Sunday, February 24, 2013

Veal Scallopine w/ Curried Cauliflower & Mushroom Demi Glace

It's been a CRAZY week.

I left my internship at the Marriott hotel.  It just wasn't me.  Hotel food is just not me.

However, I spoke with my chef at the restaurant I work at and he is really good friends with Edward Lee (from Top Chef fame).  So he did an amazing job of setting me up a new internship at Lee's new place in Actor's Theatre, Milkwood.  I started this week and already love it.  Not only is it better hours than my normal job (I'm safely home by 10:30/11 as opposed to midnight or later!), but the food is impeccable! 

So I really haven't had much time at home this week, but was able to make this yesterday afternoon for my lunch and Andy's dinner later that night while I was away.  It came together quickly and was tasty, to boot!


4 thinly sliced veal cutlets
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 head of cauliflower, florets sliced thin
1 tablespoon curry powder
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons shredded Parmesan

Mushroom Demi:

1 oz. flour
1 oz. unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup mirepoix (small diced carrots, onion, celery)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
4 cups veal/beef stock, divided
6-8 oz. shiitake mushrooms, sliced
salt and pepper, to taste

Your sauce will take the longest time, so go ahead and start with that first.  In a large saucepan, melt the butter under medium heat.  Add the flour and slowly cook under moderate heat until you achieve a dark brown roux. You'll want to stir constantly so you don't scorch the flour. 

While you're waiting for your roux to darken, in a separate saute pan, heat olive oil under medium high heat.  Add mirepoix and cook until lightly caramelized.  Add tomato paste and cook for another minute or two to incorporate.  Set aside until roux is at desired dark brown color. 

Add mirepoix mixture to roux and stir to incorporate.  Temper in 2 cups of the stock, whisking constantly to prevent lumps.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Simmer until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 20-25 minutes.  Strain of solids, then return to saucepan.

Add remaining 2 cups of stock and reduce mixture by half. 

In a small saute pan under medium high heat, saute the mushrooms in a little bit of butter or olive oil until caramelized.  Add mushrooms to the demi and simmer under low heat for a out 10-15 minutes.

For the cauliflower:  Combine the cauliflower, curry powder, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl and mix well.

Heat a medium saute pan under medium high heat and add remaining tablespoon of olive oil.  Add cauliflower and saute until caramelized around the edges.  Finish by tossing with fresh parsley and shredded Parmesan cheese.

For the veal, heat a large saute pan under high heat and add olive oil.  Scallopine slices are really thin so you want a really hot pan so you can get a good sear quickly and prevent any overcooking.

Season the veal slices with salt and pepper and add to hot pan.  Get a nice golden brown sear and flip over and cook just for about 30 seconds to 1 minute longer.  These guys will cook very quickly.  Remove from pan and let rest on a cutting board for about 2-3 minutes.

To plate, spread a nice amount of sauce in the center of the plate.  Place some cauliflower slices over the sauce and top with 2 slices of veal.  And bam, veal scallopine.

Hope you guys have a great week!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Pork Chops w/ Kidney Bean Risotto & Pommes Frites

It was offal week at school.  People either hate it or love it.  I happen to be of the latter population.

There's hardly anything I won't eat.  I'm of the belief that you don't know you don't like something unless you give it a try.  More often than not, once I try something, I like it.

My offal assignment this week was kidneys.  My offal experiences have only really consisted of sweet breads (LOVE!) and livers.  Kidneys, not so much.  But like I said, I'm willing to give anything a try at least once.  They're not something I want to run out and buy boatloads of, but I'm glad I tried them.

So I thought I'd do a recipe with offal this week, but turns out I couldn't find any within short notice!  Most butcher shops around here didn't carry them just on a whim and the items needed to be special ordered.  So I thought I'd do something with a little more mass appeal and use kidney beans.  Totally not offal, but hey, it tasted pretty damn good.


2 bone-in pork chops
2 tablespoons whole grain dijon mustard
1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
salt and pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons olive oil
2/3 cup arborio rice
1/4 cup white wine
2-3 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup mirepoix (small diced shallots, carrots, and celery)
14 oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
2 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
salt and pepper, to taste

2 russet potatoes, finely julienned on a mandolin
peanut oil, for frying

Preheat oven to 425 F.

The risotto will take the longest, so it's best to start off with it.  I used to be under the impression that your stock had to be hot while doing it, but in learning how to make risotto at school and at the restaurant, we always use room temperature/cold stock.  It always turns out well, so why dirty another pot if you don't have to?

