"Veal?" Parmegiano - ☺♥
Something triggered my memory about how much I love the dish, Veal Parmegiano, particularly when made by an expert. Of course, Marie was an expert. It was yummy! Then I realized I didn’t have a recipe in Food Nirvana from Marie or any other source for this wonderful dish. I collected a variety of Internet recipes, analyzed them and decided Emeril’s recipe from Food Network® was clearly the best. It looked so good I decided to try it pretty much as I found it. But I did change the procedure as most folks don't have a skillet large enough to do what Emeril required. There is one caveat regarding the ingredients. Emeril uses both dried red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper and I suggest you go easy on those ingredients unless those who will be eating it love hot stuff.
Thinking further I considered the fact that Poor Man’s Schnitzel uses lean pork chops processed like veal, and the results are fantastic. And the cost is so much lower! So once again I decided to use pork instead of veal to make this classic dish. If you can tell you are eating pork instead of veal, well, good luck! I prefer using pork instead of veal for tenderness, moisture and taste, but the choice is up to you.
I will report back with results when I try this recipe.
Ingredients: (four servings)
2 lbs. of center cut boneless pork chops (eight pieces)
Essence (see the recipe immediately below)
1 tsp. of Salt
½ tsp. of Pepper
1 cup of flour
1 cup of bread crumbs
1 cup of milk
2 tbsp. of butter
3 tbsp. of olive oil
3 strips of bacon
½ cup of yellow onion, chopped fine
1 tbsp. of minced garlic
½ cup of dry red wine
1, 28 oz. can of peeled Italian plum tomatoes
1 cup of tomato puree (sauce)
1 tbsp. of fresh basil, chopped
1 tsp. of fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp. of fresh oregano, chopped
1 tsp. of dried red pepper flakes (or less)
8 tbsp. of Parmesan cheese
8 oz. of Mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced or shredded
2½ tbsp. of paprika
2 tbsp. of salt
2 tbsp. of garlic powder
1 tbsp.of black pepper
1 tbsp. of onion powder
1 tbsp. of cayenne pepper (or less)
1 tbsp. of dried oregano
1 tbsp. of dried thyme
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix thoroughly. Then store the essence in a plastic container with a tight fitting lid.
"Veal?" Parmegiano Directions:
Trim any fat from the pork chops and discard it. If you have four thick chops instead of eight thin chops then cut them so they are half as thick.
Use a meat mallet to pound each chop to a 1/4-inch thickness. Do this evenly over the entire surface such that both sides of a chop are pounded to achieve the final thickness.
Lightly season the pounded chops on both sides with Essence, salt and pepper, rubbing the seasoning into the meat surface.
Place the flour in a wide, shallow bowl and season it with 1 tablespoon of Essence.
Place the breadcrumbs in another wide, shallow bowl and season them with 1 tablespoon of Essence.
Whisk the eggs in a shallow bowl. Then add the milk and whisk until the mixture is uniform.
Dredge the chops in the seasoned flour and shake off any excess. Dip the chops 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, very large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the chops until they are golden on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Remove them from the skillet and place them on a plate. If the skillet isn't large enough to accommodate all the chops at one time then do them in two batches, melting an additional 1 tbsp. of butter in the skillet before doing the second batch.
Add the bacon to the pan and fry it in the remaining fat. Remove the fried bacon from the pan to a paper towel. When it is cool, crumble it.
Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the onion and saute´, stirring, until the onion is translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté it until it is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the wine, and cook, stirring, to de-glaze the pan over high heat for 2 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and the puree/sauce, the basil, parsley, oregano, and dried red pepper flakes. Cut each of the tomatoes in half. Bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and add the crumbled bacon. Simmer the mixture until the sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
Pour the sauce onto an oven proof platter large enough to hold the chops in one layer.
Arrange the cooked chops on top of the tomato pieces/sauce, spooning the sauce over each one. Sprinkle one tbsp. of Parmesan cheese over each chop, then cover that with a slice or one ounce portion of shredded mozzarella cheese.
Put the platter into the oven and bake until the cheese melts, at most 5 to 6 minutes.
Serve immediately, 2 chops per person.
This dish goes well with herbed egg noodles. So says Emeril. I suggest pasta of any sort with a butter and garlic sauce, along with a light salad and some hard crusted rolls and butter. You might also want to drink some of that dry red wine, along with a glass of ice water.
PIES & PIECRUSTS:
Banana Cream Pie - ☺♥
A well made banana cream pie is a taste of nirvana. It is a rich dessert, the quality of which depends a lot on the ingredients used. Typical recipes use totally conventional methods and ingredients. This recipe is one Marie developed that got rave reviews. You will understand as you read.
