Meals on Veal: Veal Breast over Gnocchi

I am having a good time with Meals on Veal these days.  From spare ribs, to ground veal, to breast chops, it is opening up a whole new tableau of recipes and gourmet delights!

Today’s selection involves the Veal Breast, sliced thick.  I brined the chops for a few hours in water, Sea Salt, Basil, Brown Sugar, and a bit of Chardonnay, but overnight is even better, and always yields a tenderer, juicier cut of meat.  Reserve about 1/4 to a 1/2 cup of the brining for cooking.

I heated about  two tablespoons of olive oil with ground flaxseed to add a nutty flavor to the breasts, then placed them in a non-stick skillet to cook and simmer.  After about five minutes of simmering, I poured a 1/4 cup of white wine over the chops, cooking until a nice aroma of the wine soaked chops filled the kitchen, then poured that reserve brining over the chops, covered the skillet, and lowered the heat a bit more to simmer for 20 more minutes.

While the chops were doing their thing, I took a half a loaf of French bread and cut a hole in the center, then stuffed it with shredded Sharp Cheddar, and replaced some of the bread middle.  I wrapped it loosely in aluminum foil and set it aside.

In the meantime, I put water on the boil for the Potato Gnocchi, and rinsed my vegetable of choice: yellow and green beans, ready for steaming.

Still keeping an eye on the Veal Breasts and turning mid-cook, I let the broth begin to bubble before adding about two teaspoons of cornstarch to thicken the broth a bit and cooking for five more minutes.   Then, I turned off the flame and let the chops settle.

Perfect time to place that French bread in the toaster oven to warm the bread and melt the cheese; about 20 minutes.

And Gnocchi takes less than 10 minutes to cook in a rolling boil; so once they were plumped and drained and the veggies steamed, I arranged them on the plate and drizzled the Veal Breast and Gnocchi with a bit of broth.

A satisfying, yet surprisingly light meal!

What’s Cookin’?

Barbecue Pork Spare Ribs with Ginger-Chili Sauce.  The base recipe for the sauce can be found on–the addition of crushed ginger, molasses (instead of brown sugar), chili-garlic paste, and a touch of lemon juice  is all mine!

I also brine my ribs overnight in chopped ginger, brown sugar, soy sauce (in place of salt), rice vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, thyme and ground pepper.  After rubbing the brining into the ribs, I cover them with hot water (to melt the brown sugar) then some cold water and ice cubes to melt overnight and maintain the balance.

Once the ribs have basted overnight, I place them in a pan, pour some of the marinade over the top, cover with aluminum foil and braise them in a 250 degree oven for about three hours, give or take.

Depending on how much time I have, I either baste the ribs in barbecue sauce and oven grill them for 20 minutes, or I ask hubby to do the same on the gas grill–either way, they get that nicely grilled flavor!

These ribs are for a potluck tonight celebrating three college graduates from our church.  Bob McNelis, Hazel Morgan and Janette Knudson not only share the same graduation year, but they also graduated from the same school–California State University in Northridge!  They aren’t young whippersnappers either; These three are people like me, in the middle of their lives, who chose to make a change and better themselves by going back to school.  Hazel and Janette raised their kids while doing this–so they deserve a celebration and Ms. Foodie is bringing her best.

Not that anyone would expect anything less…