I often envision the shape my dishes will take before I even con- sider flavors or components. I call this “boxing,” and it gives me the foundation to build on. Think about the plates you’re using, the theme of the evening, the personalities of your guests, and “box” them all into the perfect meal!
YIELD: 4 SERVINGS
ROASTED PEPPER SAUCE
1 (12-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained 1⁄3 cup vegetable broth
1 large clove garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon Alessi Balsamic Vinegar (or other
quality balsamic vinegar)
Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
ROASTED VEAL LOIN
2 pounds boned veal loin
Salt and pepper to taste
1⁄3 cup Dijon mustard
8 bacon slices, or enough to cover the roast
1 garlic head, separated into cloves and peeled 12 shallots, peeled
1⁄2 cup dry white wine
3 teaspoons finely chopped fresh tarragon,
divided, plus tarragon sprigs for garnish
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Season the veal with salt and pepper, spread the mustard over the top and sides, and cover the
veal with the bacon. Arrange the veal, garlic, and shallots in a roasting pan just large enough to hold them. Add the wine and roast the veal in the middle of the oven, basting every 5 minutes, for 40 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 150°F. Transfer the veal to a cutting board and let it stand, covered loosely with foil, for 15 minutes. Transfer the garlic and the shallots with a slotted spoon to a bowl, toss them with 2 teaspoons chopped tarragon, and keep them warm, covered with foil.
While the veal is standing, skim the fat from the pan juices, add 1⁄4 cup water, and deglaze the pan over high heat, scraping up the brown bits, until the mixture is reduced by half. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl and season this gravy with salt and pepper.
1⁄4 cup olive oil
2 large baking potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Brush two large baking sheets generously with
oil. Arrange the potato slices on them in one layer. Brush the potatoes with the remaining oil and
top with another two baking sheets to keep the potatoes from curling. Bake till golden brown, about 30–35 minutes. Transfer to cooling racks and season with salt and pepper.
1⁄2 cup sliced shallots
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 ounces assorted fresh mushrooms,
cleaned and sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 cup chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons white truffle oil
3⁄4 cup grated Asiago cheese, for serving
In a skillet over medium heat, cook the shallots in butter for about 1 minute. Add the mushrooms, salt, and pepper and cook until soft and most of the mushroom liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Add the stock, cream, and thyme and simmer for about 5 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by half. Remove from the heat and add the truffle oil.
Place two crispy potato slices on each of four plates. Spoon a generous spoonful of the mushroom mixture onto the potato slices. Sprinkle with
some of the grated Asiago cheese. Repeat until you have three layers, ending with the mushrooms
on top. Nestle the veal loin alongside and drizzle the roasted pepper sauce around the meat and the potato stacks.
The potatoes can be made up to five days ahead of time and reheated on the day of use.
Fall or winter.
Substitute pork loin, lamb, or chicken for the veal.