Saturday, April 9, 2011

Friday Night, April 8, 2011, Walnut Veal

This was one of those weeks I found myself with no idea for Friday dinner and it was Wednesday night. I started flipping through magazines and books for something different and interesting. I saw this Cauliflower bisque in the back of a Veranda magazine, I remembered how good it was at Daniel Boulud's restaurant called Bar Boulud. Then I found the Chocolate Truffle Pie from the new Bon Appetit magazine, April 2011. Laura Calder never disappoints and we are always surprised about her dishes from French Food at Home, they are different and always delicious, that's where the Walnut Veal came in...

Cauliflower Bisque

This is very rich and delicious. I made it with half the amount of heavy cream, basically I made my own half and half in place of the 4 cups of heavy cream the recipe called for. You melt some butter in a pan and add the white part of a leek, a small amount of celery, 1/2 garlic clove minced and 1/8 cup dry vermouth. Cover the pot and sweat the vegetables for a few minutes. Add 1 small head of cauliflower that's been sliced thinly and 4 cups of half and half. Cook until very soft. I used a stick blender to puree it smooth. Season with salt and nutmeg. I roasted some of the thinly sliced cauliflower for a garnish which added a nice texture, very good.

Walnut Veal

This was in Laura Calder's book, "French Food at Home". It was crazy looking, it kind of didn't look like it would be good, but I haven't made anything bad from her book yet so I gave it a shot. I am glad I did because it was delicious, easy and quick too. You make a paste in a mortar and pestle; 1 garlic clove and 1/2 cup walnuts. Grind it into a paste and add about 1/4 cup or so of walnut oil. Add 1 Tbsp of drained capers and about 2-3 Tbsp of finely chopped fresh parsley. Season with salt and pepper. That's the sauce that you top the veal with. To make the veal it's 2 veal cutlets that I pounded (just to help tenderize them), season with salt and pepper then cut into 1/2 inch strips. Heat a skillet over medium high heat then add 1 Tbsp of butter and let it brown slightly, add 1 Tbsp olive oil and let it get quite hot. Toss in the veal and cook it 2 minutes, until its just cooked (too long and it will toughen). Remove to serving dishes and spoon some of the walnut sauce over top. The whole thing takes about 5 minutes and we loved it. We used the rest of the walnut sauce today as a spread on a sandwich, so flavorful!!

Baked Corn Pudding

I don't know where this idea came from, it just popped into my head. It was good, but I have made better ones in my opinion. I kind of followed Sunny Anderson's recipe but instead of just cheddar cheese I did half cheddar and half Gruyere, no jalapeno and no bread topping. It was good, Tony loved it.

Roasted Eggplant with Soft Goat Cheese and Watercress

I wasn't sure what else to serve so I got some eggplant and watercress without a plan for them. I decided to roast diced eggplant with minced shallots and some diced tomatoes from a can with olive oil, salt and pepper and do a ratatouille kind of thing. When they were finished roasting about an hour later, I added a bit of red wine vinegar. After sitting a couple hours at room temperature I folded in some softened goat cheese and served it on a bed of watercress.

Chocolate Truffle Pie with Orange-Champagne Sabayon and Strawberries From Bon Appetit Magazine

This was one of these desserts that I really had no idea what to expect from the combination of all these ingredients. I thought it couldn't be bad. We each took a bite and looked at each other and we smiled and we each said wow with our eyes. I love when that happens. The richness of the chocolate pie with the small amount of toasted almonds on top and the orange zest that is mixed within. The airiness of the Orange-Champagne Sabayon (which is egg yolks, sugar, orange zest and I used Prosecco whisked over a double boiler until it reaches 170 degrees then you whisk over a ice water bath to cool it completely). And the thinly sliced strawberries that are macerated with some sugar for a few hours. This combination is heavenly...

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