The recipe for the graham cracker piecrust is provided later in this section of this book. You can use a conventional piecrust instead, and that is very good also, but I prefer the graham cracker crust with banana cream pie. It is a matter of complementary flavors and textures.
1 graham cracker (or conventional) pie shell in a 9 or 10 inch pie plate
1 large (5 oz.) box of Jello® Vanilla pudding that you cook (no instant pudding!)
1 12 oz. can of evaporated milk (this is one secret rich pudding ingredient)
1 cup of whole milk
½ cup of heavy cream for the pudding (this is the other secret to rich tasting pudding)
1 cup of heavy cream for the whipped cream topping
2 tbsp. of sugar
1 tbsp. of vanilla for the pudding (Jello® doesn’t use enough vanilla flavoring)
1 tsp. of vanilla for the whipped cream topping
2 or 3 ripe but not overripe bananas (depending on size) chilled
Refrigerate the graham cracker or baked conventional piecrust.
Put the pudding mix into a 2 or 3 quart heavy saucepan like the French tin coated interior heavy copper type used for making cream sauces and candy.
Add the evaporated milk, whole milk and ½ cup of heavy cream while stirring to mix the dry pudding mix with the liquid ingredients. Add the vanilla and stir. Note that commercial pudding mixes lack sufficient vanilla and that is why we added more here.
Bring the pudding to a light boil on medium heat stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. When the pudding is bubbling slowly on most of the surface it is done cooking and it should be removed from the heat. Dispense the pudding into a glass bowl barely large enough to hold the pudding, cover it with plastic wrap and put it into the refrigerator to thoroughly chill the pudding. This will take at least one hour.
Covering the hot pudding closely with plastic wrap in a small bowl will help avoid having a thickened skin of pudding form on the top of the pudding. You want all the pudding to be soft.
The thoroughly chilled pudding is now ready for the bananas. Peel and slice the bananas into ¼ inch thick slices and gently mix the slices into the pudding with a wooden spoon. Note that adding the banana slices while the pudding was hot or even warm would discolor the slices and tend to over-soften them, which is not desirable. The bananas should retain their “just peeled” texture.
When all the banana slices have been added spoon the mixture into the chilled pie shell, smooth it out evenly, and cover the pie with plastic wrap and return it to the refrigerator.
Put your mixing bowl and whisk attachment for your electric mixer into the freezer 15 minutes before you plan to use them to make the whipped cream topping for the pie.
Immediately before serving the pie whip one cup of heavy cream at high speed in the chilled bowl using your electric mixer with the chilled whisk attachment. When soft peaks begin to form add two tbsp. of sugar and one tsp. of vanilla and continue mixing at high speed until firm peaks form.
Remove the plastic wrap cover from the pie and spread the whipped cream evenly over the surface.
Blueberry Pie - ☺
This recipe makes one typical blueberry pie. I like both cherry and blueberry pies to have a crumb topping instead of a regular piecrust. Crumb topping can be made easily with flour (1/2 cup), sugar (1/4 cup), cinnamon (1/2 tsp.) and butter (3 tbsp.) but I leave it to you to choose which top you prefer.
One double Crisco® recipe for pie crust dough, or use the single recipe and crumb topping
6 cups of fresh (or frozen) blueberries, rinsed, drained and stems removed (if using frozen blueberries defrost and drain them first), or 2 large cans of blueberry pie filling
1 teaspoon of lemon zest
2 tbsp. of lemon juice
1/4 cup of all-purpose flour (for thickening, only if fresh/frozen blueberries are used)
1 1/2 cups of white granulated sugar (only with fresh/frozen blueberries)
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
2 tbsp. of butter (unsalted), cut into small pieces (only with fresh/frozen blueberries)
Egg wash ingredients: (not used with crumb topping)
1 tablespoon of milk
Prepare the crust. Roll out half of the dough into a 1/8-inch-thick circle on a lightly floured work surface, about 13 inches in diameter. Fit the dough over a 9-inch pie pan, and trim the edges to 1/2 inch over the edge all around the pie pan.
Gently mix the blueberries, sugar, flour, cinnamon, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Transfer them to the bottom crust of the pie pan. Dot with butter pieces. Roll out remaining dough to the same size and thickness as the first and place it on top of the berry filling, unless you are using a crumb topping. Tuck the top dough over and under the edge of the bottom dough, and crimp the edges with your fingers unless you are using a crumb topping. Transfer the pie to the refrigerator to chill until the dough is firm, about 30 minutes. Heat oven to 425°F.
