It’s Hubby-Special-Day today~! If you’re cooking for more hungry tummies than just your own on a regular basis, you might find yourself cooking up two different dishes for a meal every once in a while. While hubby and I generally enjoy the same things when it comes to kitchen-related goodies, there are, of course, a couple of things one of us likes while the other one wouldn’t touch it with a pitchfork.
One of my red flags on hubby’s favorite-list is Blue Cheese – which is actually bothering me sensless. I love cheese, even the strong ones prone to knock off your socks. Sadly, my blue-cheese-delight is cut short as soon as I bite down on the “blue” part of it. I don’t know why that is exactly, but unless the “blue” is few and far between enough to pick it out of the slice – I know, I know, that kind of defeats the purpose of the deal, but I’m stubborn that way – I can’t stomach more than a hint of it. Oh well, at least I can use it to cook up a special hubby-dish! Since the veal parcels are quite the dish-envy-inspiring yummies, I added my Gorgonzola-dodging strategy at the end for those of you who, like me, are not all that fond of the blue menace~
The Veal & Pear Parcels
2 Ripe Pears, peeled, cored and thinly segmented
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tsp runny Honey or Maple Syrup
2-3 Veal Schnitzels of about 120-160g
1 Tbsp Clarified Butter or Ghee
1 Clove of Garlic
2 Tbsp Plain Flour
1 Pinch each of Salt and Pepper
1) Add the pear slices to a mixing bowl and lightly toss them with the honey, olive oil and a pinch each of salt and pepper.
2) Set a griddle onto high heat and arrange the pears inside in one layer – do this in batches in case they don’t fit in.
3) Griddle the slices for roundabout 2-3 mins on each side until they’re tender and prettily marked up. Move them to a cooling rack and set them aside for the time being.
4) In case your veal isn’t already prepped and on the thicker side of things – more than ½ cm thick – butterfly the meat, and gently flatten them between 2 oiled sheets of clingfilm by lightly tapping a small pan across the top layer. Be careful not to tear the meat during the process. You should be looking at a smoothed out piece of veal of about 4-5mm thickness once you’re done.
5) Sift the flour into a small mixing bowl and season it with a pinch each of salt and pepper.
6) Place a large, heavy-based pan on medium heat and add the ghee.
7) Bash the garlic with the side of a heavy knife and add it to the pan. Gently swirl it around in the pan for about 2 mins to infuse the ghee before removing it again.
8) Finely chop up the clove and place it in a pot – you’ll be using this one for the sauce in a bit, so make sure it’s large enough to hold the saucy ingredients listed below~
9) Dust one side of the meat with the seasoned flour and lightly press the dust into the surface of the meat – the dusted side is going to be the outside of the folded up Schnitzels.
10) Arrange 3-4 pear slices on 1 half of the unfloured side and fold over the other half to neatly cover the slices in a taco’ish sort of way.
11) Dice the remaining pear slices and set them aside for the sauce – or keep a few slices whole and top off the veal parcels with them~
12) Turn the heat up to high and carefully slide the parcels into the hot ghee.
13) Fry the veal for 2-3 mins on each side until it’s golden and deliciously crispy on the outside – carefully flip them over with a pair of kitchen tongs, firmly holding the meat together to prevent the pears from slipping out.
14) Place them on a warm plate and cover the plate with aluminum foil. Keep the plate in a warm spot until you’re through with the sauce. While the pears will keep the veal from drying out too quickly, don’t prep this too much in advance, veal isn’t all that forgiving.
The Gorgonzola Sauce
Whether you like blue cheese or not – when it comes to cooking with it, you’ll probably have to tip your hat in it’s general direction. It basically does all the work on its own!
1 Shallot, very finely cubed
150ml Dry White Wine – A nice Chenin Blanc or Chardonnay works beautifully with cheesy sauces
1 Tbsp soft Butter
2 Tbsp frozen Butter
2-3 Sage Leaves, very finely chopped – to be safe, keep one leaf whole and either remove or chop it up to keep it in after you’ve gone through the taste-test.
Salt, Pepper to taste
1) Add the finely cubed shallot to the garlic in your desgnated sauce pot.
2) Set the pot onto medium heat and give it some time to get up to speed.
3) Add the soft butter and gently sautée the shallots until they turn translucent.
4) Deglaze the pot with the wine.
5) Pop in the sage and crumble in the gorgonzola.
6) Gently stir the lot with a wooden spoon to help the cheese along through the melting process.
7) Once the crumbles have dissolved, keep stirring until sauce is smooth and creamy.
8) Fold in the diced pears, give them about 3 mins to acclimate to their cheesy neighborhood, then have a taste of the sauce and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
9) Stir in the frozen butter to help bind the pear juices into the sauce and set the pot back onto low heat to warm it through again.
10) If you’re serving the veal with broad noodles or tagliatelle, cook them in lightly salted water up to a slightly underdone stage and finish them off in the waiting gorgonzola sauce.
Just on a side-note, a simple green salad is another wonderful companion for the yumtastic veal, with or without the Gorgonzola sauce. If you want to steer clear of the flavor-intense cheese-bomb that is the sauce, deglaze the veal-pan with a glug of the wine and stir in a spoonful of Crème légère. Ta~dah!