It’s HOLIDAY PARTY time! Invite your besties over for an intimate holiday dinner party. My recipe for Veal Chop Milanese with Baby Broccoli yields four nice, big portions and is ideal when gathering your nearest and dearest to toast the holiday season! The recipe is an Italian classic, and pairs well with red wine. Think Cabernet Sauvignon and subtlety sweet Merlot, and plan on sparing a bottle per every two guests.
An intimate Christmas dinner by a roaring fire, or under the glow of a candelabra should hit all the right sweet, subtle notes, and that’s why this DISH OF THE DAY features baby broccoli as its side.
In case you’re wondering what Baby broccoli looks like, it’s in season now through early spring; it’s different than standard broccoli in that it has a mild, peppery and subtlety sweet taste. The entire plant is edible. Remember that baby broccoli, sautéed with a bit of garlic and lemon, is always an elegant and welcome side dish. SUNDAY BEST runneth over with festive dishes like these.
If you want 2018 to be elegant and gourmet year, order SUNDAY BEST DISHES for the foodie on your Christmas list! Nothing will delight me more than getting a hand cramp, personalizing copies, so shoot me an email with your address. I’ve always believed truly great recipes make the season warm and bright, and that’s why I’m sharing them with you on this Christmas Countdown! Only 16 days left. Tick tock!
Veal Chops Milanese
with Baby Broccoli
MAKES 4 LARGE SERVINGS
4 veal rib chops, about ¾ pounds each, about 3-inches thick
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon coarse black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoon butter, room temperature
1 cup prepared Italian bread crumbs
2 or more large lemons
1 bunch baby broccoli, trimmed and blanched
Use a sharp knife to cut through the chops, splitting the veal into halves without detaching from the bone. Place the butterflied chops onto your work surface in between layers of plastic wrap. Use a meat mallet to pound the meat to ½-inch thickness. Season the chops with salt and pepper.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Place the bread crumbs into a shallow bowl or plate. Lay the chops into the bread crumbs pushing down so that they adhere to the meat. Place the chops (one at a time depending on the size of your skillet) into the hot oil. Squeeze lemon juice onto each chop. Cook until the bottom is golden, about 5 minutes. Turn, sprinkle with additional juice and cook on the second side until golden, about 5 minutes more.
Toss the broccoli into the pan. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
Serve the stuffed veal chops on a platter with the broccoli draped on top.
It’s that time. Time to gather your friends and family, and experience the very essence of togetherness, celebrating all of our blessings. A time to watch parades and football, and have that one day a year where you are encouraged to gorge yourself on all the traditional dishes you have waited (ALL YEAR!) to devour. Hooray, hooray, it’s Thanksgiving Day! Over the next two weeks, I’ll share with you my meal plan, complete with a timeline and my favorite recipes. Take from it what you wish, and substitute freely. I’m here to point you in the right direction. Just do yourself a favor, and make a plan. I guarantee that a plan will help you enjoy your Thanksgiving Day to the absolute fullest… leaving you plenty of time for Christmas shopping!!
Two weeks ahead, make your meal plan. List the dishes you plan to cook, those you’re going to pick up, and those that others are bringing to the party. Make a grocery list of all of the ingredients you need to prepare the dishes you are cooking. Sort your list by departments: dairy, produce, pantry staples, meats and poultry. Take stock of your bar and include wine, mixers and garnishes on your list. After your grocery list is prepared, check your pantry to see which items you’ve already stocked and cross them off your list. (You’re already making progress!) Now, place any orders you need to make. The turkey, of course (I like to order a fresh turkey), bakery goods and specialty items.
One week ahead, plan your tablescape.Take stock of your china and flatware to make sure you have enough. Same goes for glassware and crystal. Don’t be afraid to mix and match china patterns. There’s creativity in designing a pretty table. Look for festive placemats, table runner or tablecloth cloth. A simple throw blanket can double as a cloth on your table. Locate candlesticks and votive candles. Don’t be afraid to experiment with those cute twinkle lights, wrapped around pillar candles for some real tablescape sparkle! Create place cards, organize your centerpiece and assemble décor for platters. Pinecones are great, but pretty twigs and stems of fruit are good for decorating too. I love to include food as part of my tablescape centerpiece. I place artichokes alongside pears and limes for a green experience. Add a few branches, pinecones and a gourd or two, and you have an organic look that is perfect for the occasion.
Saturday before Thanksgiving, plan on a shopping day!If you are farmer’s market shopper, get up early and visit the market you love. Purchase all of the fresh produce items that you need. Stop and smell the coffee beans. Remember this is not a race. Rather, it’s time to enjoy your stroll through the market. Smile at the people you pass, and greet your favorite farmers. This is the season to be thankful for the growers! Slow down long enough to enjoy a festive cup ‘o Joe while you double check your list. Finish up at the grocers to purchase anything you were not able to find at the market.
Sunday before Thanksgiving, get your apron out! Make the dishes on your meal plan that are easily made in advance, like chutneys and relishes. Lay out serving dishes and utensils.
Tuesday before Thanksgiving, Make it a prep day!Chop and prep all the ingredients you will need. If you need onions for three dishes, chop a bunch. Same goes for apples (for pie!) and potatoes for mashed potatoes. Here’s a trick. Submerge potatoes in cold water in the pot you will use to cook them in, and place them in your fridge. They will be fine until you’re ready to boil. Set your table! Prepare your centerpiece. Get those place cards placed! Set up your bar. Did you remember to make extra ice? If you have a frozen turkey, let’s get it on its way to thawing.
Wednesday before Thanksgiving, focus on breads and desserts. Prepare your desserts. Get pies ready to bake. Prepare your casseroles and sides. Prepare dough for breads or rolls. Cover everything with plastic wrap, and store in the fridge until tomorrow. You can place the baking dishes on top of each other to save space. Use a heavy piece of cardboard, or a thin baking sheet to separate the dishes.
Thanksgiving Morning, it’s show time!Get that bird ready to roast. Organize your oven racks, and preheat so that you’re ready to bake off desserts, breads and then casseroles. Before your guests arrive, see to last-Minute details! Prepare mashed potatoes. Save the potato water to help thicken your gravy. Set out appys. Get the ice in the bucket. Pour yourself a glass of wine…. you’re doing great!
Pull the turkey from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. While he rests, use the drippings in the pan to make the gravy. As you carve the bird, encourage friends and family to help you get the dishes to the table. Pour gravy into boats. Spoon the sides onto plates. Say a prayer of thanks….