I could count on one hand the number of times I’ve made veal, not because of a moral thing (leave your outrage in the comments section, please), but because I’m usually underwhelmed by the flavor and haven’t experienced it to be the tender delicacy it’s cracked up to be.
But when I asked The Rob what he wanted for dinner Sunday night, he said, “Not chicken. Not steak. And not pork. Veal! Veal with gravy! You know, that kind of gravy that goes with veal?”
Gentle reader, I did not. However, I intuited that he meant not gravy but sauce, and came up with a take on Veal Piccata incorporating asparagus and capers, that took under an hour, including fettucine and salad on the side.
Though the recipe itself was easy, getting the veal was not. My regular Met Foods, unsurprisingly, did not have it. At the schwanky market in Fort Greene (let’s just call it Stop & Gentrify), the guy behind the meat counter responded to my request with a hollow, pitying “Nooo,” as if to say, “Sooo sorry we can’t accommodate your sick fetish, Jeffrey-Dahmer-of-baby-cows.”
Based on my location, this led to a horrible sinking realization: I would have to forsake my vow to never return to the Pathmark at the Atlantic Center, the mall I’m pretty sure is modeled on a few of Dante’s circles of hell (only less efficiently designed), with the Pathmark representing the deepest and most horrific level.
After I trekked there, my heart sank, for I had no success finding veal. But to my pleasant surprise, just as I was about to sink to my knees on that filthy floor and curse to the heavens about what kind of God would allow me to go to the Pathmark in vain, an employee whose nametag read “Diddy” led me to the exact super-thin sliced cutlets I wanted. Gentle reader, this was a Gay Pride Day miracle as far as I was concerned--I mean, it was a miracle, and it was Gay Pride Day, so there you go.
However, I still had to wait 15 minutes in the “express” line, where you have to scan your own groceries. This was an utterly new and bewildering experience, which seriously caused me to act like a scene out of Demolition Man or Encino Man or any of those “Man” movies where someone from the past gets unfrozen and is hopelessly confused by technology. So that was another ten minutes, during which I had to ask the Pathmark hall monitor for help like, six times.
But anyhoo! I procured the veal and cooked it, and it was pretty good! And here’s the recipe!