Monday, March 19, 2012

Is It Really Beyond Mid March?

It's funny. When someone in your circle needs to be cared for time halts except for doing whatever needs to be done "right now". We have been in one of those weird places but are slowly coming out of it, and, after shaking off the cobwebs, I realize it is getting toward the later part of March.

For my Beloved Sister, March has always been a particularly malevolent month. Personally I think she might have hung around Caesar in a past life. She gets really wiggy around the Ides. If fact so wiggy that each year on the fifteenth I call her and, in the lowest voice I can project, say very slowly " Beware the Ides of March". We both laugh and then I don't have to use my man voice for another year.

This year the Ides brought some joy. Dad is home from rehab and is making huge progress, and it is much easier on us to run by their house daily than it was to head to the hospital. Plus there is some sort of normalcy at home vs. having someone come in every 2 hours to check your vitals and do blood work.

Now that life is returning to order for the parents my everyday life is adjusting to a more usual routine. ( One that includes cooking!) This week is Spring Break for Son3 and we are staying home this year. ( Possibly because the trip to NYC for college auditions taxed both our available vacation time and wallet) so we decided to make this the week of cookouts. Luckily for us the weather is working to our advantage. I never remember March days in the mid 80's with high 60's nights. In addition to the lovely cookout weather I have a freezer filled food that need to be used, so I am doing my weekly shopping in the laundry room.

Yesterday I was nosing through plastic freezer bags looking for something a little different when I found 2 packages of veal chops. These were not beautiful 1 1/2 inch thick rib chops like we had several months ago, but were much thinner loin chops. Still veal is veal and it is delicious grilled. I had four chops and started wondering what to do with them. Google is without a doubt the easiest way to find a different way of preparing anything under the sun. Want to make a warthog pot roast? Just Google it and you will find Odette's special recipe. Reindeer ravioli? Try Food Networks website.

I was not looking for anything so exotic, just a rather simple sauce to accompany grilled veal. After looking at a couple of recipes I found Tony Randall's recipe for veal chops with bourbon black pepper sauce. As Guy Fieri says "Winer, Winner, Chicken Dinner"

Grilled Veal Chops

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4-6 veal loin chops

Preheat an outdoor grill to about 350 degrees
Coat the veal chops with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper
For 1/2 inch chops grill 4 minutes on on side, turn and grill 2-3 minutes on the other side.

Bourbon Butter and black Pepper Sauce

1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup bourbon
1 cup butter cut in 8 pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly cracked pepper

While the chops are grilling make the sauce. It really works best if you have someone grilling while cook it. If not put it together just prior to putting the chops on the grill. Bring wines to a boil in a small saucepan. Add bourbon and reduce heat to medium. Cook until mixture is reduced by half. Remove from the heat and add the butter one piece at a time , incorporating each pat totally before adding the next one. When all the butter has been added stir in the black pepper.
Serve on top of the piping hot chop.

I put the chops on a bed of mashed potatoes. I would have preferred brown rice or couscous but I had neither in the pantry. We had a side of broccoli and carrots and called it a meal. the sauce is thick and buttery and peppery. Don't worry about the alcohol in the wine and bourbon. It cooks off and all you are left with is this delicious flavor. This sauce will go in my make again file, but it will be for special occasions. It has a boatload of butter, which is delicious but not good for everyday fare.

Cookout meal 1 was a success!

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