Anything with a breadcrumb…

Veal Escalope!
Veal Escalope!

I am a real advocate of the breadcrumb.  If it wasn’t for the breadcrumb, I’d have never consumed cauliflower.  The first time I tasted cauliflower was in Kranjska Gora.  Mira, the Grandmother, would gently heat florets of cauliflower in some simmering water, then remove them from the water, let them cool, coat them in egg and breadcrumbs and fry.  Perfect!

Kranjska Gora was also the first place I ever tried veal.  Being thirteen the first time I visited (in 1999) I was actually a bit confused as to what veal was.  I am not ashamed to say this.  However, once I tasted it, I knew I would always be a veal lover.  It is not as unkind as most people think due to media campaigns from previous decades.  British veal in particular is very humane and, I’ll have you meat eaters know (cannot argue with the vegetarians and vegans among you, you have morals, I do not) that when you tuck into some lamb, it is actually killed at a younger age than veal.

A popular dish in Slovenia and Croatia, and no doubt other countries of Central and Eastern Europe, is veal escalope in a breadcrumb crust.  This is such an easy dish to make!

Ingredients

Veal escalopes

Plain flour (with seasoning: salt and black pepper)

Beaten eggs

White breadcrumbs

Butter

Olive oil

Instructions

Put plain flour on a plate

Beat eggs and put in bowl

Put breadcrumbs on plate

Make sure veal is sufficiently flat, if not, beat with a meat hammer

Coat veal in plain flour

Dip veal into beaten egg

Dip veal into breadcrumbs

(For best results: double dip!  No nothing to do with British MPs’ expenses!)

Re-dip into beaten egg

Re-dip into breadcrumbs

Heat olive oil and butter in frying pan

Put veal into pan

veal-2

Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on one side

Turn

veal-3

Cook for 2 to 3 minutes maximum

Serve on a bed of watercress, spinach and rocket, drizzled in olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt and black pepper

Add a wedge of lemon for perfect taste!

Serve!
Serve!

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Adriatic Salad

The last few days in the UK have been sunny and warm, so it seemed only right to enjoy some summer food inspired by the Adriatic region.  This salad is quick but so delicious and makes an excellent starter, light main course or side dish.  Serve with some great chunks of fresh wholemeal or granary bread.

This is such a great fresh dish with fantastic flavour and super cheap if you opt to use tinned sardines.  Plus, do not forget, sardines are a great source of those all important omega-3 and I truly believe what they say, fish is brain food!

Ingredients (serves 6)

8 large firm ripe tomatoes

1 large red onion

4 tbsp white wine vinegar

6 tbsp good olive oil

18 – 24 small cooked sardines

75g black pitted olives, drained well

salt and freshly ground pepper

(I used smoked salt but regular salt will be fine)

3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley to garnish

Instructions

Slice the tomatoes very thinly

Arrange the tomatoes on a serving plate

sardines-2

Top with slices of red onion

Mix together the white wine vinegar, olive oil and seasoning and spoon over tomatoes and onion

Top with sardines and black olives

Sprinkle over parsley and a squeeze of lemon

Serve!

Serve!

Bulgarian Fried Peppers With Cheese

This is not a quick fix dish, it is a bit of a dinner party piece.  I would suggest making extra so you can pick the ones which look best as it is quite difficult to re-create their structural stability after the skin has been removed.  It’s a great starter though, very tasty, mainly because the creaminess of the feta really complements the warmth of the chili while the parsley refreshes your palette for the next mouthful.

Ingredients (serves 2 -4)

4 peppers (can be red, green or yellow but personally, I think red taste best)

50g plain flour

1 egg, beaten

olive oil for shallow frying

For the filling:

1 egg, beaten

90g feta cheese finely crumbled

2 tbsp fresh parsley

1 small red chili, seeded and chopped

Instructions:

Slit open peppers

Scoop out seeds and core but leave peppers in one piece

Peppers pre-grilling

Carefully open out peppers and place under hot grill (skin side up!)

Peppers under grill

Cook until the skin is charred and blackened

Peppers charred

Place the peppers in a bowl of cold water to prevent them from over-cooking

Leave peppers until cooled and peel off skin

Mix feta, egg, parsley, chili together in a bowl

Feta, egg, parsley, chili

Fill each pepper with mix

Fill peppers

Secure peppers if necessary with wooden cocktail sticks

Dip peppers in seasoned plain flour, then egg, then flour again

Fry the peppers in olive oil for 6-8 minutes, turning once, until golden brown and filling set

Peppers in pan

Drain peppers on kitchen paper before serving

Peppers done! Serve!

Peppers done! Serve!

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Domaine Danubiane Sauvignon Blanc 2007

domaine-danubianeAlthough not a country to usually pop to the forefront of one’s mind when considering notorious wine producing countries, Romania has in fact been producing wine since the 7 BC.  It would shock you to put, what most would consider one of the European Union’s poorest and most backward countries, on a par with Portugal for sheer quantity of square metres of vines, but this is indeed the case.

This particular bottle hails from the town of Turnu Severin, formerly known as the ancient city of Drobeta which took its name from the tower built to commemorate the death of the Roman emperor, Septimus Sever.  The cellar is run by Italian winemaker, Fiorenzo Rista, who after gaining vital experience in northern Italy, came to Romania, fell in love with a Romanian woman (now his wife) and never returned home.

The Domaine Danubiane is a crisp aromatic white produced purely from Sauvignon Blanc. The cool climate of Vanju Mare has ensured it is packed full of grassy herbal aromas, a characteristic of many East European tipples, in addition to boasting vibrant gooseberry tones and lively passion fruit flavours.

While, the Domaine Danubian Sauvignon Blanc would not suit the palette of those who prefer to drink a very dry Pinot Grigio or Chablis unaccompanied, it will prove a particularly pleasing purchase for those who desire to indulge in seafood, particularly oysters, moules marinierès or grilled white fish.

Read more…

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