Who else was a bit disappointed in the Emmys last night? I definitely think that Breaking Bad deserved all of the recognition that it received, but as much as I love Mad Men, I think that it was horribly over hyped last night. Outstanding drama series? Please! Lost deserved that much more than Mad Men, without a doubt. Mad Men is a beautiful show that does a great job recreating the time period in which it is set, but I do not think that the plot offers much to its audience and the acting isn’t anything that special. I love watching it, but it wasn’t anywhere near as interesting or original as Lost was. They also most certainly did not deserve to win best writing in a drama series; the writers for Lost were absolutely incredible! Every episode blew me away, and most importantly, it was completely unique. Mad Men is a great show, but I feel that it’s really only come into its own in the most recent season. Nobody has ever done what Lost did, and Mad Men is a show that isn’t nearly as compelling. In my opinion, anyway. Kramer and I were pretty surprised by how badly Lost was snubbed, but, on the other hand, the Emmys themselves were fantastic. The opening was maybe the best I’ve ever seen on television, and Jimmy Fallon really did a fantastic job. Anyway, on to the food!
I was asked by Lisa Gnat and Julie Albert to review their new cookbook, Bite Me. The Canadian sisters really made a spectacular book! I usually don’t use cookbooks in the kitchen, but this is one after my own heart. The recipes are straight forward and easy enough for almost anyone to attempt, and the results are delicious. I decided to cook something from the book to see for myself how their recipes fared, and it was really a fantastic, easy-to-follow recipe with lots of tips on how to make my meal better. The book is filled with fun quotes and interesting tid-bits that any at-home cook would find useful. I especially liked the colorful pictures and the way in which the book incorporates fresh ingredients with family-friendly recipes. The recipe that I tried was one that I had to tweak a bit, as I didn’t have quite the same ingredients as the recipe called for, but that’s what is great about a versatile recipe like this one: you can adjust it to fit your needs! The recipe originally used lamb, but I had veal, so that’s what I cooked. The crust on this was absolutely mouth-watering. It had so much flavor and best of all, it was something that anyone would enjoy. The crusty bread is adhered to the meat with a mayonnaise-mustard combination, which added so much moisture as well as texture. I loved the colors and the way that the meat was perfectly cooked, thanks to the perfect step-by-step directions in the cookbook; allowing the meat to rest for a full 8 minutes really sealed in the juices, as well as finished cooking the veal without overcooking it. Kramer even commented on how wonderfully tender and perfectly medium-rare the veal was. I wanted to serve something light and simple alongside the chops, since they were so large and heavy, so I decided on a spicy green bean side dish. I loved how fresh the beans tasted; they were tender while still retaining a bit of a crunch to them, and the garlic, onion, and habanero peppers added an extra welcome kick.
As you might be able to tell, I liked the book so much that I am happy to be giving away a copy in this post! There are two ways to win the book:
1. Comment below and tell me about a dish that you love to cook with your family, be it a sibling, parent, grandparent, cousin…whoever!
2. Re-tweet the following phrase: “Win the Bite Me Cookbook from @crepesofwrath!”
I will announce the winner next week, so spread the word!
Your ingredients for the veal and the green beans.
Combine your thyme, parsley, cayenne pepper, salt, and breadcrumbs.
Pulse your bread in a food processor until it forms crumbs, then place in a dry skillet and toast over medium heat for a few minutes, until golden.
Combine the thyme mixture with the breadcrumbs in a pie dish and set aside.
Combine the mayonnaise and mustard in a small bowl and set aside.
Heat some olive oil in a large skillet over high heat and sear the veal chops on each side for 3 minutes or so, until nicely browned.
Remove the chops from the skillet and set aside for a few minutes to cool. Smother the veal with the mustard mixture.
Coat the veal in the bread mixture and place on a baking sheet or, as I did, on a baking rack on top of the baking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees F for 20 minutes or so, until the internal temperature is about 140 degrees F.
Dice your onion for both the balsamic reduction and the green beans.
Mince your garlic for the green beans.
Heat olive oil in two separate pots, one larger for the green beans and one smaller for the balsamic reduction. Add 1/2 a red onion, diced, into the pot for the reduction and 1 whole diced red onion into the pot for the green beans. Cook both over medium-high heat until the onions are translucent.
Dice your habanero peppers.
When your onions are translucent, add the garlic and cook for a minute or two, then add in the green beans and chile peppers.
Add 1/4 cup of wine and 1/4 cup of water to the green beans and stir to combine. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, or more to taste.
Cover and cook for 10 minutes or so, over medium heat, until the green beans are tender but not soggy.
Remove the chops from the oven when they are ready.
Cover and allow to rest for at least 5-8 minutes (I let mine sit for 8 minutes while I finished up the reduction and green beans).
Add the balsamic vinegar to the onions and cook over high heat for a minute or two.
Add the chicken broth to the reduction and cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes or so, until reduced by half, stirring frequently.
Remove the reduction from the heat and whisk in the tablespoon of butter.
Serve with the green beans and pour a bit of the reduction over the top. Enjoy!
- 2 veal chops, trimmed of excess fat
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 1½ teaspoons dried thyme
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 slices bread, pulsed in a food processor into coarse crumbs
- 1 tablespoon low-fat mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 shallot or ½ a red onion, diced
- ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¾ cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 red onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound green beans, cleaned
- 1 or 2 habanero chile peppers, minced (I used 2, but those of you who don't love heat so much can use 1 pepper)
- pinch salt and pepper (about ⅛ teaspoon each)
- ¼ cup white wine
- 2 tablespoons water
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with non-stick cooking spray (if you have a baking rack, place that on top of the baking sheet and spray that with non-stick spray, as seen above. This will allow your chops to have a nicer crust on them).
- Combine the parsley, thyme, garlic, and salt in a pie dish. Set aside. Pulse your bread in a food processor until crumbs form, then toast them in a dry, large skillet until lightly golden and crusty. Add to the pie dish and mix to combine. In another small bowl, mix together the mayo and mustard and set aside.
- In the same large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over high heat. Season the veal chops with salt and pepper on both sides, then place in the heated olive oil. Cook on each side for 2-3 minutes, until a nice brown crust forms. Remove to the rack and allow to cool a bit before smothering with the mustard and mayonnaise combination, then coating in the breadcrumb mixture. Press the chops down into the bread to make sure that everything sticks.
- Place the chops on your prepared baking sheet and cook for 15-20 minutes, until cooked through and a meat thermometer reads 140 degrees F. Cover and allow the chops to rest for 5-8 minutes (I let mine rest for 8 minutes while I finished with the reduction and the green beans). The temperature will rise about 5 degrees as the chops rest.
- For the balsamic reduction, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add the shallots or onion and cook for a minute or so, until soft. Stir in the balsamic vinegar, turn the heat to high, and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-high and reduce by half, about 5-6 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the tablespoon of butter. To serve, spoon a bit of the reduction over the chops and serve with the green beans (recipe follows). Serves 2.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and add in the diced onion. Saute for 5 minutes or so, until softened, then add in the garlic and saute for another minute or so, until fragrant. Add in the green beans, habanero peppers, salt, pepper, white wine, and water. Stir to combine, cover, and cook over medium heat for 10-12 minutes, until the beans are tender but still slightly crunchy. Serves 4 as a side.