CHOPS WITH MUSTARD & CREAM
Although veal chops are a bit too pricey for our down-to-earth staff meals, they're very nice indeed for a more intimate special family meal, particularly if you're having guests. The combination of Dijon mustard and heavy cream enhanced with brandy could not be simpler, yet it makes an elegant, wonderfully flavorful sauce that tastes far more complex than the few ingredients would lead you to expect. A handful of sautéed mushrooms or a few additional herbs such as dill, basil, or thyme can be added if you wish. This recipe is also quite good made with pork chops, in which case you'll want slightly thicker chops, around about 1 1/2 inches thick.
Either version is good served with steamed spinach and some roasted potatoes. Good crusty bread, of course, is needed to enjoy the sauce to the fullest.
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3 tablespoons olive oil
4 veal or pork chops (1 inch thick; about 10 ounces each)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
1 small clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons brandy
1 cup heavy (or whipping) cream
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Coarse (kosher) salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons mixed chopped fresh herbs, such as chives, flat-leaf parsley, tarragon and/or chervil leaves
|1.||In a skillet large enough to hold the veal chops in a single layer, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it just begins to smoke. Add the chops and sauté until well browned on each side, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter and cover to keep warm.|
|2.||Discard the oil in the skillet, then wipe out the skillet with a paper towel. Set over medium heat and add the butter. When it's melted, add the shallots and garlic and sauté until aromatic but not browned, about 1 minute.|
|3.||Remove the skillet from the heat and add the brandy; be careful here, because the brandy may ignite. Add the cream and mustard to the skillet and return the skillet to the heat, increasing the heat to high. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Return the veal chops to the skillet, along with any accumulated juices, and simmer until the sauce has reduced enough to coat the back of a spoon and the chops are just cooked through (a hint of pink will remain when you pierce a chop with a sharp knife), 4 to 5 minutes. Turn the chops in the sauce once as they cook.|
|4.||Remove the skillet from the heat and season the chops with lemon juice and salt and pepper. Transfer the chops to a serving platter, spoon the sauce over them, and serve immediately, sprinkled with the chopped fresh herbs.|
Excerpted from STAFF MEALS FROM CHANTERELLE copyright © 2000 David Waltuck, Melicia Phillips.
Reprinted with the permission of Workman Publishing Co., Inc. All Rights Reserved.