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Friday, July 30, 2010


It has been a tedious week, so I needed to try something new in the kitchen.  At Mr. Wonderful's "suggestion," I made a veal roulade last night.  Never did it before, and used what I had on hand -- except the veal, which he had bought so it just "happened" to be in the refrigerator.

Roulades can be sweet (say, jelly roll, apple strudel, or ice cream roll) or savory (say, beef, turkey, or pork rolls).  They were special treats when I was growing up.  Now I know why.  Making them is a lot of work.  You have to prepare the filling, then the wrapper, then assemble it all, then cook.

To help out with his "suggestion" about dinner, Mr. Wonderful fulfilled a few sous-chef duties:  he finely diced and minced onions, garlic and mushrooms.  Then he disappeared until it was time to eat.  It was safer that way.

Nonetheless, despite the work and lack of a definitive recipe, my foray into veal roulade worked out well.  We enjoyed a good dinner and a new wine: Jayson 2006, a pinot noir Mr. Wonderful liked so much that a case is now on its way to our address.  And, tonight, it's roulade leftovers with baby broccoli and more Jayson pinot noir.

Veal Roulade
Outer wrap:
5 veal scallopini filets
Ham, thin slices from the deli (optional)
1/2 c. wild rice pilaf from Uncle Ben's
1/2 c. golden raisins
1/2 c. pealed pistachio nuts
1 c. sliced mushrooms
1 small onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c. cognac
cream (optional)
Salt, pepper
1/2 stick butter
olive oil
Canola oil

Pound the scallopini filets on each side with a large-toothed mallet.  This will make them thinner and larger and you'll get rid of some aggression.  Set the meat aside.

To make the filling:  first prepare the rice pilaf per package instructions.  While the rice is cooking, saute the onions and mushrooms on high heat in olive oil for 5 minutes; then add the garlic.  When the onion mixture is golden brown lower the heat, add the pistachios and raisins, stir, then add the cognac and cover for a few minutes.  Remove the cover, increase the heat and stir until most of the liquid evaporates.  Add a touch of cream and pepper to taste  When the rice pilaf is done, add a 1/2 cup to the onion mixture.  Add any salt to taste at this point since the Uncle Ben's pilaf comes with a spice packet and you don't want to over salt things.

Assembly:  Lay out a pounded veal filet.  Put a slice of ham on top [the ham slice might be smaller than the filet, but no problem; just place it at one end].  Spread a few tablespoons of the filling on the ham slice.  Roll it up and secure the roll with twine. [I tied the rolls both length wise and across.]  Repeat.  Add any left over filling to the remaining pilaf and serve later.

Cooking:  On high heat in a heavy and deep pan, melt the butter and add some Canola oil.  When the butter and oil are hot, brown the veal rolls on each side.  Then cover the pan and put in a 375 F oven for 15 minutes.

Serve with rice pilaf on the side, a vegetable, and red wine.  Enjoy!

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