Fathers Day Dinner 2014, and the root of why I love cooking.

with gorgonzola 2

For Fathers Day, my mom and I made dinner for my dad. It’s a running tradition, as my dad loves food and, although he also loves cooking, probably enjoys having someone else do that (and the dishes!) for him.

There’s an excellent butcher in the next town over from them, so they picked up some beautiful veal chops. Dad wanted something with mushrooms and gorgonzola (which I can never pronounce correctly, because Colin like to call it gorGONZOla, because he is a goober).

I can’t lie, my mom pretty much handled the veal, because mom = executive chef and daughter = handle the sides, please.

So my mom made these amazing chops with a wild mushroom wine sauce, and I made roasted garlic mashed potatoes and this creamed spinach, which has become a family favorite.

chops raw 1

with rub

bowl of mushrooms

with gorgonzola 3

melted cheese 3

plate 1

It’s so nice to be able to drive back to my parents’ house and cook for/with them. With Colin and I on such different schedules, I don’t always get to cook for two – and when I’m by myself, I’m prone to resorting to eating like, five pickles and a bag of popcorn for dinner. Or making roasted potatoesAgain. Because I have a problem.

To me, cooking is best when I get to do it for others. This article was published on Slate about a year ago, and the following quote really hit home for me, and sums up exactly what it is about cooking that I love:

“The satisfaction on her face is the kind that can only come from the knowledge that you have created something that sustains both the bodies and the spirits of the people in your care.”

I think this just means I need to throw a dinner party soon.

My mom doesn’t usually measure when she cooks, so the veal chop recipe is pretty much just going to call for ingredients.

Roasted veal chop with wild mushrooms and gorgonzola (adapted from Edible Aria)
veal chops
fresh wild mushrooms (we used shiitake)
minced garlic
fresh rosemary
olive oil
beef stock
crumbled gorgonzola (enough to cover your veal chops)

Mix your salt, pepper, minced garlic and rosemary together to create a dry rub for your veal chops. Coat the veal on all sides, then allow it to sit for about 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 450F and heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add enough oil to thinly coat the bottom of the pan, then add your veal chops to the pan and brown on all sides. Transfer to the oven and roast until barely medium rare, about 15 minutes, depending on thickness, then set the chops aside to rest.

Deglaze the pan with your madeira, then add your beef stock and mushrooms. Simmer for three to five minutes.

Place your chops on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, then top with lots of gorgonzola. Press the gorgonzola lightly into the chop using a fork. Turn on your broiler, then place chops under the broiler until the cheese begins to melt and turn golden – this shouldn’t take long.

Serve with mushroom madeira sauce.

Roasted garlic mashed potatoes
4 large potatoes
1 head roasted garlic (here’s a good tutorial)
6 tablespoons (about 3/4 stick of butter)
1/2  to 1 cup of half and half
salt and pepper, to taste.

Peel your potatoes and cut into chunks. Add to a pot and cover them with water. Bring the pot to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook the potatoes until they’re pierced easily by a fork (15-20 minutes). Drain the potatoes, then add them back to the pot. Add your butter, half and half (start with about 1/2 a cup, then see if you need to add more as you go), roasted (and peeled) cloves of roasted garlic, and salt and pepper. Whip with a hand mixer until you reach your desired consistency.

Happy eating!

plate 2


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