Remembering by cooking

It’s not the same without you.
It’s not the same at home…
-It’s Not the Same, poem #68

Those who knew him knew that my dad loved to cook and he loved to eat. And though I have become a pescatarian since he died on Dec. 1, 2002, cooking his favorite meals, eating his favorite foods and visiting his favorite restaurants is a way our family continues to remember him, despite that empty chair at the dinner table.

His absolute favorite recipe? Veal with Caramelized Onions & Horseradish Potatoes from the Four Seasons Hotel Restaurant Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 7.02.40 PM

Ingredients needed for 4-6 servings (according to number of chops)

    • 6-7 ounce veal loin chops
    • Olive oil
    • Salt & pepper
    • 3 tablespoons butter
    • 3 medium~large onions, thinly sliced
    • 1 cup chicken stock or canned broth
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 3 medium~large russet potatoes, peeled, thinly sliced
    • 1-1/2 cups coarsely grated peeled, fresh horseradish (1 large or 2 small roots)
    • Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
    • 1-1/2 cups whipping cream

Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until golden brown (approximately 40-45 minutes). Add stock and sugar and simmer until almost all liquid is absorbed (approximately 10-15 minutes). Note: onions can be prepared one day ahead if refrigerated.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Place potatoes in 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish (grease dish first). Top with horseradish. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper. Pour cream over. Cover with foil and bake until potatoes are tender (approximately 45 minutes). Uncover and continue baking until golden brown (approximately 10 minutes). Set aside to cool slightly.

Prepare barbecue or preheat broiler. Brush veal chops with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Grill or broil veal to desired doneness (approximately 5 minutes per side for medium).

Cut potato casserole into six rectangles. Using metal spatula, transfer potatoes to plates. Top each potato rectangle with one veal chop. Bring onion mixture to simmer. Spoon over veal and serve.

Favorite dessert? Chocolate-Praline Layer Cake chocpraline

Ingredients needed for 12 servings

    • 1 cup packed brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
    • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
    • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
    • 1 package chocolate cake mix (regular size)
    • 4 eggs
    • 1 cup fat-free milk
    • 1/2 cup butter, softened
    • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
    • 1 package (3.4 ounces) cook-and-serve chocolate pudding mix
    •  1-3/4 cups heavy whipping cream
    • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a small heavy saucepan, combine the brown sugar, butter and cream. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Pour into two greased 9-in. round baking pans and sprinkle with pecans.

In a large bowl, beat the cake mix, eggs, milk, butter, sweetened condensed milk and pudding mix; beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. Transfer to prepared pans.

Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

In a large bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla; beat until stiff peaks form.

Place one cake layer on a serving plate, praline side up. Spread with half of the whipped cream. Top with remaining cake layer; spread remaining whipped cream over top. Garnish with chocolate curls and candies.

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