Saturday, February 21, 2009

Veal Osso Bucco

When I come across a recipe online that I like, I add it to my google bookmarks. Turns out that I liked 294 recipes. The other weekend I was trying to decide what to make in my nice new Le Creuset dutch oven. After I little searching, I came across a recipe for veal osso bucco. It was just the perfect thing for a cold sunday night. It was rich and so flavorful. It also smelled great.

Here's what you need (H/T to Chefs Gone Wild):

4 pieces veal shank with bone, cut 3 inches thick
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 cup whole peeled tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup fresh orange juice
2 dried bay leaves
1 sprig fresh thyme
1/2 sprig fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 strip lemon zest
2 cups chicken stock

Grated rind of 1 lemon and half an orange
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon chopped garlic

Since I do not trust the freshness of the veal in my local super market it was time to call the butcher and see if he could get me a 6 pound veal shank. Well he came through with a great looking piece of veal. I had him cut the shank into four 3 inch thick pieces. Here they are with a little salt and pepper before being browned.

I then added these to a hot pan and browned them on all sides, which took about 10 minutes.

After they browned, I took them out and added the mirepoix (onions, carrots and celery) plus some garlic that I diced. A helpful hint when making a recipe like this is to prep everything ahead of time so you can just add it in as you go.

After the vegetables soften, add flour to coat. Deglaze the pan with the red wine. Then you add diced whole tomatoes and tomato paste. Followed by chicken stock, orange juice before added back in the browned veal shanks.
As you can see, I also added some herbs which included thyme, rosemary and a couple bay leaves. You cover this and put it in the over for 2 hours or until the meat is following off the bone. I turned the shanks once at the hour mark.

When this is done you can reduce the sauce if you want to concentrate the flavors a little more. Serve this on top of some soft polenta and top with the gremolata (which is a combination of garlic, parsley, orange zest and lemon zest chopped together).

Here is another shot of the final dish:

As an added bonus, you get to eat the bone marrow. To serve this I toasted up some italian bread, spread the marrow on it and topped it with a little sea salt. It was delicious. I tried to take a picture but it did not come out great. I am still learning when it come to taking food pictures.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Ground Turkey With Zucchini Ribbons and Tomato

So for my first real post about food I decided to show you an easy weeknight dinner I made last week. This is based upon many recipes that used the same combination of ground turkey and zucchini but took much longer, such as stuffing the zucchini with the ground turkey. I like the combination of turkey and zucchini but I wanted something I cook make in no time when I got home from work. This is what I came up with. I will try and give amounts of ingredients but feel free to do as you wish.

1 lb ground turkey
1 can San Marzano diced tomatoes
1 zucchini, shaved or cut into ribbons
garlic powder
onion powder
chili powder or cayenne pepper
extra virgin olive oil
brown rice, cooked

Get a skillet nice and hot. Add in olive oil. I just go two turns around the pan. Then add the ground turkey.

Once the turkey is added season it with salt and pepper. I also add some garlic powder, onion powder, and chili or cayenne for some kick. Just add however much you like. I like a lot.

As the turkey is browning cut up or julienne the zucchini. I recently received as a gift a set of Swissmar peelers which are amazing ( The set includes a peeler which juliennes vegetables. So it was the perfect tool to cut the zucchini into nice ribbons.

Here is the zucchini after it has been added to the browned turkey. Look at how nice the zucchini looks and it only took minutes to do with the peeler.

Cook this until the zucchini is wilted and soft. Then add the diced tomatoes.

Cook this for 10 - 15 minutes. Adjust the seasoning as necessary. I served it over brown rice for a quick healthy weeknight meal.

Here is the final plating:

Let me say that this is one tasty meal that is so simple and easy to make. The turkey and zucchini taste great together and the addition of cayenne or chili powder gives it a nice kick.