Saturday, June 16, 2007

Milano. Ready to cook...

I was reticent to come to Milan. How do I continue my food voyage in a place with so many distractions; not only the outward Fashion (everywhere), Social Scene and Posing, but also a high end culinary tradition (subsidized often by fashion houses) where there is as much progressive/fusion (Armani/Nobu) and international cuisine as traditional Milanese fare.

I will have time to visit some key Trattoria's and Cafe's so I decided to get back to cooking, both as a thank you to miei amici for the their hospitality and as chance to pay homage to local ingredients I have read up on. Tonight I will focus on Veal (Vitello) and Saffron (Zafferano). While my friends sipped Gin and Tonic's, I got to work...

Appropriate to my Shrimp obsession, for the first course I made a Tomato Saffron based Soup of Scampi Fresce and Clams. I began by making a traditional vongole dish, working in stages; building the broth, straining it and adding new ingredients. I used a excellent Fazi Battaglia Blanco brought by Daniela for the reduction which we later drank with the dish.






I LOVE cooking for friends...




For the Secondi I made a traditional Veal Milanese served on a bed of Arugula (Ricola) and Tomato Salad. I had paid close attention in Sicily for clues on how to maximize the flavor, glisten and texture of this particular dish. I remember zeroing in on the dish, with each bite identifying the minutia of the process, thinking to myself "how can such a simple dish be so damn good". Aside from a great cut of farm raised meat, this is what I concurred...

Only use olive oil. Keep the heat low. Be patient (literally walk away). For the breading, use more dried Oregano than you think you should and only coat the cutlet in a small amount of beaten egg. Lastly (and most importantly) immediately after you turn the meat for the first time sprinkle more Oregano and squeeze fresh Lemon Juice. Serve the Veal that side up (the other side will need half as long to cook and will never have the same glisten).

Apparently the night is still young, so vamos...we go...

3 comments:

Suri said...

Milano. Ready to wear. chatty cathy :) call you a bit later-

I'm proud of these dishes babe-& with only two burners & one pot! work you.
You are learning your craft, having patience, observing, heart-into-stages, learning a bit about lying for the taste of it all
(one side will never have the same glisten-true story)

makes me happy you are among friends

Margaret said...

My dear brother - so many magnificent images - you and food are a beautiful match - looks like you're cookin up a spectacular storm of food - my mouth is watering seeing your masterpieces and reading your enthusiastic words.

So happy for you - my heart's with you. Missing you too!
-Sis

Monica said...

damn mikey! that veal milanese looks proper! much respect - as always, in all that you do!
bacci & abbracci ~ m*