Tag Archives: Veal

recipe goodness :: grandma dilaura’s veal scaloppine

Grandma DiLaura's Veal Scallopine

Grandma DiLaura’s Veal Scaloppine

I always loved when my grandma made this dish for dinner, but I didn’t realize it left a big impression on people who weren’t part of our immediate family. A few weeks ago I got a request from my dad’s childhood friend, Skip, to publish this recipe. I’ve never met Skip, but I imagine him tagging along behind the younger version of my dad after a few hours of neighborhood baseball. Of course my grandma would have made enough food to feed 17 people, so it was no big deal that Skip would have been asked to pull up a chair and join for dinner — after removing his baseball cap, washing his hands and calling his mother to ask permission, of course.  So this one’s for you Skip!

Vito my Veal Butcher

Vito my Veal Butcher

Step one: find the best butcher in the neighborhood. Preferably one with an old school butcher block, guys in white coats with metal mallets and a man named Vito. For this adventure, we headed up to the best kept Italian secret, Arthur Avenue, and did just that. Ask Vito to get to work hand-slicing each cutlet and pounding it until it’s paper thin and doubled in size. Note to you veal haters out there, you can use chicken but grandma might yell at you.

Veal Assembly

Grandma DiLaura’s Veal Scaloppine

1-2 veal {or chicken} cutlets per person depending on the size
1 plate of flour, seasoned with salt & pepper
2-3 eggs, beaten and seasoned with s&p
1 dish of panko {or regular} breadcrumbs, seasoned with salt & pepper
Vegetable Oil for frying
Salt to season
Lemon wedges
Fresh parsley, chopped

  1. Have your butcher pound each cutlet {or do it yourself if you want to work harder} until 1/4 inch thick and even.
  2. Line up three dishes — one with enough flour to coat both sides of each cutlet, one with beaten eggs and one with enough breadcrumbs to coat both sides of each cutlet. Season each dish with salt and pepper. Note, you can always add more, so start with what looks like just enough.
  3. Work with one cutlet at a time. Designate one hand the dry hand and one hand the wet hand to keep from getting gooey hands. Using the dry hand, add to flour and coat both sides. Shake off excess flour and then add to the egg dish. Picking up with the wet hand, let excess egg drip off and add to the breadcrumbs. Coat both sides using the dry hand and then place on a baking sheet. Repeat to coat each of the cutlets, placing a layer of plastic wrap or waxed paper between each layer of cutlets on the baking sheet.
  4. Using a large, deep skillet pour ~1/2 inch of oil in the pan and bring to medium-high heat. Test when the oil is ready by dropping a bread crumb into the oil at which point you should see bubbles form around the edges as they start sizzling.
  5. Being careful not to over crowd the pan, add 2-3 cutlets at a time and cook until golden brown on one side, ~2-3 minutes. Flip and cook the other side until golden brown, ~2-3 more minutes depending on how high your heat is and how thick each piece is.
  6. Remove from oil and place on a plate or baking sheet lined with paper towel to absorb excess oil. Sprinkle with flaky maldon salt to taste.
  7. Cook remaining cutlets, adding additional oil to the pan and adjusting the temperature as needed.
  8. Serve on a platter with lemon wedges and chopped fresh parsley sprinkled over the top…and a big jug of red wine.
Mangia!

Mangia!

Grandma is the Best Cook in the World:
Secret DiLaura Family Frittata with Sweet Italian Sausage
Grandma’s Italian Wedding Chicken Soup
Homemade Gnocchi and Sauce: Channeling My Italian Grandmother
Violet’s Lemon Cheesecake 

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Filed under @home {recipes to love}

Home for the Holidays, Having Italian to Write Home About @Bucci

Bucci

There are a handful of places I love to visit when I go home to Grosse Pointe to visit my parents — one of them is Bucci, an unexpectedly good Italian bistro worthy of a New York City corner, but nestled between a barber shop and a physical therapy storefront in suburban Michigan.

Bucci, the childhood nickname of Chef and owner, Bujar Mamuslari, was established in 1999 and has been packing seats with its open kitchen concept ever since. The extensive Italian menu was inspired by Bujar’s travels throughout Italy during a summer culinary school internship. Hitching a ride from town to town, Bujar was welcomed into the kitchens (and generations of nonna’s family secrets) in homes spanning the knickers to the heal of Italy’s boot.

Sitting at Bucci’s kitchen bar this evening, we had a front row seat to witness how all those countryside learnings inspired Bujar’s own stateside venture. There was so much going on at once, it was hard to keep track of it all. As our waitress chatted with us, she uncorked our wine and shouted out our calamari order to the chef, who with a nod, relayed to the line cook to toss the squid and peppers onto a sizzling pan, all while throwing the makings of, what I counted to be, 30 take-out orders into pots and pans for expedited boiling and saucing. Down the line, the third cook was expertly lining up each of the take-out containers, filling, stacking and double checking each order before moving them aside for pick-up. All of this was over in a matter of minutes and the three behind the counter were back on point, preparing dishes for the dining room. Easy entertainment while we sipped our wine and tore at our fresh Italian bread.

Back in suburbia, entrees still come with a soup or salad (why doesn’t anyone do this in NYC?) It’s not just a small, wilted pile of mixed greens drenched in house dressing. No, at Bucci you can have any salad off the menu as a side to your entree. I went for the spinach salad with crumbled blue cheese, walnuts and dried cherries, all tossed in a lovely bright lemon dressing.

For my entree, the Veal Pizzaiola topped with fresh tomatoes, herbs, olives capers and parmigiana reggiano was calling my name. The meal itself, was a thing of beauty, but what added to the artful presentation of Italian flavors was a crafty little plate painting drawn using oils and vinegar in the shape of a flower.

Veal Pizzaiola

Generally with Christmas around the corner I would have saved room and passed on dessert, but there was mention of a homemade hazelnut semi-freddo, enrobed in a warm chocolate sauce — one order, 3 spoons please! Just as no dish before it, the dessert did not disappoint.

Hazelnut Semi-freddo

 

The Skim: Next time you find yourself in the Detroit area and looking for a hearty meal reminiscent of a trip to Italy, pay a visit to Bucci. Everything from the fresh, warm bread to anything on the actual menu will have you thinking your Italian grandmother is in the kitchen. And whether you’re chatting with Bucci, his wife or any of the friendly staff you will feel as though you have been welcomed into someone’s house for a home-cooked meal.

Map: 20217 Mack Avenue, Grosse Pointe Woods, MI
Reservations: Taken!
Phone: 313.882.1044

More From the Motor City:
Best Breakfast: The Chocolate Gallery Cafe
Detroit’s Slows Bar-B-Q is Quickly Becoming a Motor City Beacon
Going Back to the Old Country @ New Yasmeen Bakery

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Filed under Eat Here!, Travel Bite