Monday, October 18, 2010

A slightly less idiot proof date night recipe

Seal the Deal with Veal: veal marsala and sauteed spinach

Guys, if you've been seeing a new girl and are looking for a catalyst to smush or if you are just scheming to earn some points with your girlfriend this veal marsala recipe is guaranteed to get the job done. If you've unleashed the idiot proof date night recipe, chances are 1) you already sealed the deal (you're welcome) and 2) your ladyfriend has told all her girlfriends how awesome you are and has been dropping hints for another  dinner date night. With pressure like that, it's time to take things up a notch and try something slightly more difficult. Trust me it will be worth it, this is an actual email I received from my main squeeze the day after cooking this meal: "Good morning love! I'm still thinking about last night's dinner. It was awesome. <3." If this dish can inspire a food blogger to write a praise email (not just a text or im) than I am confident that your girl will gush about how much she loved dinner during pillow talk the next morning.

  • 1  lb of veal cutlets, your supermarket should sell them about a 1/4 inch thick. If not you can pound the meat with a hammer between two sheets of plastic wrap until its thinned out.
  • 1 large or 2 small shallots, remember our friend the shallot
  • 8 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 a pound of assorted mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup Marsala cooking wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • The leaves of 1 sprig of rosemary (this is nice to have but not necessary)
  • 1 bag of baby spinach
  • Enough pasta for two (I recommend fusilli)
  • 3-4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
Veal pairs well with red wine, I recommend Chianti because it is my favorite and opens the door for a good Silence of the Lambs joke. But if you are trying to seal the deal I'd skip the joke.

Stuff you will need from your kitchen:
  • a large frying pan or skillet for the veal
  • a pot for the pasta
  • a pot for the spinach
  • a decent knife 
  • cutting board
  • plates and silverware

Cooking the marsala:
1. Before attempting this recipe make sure that your girl isn't a card carrying member of PETA and is ok with eating a baby cow. The other blogger suggested substituting thin cut chicken, but who has ever sealed the deal with chicken?

2. If she's ok with eating veal, open that wine playa cause wine is still the key ingredient in getting some

3. Dice the shallot(s), mince 8 cloves of garlic (4 for the marsala, 4 for the spinach), and cut the mushrooms into thin slices. If you have good knife skills do this part in front of your lady, they love guys in kitchens with knives. If you think you may chop a finger off, then you might want to cut up everything before she gets there and store in the fridge.

4. Season the veal with salt and pepper on both sides, melt a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil in the frying pan, cook the veal for 1 minute per side. The veal is thin and will cook really fast. Transfer the cooked meat to a plate.

5. Add another tablespoon of butter and oil to the pan and saute the shallots for 5 minutes or until they become soft. Add the garlic and saute for another minute. Add another tablespoon of oil and butter. Add the mushrooms and saute until tender and the juices evaporate could be about 10 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt.

6. Add the Marsala and cook until it reduces by half, about 5 minutes.

7. Add the broth and rosemary cook until it reduces by half, 5 minutes

8. Add another tablespoon of butter. Return the veal to the pan, make sure to include all the juices from  the plate. Cook until veal is reheated, about 3 minutes.

Cooking the sides:
For the spinach: add oil to a pot over medium heat, add 4 cloves of minced garlic and saute for a minute. Add the entire bag of spinach. It is amazing how much it will reduce during cooking. Season with salt and pepper and saute  for about 4-5 minutes until it looks like spinach you would get in a restaurant. This can be done during steps 7 and 8 of the marsala process.

For the pasta: Follow the cooking time on the box and make sure to salt the water. Try and time it up so that it finishes around the time the veal marsala is done. If you see that the pasta is going to be ready too early, remove from heat a couple of minutes before the box says to and let it sit in the hot water until everything else is ready.

Transfer the veal spinach and pasta to a plate and spoon mushrooms and sauce over the veal and pasta. Try and make it look pretty.

This meal is the perfect storm for impressing your girl, it features a sexy ingredients like veal, mushrooms, and shallots, cooking with wine which is always romantic and it shows that you know your way around the kitchen. I thought of providing a recipe for dessert, but I'm pretty sure she'll take care of that.

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