Inga's Indulgence

Monday, July 11, 2011

Inspired by the garden

I'm a chef, not a gardener. So naturally, if I were ever to plant anything, it would have to be edible. Seeing as me and soil don't mix, I was initially going to go with the simplest planting option - the ready to go herbs, but that seemed too easy (even for me). So I challenged myself a little, and planted some seeds. About a month later, out of the 5 different herbs that were planted, all I have to show for it is basil. I guess it's a pretty foolproof herb. Gardening abilities aside though, the basil's pretty damn good.

So with some freshly picked basil and a few tomatoes borrowed from my neighbor's garden, I set out to make a fresh, summer lunch. Here's what I came up with...

Pan-fried Veal with Balsamic Tomatoes & Basil

    (yield: 4 servings)

4 tbsp basil
1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
3/4 cup bread crumbs
extra virgin olive oil, as needed
1 1/2 lbs veal cutlets, pounded out to 1/4" thickness 
3/4 cup flour
2 eggs, beaten with 2 tbsp water
1 small yellow onion, small dice
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
3 large tomatoes (heirloom, beefsteak, or vine-ripened are good options), pulp & seeds removed, and roughly chopped 
salt & pepper, as needed

Finely chop 2 tablespoons of the basil, and reserve the other 2 tablespoons as whole leaves for garnish. Mix 1 tablespoon of the chopped basil and parsley into breadcrumbs (reserve the other tablespoon of chopped basil for sauce).

Coat the bottom of a large pan with oil and place over medium-high heat. Season the veal on both sides with salt and pepper. Coat with flour, shaking off excess. Follow by dipping into egg wash, and then herbed breadcrumb mixture.

Fry 4-5 minutes per side, until golden brown. Remove veal from pan. Lower heat and deglaze with balsamic vinegar. Stir in onions, and garlic. Simmer over low flame for 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and reserved chopped basil, and cook briefly for another minute. Season with salt and pepper, and pour sauce over veal. Garnish with reserved whole basil leaves.

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