a home cook with notions & an appetite
That summer vegetable gratin I just made was a side dish that Keller specifically recommended to accompany this lovely veal cutlet. Who doesn’t love a cutlet?
Although I think Keller forgot his cutlet already came with a side-dish. Because let me tell you, this was a heck of a dinner – let’s just get through the ingredients:
Truth be told, this is only a pound of veal – husband and I were not about to eat that much breaded veal cutlet, no matter how delicious it was going to be. Besides, you know how much the Whole Foods wants for veal top round? Seriously.
Prep is good times. Remember, slicing meat is always easier when it’s slightly frozen. And then it’s aggression-release therapy as I get to pound the cutlets down from the 1/2″ to a 1/4″ thickness between two pieces of heavy-duty plastic wrap. Before anyone gets the bright idea to “just cut thinner slices,” know that the cook time on this will be incredibly thick and the top round comes from the leg. This is a muscular cut (veal really do move and develop muscle) that normally gets cooked via a slower method such as braising or roasting. Mini-lecture comes down to this: smacking this will help tenderize the meat and allow it to cook quickly without being shoe leather.
In the meantime, I’ve taken my panko and pulverized the crumbs in the processor before setting up my dipping station. First is a pan of flour, in the middle are the eggs and the last station holds the pulverized panko bread crumbs. Before I put the veal cutlets through the dipping station, I seasoned them well with salt and pepper. As you might be able to tell from the last photo, the dipping station is a very hands-on process.
Once I was done flouring, egging and crumbing up my cutlets, all that was left was to get these to my 1/2 inch of peanut oil in my trusty cast iron pan that had been heated to 350 degrees:
The cook time is a minute per side, or until each side is golden brown. Once this happened (and it was that quick), I transferred the cutlets to a rack set over a piece of parchment on a cookie sheet to drain (this is a trick that was employed but not really discussed in the ad hoc buttermilk chicken post).
All that’s left is to make the arugula salad. See, I told you this was a meal. This is sheer elegance in its simplicity (nod to The Middleman for anyone that’s wondering). I’d sliced the fennel earlier and left it in an icewater bath. While the cutlets cooled, I ran the arugula through a salad spinner, drained and dried the fennel and then tossed the two together. I squeezed two of the lemon wedges all over the greens and drizzled olive oil around the sides of the bowl (when you toss the greens, they pick up the oil more evenly than if you were to just dump it on the greens and hope other bits pick up oil as you toss it). A little salt and pepper and a great salad awaits your cutlets.
This is a great dinner and well worth a little splurge, even at Whole Foods.