Thursday, October 27, 2011

Veal Patties in Parsley Sauce

One of the reasons I don’t enjoy cooking is that pretty much everything I make pales in comparison to what I could get at a restaurant.

Not tonight!
For years, I had been lusting after my mom’s veal patties with parsley sauce. She used to make them when I was a little kid, and they were my favorite meal. She long ago lost the recipe, but remembered that it came from an old Weight Watchers cookbook. Armed with that knowledge, I searched on google for “veal, patty, parsley, Weight Watchers” and found exactly what I was looking for here. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

The veal patties were easy -- if time consuming -- to make. I found local, pasture-raised ground veal and local parsley (both from Virginia) at Whole Foods. I updated the recipe a bit to suit my more modern tastes (does anyone still cook with margarine?) and to make it a bit healthier.  To do so, I removed the salt and the egg yolks, switched to whole-grain bread crumbs and low-sodium chicken broth, and used olive oil instead of margarine.

1 cup evaporated skim milk, divided
2 slices whole-grain bread [I used Ezekiel bread] torn into pieces
2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
½ cup diced onion
1 lb. ground veal
2 egg whites
¼ tsp pepper
Dash each ground nutmeg and ground allspice
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, divided
1 & ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tsp all purpose flour


In food processor combine half the milk with bread and process for about 30 seconds. let stand for 5 minutes.

In small skillet heat ⅓ of the olive oil; add onion and saute until softened.

Add onion, veal, egg whites, and spices to processor and process until smooth.

Add ⅓ of the parsley and process to combine.

Refrigerate covered for 15 minutes.

Using moist hands, shape veal mixture into 8 patties and cook, turning once, until evenly browned.

Add chicken broth, cover, and let simmer for 15 minutes, turning patties once.

Remove patties from pan and keep warm, reserve pan juices.

Combine flour with remaining milk, stirring to dissolve. Stir into pan juices, stirring constantly, bring to a simmer and cook until thickened.

Stir in remaining parsley.

Serve over patties.

Having omitted the salt from the original recipe and having used low-sodium chicken broth, I found that the patties needed just a dash of salt at the table before they tasted perfect.

Each bite was like actually tasting my childhood. It was AMAZING. The patties have a lightness to them that’s heard to explain, and the thin sauce is inexplicably delicious.

I also made an incredible side dish with a recipe that I found here. Sweet, earthy, and crunchy, this acorn squash stuffed with chunky natural peanut butter, honey, unsweetened applesauce, and cinnamon was exactly the right thing to pair with the veal.

I started by halving an acorn squash and scooping out the seeds. Then, I added a tablespoon each of peanut butter, honey, and applesauce to each half.

I put it in a baking dish with 2 cups of water and baked it for an hour.

When it came out of the oven, I scooped out all the squash and toppings, mashed them together in a bowl, and then returned the delicious mash back into the acorn squash shell for a beautiful presentation.

I outdid myself!!

I felt the need for something green, so I served the veal patties with the acorn squash and some steamed broccoli. Paired with a Sam Adams Octoberfest, it was one of the best dinners I’ve ever had.

CSA Virgin can rival a restaurant any day!

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