Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pan Roasted Veal Chops

About Pan Roasting
A popular technique with restaurant chefs, pan roasting is easy to do at home. This two-level method produces food with a flavorful browned exterior and a tender, juicy interior. It also provides plenty of pan juices for creating a delicious sauce. First, the meat, poultry or seafood is quickly seared in a small amount of oil in a heavy ovenproof (cast iron is ideal) fry pan. This creates a flavorful light browning on the outer surface. Then the pan is transferred to a moderate to hot oven, where the food roasts until it has finished cooking. The food is removed from the pan to a platter or carving board, then the pan juices can be deglazed and made into a sauce. This method works best for chops, steaks and other relatively thin cuts of meat, poultry cuts like chicken and duck breasts, and fish fillets. If these cuts were roasted without an initial searing, they would never develop sufficient surface browning before they finished cooking and would be less flavorful. The method saves time and most importantly sears in the juices before roasting.
Veal Chops
Ingredients (serves 2)2 thick veal chops  2 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons peanut oil½ cup of veal stock  ¼ cup wineSalt and Pepper  Optional: Pat of butter or 1 tablespoon of heavy cream (or crème fraiche)
 Remove chops from the refrigerator about an hour before cooking to let them come up to room temperature. Pat them dry. Preheat your oven to 350F.  Preheat the pan over medium-high to high heat. Once the pan is very hot, add enough peanut oil to coat the bottom. Wait a minute or two for the oil to get hot, season your meat with salt and pepper, and place it in the pan. Do not crowd the chops or they will steam.  Sear all sides. Then place the pan with the meat in the oven to let it finish cooking. Remove while the meat is still pink inside (130F). It will continue to cook outside the oven.  Allow the meat to rest (loosely covered with aluminum foil) while making the sauce. De glaze with a bit of wine scraping the bottom of the pan and then add1/2 cup of veal stock.  Reduce, check for seasonings and finish the sauce with a pat of butter or a splash of cream
Sautéed Mushrooms
2 tablespoons butter½ tablespoon olive oil (Not extra virgin)  1 garlic clove (minced)
½ cup of shallots (optional) 
½ lb sliced mushrooms
Salt and pepper
If you try to sauté mushrooms that are too wet, you'll end up with a soggy stew. For this reason it's best to just wipe mushrooms down with a damp cloth and not rinse them. However, if they are freshly picked and very gritty, you will want to rinse them off and pat them dry. In a large skillet over medium heat, add oil and melt butter. Spread the fat around by moving the pan. Add minced garlic (and shallots) and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until they are hot and have turned a darker brown color. Move them around with a wooden spatula once one side seems done. This usually takes around 5 minutes. Do not to overcook!  Be careful not to overcrowd the pan. With too many mushrooms and they will just stew in their own juices resulting in a soggy sauté with less flavor. If you have a lot of mushrooms to cook, do them in several small batches instead of one big batch. Salt will draw out moisture while cooking so add seasoning only when they are finished cooking.

Baked Potatoes
1 large russet potato per person

Oil to coat (peanut or canola)

Kosher salt
Heat oven to 350 degrees and position racks in top and bottom thirds. Wash potato (or potatoes) thoroughly with a stiff brush and cold running water. Dry, then using a standard fork poke 8 to 12 deep holes all over the spud so that moisture can escape during cooking. Place in a bowl and coat lightly with oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt and place potato directly on rack in middle of oven. Place a baking sheet on the lower rack to catch any drippings. Bake 1 hour or until skin feels crisp but flesh beneath feels soft. Serve by creating a dotted line from end to end with a sharp knife, then crack the spud open by squeezing the ends towards one another. Place butter in the slit and serve
NOTE: If you're cooking more than 4 potatoes, you'll need to extend the cooking time by up to 15 minutes.

Gerard’s Wine Suggestions
The ideal wine for the rich and tasty meal would be a Pinot Noir Volnay Premier Cru availoable at Pine Plains Fine Wine a $49 per bottle, but since our policy is to recommend wines at under $25 per bottle, I would suggest the excellent Pinot Noir 2009 from Louis Jadot. This is a classic expression of Burgundy Pinot Noir, with a refined, aromatic nose of ripe red berries and toasty, earthy nuances leading into an elegant palate of delicately structured tannins and clean finish. $19.99 at Pine Plains Fine Wine. If you want to drink local wine I recommend the Pinot Noir from Millbrook Winery also at Pine Plains Fine Wine.

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