It's a spanking brand new year with new culinary adventures on the horizon. For many of us, it's also a time to set aside all that rich eating and start getting back to basic eating. But let's face it — it's hard to forgo the flavours of the last few weeks! Here's a selection of delightfully delicious dishes that are easy to create but don't break the fat and calories bank either.
Pulled Veal Cups
The recipe is moist and delicious, and the flavour builds as it cooks. Served up on lettuce leaves, this dish is colourful and light. Recipe courtesy Ontario Veal Appeal (Ontariovealappeal.ca).
- 2 tsp. (10 ml) canola oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) chili powder
- 1 tsp. (5 ml) paprika
- 3/4 cup (175 ml) chopped pitted Medjool dates
- 2 cups (500 ml) tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) vegetable broth
- 2 tsp. (10 ml) dried thyme leaves
- 1/2 tsp. (2 ml) freshly ground black pepper
- 1 veal round or loin roast (about 3 lb/1.5 kg)
- 2 heads Boston lettuce
- 1 small zucchini, shredded
- 1 small yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
In a saucepan, heat oil over medium heat and cook onion, garlic, chili powder and paprika for 3 minutes or until softened. Stir in dates, tomato sauce and broth; bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes or until dates are very soft. Scrape into blender and puree until smooth; set aside. Sprinkle thyme and pepper all over veal and brown all sides over medium high heat in non-stick skillet. Place roast in shallow roasting pan or casserole dish. Pour sauce all over roast. Cover with foil and place in 325F. (160C.) oven for about 2 hours and 30 minutes or until roast is fork tender. Remove roast from dish and using two forks shred meat. Return to pan and toss with sauce. Serve pulled veal in lettuce cups topped with zucchini and yellow pepper. Servings: About 6 1/2 cups (1.625 L), 12 servings Tip: Use this veal mixture to serve up over rice or noodles as an alternative dinner idea or spread over pizza crust for a very flavourful meat base with veggies and cheese.
Veal and Tomato Melt
This open faced hot sandwich served up with a mixed greens salad is perfect at lunch or for a light dinner. Recipe courtesy Ontario Veal Appeal (Ontariovealappeal.ca).
- 3 Tbsp. (45 ml) all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. (5 ml) dried thyme leaves
- 1/4 tsp. (1 ml) freshly ground pepper
- 4 veal scaloppini (about 10 oz/300 g)
- 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup (250 ml) halved grape tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) aged balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) crumbled goat cheese
- 2 ciabatta buns, halved and toasted
In a shallow bowl, combine flour, thyme and pepper. Dredge both sides of scaloppini into flour mixture letting excess fall off. In a large non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium high heat and brown veal on both sides. Place on parchment or foil lined baking sheet; set aside. In a bowl, stir together tomatoes, parsley, garlic and vinegar. Spoon evenly over top of scaloppini. Sprinkle with goat cheese and broil about 6 inches (15 cm) from broiler for about 3 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and serve on ciabatta halves. Makes 4 sandwiches.
Chocolate and Coffee Tiramisu
This classic restaurant dessert is light and a great make-ahead dessert. Breathe new life into this tried and true dessert with the crisp flavour of goat cheese in the custard. Recipe courtesy Ontario Goat Cheese (Ontariogoatcheese.ca).
- 1 cup (250 ml) espresso or strong black coffee
- 3 Tbsp. (45 ml) coffee liqueur
- 2 sleeves (about 250 g total) saviorardi cookies (about 22 cookies)
- 1/3 cup (75 ml) finely grated chocolate
- Goat Cheese Cream:
- 2 cups (500 ml) milk
- 3 strips lemon rind
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/3 cup (75 ml) granulated sugar
- 3 Tbsp. (45 ml) all-purpose flour
- 1 small log (140 g) Ontario chevre (soft, unripened goat cheese), softened
Goat Cheese Cream: In a small saucepan or microwaveable bowl, heat milk and lemon rind for about 5 minutes or until steaming. Meanwhile, in bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar and flour. Gradually whisk in hot milk. Return to saucepan and cook, whisking over low heat for about 10 minutes or until thickened. Whisk in goat cheese until smooth and remove lemon strips.
In a shallow bowl, combine coffee and liqueur. Quickly dip each cookie into coffee mixture and start placing cookies in a greased 8-inch (2 L) square baking dish, continue with cookies to cover bottom, cutting cookies if necessary to fit. Pour half of the cream over top of the cookie layer. Lay another cookie layer on top. Pour any remaining coffee mixture over top. Spread with remaining cream and sprinkle evenly with chocolate. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 2 days until cookies are softened. Makes 9 servings. Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.