Caveat emptor: this is a very long post with three recipes in it — none of which is particularly exciting by the way. What it is … is … very decent, hearty, and just the ticket when the weather has changed from Winter to Spring but there is still a nip in the air. The two vegetable recipes, however, might be interesting for those who are trying to make their children enjoy side dishes they would not normally fall in love with : kale and cauliflower. Yes, I know, I know — they are soooo good for you, etc. but they still need ‘dressing up’ and are just dreadful on their own.
CAVOLACCI (KALE) POTATO CAKE
I espied some rather small looking cavolacci (black leaf kale) at the farmers’ market and the lady selling me told me that their size was normal for this time of year, their end of season. She also had some rather ugly looking potates to sell and convinced me that adding potatoes to the cavolacci would result in a very tasty ‘frittata’ (for want of a better word) that even picky eaters would enjoy. So I followed her advice because not everyone in my family loves every single vegetable the way I do. Also for sale was some cauliflower even I do not relish (and especially not raw!) but which spurned me to come up with a recipe that all would enjoy.
The cavolacci leaves didn’t need much pruning and all I had to do then was rinse and blanch them.
The potatoes needed to be boiled:
Once drained, the potatoes needed a good mash. Even a fork would do the trick – we are not after anything too fine in context. Similarly, once drained, the cavolacci need to be squeezed tightly to get rid of excess water and then roughly chopped. I used a pair of scissors to do this. At this point, the cavolacci and the potatoes are mixed together. Sprinkle plenty of salt and maybe add a little more olive oil at this point. Never be stingy with either ingredient. Pour some olive oil into the frying pan and put the cavolacci and potato mixture on top. Cook for a few minutes (about 5?), and then use a spoon or fork to round off the edge of the mixture – i.e. you don’t want the mixture to cling to the sides of the frying pan. Remove the pan from the fire and set it on a counter. Place a large dish over the pan – then turn the pan over, so that the frittata slides onto the plate.
After a few minutes, remove from the pan and slide onto the serving dish.
The lady was right — the taste was appealing in a hearty fashion, the texture helped, and even the pickier members of my family liked it.
This cauliflower cheese recipe relies on parmesan and a bechamel sauce.
I blanched the cauliflower too until it was tender but not overcooked. I had already made the bechamel sauce (it actually doesn’t take that long! see m posthttps://myhomefoodthatsamore.wordpress.com/2011/03/17/the-queen-of-sauces/).
I put a good amount of freshly grated parmesan cheese over the cauliflower – with parmesan I find that it’s a case of the more, the merrier. I can’t quote exact quantitites because everyone’s taste is different.I poured the bechamel over the cheese and made sure that the sauce seeped into all of the nooks and crannies of the oven-proof dish. Those funny ‘blobs’ you see on top are chunks of butter. Finally, I dusted breadcrumbs as a last layer to the cauliflower cheese. In the oven at 200° C for about 30 minutes or so …And Bob’s your uncle … even my favourite son liked this cauliflower!!! What a feat!
PICCATINA DI VITELLO
This is a classic and rather old-fashioned main course in Italian home food, and I have to admit that I hadn’t made it in ages. The thin slices of veal are dusted with flour and then pan cooked in a mixture of olive oil and butter.
Cook the veal in batches. When cooked, set them aside on a warm serving dish … Chop some parsley and/or other fresh herbs of your choice. When all the veal slices have been cooked … this is what you are left with in the frying pan. And it’s delicious so take care of it! Switch the heat on high and add one glass of wine to the pan … Use a wooden spoon to scrape off any of the bits in the pan and allow the alcohol to burn off. Then slide the veal back into the pan so that they can be nicely coated in the lovely sauce. This takes literally one minute. You don’t want to overcook the veal. Switch the heat off and add the herbs.Serve.
Not too shabby for a mid-week home cooked dinner.