Viva Veal!

Veal parmigiana

I have been hoping to move to more spring-like cooking experiments but our weather hasn’t been cooperating.

As a result, comfort food is still the ideal in our neck of the woods. And what could be better than locally sourced veal and cheese, made into a delicious Veal Parmigiana?

Let me start by pointing out that I love veal, particularly cutlets or scallopini. Not everyone is a fan, but I am. This recipe can also be made with a chicken breast, but I prefer veal when I can find it.

Which brings me to the local sourcing. I like to buy local when I can. Veal is difficult to find, because apparently not everyone likes it as much as me! Luckily, we have a nearby butcher who offers veal cutlets. We also have a fabulous local Italian deli that has the best Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, a secret ingredient for this recipe.

20140501-202617.jpgMozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano

The other secret ingredient is homemade tomato sauce, which I highlighted in a previous blog. Once again, you can replace it with something out of a can, but the homemade sauce really adds wonderful flavour to this dish. And it’s so easy to make! Check it out here.

20140501-202603.jpgVeal and homemade tomato sauce

So, with the key ingredients on hand, this is really a simple dish.

First off, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Second, prepare three dishes for the cutlet batter. We have a Pampered Chef set that is really handy for prep work and goes in the dishwasher.

20140501-202630.jpgPrep the flour, eggs and crumbs

Line up three dishes with flour, followed by an egg (I used egg whites to reduce the calories, which I made up elsewhere!) and bread crumbs. I lightly seasoned the bread crumbs because the sauce has so much flavour in it. With all the garlic, herbs and a bit of heat in the tomato sauce, I didn’t need to add any seasonings to the frying pan or the breadcrumbs, other than some pepper. I also put some Parmigoano cheese in with the bread crumbs. Since cheese has salt in it, I didn’t add any salt either.

20140501-202640.jpgFirst in flour…

Now get to preparing the cutlets. Start by placing the veal cutlet in the flour, followed by eggs, followed by bread crumbs. The flour helps ensure the batter stays on the meat.

20140501-202650.jpg…then in eggs, then in bread crumbs

Once the cutlets are done, heat a frying pan (I have a preference for cast iron, as you know) with some oil, and fry the veal for 2-3 minutes. Basically you are browning the batter and that’s it. Turn the cutlets over and brown the other side, then remove from the pan.

20140501-202701.jpgBrown the cutlets

Lightly oil or spray a baking dish and place some of the tomato sauce in the dish. Place the cutlets in the dish. Sprinkle some of the Parmigiano cheese on the cutlets, then cover with the remaining tomato sauce. Top with mozzarella cheese (thinly sliced or grated) and more Parmigiano cheese. Cover the dish and bake for 20-30 minutes. You can remove the cover and broil to brown at the end, if it hasn’t browned in the oven.

20140501-202710.jpgSauce, cutlets, Parmigiano…

20140501-202720.jpg…more sauce on top…

20140501-202728.jpg…mozzarella tops it off.

I served this with some delicious ravioli (see here for a recipe for spinach and ricotta ravioli, and stay tuned for upcoming posts featuring my new pasta machine) and a vinagrette salad. It really was a great meal.

20140501-202737.jpgHere it is, fresh out of the oven


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