Sunday, May 27, 2012

Dinner: Grilled Veal Chops, Mac & Cheese and Warm Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Radish

For my first meal post, I couldn't decide whether I wanted to split the recipes up into separate posts, or if I wanted to present then meal in its entirety. As you can tell, I chose the latter, and so, I now present to you, my first dinner collection. 

Melbourne is currently freezing through Autumn, so something warm and hearty was definitely on the menu. I ended up cooking a three-dish dinner of grilled veal chops with Mac & Cheese (macaroni and cheese) and a side of warm roasted brussels sprouts and radish made with fresh ingredients purchased at the markets that morning. The veal chops were simple yet tender, and the Mac & Cheese made with quality cheese was pure comfort food. I found the recipe while browsing through the "Rockpool" cookbook, and having had it mentioned during conversation a few days before that meant that I had to give it a shot. 

I was initially at a loss for what I would cook with the brussels sprouts as they're generally a bit bland, after seeing the beautiful bunch red radishes, my decision was made of me.

Brussels Sprouts and Radishes
I live in a tiny apartment with limited bench and oven space. So instead of my usual routine of juggling pots and pans, and chopping boards and knives, I decided that doing the preparation work, and neatly setting everything out before I started cooking would be the smarter option. 

Bacon and Cheese for the Mac & Cheese
Chopped Brussels Sprouts and Radishes
Soon enough though, it was time to start with the actual cooking. The creamy, and excessively (in a good way) cheese sauce base for the Mac & Cheese simmered away nicely on the stove while I sauteed the brussels sprouts and radishes.

Sauce for the Mac & Cheese

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts & Radishes

Juggling all the different dishes between the stove top and the oven was a bit a challenge, but somehow I managed in the end (and didn't get too much oil on my precious camera). I actually ignored the heat instructions for the sprouts and radishes and put the pan in the same oven as the Mac & Cheese. The bottom rack was far enough from the top grill so that the vegetables didn't get burnt, but the ambient heat from the oven was hot enough to roast them. The veal chops were surprisingly simple, yet tasty, so there aren't many pictures except for the final result. Without much further ado though, here are the recipes.  

Mac & Cheese 
Adapted from "Rockpool" by Neil Perry. Serves 2. 

  • 200 g dried macaroni 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 rashers bacon, diced
  • 250 mL thickened cream
  • 75 g freshly grated cheddar
  • 150 g chopped Camembert (the original recipe calls for grated Gruyere)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 2 tsp whole-seeded mustard (the original recipe calls for Dijon mustard)
  • sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 50 g freshly grated Parmesan 
  • 40 g fresh breadcrumbs   
  1. Cook the macaroni in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and fresh in iced water (I did this twice in normal cold tap water). Drain again and place in a large bowl. 
  2. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until golden. Drain on paper towel, then add to the macaroni.
  3. Return the pan to the heat, add the cream, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat and gradually add the cheddar and Gruyere, stirring until melted.
  4. Combine the garlic, paprika and mustard to form a paste, then stir into the mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add to the macaroni mixture and stir through.
  5. Heat a grill to high. Place the mixture into a baking dish. Sprinkle over the Parmesan, then the breadcrumbs. Grill until the top is golden (approximately 5 minutes).
Mac & Cheese

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Radish
Adapted from Scrumptious Street Blog. Serves 2. 

  • 6-8 fresh radishes, washed and quartered
  • 6-8 fresh Brussels Sprouts, trimmed and quartered
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  1. Preheat oven to 200˚C (or use the same setting as for the Mac & Cheese, but make sure the pan is placed on the bottom rack of the oven).  Wash and quarter radishes and sprouts, removing the outer leaves from the sprouts. 
  2. Place the oil in a large oven-safe skillet and turn the heat to medium-high.  When the oil is hot, add the radishes and sprouts and saute until they are just beyond raw, and starting to brown on the edges.
  3. Add the star anise, season with salt and pepper.  Add the butter to the pan and toss everything together and place into the oven.
  4. Roast for 15 minutes, until the vegetables are just tender and there are brown and crispy edges to the Brussels Sprouts.  Remove from the oven and pour lemon juice over the veggies.  Toss together and adjust seasoning if necessary.  Serve immediately.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Radishes

Grilled Veal Chops
Serves 2. 

  • 2 x 200 g veal cutlets (at room temperature)
  • Sea salt
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon wedges (to serve)
  1. Heat the grill until extremely hot. 
  2. Season each side of the cutlets with salt and drizzle with oil.
  3. Cook one side of the cutlets for 7 minutes, rotating 90 degrees halfway through. Turn the cutlets over and cook for another 7 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and set aside for a few minutes. 
  5. Sprinkle cutlets with salt and serve with a wedge of lemon. 
Grilled Veal Chops with Mac & Cheese and Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Radishes

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