Veal Oscar, Academy Awards Dinner

I’d like to thank the academy for this opportunity to write about the Oscar’s on my blog.  A foodblog isn’t a place you would normally go to read about movies and today is no different!

I am not a huge “moviegoer”.  Sitting multiple hours in those uncomfortable seats really makes me antsy.  I inhale popcorn at a superfast rate and drink more soda than I’d ever consider drinking in a week!  (Seriously, do the cups need to be that big?)  Plus no one is willing to put the movie on pause for my potty breaks!

I do watch the Oscars every year even though I don’t know half of the movies.  I like to see the clothes and hear the witty acceptance speeches.  And I must admit that I am really excited to see Billy Crystal host this year.

So what does one make as an Oscar themed dinner?  I checked out Wolfgang Puck’s menu for tonight and he is making 50 plus dishes!  I didn’t want to copy him too closely so I decided to make one grand dish worthy of the Academy Awards, Veal Oscar!!  (I mean they named it after the Oscars, right?  Actually it isn’t but history is irrelevant in today’s blog.)

When I first looked at the recipe, it looked a little too complicated.  I realized if I have everything out and ready (like you are supposed to do when you cook), I could whip this up and make this gold statue worthy!

There are four main components to this dish: veal, asparagus, crab, and béarnaise sauce.

Veal.   It (we will think of it as our Best Actor nominee, George Clooney, of our dish) has to be pounded and dredged in flour with a little salt and pepper.  Like George Clooney, it is a likable meat even if you say you aren’t a fan.  (I have liked him since his early days in Facts of Life and Roseanne.)

Crab.  When a person is compared to a crab, it is usually negative.  The crab in this dish is not the star but a good supporting character like Minny (Octavia Spencer) in The Help.  Her character was incased in a tough shell on the outside but was sweet on the inside.  (I actually saw this movie…with my bookclub.)

Asparagus.  Like Best Picture nominee, Tree of Life, is not everyone’s cup of tea.  I did read that if you give it a chance it will grow on you (both asparagus and the movie).  And similar to both items, you don’t have to do a lot with them to make them interesting.  (I am one of those people who have never been a great fan of asparagus until I ate it with this dish! )

Béarnaise.  The over the top role that makes this dish complete is the sauce.  This was the hardest one to try to find an Academy Award comparison but then it hit me, Melissa McCarthy in Bridesmaids.  The béarnaise like the character Megan is bold, brassy and completed the dish. (And I just really like Melissa McCarthy and think it is cool she got nominated.)

Do not let the length of this recipe scare you!  It comes together beautifully if you prep your ingredients before you start cooking! (I already said that once but it is REALLY important to do your prep work for this one!)

Veal Oscar

Veal Oscar Ingredients

4 Slices of Veal Scaloppini (You CAN substitute pork or chicken but you may need to adjust cooking times and in this recipe it would be like making Carrot Top the understudy of George Clooney.  It just is better with the original meat!)

Flour, for dredging

Salt and Pepper

2 Tbsp butter

1 Shallot, finely chopped

1 Tbsp tarragon, chopped

1 pound asparagus, Blanched (Boil water, put in asparagus for a minute, remove, dunk in ice water and set aside)

½ pound lump crabmeat

Veal Oscar Directions

Dredge veal in flour and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

In a large sauté pan over medium high heat, melt 1 Tablespoon of butter.

Cook veal one to two minutes per side until brown and set aside and keep warm.

Lower heat to medium; add remaining butter to pan and sauté shallot until soft.

Lower heat to low and mix in crab and tarragon with the shallot.

Lay asparagus over the top to warm them up and go make your béarnaise sauce.

Easy Béarnaise Sauce Ingredients

1 Meyer lemon (or about 1 Tbsp lemon juice)

1 Tbsp shallot, minced

A good sprinkle of salt

2 pasteurized egg yolks

4 ounces melted hot butter

2 Tbsp tarragon

Easy Béarnaise Sauce Directions

In blender, add lemon juice, shallot and salt.  (Don’t blend yet, let sit for minute)

Add egg yolks and give it a good pulse or two.

While blender is running, slowly drizzle in the hot butter.  The sauce will magically thicken up.

Stir in tarragon.

To plate your dish, place asparagus down like you were making a raft.  (You should know how to make a raft if you ever watched Gilligan’s Island.)  Place one slice of veal on top and a spoonful of the crab mixture.  Add a couple more pieces of asparagus to the top and drizzle with béarnaise sauce.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Oscar themed dinner!  I look forward to seeing all of the nominees next year some time when they come to cable and I can watch them from the comfort of my home!