Thursday, November 17, 2011

Veal Piccata

Hello, all! So, I've been thinking quite a bit about this whole blogging thing. I've been trying to think of what recipes I would like to feature, whether or not I should plan it out, or just cook what sounds good to me in the moment, all that jazz. I've decided I'm going to do a bit of both: Have a plan, but if I don't really feel like cooking what I was planning on that day, I'll be flying by the seat of my pants.
Also, the pictures on this particular post may not be as great as the last one. I apologize. My photographer/soul mate was not helping as much as I would have liked, so I was trying to take photos and cook, one-handed. Not an easy feat, I assure you. So, bear with me, please.
I understand veal is kind of the controversial child of the culinary world, and as much as I am all for animal rights and cruelty-free meat (kind of an oxymoron, I realize), I have to say I. Love. Veal. That being said, this dish works equally well with chicken cutlets.
One of the many, many reasons I love piccata is that it is fast. With the salad included in the post, I had everything done in under half an hour. It's also super easy, but does have a bit of "wow" factor to it, which is awesome if you have to entertain during the week. Assuming I do the chicken version, I almost always have everything I need for it on hand. It's also pretty cheap to make; again, assuming that's with the chicken version.
This is another recipe I got from my Momma. Most of our family recipes won't have exact measurements. I'll try to give ratios for things, but I'm not one for measuring things out by the exact teaspoon (which is why I don't bake much). If you are the type of person who needs measurements for cooking, both this recipe, and the Stroganoff I posted last week may be good places to start breaking away from that. I've found that I really don't like measuring out everything. For me, it actually makes cooking more stressful. Even with new recipes, I read the quantites given, so I know rough proportions and ratios and just go with it. It has yet to backfire on me. However, when I get into some more complicated stuff, I will give you exact measurements.
So, If you love to have your measuring spoons and cups out at all times while cooking, I challenge you to make this without them. Drink a glass of wine first, it will help you get used to the idea (plus, you need the wine for the sauce!).
And, away we go!!!!

Here's what you'll need this week: Veal cut for scallopini (or one chicken breast per person, cut through the center and pounded thin), white wine (I've been in love with Rex Goliath Chardonnay recently. It's a great quality for the price), chicken broth, one or two lemons, capers, parsley, and pasta. I really have been enjoying Barilla's whole grain thin spaghetti.

You're going to want to flour your veal/chicken. Warm a pan over medium-high heat. Add some butter and olive oil. Heat till butter melts and is bubbly. Add the veal/chicken and cook for just a few minutes per side. For veal, 2-3 is usually enough. Chicken may need closer to 4-5 per side, though. Flip and cook through on the other side.

                                                           Look how yummy that is!

If you need to work in batches so not to crowd the pan, please do. When your last batch is turned, set a pot on to boil. Make sure to salt your water and put some olive oil in it to keep the pasta from sticking while cooking. I like a generous pinch of salt, as I've found it adds flavor to the past itself.

Remove all the meat from the pan. Time to start on the sauce! Deglaze with the white wine and make sure you loosen any of those delicious browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

                                           This is one of those pictures I was telling you about.

Next, juice your lemon. I always roll mine along the counter/cutting board and my palm before cutting and juicing. This serves to help break up the little pulp cells (no clue if that's what they're called) so that you can get more juice out of the lemon. This also works great with any other citrus. Juice one to two lemons into the pan.

Then you're going to add your chicken broth. I use equal parts chicken broth and wine for this one. Next, let the sauce reduce. This is pretty close to where my pasta is done, too. Remember to stir and check it.
Once the sauce is reduced by half, put the meat back in the pan, with any collected juices, turn off the heat, and cover the pan with a lid. This helps rewarm the meat, as well as thicken up the sauce a bit.

 Start working on the salad. I used a base of mixed greens, and chopped green leaf lettuce. I also chopped up a red bell pepper and a seeded cucumber for this.

For the dressing, I put some Dijon mustard, one clove of crushed garlic, and salt and pepper in a bowl and mix them till they form a sort of paste.

This will make it easier to encorporate into the wine. Because the alcohol won't be cooked off with the dressing, if you have kids, you may want to use a balsamic vinegar or lemon juice instead.
Add a little bit of olive oil and you're done with the dressing!

Just before plating the veal, add the chopped parsley and capers, cover, and give the pan a few good shakes. Place the meat over some pasta, add some sauce, and if you're feeling super fancy, garnish with a few thin slices of lemon.

Mix all the components of the salad, top with some blue cheese, if you like, and you're done!

It seriously took me longer to post this than it did to make it. I hope you enjoy!!


  1. Pretty soon picking the pictures is what's gonna take you the longest. You'll get use to the blogging. =D I'll help you out more with the pictures until we start bribing John to do it with food.
    This was excellent! But bleu cheese is gross, my salad didn't have any.

  2. This sounds so good, wonder if I could get Mr. Cheese and Ketchup to try it. I'm definitely one of those "how many tablespoons" kinds of people but maybe I should give it a try.