You Gonna Eat All That?

A fork in one hand, a pen in the other.

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Location: Virginia, United States

(Biscuit Girl)

Friday, January 06, 2006

Friday Night Splurge

I was off from work today so I had time to work on a nice dinner for tonight. On the menu: Mongolian Barbequed Veal Chops, Roasted Brussels Sprouts and freshly baked Tuscan Bread. Earlier this week I tried (unsuccessfully) to make a loaf of bread. I was inspired by Joe over at Culinary in the Desert. Everything was going fine until I had to transfer the risen dough from a towel onto the pizza stone in the oven. I won’t go into details but let’s just say that I was going to modify the recipe the next time I made it. No more raising the dough in a towel. That sucker was going to rise on a cookie sheet which will all get put into the oven.

today, I tried out the recipe with my revision and so far so good. The bread is baking in the oven as I type and the house smells wonderful. And no, it didn’t collapse.

The recipe for the veal chops came from an old Gourmet magazine that we were getting rid of at the library. We only have room to keep so many back issues of magazines so every January we have to clean out the oldest issues in order to make room for the new year. Magazines like Gourmet and Bon Appetit are usually kept for two years. Most of the recipes are usually online these days so keeping eons of issues isn’t needed.

So the kitchen table in the staff break room is now overflowing with 2004 issues of Gourmet, Cooking Light, Bon Appetit, and Southern Living. For a recipe hound like me, it’s like hitting the mother lode. Lunch is now spent with co-workers noses buried in old magazines. An occasional ooh is overheard and everyone pops their head up to see who it came from. Going through everyone’s mind are thoughts like: Have they found a recipe we might want? Have I looked at that issue yet? She is going to tell us what she found….isn’t she?

It on one such a lunch break that I found the recipe that is going to be tonight’s dinner. It jumped out at me with the title alone…..Mongolian Barbequed Veal Chops….. It sounded exotic, it had veal, it made me drool. As I ooh’d, heads popped up to see what I had discovered. I read aloud the name of the recipe. Heads went back into the magazines. Ugh.....I work with a bunch of veal haters. Yes, I know the controversy about veal, but come on guys, the recipe looks great……

The Brussels sprouts recipe came from a coworker who made them for Christmas. She said even her Brussels sprouts hating brother liked them. Good enough for me. So she told me the recipe which a scribbled on the back of the veal recipe.

Ah, time to check the bread……. Wait right here, I’ll be right back….

The bread turned out great! Nice and golden brown and has a good solid hollow thump when you tap on it. Now all I have to do is keep myself from cutting off a slab while it’s still hot and slathering it with butter. I’m gonna be good and wait until dinner. Aw, screw it, I’m weak and I want some bread.

The veal chops turned out nicely as well. The flavors were well balanced but I think that letting them marinate longer wouldn't have done them any harm. That would have let the marinade flavor the meat even deeper. But that's not to say we didn't like them. Biscuit Boy devoured his in no time flat and shared (somewhat reluctantly) a second one with me. You could definately taste sesame oil, garlic and ginger with the underlying flavors of the soy sauce, hoisin and Sriracha. This marinade would certainly go well with chicken, duck or any tender cut of beef.

The Brussels sprouts were slightly disappointing. They were dry and didn't pick up much of the flavors from the marinade. We still ate them (including Biscuit Pup who is quite fond of cabbage) but I'll definately change up the recipe next time.

Lastly the bread was scrumptious. I hate to admit it but we ate almost half the loaf at dinner! A slice here, a slice there and before we knew it, the half we brought to the table was nearly gone. Needless to say, we liked it.

And the best part of it all is that we had enough of everything leftover and Biscuit Boy will eat like a king for lunch tomorrow. Lucky so and so.

Mongolian Barbequed Veal Chops
Serves 4
1/4 cup finely chopped shallot (about 1 large)
1/4 cup salted roasted peanuts, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
1 tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 rice wine vinegar
2 1/2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 1/2 tbsp. sesame oil
2 1/2 tbsp. plum sauce
2 1/2 tbsp. mild honey
2 1/2 tbsp. hoisin sauce
2 tsp. Sriracha sauce or other hot chili sauce

For the veal chops:
4 (1 inch thick) veal rib chops (about 14 oz each)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Stir together all the marinade ingredients in a bowl until combined well.
Place the veal chops in a large zipper seal bag and pour marinade over them. Seal the bag, getting out as much air as possible and place in the fridge, marinade for at least 8 hours, turning the bag over occasionally.

Bring the chops to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Remove them from the marinade and transfer to a platter. Pour the marinade through a fine mesh sieve into a 1 to 1 1/2 quart saucepan, discarding solids. Bring to a boil and boil 1 minute. (I found that I needed to add a little more of the liquid ingredients)

Heat a ridged iron skillet on medium high. Sprinkle chops with salt and pepper. Sear chops in skillet, turning over once, about 6 minutes total. Turn heat to medium and baste occasionally. Place a probe thermometer into the thickest part of one of the chops and continue cooking until it reaches 140 degrees.

Oven Roasted Brussels sprouts
20 Brussels sprouts, cut in half
1/4 olive oil
2 -3 cloves of garlic, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon

Place everything in a zipper lock bag and marinate for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400. Place the sprouts on a baking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes or until tender.

Tuscan Bread
2 packages dry yeast
1 1/4 cups warm water
1 tsp. sugar
2 1/4 cups white flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour*
1/2 tsp. salt

In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the water with the sugar. Mix the 2 flours and the salt. Stir them into the yeast mixture to make a soft dough. Knead 10 minutes by hand. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in bulk.

Rub 2 to 3 teaspoons flour on a baking sheet. When the dough has completed its rising, punch it down, turn it out onto a floured work surface, and flatten it into an oblong about 8 inches X 10 inches and 1/4 inch thick. It will still be very soft, but try to use a minimum of additional flour in handling it.

Roll the dough tight, jelly-roll fashion, into a cylindrical shape. Flatten this to about 1-inch thick and roll it again.Tuck both ends of the cylinder under to meet in the center, pinching to seal them. Roll the dough around the work surface under your hands, to shape it into a smooth ball about 5 inches in diameter.

Set the loaf on the floured baking sheet and place a towel loosely over it. Put the covered loaf in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.

Preheat an oven lined with baking tiles or a pizza stone to 400 degrees F. Have a water-filled sprayer handy. Slide the baking sheet onto the stone. Spray water into the oven before closing the door, and spray twice more at 2-minute intervals. Bake for 50 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 1 Loaf

* I didn’t have any wheat flour on hand so I used rye flour.

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Anonymous Biscuit Boy said...

Yes, it tasted as good as it looks there. Wow. A great way to end a hard week at work.

9:16 AM  

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