Thursday, January 19, 2012

Veal Parmesan

Between meals out, church events, and leftovers, I probably make a list and grocery shop every 2 weeks on average. When I sit down to make the list (on the great free Droid app, "Out of Milk") I ask Jason if he's craving anything. 9 times out of 10 he says no... make whatever you want. But occasionally, I do get a request. This time, out of the blue, it was veal parmesan! I've never made it before so I immediately went online to find a recipe to try. I quickly came across Emeril's recipe which had rave reviews so I decided to use that as my base. Now, Emeril always adds a cajun flare to his meals - which we really weren't looking for - so I adapted it some to reflect a more traditional dish.

To say it was good would be an understandment. It was GREAT. I even screwed up the tomato sauce (missing the tomato puree) and it was still delicious. I think the bacon really sent this dish over the top. Pancetta was pricey at my store so I went with a few slices of thick applewood smoked bacon I already had.

For such a high quality meal, this actually doesn't take long to cook thanks to the quick cooking veal cutlets making it a wonderful end to a workday.

Feel free to sub chicken for the veal!

Veal Parmesan
8 thin veal cutlets, about 2 1/2 ounces each
Dried Italian seasoning
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 pound pancetta or 3 strips bacon, chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 (28-ounce) can Italian-style tomatoes
1 cup tomato puree *what I forgot!
1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
1 teaspoon fresh chopped parsley
1 teaspoon fresh oregano
8 ounces mozzarella, thinly sliced

Cover a work surface with plastic wrap. Space the cutlets evenly on the plastic, leaving a 3-inch space between each cutlet. Cover all the veal with another piece of plastic. Using a meat mallet, pound the cutlets to an 1/8-inch thickness. Lightly season the veal on both sides with salt and pepper.
Place the flour in a shallow bowl and season with salt and pepper (I also threw in some Italian dry seasonings). Place the breadcrumbs in another shallow bowl and season liberally with salt, pepper, and more Italian dry seasonings. Beat the eggs and milk together in a shallow bowl.
Dredge the flattened veal chops in the seasoned flour and shake off excess. Dip in the egg wash, and then coat both sides with the breadcrumbs. Heat the butter and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a heavy large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the veal until golden on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from the skillet and place on a plate.
Add the pancetta to the pan and fry in the remaining fat. Remove from the pan.
Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the onion and cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the wine, and cook, stirring, to deglaze the pan over high heat for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and the puree, the basil, parsley, and oregano. Bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and add the cooked pancetta. Simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
Arrange the cooked veal cutlets on top of the sauce, spooning sauce over each one. Top each cutlet with a sprinkling of Parmesan, then with a slice of mozzarella. Lower the heat to medium-low, and cook, covered, until the veal is tender and the cheese melts, 5 to 6 minutes.
Serve immediately.

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