Stuffed Veal Chops - And Good News!

I am VERY pleased to announce that I will be starting a food writing course next week.  This is exciting news for me.  I have always wanted to write, eat, and cook for a living - now the possibility of this happening doesn't seem so far-fetched.  It feels like I am taking one (small) step closer to realizing my dreams.  Very good news...Yay!

On the flip side, you will benefit from this course as well, since I'll be learning new and exciting dishes that I can pass on to my readers.  I will also be learning how to better express myself through writing, so reading the blog will become a new experience for you all.  Can't wait!

To celebrate this great news, I will share with you a recipe I made for dear hubby at the beginning of the week.  Ladies, if this recipe does not make your husband putty in your hands, than nothing ever will.  I can assure you of that.

Thanks Emeril for another great one!! 

Veal Chops Stuffed With Mascarpone, Pancetta & Carmelized Onions
2 tsp EVOO
4oz pancetta, diced
2c coarsely chopped yellow onions (I used regular cooking onions)
1 T plus 2 tsp minced garlic (in total I used about 3 large cloves from the farmer's market)
1 T plus 1 tsp minced fresh thyme (eyeball it)
8oz mascarpone cheese
1/4 tsp each salt & pepper
4 bone-in double cut veal chops, 12-14oz each (I used 3)
2 tsp Essence (recipe follows)
2 tsp veg oil
1 1/2 T unsalted butter
1/3c minced shallots (I used 2)
1/2c dry red wine (I ended up using about 1c - salt crisis, more on that below)
1 1/2c veal stock (I used beef stock)
1 T chopped fresh parsley leaves
1c water
1c orange juice
1/2 onion chopped 1 bunch asparagus trimmed

**I didn't do the asparagus the way this recipe said to, I did my trusty roasted asparagus with parmesan instead**

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and set aside (I skipped this and used the skillet both on the stove and in the oven). 

In a saute pan over medium heat, add the EVOO and when hot, add the diced pancetta.  Cook, stirring frequently, until crispy, about 4 minutes.  Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and let drain on a paper towel-lined plate. 

Add the onions to the pan and cook about 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.  They should be brown & caramelized when done.  Add 1 T of garlic and 1 T of thyme to the onions and cook for 1 minute more.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly. 

In a mixing bowl, combine the pancetta, cooled onion mixture, and mascarpone.  Mix gently and add salt & pepper in necessary. 

Using a sharp knife, make an incision into the veal chop near the top of the bone.  Following the curve of the bone, cut a pocket about 3" long onto the side of each veal chop, making sure not to pierce the other side.  Repeat with remaining chops.  Stuff each one with about 1/4 of the cheese mixture.  Season both sides with Essence (see below).

Heat a large saute pan until hot (I did this over med-hi).  Add veg oil (I used EVOO) and when hot, add the chops.  Cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side.  Transfer to the prepared baking sheet (or don't - as I mentioned earlier I used the same pan that I browned the chops in), and roast for about 15 minutes for medium-rare (I did 10 minutes; any longer and these would have been overcooked).  Remove from the oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving with the sauce.

While the chops are searing, begin the pan sauce; heat 1/2T of the butter in a saute pan until foamy.  Add the shallots and cook, stirring, 3 minutes.  Add the remaining 2 tsp garlic and 1 tsp thyme and cook, stirring, 1-2 minutes.  Add the wine and simmer until reduced by 2/3, about 5 minutes.  Add the stock and parsley and continue to simmer until sauce has reduced to a thickness that coats the back of your spoon, about 5 minutes longer.  Ok this is where I ran into issues - first of all, my sauce took about 20 minutes to simmer and become thick.  I then tasted it and realized I had not mixed the stock with the water accurately and my sauce was WAY too salty.  The recipe now says to remove from heat and add the remaining tablespoon of butter, which I did.  But to kill the salt, I kept it on the heat and added some plain yogurt, as well as milk (while continuously stirring) until the saltiness had died down a bit.  I also had to add more wine.  So my sauce was a slightly creamy red wine sauce, but fantastic just the same!

When the sauce is reducing, make the asparagus; combine 1c of water, orange juice, and onions in a medium skillet.  Bring to a boil and add asparagus.  Simmer until tender, 1-2 minutes.  Drain and serve with veal.

I made my roasted asparagus that tends to be one of my go-to side dishes.  I have the recipe on previous blogs, but all I did was toss asparagus with coarse salt, black pepper and some olive oil, and threw them in the oven alongside the chops.  When the veal was done, so was the asparagus.  I chopped up some fresh parmesan and sprinkled this over the asparagus as soon as they were out of the oven.  Easy peasy.

And now for Emeril's "Essence" - it's a creole seasoning that I keep on hand in a mason jar, it's GREAT!

Emeril's Essence
2 1/2 T paprika
2 T salt
2 T garlic powder
1 T black pepper
1 T onion powder
1 T cayenne
1 T dried oregano
1 T dried thyme

Combine and enjoy!  I usually double the recipe and gives me an almost full 8oz mason jar that lasts a while.

Hope you try this recipe out, and tell me what you think!  It's was a bit of process, but wasn't too difficult and tasted AMAZING in the end.  I love food!!!

Until next time!