Sunday, July 8, 2012

A friend for dinner

I had Leah coming over for dinner on Friday night, so I needed a recipe I could quickly make after work. Veal cordon bleu (p154), along with some salad and spuds, seemed to fit the bill.

I also looked for a suitable pudding - luckily, I still had one crumble recipe to do, and a couple of apples in the fruit bowl. I chopped up my apples and, since that wasn't really enough, added a pear to the mix, then put them in a saucepan on a low heat to stew.

Meanwhile, I mixed up my fruit crumble (p209). This one doesn't have any oats in it, so it's just flour and baking powder, with butter rubbed into it and sugar stirred through. When I went to assemble the pudding, I realised I didn't have nearly enough fruit for all the topping I'd made, or even to fill the dish I'd planned to use. Instead, I used a large ramekin, filling it with fruit and sprinkling over first brown sugar, then as much of the crumble topping as I could.

I set the crumble aside and started work on my cordon bleu, selecting four pieces of schnitzel, covering them with plastic wrap and rolling them thin. Since the recipe uses beef schnitzel, I'm not sure why it's called 'veal' cordon bleu - is schnitzel perhaps made from a young enough animal that it can be considered veal, or is the recipe just named a bit inaccurately? 

On two of the pieces of schnitzel, I laid ham, then cheese, before placing the other pieces of schnitzel over the top and pressing the edges together. Next, I coated each of my sandwiched schnitzel parcels in seasoned flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs, then repeated the egg and breadcrumbs again. 

My cordon bleu was ready to cook, but my guest wasn't there yet, so I pottered around cleaning up and throwing together a salad. As soon as Leah arrived, I melted butter in a pan and added a little oil, then cooked my schnitzels for five minutes on each side.

They looked golden and delicious as I took them out of the pan, and when we sat down to eat we found they tasted great too, the crunchy crumb giving way to a the savoury meat and cheese filling. These are not actually as fiddly to make as you might think, (though the flour and breadcrumb dipping can make a mess) so if you like the sound of it, have a go sometime.

I put my crumble in the oven when we finished eating. I checked it periodically after that, but it didn't seem to be browning. It was a good half-hour later that I realised I hadn't actually switched the oven onto 'bake' from 'keep warm'. That'd do it! I switched it on properly, and ten minutes later we were partaking of apple crumble and hokey pokey ice cream. 

The crumble was nice enough - a hot fruit crumble is never a bad thing on a cool winter's evening - but I still think that a crumble without oats is not quite as good. It just doesn't have the same texture. That's just my opinion though - your Edmonds book has several different crumble variations to choose from, so pick the one you like the sound of, or, even better, try them all!

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