Jelly, jelly so fine

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Veal chops with stewed roma tomatoes, basil and pepe de acini

Continuing my Sunday evening cooking regimen, I made another nice cold weather dish tonight.  This one was good but did not rise to the level of the osso buco from a few weeks back. I am not a cook and everything is a trial and error, new learning experience for me. When they say add four cloves of garlic and I add six, how was I to know that I really should have added twelve?

I read two or three recipes and then sort of picked and chose what sounded right. I consulted with some chef pals and got varying advice. The biggest concern was the tomatoes. One of the recipes said not to be a cheapskate and to buy the imported vine ripened Italian tomatoes, the San Marzanos. I cheaped out and bought organic romas and cherry tomatoes.

Melissa told me I was making a mistake and maybe I did. She said tomatoes don't taste good until August. Oh well. I followed Dixon's advice and broiled the romas for three or four minutes to bring the sugar up while blanching and peeling the cherry tomatoes.

I added some sugar, as Faro suggested, but in the tumult forgot to add the baking soda to cut the acidity. I thought it came out okay. The basic recipe for this veal italiano called for thyme and while I added it, I used a lot more fresh basil, which my wife said I still should have pushed even further. 

I was going to start everything on the stove top and finish in the oven but realized that I was using a non stick pan so I just stuck with the cook top. I need a Le Creuset skillet.

I sort of doubt you want my recipe but it contained salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, thyme, white wine, olive oil, garlic, shallots and butter. Basil and tomatoes, touch of sugar. Seared the veal, added the shallots and garlic, browned them, removed the chops to a platter and then added the tomatoes and the wine. Reduced it down, covered it and waited for Leslie to make the pasta. Finished it with a touch more olive oil and some lemon zest. Took some intricate timing, fighting as we are for flat surfaces and cooktop in the little room.

By the way, pepe de acini, (I used DeCecco), is one of my favorite pastas. The small ends taste like a grain they are so tiny. I love the texture.

The dish was a bit more subtle than my recent offerings. Missed the killing blow but barely. The next dish, my moose roast, should be better. I do think veal chops should always be grilled but it is drizzling outside so there was no way.

I should mention that cooking in our small kitchen is a bit of a contact sport.

It is my wife's space and she is eyeing the newfound interloper with suspicion. We may be Jewish by birth but we are Italian by disposition and voices sometimes get raised. Luckily nothing is ever thrown. Or at least not yet. Really hard to function together in a tiny kitchen, and for me to be such a rookie. She has her ways and I am not real good at taking direction. Never have been.

It is cool though. We make up fast. She said the veal was perfectly cooked and enjoyed her dinner. She is going to a ravioli making class with some girlfriends on Tuesday. Should be fun. I am going to continue to be the Sunday cook at our home, for a while anyway. Still need to do a scallopini marsala.

Happy eating!


Anonymous said...

I hope you are going to an Italian market for most of your ingredients. Pasta, San Marzano , reggiano, sausage, semolina flour,,risotto and more.
Deli Guy

Anonymous said...

good one Mr Italiano wannabee...!!!

Anonymous said...

Have you ever watched the movie, Earthlings? I recommend it to show how we humans exploit animals as products. I cried off & on for a week after watching it back in 2004. I turned vegetarian and gave away all my leather.

Blue Heron said...

I need to go to Dominick's, you are right!

Anonymous said...


Michael.G said...

LOL, Making up is always fun!