Welcome to our special Food Issue! In case you hadn't noticed, we do these twice a year; one for the five-star side of food, and the other focusing on more down-to-earth food.
I suppose you're wondering which camp I'm in? As a Michelin chef can I really be in any other camp than the exclusive one? Yes, I can, actually. Remember, I am the man almost solely responsible for the revival of the simple stock cube. And I come from humble beginnings, a fact I have never forgotten.
Nothing annoys me quite as much as food snobbery. Well, some things do annoy me as much, but I won't go into those right now, we could be here all day.
I have always been down to earth and don't plan to change any time soon. I find the whole idea of getting all high and mighty because you know how to fry a fish risible. But that is no reason not to branch out and aim for the stars when it comes to your cooking. Which is why I have gone for a veal recipe for this issue.
Some of you may not agree with veal, and if that's the case you may as well go and polish your sandals, this column is no place for you. Although I will always go for free-raised veal whenever I can.
Others may think veal is a luxury item and I am here to tell you it is not. What could be more popular than the old Wiener Schnitzel? Or veal Parmigiana?
In fact, the simple breaded veal cutlet used in this recipe differs only slightly from a Wiener Schnitzel. That Viennese dish calls for the cutlet to be sautéed in lard, while this Milanese version uses oil and butter. Remember, Milan and Vienna are only about 320km apart and both were part of the Austrian Empire for hundreds of years, so it's not surprising their cuisine is similar.
By the way, if you can't get this dish from prep to table in 20 minutes, you need to brush up on your skills. It's another easy offering that hypothetical cat of mine could make.
Austrians and Italians have been enjoying veal since ancient times, so join in and celebrate our special Food Issue with a meal of veal. You see, I'm a poet, and you didn't know it. Happy eating, dear readers, until next week.
MAKE IT YOURSELF
Veal cotoletta alla Milanese
400g plain white flour
12 whole eggs, beaten
8 pcs veal escalopes, approximately 150g each
100ml olive oil
32 cherry tomatoes on the vine, grilled until slightly soft
Sea salt to taste
4 lemons, halved, for garnish
1. Combine flour, eggs and breadcrumbs into a bowl.
2. Dip each escalope into the mixture until both sides are well covered.
3. Heat the olive oil with the butter, allow it to sizzle and then add the escalopes and sauté for a couple of minutes on each side until golden (do only two at a time to avoid overcrowding the pan).
4. Halve the cherry tomatoes. Place an escalope on each plate, lay eight cherry tomato halves on top, sprinkle with sea salt and garnish with half a lemon.