These recipes come from the back of the book and are not really part of the restaurant tour but inspired by the abundance of cherries from my cherry tree this summer I tried them out. I was worried that the cherry pie filling was going to be too sweet as I prefer my pies quite light on sugar but in the end it was okay and the final product was, I would say, a quintessential American cherry pie.
The blueberry pie ended up being a little wet and I would recommend lightly cooking in the sugar and cornstarch so that the cornstarch activates. Other than that a serviceable pie with a touch of nutmeg that gave it a slightly perfumed after taste.
When you read the title, “Veal Chops with Mushroom Sauce” you kind of envision this grey, salty gravy like a can of Campbell’s mushroom soup. The truth is, however, that this is a rich tomato sauce almost like a Bolognese meat sauce but with finely chopped mushrooms. The prosciutto and capers give the sauce an incredible depth of flavour that is really quite extraordinary. The veal itself was fine, personally I’m not the biggest fan of veal, but the mushroom sauce is something that I could see myself make over and over again just to have with pasta or bread or anything. A real find. A note on the recipe: the veal is served off the bone however with the sauce covering the chop it becomes a kind of mystery box as to whether you’re putting meat, bone, or fat into your mouth. So, I would perhaps recommend actually de-boning the veal chop before cooking.
This dish is taken from an Italian restaurant in Rome called Passetto’s. It is a delicious and fairly achievable dish with the white wine elevating the fairly simple ingredients that go into it. I opted out of making fresh cannelloni but I think next time I will make the pasta fresh so that the dish doesn’t have to stay in the oven as long and dry up and so that the cannelloni’s can be made larger than the store bought ones. I did use chicken but the recipes could also be substituted for turkey or veal.
There aren’t a plethora of side recipes in this book but this is a simple one for sauted string beans with caramelized onions. Simple but delicious.
I served this dish as the star attraction at a big family gathering and boy was it a home run. As Vincent promises, the onion sauce (soubise) really does taste marvelous and could go with just about anything. However what really elevated this dish was the pan Madeira sauce that you poured over top the lamb and onion sauce. Using the pan drippings from the lamb and combining it with half a cup of Madeira wine, chicken stock and butter the result is just unbelievable. In the future I would probably just leave the canned artichoke bottoms out altogether (or go fresh) and use whole lamb chops instead of boning the already small rib lamb chops. Also, use your own better judgment when it comes to cooking times on meat. I find the suggested cooking times a little generous and tend to overcook the meat. It may not be the prettiest plate but it certainly was one of the tastiest to come out of this book so far.
Patatoes au Gratin is nothing new in our household, it is a delicious stand by that we come to again and again. This is a very simple version that gets the job done. A great side dish.