Last night we had some friends join us for dinner. We had a relaxing time eating, enjoying some vino, and catching up. We met years back when our eldest sons started school. They ended up going through primary/junior school together and our friendship with the family grew. These are lovely people who welcome us warmly into their home and treat us like family. A visit to their home (especially when they have relatives over) always brings back fond memories of my childhood when my family would visit family friends–always lots of people, good homemade food, adults talking and laughing, and the kids (once we were done eating at the ‘kids table’) would be off in another room or the basement playing and making noise. We don’t get together very often…because life with kids and work and extra-curricular activities is busy, but we always manage to pick up where we left off–and that’s pretty darn nice!
Nelson often has a moment of stress when he’s planning a meal for these friends. You see, they do Italian right (having grown up in Italian households) and between a serious food allergy and certain food preferences, it can be difficult to come up with just the right meal that the majority will enjoy. But they love Italian food, as do we, so this meal seemed like a good choice.
Nelson made these delicious breaded veal cutlets with his nonna-approved tomato sauce, roasted potatoes and a spring-mix salad. OMG can you say “seconds please”! Man, you’d think I was eating for two–I literally filled my plate twice. Um…if I skipped lunch does this count as lunch and dinner? Seems logical to me–and makes me feel better so I’m sticking with it.
Spending time with friends and family is really important to us, and serving meals they enjoy makes us even happier. Life is busy and things can feel overwhelming at times, so these moments when we slow down to catch our breath and share in conversation and good food, are truly precious. Through all the craziness, life is good…always make time to eat well, friends.
Oh, and to Ang, thanks for the shortbread cookies–they’re a real hit in our house. Alf, thanks for bringing us more of your homemade canned tomatoes and the espresso that came straight from Italy. You guys are so good to us.
- 2 litres (2 quarts) vegetable oil
- 3½ lbs veal cutlets
- 7 cloves minced garlic
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1½ tsp course salt
- 1 cup white wine
- 4 cups flour
- 8 large eggs
- ½ cup milk
- 4 cups italian (or plain) bread crumbs
- Using a meat tenderizer (mallet), beat each piece of veal cutlet on a cutting board until it's thinner and spread wider. I recommend placing a freezer bag cut open, over the veal while tenderizing to avoid splatter.
- Place the veal, garlic, black pepper, salt and wine in a large bowl.
- Using clean hands, mix everything well.
- Transfer the meat and marinade into a large freezer bag and zip shut.
- Place the bag in the fridge overnight or for at least 4 hours.
- Heat the oil in a large wide pan on medium heat.
- Put the flour in a large shallow plate.
- Put the breadcrumbs in a large shallow plate.
- Beat the eggs and stir in the milk.
- Put the egg mixture in a wide bowl.
- Clear off a wide area on your counter. You will be setting up a homemade assembly line with 5 containers.
- Place the two shallow plates and the bowl with the egg mixture in a row, side by side (in this order: flour, eggs and breadcrumb).
- Place one more empty shallow plate beside the breadcrumb plate at the end.
- Pour the veal into a large bowl with the marinade and place it on the counter before the flour plate.
- Using tongs (or your washed hands), pickup a piece of veal and place it in the flour.
- Dredge the veal in the flour to coat all side and then shake off excess flour.
- Move the veal to the egg bowl and coat the piece of veal in the egg, making sure all sides are wet.
- Next, place the veal cutlet on the breadcrumbs, and pat/press down the veal on both side to completely cover the cutlet.
- Place the breaded cutlet on the last empty dish. Repeat the last 4 steps 3 or 4 more times.
- Careful place 3 or four coated veal cutlets (whatever fits your pan) side by side, but not overlapping in the hot oil. Be extra careful not to splash.
- While these cutlets are frying, keep coating the other cutlets.
- Let the cutlets fry for roughly 2 to 3 minutes per side. You'll know they're ready when you see a nice light golden colour on both sides.
- Line a large serving dish with a couple of layers of paper towels.
- Place the fried veal cutlets on the paper towel to soak up some of the oil.
- Keep repeating the coating/frying steps until you've used up all the veal.
- Serve the cutlets hot with your favourite tomato sauce. We highly recommend our nonna-approved tomato sauce!