December 1, 2008

go head's gluten free! veal scaloppini

A vandal, or as I prefer to think, a guerrilla artist, has put electrical tape 'Hitler' mustaches on all the advertisements around Time Square. A man in suite weaves by on a kick scooter with a tennis racket around his neck. Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore. Or, in my case, Ann Arbor, MI.

Which is good because this month 'Go ahead honey, it's gluten free!' is being hosted by Nooshin at For The Love of Food and she choose Foods From Our Childhood as our theme. She wanted us to recreate something special from our childhood. Something that makes us feel warm and fuzzy and think of home.

We always had a home cooked meal (or 'planned overs') but when I think back I can only remember a few of Mom's stand-bys. I have already made her chicken soup, and I make Nonna's pasta sauce all the time. Grilled chicken is, frankly, fairly boring, and though I haven't had a comforting pot roast or stew in a while these I wanted to dig deeper. I wanted to fix a truly special meal from my childhood. A special occasion meal.

Mom had a meal that she prepared she prepared once or twice a year, if that. A recipe that she learned from her Nonnie, my great-grandmother and namesake. Another family recipes passed down from the Old World. We had veal scaloppini for Christmas, and for my birthday when I asked for it.

I remember going to the butcher in Kerry Town, still surrounded by the original red brick paving, the old world feel of the shop. The butcher there was the only one who cut the veal thinly enough to please Mom. I loved the whole process of visiting the butcher, working in the kitchen with Mom: mixing the milk and egg, dipping the veal in the bread crumbs, and the crisp golden crust on the veal, the whole event, not just the meal, was a special occasion for me.

Once, when the Trainer and I were first dating and I lived in Brooklyn I made this for him with gluten free bread crumbs, egg and milk and he really liked it. My challenge this time was to try to replicate the flavor with out the standard bread crumbs. So, with my thinking cap on, I served the Trainer his second plate of veal scaloppini and it tasted just the way I hoped.

Veal Scaloppini
1 cup toasted pine nuts
1 cup blanched almond meal
1 Lb veal scaloppini
2 egg whites
olive oil
lemon wedges

Quickly grind pine nuts in a blender until they form a course meal, being careful not to over grind and create a 'butter'. Mix ground pine nuts and almond meal in a shallow bowl or deep plate. I a second bowl quickly beat eggs whites. Line a baking sheet with brown paper and paper towel. Heat a large skillet and pour in enough olive oil to well coat the bottom. While oil is heating prepare the veal: dip each piece of veal first in the egg whites and then into the nut meal, making sure both sides are coated. Lay veal in a single layer in the skillet. Cook on on side until golden brown and then flip. When first batch of veal is cooked lay it on the paper towel in the prepared baking sheet. Add more olive oil to pan as needed and cook the remaining veal

Serve with a squeeze of lemon

If you have a problem with nuts, use gluten free bread crumbs. If you can't do eggs, use egg replacement for two eggs.

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