In a large high sided skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil under medium heat.  Stir in your rice and coat well with the oil.  You're just trying to coat the rice with the oil, not trying to toast it, so make sure you do this step quickly.  Deglaze the pan with the white wine and reduce until almost dry.  Add in enough chicken stock to just barely cover the rice and reduce your heat to a slow simmer.  You may need more stock than listed above (it just depends on your heat during the cooking process).  You'll want to stir the rice very frequently because it's the agitation of the starches in the rice that causes the risotto to become thick and creamy.  Don't add more liquid until the previous amount is almost gone.  You'll want to repeat the process until your rice is fully cooked and looks creamy. (The whole process should take about 30 minutes or so - patience is a virtue)

While you're waiting for your rice to cook, you can saute your vegetables.  Heat a medium saute pan under medium high heat and add your remaining tablespoon of olive oil.  Add your mirepoix, thyme, and garlic.  Saute until mirepoix starts to soften.  Stir in kidney beans and cook just until warmed.  Season mixture with salt and pepper, to taste.

When your risotto is done, stir in your mirepoix and mix well.  Finish with cream cheese, parmesan, and butter until rich and creamy.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Keep warm until needed.

Season both sides of pork chops with salt and pepper.  Spread about 1 tablespoon of mustard on each pork chop.  Place breadcrumbs on flat surface and press both sides of pork chops into breading to coat.

Heat a large oven-proof skillet under medium high heat and add your olive oil.  Add pork chops and sear until golden brown.  Flip over and transfer pan to oven to continue cooking until medium or done to your likeness.  Let rest for about 3-5 minutes.

Heat a deep fryer or heavy pot with oil to about 325 F.  Blanch potatoes for about 1 minute in oil and remove.  Let drain for about another minute.  Drop back into the oil to cook until golden brown and crispy.  Drain on paper towel-lined plate and season with salt, to taste.

To put together dish, place a decent amount of risotto in the center of the plate.  Place pork chop over top and garnish with a good amount of pomme frites.  Easy enough, right?  Restaurant worthy in $30 or less!


Have a great week guys!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Mushroom-Stuffed Beef Tenderloin w/ Fondant Potatoes

I started my internship this week and it's been a whirlwind.  I'm pretty much at my internship on all of the days I don't work - which means I pretty much won't have an actual day off for about 7 weeks.  Nuts, isn't it?!

Hopefully these 7 weeks will just fly on by.  I have the pleasure of being able to go to my internship on Friday mornings so that I can have at least one night home with Andy!  I made this last night and it was a definite hit!


1 lb. beef tenderloin, butterflied
2 oz. country ham, small diced
1/4 lb. shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
1 shallot, minced
1/4 lb. mirepoix (small diced carrot and celery - we'll omit the onion since we're using the shallot)
1/4 lb. spinach
1/3 cup Madeira
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
2-3 cups veal or beef stock
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil

3-4 new potatoes, cut in half
1/2 cup olive oil
2-3 sprigs of thyme
2 cloves of garlic, cracked
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 cups chicken stock
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 425F.

In a medium skillet, heat up a little of the olive oil under medium high heat.  Add country ham, mushrooms, shallot, and mirepoix.  Cook until slightly caramelized, about 3-4 minutes, then stir in spinach until wilted.  Let cool to room temperature.

Season the tenderloin with salt and pepper on both sides.  Spread the filling over top of the butterflied tenderloin and tightly roll up like a roulade.  Tie snuggly with butcher's twine to compact.

In a large, oven-proof skillet, heat up about 1 & 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil under medium high heat.  Brown the tenderloin on all sides and transfer to oven to cook to desired temperature - about 20 minutes for a nice medium rare.

While the tenderloin is in the oven, you can prepare your potatoes.  Fondant potatoes are basically caramelized on one side then flipped over and braised in chicken stock and herbs.  Pretty tasty.

In a medium saute pan, add olive oil and heat under medium high heat.  Season potatoes with salt and pepper and place in pan, cut-side down.  Add thyme and garlic to oil to infuse with extra flavor.  Cook until browned, then flip over.  Pour out all of the excess olive oil and add chicken stock to come up about halfway on the potatoes.  Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.  Cover and let simmer until cooked through, about 10-15 minutes.

Remove tenderloin from oven and let rest for about 5-10 minutes on a cutting board before slicing. 

Add Madeira wine to stock in the pan and reduce to sauce consistency.  Strain if desired and mount with a little unsalted butter and season to taste. 

Serve tenderloin with potatoes and some of the pan sauce.

This was definitely a great meal and I couldn't be more glad to say TGIF yesterday!  Hope you all have a great weekend and I'll probably see you about this time next week!