Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Local Lunch

Freshly dug potatoes and harvested cabbage along with some Plum Creek humanely raised veal cutlets. A nice, simple lunch.

I rarely order veal at restaurants. Even with ethical stuff out there, I usually pass and go with other meats. But I love Plum Creek, a farm in Valley City about 45 min outside of Cleveland, and I reference it all the time--usually regarding eggs and poultry. After visiting the farm a few weeks ago, learning that it's been in their family since the early 1800s, and seeing how they're keeping it going (and grabbing a drink up the street at the Jump'n Frog), it's been nice to stop by their stand at the Market and chat. (That's not to say that I hadn't been bugging them at their stands at two of our local farmers markets for the past 2 years.) Once at their Shaker stand, it doesn't take long for Amie's dad, who's responsible for the farm's dairy and the veal, to make sure you don't forget that they have veal for sale. I've stayed strong for a while, politely declining the meat, but this time he made me a deal I couldn't refuse. So I took the frozen (sometimes it's available fresh) cutlets home and thought about them for day. Saturday turned to Sunday, the veal thawed, and this is what I came up with.

The veal cutlets were given a standard coating. First, they were patted dry and seasoned with salt and pepper. Then a quick dip in AP flour, followed by a swim in a beaten egg from the same farm (Which is interesting in context--at the farm the chickens seemed to love hanging out with the baby cows that were nursing on their mom. Little did they likely know they would sort of meet again on a plate.), and then another dip in Country Gristmill cornmeal. The coated veal was briefly (very briefly) sauteed in a mix of about 3 parts canola oil to 1 part butter. They then rested on a paper towel until being served.

And the sides, much less exciting, but still very good. For the garden potatoes it was easy. Dug this morning, cooking them was all about doing no harm. All it took was a quick steam followed by a light dusting of salt. They were rich enough on their own that butter was unnecessary.

The cabbage didn't require much work either. Just a quick saute in olive oil with salt and pepper. No caramelization, no covering and letting it cook down, nothing special. Just lightly sauteed cabbage that was flavorful, tender, and crisp.

This lunch made me happy. A squirt of lemon juice may have been a nice addition, but lacking that I just put a small piece of butter on the still warm veal. That's all the sauce that was necessary (although I wouldn't have pushed a ladleful of veal stock off the plate).

Folks around here are big on the connection from farm to table. It doesn't get much more connected than this.

And I didn't only harvest potatoes this morning:


OhioMom said...

I LOVE your garden haul, and I also liked the way you served the veggies, nothing worse than overcooked veggies, IOW mush.

maybelles parents said...

oh, those beets are lovely and that squash. Hey, do you now if it is hard to get a permit to raise chickens in the city of Cleveland? My friend is dying to do it, and I would like to enable her.

The CFT said...

As usual, I'm with you OH Mom.

MP--I don't think a permit is necesary. From what I understand, as the code is currently written it's all but impossible to do it on the up and up. The pending code is supposed to make things a lot easier. Still, just on my block one family has two ducks, and a friend has three chickens, so it's not really a problem either way (just don't get a rooster). Let me know if she needs some laying chickens (that's why I had gone to Plum Creek a few weeks ago). If you're talking about a commercial operation, I have no idea about that.

OhioMom said...

My understanding is that chickens are "domestic" bird, so it would be like having any other bird.

I know some people who live in the City of Cleveland that have chickens, but like CFT said, don't get a rooster :)

You can make a cage on wheels and move it around the yard so that your domestic birdies can benefit from insects etc ... and you can benefit from their manure.

The CFT said...

Yup to what OH Mom said, although I do believe the county/city/whatever looks at chickens differently than it does parrots, but I'm really not sure. It's all about having decent neighbors--some free eggs will go a long way.