Saturday, January 5, 2008

Veal Smothered with Thyme and Olives

When I first saw Padma Lakshmi's new book Tangy, Tart, Hot & Sweet, I just thought "Oh, God!" The host of Top Chef is capitalizing on the tv show to sell a cookbook. But then I picked it up and started flipping through it. Page after page I saw recipes I'd like to try out. Since I like exotic recipes, Padma's selection of dishes influenced from all around the world was perfect for me.

I love veal and I thought her recipe for Veal Smothered with Thyme and Olives would be excellent. Veal PLUS olives, yum! The only problem was that when I went to the store to purchase 1 1/2 pounds of veal scallopini, I almost fell over at the price! 2 cutlets were between $5 - $6 and the recipe called for eight of them. Since there were only two of us eating, I decided to cut the meat allowance by half. I made the rest of the recipe with all the ingredients as specified because the sauce is prepared separately than the meat. It was perfect. We only ended up with a little bit of sauce left over.

The meal itself was exactly as I expected. Very flavorful and a great combination of tastes.

Veal Smothered with Thyme and Olives
Serves 4

1 1/2 pounds veal scallopini, pounded into 8 flat cutlet pieces


1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup dry white wine

olive oil for frying, approximately 1/2 cup

2 tablespoons butter

3 cloves garlic, cut lengthwise

2 bay leaves

2 1/2 cups thinly sliced shallots

3/4 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, stripped from their branches

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 cup pitted Spanish green olives

1 cup chicken stock

flour for dredging, about 2 cups, although you may use less

Wash and dry the veal, and sprinkle it evenly with healthy pinches of salt and black pepper. Place the veal in a baking dish, pour the wine over it, and marinade it in the fridge for 3 to 4 hours.

In a deep, wide casserole, heat 1/4 cup of oil and the butter on medium heat, and when these are hot and melted together, add the garlic cloves and bay leaves. After 1 minute, add the shallots and thyme, stirring until the shallots are nice and wilted. Add crushed red pepper and salt to taste. Add the olives and chicken stock. Continue to stir over medium heat, cooking for a total of 5 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium low, and let the mixture simmer and cook down.

Spread the flour evenly on a dinner plate. Carefully remove the veal and pat it dry. Pour the reserved wine marinade into the pot of shallots and olives, and stir; keep heating this pot while browning the veal. Be sure the marinade boils for at least 5 minutes.

Dredge both sides of the veal in the flour.

Heat the oil for frying in a skillet until it is nice and hot. Place the veal in the pan and cook each side for 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove the veal from the heat and place it on a serving dish. Depending on the size of your skillet, you may have to do this in batches; don't crowd the pan.

Remove the bay leaves from the shallots and pour the mixture over the veal. Serve immediately.


Erin said...

This looks great! I love veal. Probably too much and with the addition of olives this recipe is pretty much irresistible to me. Re: Padma though, she actually wrote and released a cookbook before she was ever on Top Chef. So she does have a foodie background even though she is a bit of a talking head on the show.

Lore said...

Damn I almost forgot about veal...All that chicken, fish and weight tracking :(. Thanks for reminding me!:) That looks like something that just must be on my table till next week-end :P