Know what I love? Cookbooks. Few things give me more pleasure than diving into a new cookbook with my trusty Sharpie and marking off all the recipes I want to try. (I’m working on getting a life.) And my favorite new cookbook is from The Red Cat, a lovely restaurant in Manhattan known for its amped-up comfort food.
But why venture all the way from the west coast to Manhattan when Jimmy Bradley’s cookbook gives me all the wonderful recipes I need? Curried lamb chops with spinach orzo (amazing!), braised short ribs with roasted vegetables (fabulous!), sauteed scallops with morel mushroom risotto (can somebody tell me where in the F all the morels are in this city?!)…. It’s a bad-ass cookbook, and its recipes are bound to impress your guests at that dinner party you’ve been threatening to throw.
One recipe, however, blew our little minds so much, I just had to share it with you. I made a few teeny tiny adjustments to it to suit my tastes and paired it with a simple spaghetti for your gut-busting pleasure. The recipe calls for veal, but if that isn’t your bag, sub the veal for chicken cutlets, which are equally delicious and just a smidge cheaper, too! I hope you love this dish as much as we did.
VEAL CUTLETS AND SPAGHETTI
(adapted from The Red Cat Cookbook, by Jimmy Bradley and Andrew Friedman)
4 pieces of thin veal scallopini (you can usually find this at your grocery store, but it should be about 1/4 inch thick. If it isn’t, cover it with a sheet of plastic wrap and beat the snot out of it using the bottom of a frying pan or a meat mallet. If you prefer to use chicken and chicken cutlets aren’t available, buy boneless skinless chicken breasts and pound them out in the same fashion.)
one small shallot, finely diced
a handful of parsley, chopped fine
a tsp of capers, chopped fine
a tsp of thyme, chopped fine
1 small garlic clove, minced
a couple of handfuls (roughly two cups) of mixed greens (your choice– we love organic spring greens you can buy pre-packaged at the store, or even plain ol’ arugula works nice here)
a tsp, or a healthy squirt of anchovy paste (DON’T OMIT THIS! I get that you may hate anchovies, but anchovy paste is such a wonderful ingredient. I use it in salad dressings all the time, or mix it with olive oil and salt and pepper and pour it over my veggies or potatoes before I roast them. It tastes nutty and amazing, and it’s always the thing that makes people go, “This tastes incredible! What on earth did you put in this, you genius, you?” Okay, I’m paraphrasing. You can find it in the Italian aisle at the grocery store, or sometimes in the refrigerated section. Just ask. It lasts forever, too!)
about a cup of all-purpose flour
4 eggs and a splash of water
a cup of fine breadcrumbs (I love Japanese panko crumbs the best because they stay crispy)
1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
4 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
I lemon, half for squeezing over the cutlets and half for the salad dressing
salt and pepper
half a package of whole grain or whole wheat spaghetti (I just like it better than regular spaghetti. It’s heartier and better for you)
one bunch of parsley, chopped (if you have basil on hand, use that instead. Up to you, Chef!)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmigiano reggiano
salt and pepper
What To Do:
Start the pasta. Bring some water to boil in a medium-sized pot. Once it’s going, salt the water and add the spaghetti. Cook it for about 8 minutes. When you drain it, don’t rinse it with water! The starch from the pasta water makes everything stick to the pasta itself, so leave it alone, please! It thanks you.
Once the water’s going for the pasta, arrange three shallow dishes on your counter. Put the flour in one, and beat 2 eggs with a splash of water in the second dish. In the third dish, mix the breadcrumbs with the cheese, thyme, and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Melt 2 tbsp of the butter in a wide nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season the veal cutlets with salt and pepper. Dredge them in the flour, shaking off the excess, then dip them in the egg mixture, letting the excess run off. Then coat them in the breadcrumb mixture. Fry them until golden, about 3 minutes a side. Don’t overcook them, ‘cuz they’ll get tough! Reserve the veal on a plate covered in foil to keep warm.
While your veal’s frying, you can get started on the salad. Put the shallot, capers, parsley, anchovy paste, the juice of half the lemon, salt and pepper, and extra virgin olive oil in a bowl. Whisk until everything’s nicely incorporated. Don’t add your mixed greens yet– they’ll get soggy. Save it ’till the last minute!
Once the veal’s finished, wipe out the pan with a paper towel, reduce the heat to medium, and melt the remaining butter. Fry 2 eggs in the pan sunny-side up so the yoke doesn’t quite set– it’s going to break and drip all over the lovely veal and pasta, binding everything with that gooey yumminess. Hello!
Drain the spaghetti and toss it with the olive oil, parsley, and cheese. Season it with salt and pepper to taste. Mix your greens with the rest of your salad ingredients, and season it with a little more salt.
To plate, mound some spaghetti on a plate, top with two veal cutlets, and squirt with the rest of that lemon. Top with a fried egg and a bit of salad. DELISH!