Thomas Jefferson was undoubtedly one of the greatest proponents of French cuisine, and, after his term in Paris as Minister Plenipotentiary to the Court of Louis XVI from 1784 to 1788, Americans became more familiar with it than ever before. Before and after the Revolution, they were exposed to many French foods, from wine to cheese to ice cream.
ESCALOPES OF VEAL
By Chef Walter Staib
8 veal cutlets, pounded thinly
5 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 c. plus 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
Salt & pepper
3 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
1 small white onion, finely chopped
12 white button mushrooms, sliced
3 tbsp. Cognac
1 lb. asparagus, blanched al dente
½ c. Demi-Glace or prepared brown sauce, heated
2 c. Béarnaise sauce, heated
In a shallow bowl, beat eggs with 2 tablespoons of water creating an egg wash.
Season the flour with salt & pepper.
Dip each cutlet in the flour, shaking off any excess. Then dip in the egg wash.
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Place two to three cutlets a time in the pan, cooking on each side. Remove the browned medallions from the heat, and cover loosely with foil to keep warm while finishing the rest. Repeat until all cutlets have been browned.
Continue to heat the sauté pan over medium heat and add the shallots & onion, sautéing until softened and translucent. Add the mushrooms to the pan, and sauté until any liquid they release has evaporated.
Add the Cognac, and simmer, flambéing it, if desired. Continue to cook until liquid has evaporated
To serve, spoon one tablespoon of Demi-Glace on the bottom of the plate, add the veal medallions & top with ¼ of the mushroom mixture. Top with ¼ of the asparagus & top with Béarnaise sauce.
NOTE: Flambéing is a wonderful way to add flavor and intensity to a dish, but it must be done with care. First, pour the amount of liquor required into a separate measuring cup or container. Next, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the liquor. Finally, return the pan to the heat and carefully set flame to it, allowing the fire to extinguish naturally or covering the pan to extinguish it.