Saturday, April 25, 2015

V is for Veal - A to Z Challenge 2015

vealA lot of people refuse to eat veal because it comes from a young animal. I do see their point, but if you eat meat I don’t really see the difference caused by the age of said animal. Matt and I both enjoy veal and although I quite enjoy schnitzels made from pork, originally they were always veal. Some of the classic schnitzel dishes, particularly from Austria, Italy and France are absolutely delicious meals. In Germany I remember eating Schnitzel Holstein which was wonderful. Apparently most veal comes from the young bulls of dairy cattle although it can be from either sex.

We have a favourite Italian dish which we haven’t made for a while. Veal has to be cooked quickly by the way, if you cook it for too long it becomes tough. Pairing it with tuna may seem odd, but in fact is the most delicious dish for a summer meal. I first ate Vitello Tonnata at the Christening of my Goddaughter who’s father was an Italian chef – he made all the christening food and taught us to make this dish.

Vitello Tonnato

Classic Italian

2 1/4 pounds(1 k) boned veal, cut from the rump.Vitello Tonnato
3/4 lb (320 g) tuna packed in oil
3 eggs
6 salted anchovies (the canned variety, sold by delicatessens)
A handful of pickled capers
1/2 cup (approx.) olive oil
1 Tbs white wine vinegar
A bottle of dry white wine
The juice of a lemon
A rib of celery, thinly sliced crosswise
A few leaves of sage
2 bay leaves
3 cloves (some people omit these)
A few more perfect capers, some lemon slices, and sprigs of parsley for garnishing

1. Put the meat in a bowl with the bay leaves, cloves, sage and celery, and pour the wine over it. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours, turning the meat occasionally. The next day place the meat in a Dutch oven. Strain the wine and add it to the meat, then add enough water to cover. Lightly salt the pot and simmer the meat for an hour. In the meantime, wash, scale and bone the anchovies. When the hour is up add them to the pot and continue boiling for another half hour; the liquid should be reduced by half.
2. Hard boil the eggs, run them under cold water, peel them, and extract the yolks (you can discard or fill the whites as you prefer). Rinse, squeeze dry, and mince the capers.
3. When the meat is fork-tender remove it from the pot and strain the broth into a bowl. Transfer the fish filets to a clean strainer and press them through it, together with the tuna and the yolks, into another bowl. Stir in the minced capers, the vinegar, the lemon juice and the olive oil, and then dilute the sauce to your taste with some of the reserved broth.
4. When the veal has cooled slice it finely and lay the slices out on one or more platters (you want just one layer). Spread the sauce over the meat, garnish the platters with the lemon slices, capers and parsley. Cover them with plastic wrap and chill them in the refrigerator before serving.

Servings: 8

Author: Kyle Phillips

Have a great weekend

Friday, April 24, 2015

U is for Umami - A to Z Challenge

Umami foodsOK, today I am cheating, umami is not an ingredient but I really couldn’t find one for U. It is, nevertheless, an important word in cooking and eating.The word is made from the Japanese umai (delicious) and mi (taste). This is lifted directly from Wiki. Umami has a mild but lasting aftertaste that is difficult to describe. It induces salivation and a sensation of furriness on the tongue, stimulating the throat, the roof and the back of the mouth. By itself, umami is not palatable, but it Umami2makes a great variety of foods pleasant especially in the presence of a matching aroma. But like other basic tastes, with the exception of sucrose, umami is pleasant only within a relatively narrow concentration range. The optimum umami taste depends also on the amount of salt, and at the same time, low-salt foods can maintain a Fifth Tastesatisfactory taste with the appropriate amount of umami. In fact, Roininen et al. showed that ratings on pleasantness, taste intensity and ideal saltiness of low-salt soups were greater when the soup contained umami, whereas low-salt soups without umami were less pleasant. Some population groups, such as the elderly, may benefit from umami taste because their taste and smell sensitivity is impaired by age and medicine. The loss of taste and smell can contribute to poor nutrition, increasing their risk of disease.

Ripe tomatoes being rich in umami so long as salt is used, here is one of my favourite snacks which I have been eating since I was a kid.

Tomato Toast

For each person

1 Slice of bread, toastedTomatoes
1 clove of garlic
1 tsp olive oil
Slices of tomato to cover
Salt and pepper

Rub the toast all over with the garlic then spread the olive oil over the toast. Cover with slices of tomato, season to taste and then enjoy.

Have a great day