pan; stir to free brown particles. Stir in cream, wine,liqueur, mustard; boil, uncovered and stirring often, until reduced to 11/2 cups. Add salt to taste. (If you cook the meat and make the sauceahead, cover and set aside at room temperature up to 3 hours, or chillas long as overnight.) Blend 3 tablespoons butter with garlic; spread on 1 side of eachpiece of bread.

Place bread, buttered side down, in a 9- by 12-inchpan. If made ahead, cover and let stand as long as overnight. Melt 2 more tablespoons butter with lemon juice in a 9-inch squarepan.

Peel, core, and halve pears; put in pan. Coat with butter. Putpears, veal, and bread, all uncovered, in a 450| oven. Bake until pearsare warm, veal hot, and bread sizzling, about 10 minutes.

Also, bringsauce to boil on medium heat, stirring often. On a serving platter, overlap veal slices; arrange toast trianglesalong one side of the meat and fruit along the other. Spoon 1/4 cup sauce over meat; pass remainder to add to taste.

Garnish with parsley. Makes 6 servings. Photo: 1. The day before, saute pounded veal and make sauce; coverand chill Photo: 2. Just before serving, heat veal and peas; warm sauce Photo: 3.

Finished entree, garnished with green onion, is vealwith oranges and plump peas Photo: Pears and rye toast heat with veal scallops in this companymain dish; the veal is served with a creamy mustard sauce

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