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Have you ever just started out to make a simple dish for dinner and all of a sudden, it turns into a fantastic entrée?
I’m sure this happens all the time to most of us, right? Seriously though, I did start out to create a simple veal stew and somewhere along the way ended up with a modified version of veal stroganoff. Most veal stew consists of braised veal combined with potatoes, carrots, onions, etc. stewed in a large pot with some stock over low heat for a couple of hours.
Starting off with a couple pounds of veal stew meat, I carefully cut it up into small bite-size pieces. Then I added the meat to a heavy pot with a little oil and browned it for a few minutes. I added some chopped onions and garlic and stirred that around for a minute or two before adding some chicken stock and dry white wine. With an abundance of rosemary growing like weeds in my garden, I added some leaves from two or three sprigs along with some dried thyme (fresh thyme seems to lose its aroma when cooked for long periods of time-no pun intended.)
After an hour or so of simmering, I mixed some heavy cream with Dijon mustard and slowly added it to the bubbling stew. I let it simmer another 10 minutes and just before removing, I added my secret ingredient…capers.
You can eat this delicious veal dish as a stew, which I did, or serve it over some cooked egg noodles, which I did also. Bon appetit.
Veal Stroganoff with Creamy Mustard Sauce
8 oz. egg noodles
1-2 Tbsps. olive oil
8 oz. baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
2 lbs. stewing veal, cut into cubes
1 small sweet onion, chopped.
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves stripped and chopped
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup Dijon or Deli mustard
1/4 cup heavy cream
1-1/2 Tbsps. capers (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh parsley for garnish
In a large fry pan or pot, add the olive oil and brown the mushrooms on high heat; remove and set aside. Add veal and brown lightly. Stir in onion and garlic and saute for a few minutes. Then, add stock, wine, fresh rosemary and thyme and the mushrooms. Cover and cook over low heat until veal is tender, about 1.5 hours.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the egg noodles and cook for 8-10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix the mustard and heavy cream together. Stir into the veal mixture and cook, uncovered, another 10 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Stir in capers. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve over egg noodles and garnish with parsley. Makes 4 servings.
Stuffed Mushrooms with Sausage and Smoked Mozzarella
8 oz. medium to large button mushrooms
4 oz. ground Italian sausage, browned and cooked.
4 cloves of garlic, minced
Fresh thyme leaves, about 4-5 sprigs
Extra-virgin olive oil
1-2 oz. smoked mozzarella
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh parsley for garnish
Place the mushrooms gill sides up, stems removed, on a cookie sheet. Chop up the stems and put in a small bowl. Add browned sausage, garlic and thyme leaves and mix well. Place equal portions on each mushroom cap. Brush each cap with olive oil and top it with thin slices of smoked mozzarella cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
Place cookie sheet under a broiler for 5-7 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and the mushrooms are fragrant. Transfer to a serving plate and garnish with parsley. Makes 3-4 appetizer servings.
Greek Black-Eyed Pea Salad
1 (15 oz.) can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
4 oz. pkg. feta cheese
4 oz. jar sun-dried tomatoes in oil
1/2 cup Kalamata olives
1 small green onion, finely chopped (white and green parts)
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/2 pound fresh spinach, washed, and chopped
Juice and zest of one lemon
Add the chopped spinach to a large bowl. Crumble the feta cheese on top and then add sun-dried tomatoes, olives, onion, chopped garlic and lemon zest. Mix well. Add the black-eyed peas to the salad, mix well and serve. Sprinkle lemon juice over each serving. Makes 4 servings.
Ants on a Tree
This is a Chinese spicy pork dish made with cellophane noodles.
3/4 pounds lean ground pork
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
2 tsps. sesame oil
2 tsps. soy sauce
4 oz. cellophane noodles (transparent Asian noodle)
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. minced gingerroot
1/2 cup sliced scallions or green onions
2 tsps. chili paste
1-1/2 cups chicken stock
3 Tbsps. Scotch whiskey
In a small bowl, combine the pork with 1 teaspoon vinegar, 1 teaspoon sesame oil and 1 teaspoon soy sauce; allow the mixture to stand for 20 minutes.
In another bowl, soak the noodles in warm water and cover for 15 minutes; drain and cut into 3-inch lengths.
Heat a wok or heavy skillet over high heat until it is hot. Add the vegetable oil and heat until it is hot. Add the garlic and gingerroot and stir-fry for just a few seconds. Add the pork mixture, breaking up the lumps until it is no longer pink. Add the onions and chili paste and stir the mixture for about 10 seconds. Add the noodles and combine the mixture well. Add the chicken stock, Scotch and remaining vinegar and soy sauce; salt and pepper to taste.
Bring the liquid to a boil, simmer, covered, for 5 minutes and then drizzle the remaining sesame oil over it. Transfer mixture to a serving plate. Makes 4 servings.
Norm Harding is a cooking columnist for the Beacon. To send him recipes, e-mail him at email@example.com.