Whisk the egg and the milk together to make an egg wash only if you are using a top crust.
Remove the unbaked pie from refrigerator. Brush the top with egg wash unless you are using a crumb topping. Score the pie on the top with 4 cuts (so steam can escape while cooking). If you are using a crumb topping spread it evenly on the top of the blueberries. Place the pie on the middle rack of the oven with a parchment paper or Silpat© lined baking pan positioned on the lower rack to catch any filling that may bubble over. Bake for 15 minutes at 425°F. Reduce heat to 350°F and bake for 30 minutes or until juices are bubbling and have thickened. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Let cool completely before serving.
Cherry Clouthie - ☺
This is a rich, French dessert guaranteed to be sinfully delicious. The batter puffs somewhat during baking.
Macerate two cups of fresh halved pitted dark sweet cherries in cognac. This simply means soaking the halves at room temperature for a few hours. Canned or frozen dark sweet cherries, drained and soaked in any decent brandy will also do just fine. You might also substitute a small amount of liquor, like Kirsch, for the brandy.
1 cup of flour
1 1/3 cups of milk
4 eggs, beaten
4 tbsp. of vanilla sugar (sugar stored with vanilla beans, or use plain sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla)
zest of two lemons
¼ cup of sour cream
Set oven at 375º F
Use a Quiche pan (porcelain pie pan with vertical fluted sides)
Mix the vanilla sugar and the lemon zest with the eggs. Mix in the sour cream. Mix in the flour. Slowly add milk and mix. The batter will be very thin.
Pour 1/3 of the batter into the baking pan and bake for 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and gently place the drained cherries on top in single layer. Add the remaining batter. Bake for an additional 20 minutes.
Serve the dessert hot with a generous dollop of whipped cream.
Cherry Crumb Pie - ☺♥
What a fine dessert this is on a cool fall or cold winter day. It is rich and fruity and very tasty. Served à la mode with a high quality brand of vanilla ice cream it is superb, and your family and/or guests will love it.
Note that this recipe is perfect for one 10" diameter deep dish pie plate, but if you need or want to use a 9" diameter regular pie plate then reduce the pie filling to one can and the lemon juice to one tablespoon. Similarly, make only enough pie dough for the 9" diameter pie plate, and roll the dough out to a diameter of 12".
2, 21 ounce cans of Comstock® or similar high quality cherry pie filling
1 unbaked Classic Crisco® recipe deep dish pie crust
2 tbsp. of fresh lemon juice
2/3 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of all purpose flour
6 tablespoons of butter
½ teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of vanilla
Use the Food Nirvana recipe for Classic Crisco® pie crust and make enough dough for a single deep dish pie crust.
Roll the dough into the shape of a circle, to a diameter of 14 inches. I use 15" wide plastic wrap under the dough and on top of the dough before using the rolling pin. By so doing I do not have to use any extra flour. Neither do I have to clean the rolling pin afterwards.
If you do not have 15" wide plastic wrap then simply put two overlapped pieces on the counter to a width and length of 15" by 15". Do similarly, using two overlapped pieces of plastic wrap on top of the hand flattened ball of dough after placing it in the center of the bottom layer of plastic wrap.
After rolling I remove and discard the top layer of plastic wrap and then lift the rolled pie dough from underneath the bottom piece of plastic wrap.
I then invert the pie dough over a deep dish 10" diameter glass pie plate evenly and let the dough fit the inside of the pie plate. Then I remove the plastic wrap, adjust the dough if necessary and then trim any excess dough from around the top edge of the pie plate.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Mix the cherry pie filling with the lemon juice in a two-quart bowl.
Pour/spoon the filling mix into the unbaked pie shell.
Blend the brown sugar, flour, butter, cinnamon, and vanilla on low speed in the bowl of an electric mixer until it forms a coarse meal.
Crumble the mixture evenly over the pie filling.
Put the pie into the oven on a middle shelf and put a cookie tray on the bottom shelf underneath to catch any drippings from the pie during baking.
Bake the pie for 40 minutes.
Check for doneness based on the crust color and the color of the crumb topping. The crust should be light tan and the crumb topping should not show any dark or burned areas. If necessary, bake for an additional five minutes and again check for doneness.
Remove the pie from the oven, put it on a wooden cutting board, and let it cool to room temperature or to no more than slightly warm.
Serve. This dessert is delightful served à la mode. Use a high quality brand of vanilla ice cream.
Hot fresh coffee is a fine accompaniment.