Monday, August 21, 2006
"What's for lunch, Mum?"
"Ummm ... Veal Vilanese!"
"Veal Vilanese? What is that?"
"What's for lunch, Soeri?"
"Mum says Veal Vilanese!"
"Veal Vilanese? What's that?"
"I'm experimenting with a new idea!"
A typical lunch time conversation at our place!
I am thinking of putting up a "Please do not enter: Research in progress" sign on our kitchen entrance when I am experimenting with new recipes. It is no wonder that my men are always confused when I give them names they cannot define.
So what is a Veal Vilanese?
Well, here is Germany a very, very popular dish is the "Wiener Schnitzel". Which is of course a piece of pork coated in bread-crumbs and fried. "Wien" being the German/Austrian name for the city of Vienna. Please do not ask me if this dish originated from Vienna ... I am not really sure, but I do know here in Germany, this little bread crumbed meat is served in every restaurant.
Normally served with a lot of potatoes in every form (fries, mashed, plain etc.) and some vegetables. At fast food localities it is served with bread rolls or potato salads. All very fattening and filling!
Change of city: Milan!
The Piccata Milanese - what a fantastic dish. Something similar to the Wiener schnitzel but made with veal and it is coated with not only bread crumbs but also parmesan. Served with a fantastic pasta and a light refreshing tomato sauce.
I thought "What would happen if I combined both together .... what would I get"
The Answer: Veal Vilanese (Vi = Vienna / Lanese = Milanese) Get it? LOL!
I prefer the veal to the pork as the meat is leaner and I find adding grated parmesan cheese to the coating enhances the flavor when pan fried.
However, the experimentation did not end there. I wanted vegetables and I wanted a salad with this.
We are having real hot weather here and none of us feel like sitting down to a meal with filling and heavy condiments. So I though of a little experiment - wipe out the filling potato/pasta and bring in a salad.
Eureka! A vegie/lettuce salad. All served with a tangy and creamy dressing.
If the schnitzel originates from Vienna and the piccata from the Milan, where can I say does the Vilanese originate from?
Music to recipe: Maneater - Nelly Furtado
For the Pea and Lettuce Salad
1 garlic clove - mashed
1 medium sized onion - finely chopped
200g sour cream
3 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
salt and pepper
2 roman lettuce hearts - washed and cut into bite size pieces
75g parmesan - grated
5-6 tablespoons fine breadcrumbs
2 eggs - beaten
3-4 tablespoons flour
4 veal steaks
2 tablespoons oil
Prepare the salad dressing first. In a mixing bowl add the garlic and onions with the sour cream, mustard and vinegar. Whisk well until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste.
Steam the peas for 2-3 minutes. Run under cold water so that they keep their wonderful green color. In a salad bowl mix the peas and the lettuce together and pour the dressing over this.
Now to the meat: Mix 3/4 of the parmesan with the bread crumbs on a wide plate. On another pour the beaten egg and on yet another plate place the flour. Salt and pepper each steak.
Take each piece of meat and coat first with flour, then soak in the egg and lastly coat in the cheese/breadcrumbs mixture. Press lightly with your finger to fix the coating onto the meat.
Heat some oil in a skillet of frying pan. Fry the vilanese on each side for approx. 3 minutes until golden brown.
Sprinkle with rest of the cheese.
Serve with lime wedges and the refreshing salad.
First to the salad. I have to say that Soeren does not eat anything that is leafy or lettucy (except for spinach). With this salad however, he kind of peered over the bowl curiously. He adores peas and I thought it might just make him want to try some. Well, I just gave him a piece of meat and started cutting it into pieces for him. I ignored the salad completely, hoping that he might object. He did! He looked at me and requested if he could try a "small" bowl of the salad. I did not make a big deal of it, trying to hide my excitement at the fact that my son wanted to try salad. He did ... and wanted more. YAAAAYYYY! I still played it cool though. I mean I don't want to act like it was any big deal.
The salad was really delicious. The tangy mustard taste incorporated with the sour cream really made the dressing flavorful. The peas and the lettuce really went well with the meat.
The Vilanese steaks were a wonderful fairy tale on their own. The cheese kind of melts and crisps up when frying. Making the outer coating taste lovely and cheesey. The veal was soft and juicy and had a wonderful aroma.
The salad is just perfect for Gabriella's Summer Salad Special event.
I also think Cate will like this entry for her ARF-5-A Day Tuesday
Update: After having posted this recipe I was informed by my dear German blogger friend Ulli that a Wiener Schnitzel is made from veal too. That, as a matter of fact, if any restaurants serve this with pork and name it Wiener Schnitzel they could end up paying a fine. It has to be described as Schnitzel Wiener Style if it is made with anything else but veal. I was not aware of this fine difference to detail and would like to take this opportunity to correct myself. Thank you Ulli!
veal, salad, peas, parmesan, italian, food, recipe