Please Pass the Recipe

from one generation to the next

Veal Parmagiana for my Dad

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Veal Parmagiana made an inglorious but memorable entrance into my family.

Late in 1964, my Dad spent six weeks in Milan on business. He came home with a recipe hand written in Italian on a scrap of paper. The wife of a colleague had served him Veal Parmagiana and he’d enjoyed it so much he’d asked for the recipe.

Dad was able to translate most of the ingredients but was baffled by “sugo di pomodoro”. At that time Dad’s workplace was located in inner Melbourne, home to a large migrant population from Italy, so before long he knew he needed rich Italian tomato sauce.

Dad was able to buy ready crumbed veal schnitzels, locally made Sugodoro sauce and Parmesan cheese at the Victoria Market. He translated prosciutto as ham, so cooked leg ham was sustituted. Dad then made Veal Parmagiana for us. My brother and I loved it, but Mum thought it “foreign.”

While Dad was shopping for ingredients to make us his Veal Parmagiana recipe, he had also bought a head of garlic, by no means a common ingredient in Melbourne in the 1960s. To this day, I remember the domestic uproar when Dad insisted on rubbing a cut clove on his grilled steak. He was forbidden from bringing Italian food into the house after that episode, but time took care of that and just a few years later, we were regularly eating spaghetti Bolognese.

Colloquially known as a “Parma” this dish has been reduced to cheap pub food in Australia, usually greasy deep fried crumbed chicken breast, poorly seasoned passata and oily processed cheese. However Veal Parmagiana made with good cut of meat, lightly crumbed, quickly pan fried then topped with paper thin prosciutto, well seasoned fresh tomato passata and parmagiano reggiano which has been flashed under the grill to brown is mouth wateringly delicious.

My Dad was a Cockney by birth. He clung to the rhyming slang and nonsense speak of his childhood, so Veal Parmagiana became known in our households “veal pyjamas”!!

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To serve 4

4 large pieces of veal scallopini
1 egg, whisked with 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup rice flour seasoned with sea salt and pepper
1 cup bread crumbs ( I used GF )
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I use grapeseed oil)
4 thin slices of prosciutto
1 1/2 cups thick Italian style tomato sauce, well seasoned
1 cup finely grated Parmagiano Regginano

Lay the pieces of veal on a chopping board, cover with plastic wrap, then pound to an even thickness with a meat mallet.
Coat in flour, dip in egg wash then coat in breadcrumbs. Refrigerate until needed.
Warm the tomato sauce.
Heat the oil in a large sautΓ© pan and quickly brown the crumbed veal. ( don’t worry if the veal is not cook through it will finish under the grill). Remove the veal to your grill pan, lay a slice of prosciutto on each, then top with a generous layer of warm tomato sauce. Sprinkle Parmesan on top.
Grill (broil) the Parmagiana until the cheese is browned. Serve immediately.

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About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

22 comments on “Veal Parmagiana for my Dad

  1. bakeritalia
    December 22, 2013

    This is a big family favourite in our house too. The photos are great…..I think I might make some this week now πŸ™‚

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 22, 2013

      Enjoy……and happy Christmas from downunder!

      Like

      • bakeritalia
        December 22, 2013

        Thank you! I hope Christmas Day isn’t in the forties for you all πŸ™‚

        Like

  2. ChgoJohn
    December 20, 2013

    A great recipe and what warm memories to accompany it. Your Dad sounds ike quite a guy. When I was a boy, Mom gave us our choice of dinners on each of our birthday’s. My choice was always veal parmagiana. To this day, it’s still a favorite and I started smiling as soon as I saw this post’s titl. Thanks for sharing your recipe and a bit of your Dad with us. πŸ™‚

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 20, 2013

      Warm memories of my Dad come from the heart. He was a foodie way before there was such a thing, influenced by his own father who was raised from a very early age by an Italian step father. Veal pyjamas is still a family favourite and always stimulates reminiscence about my Dad.

      Like

  3. tinywhitecottage
    December 20, 2013

    Wonderful recipe Sandra. I love how he brought the recipe home handwritten in Italian. Happy Holidays!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 20, 2013

      Thanks Seana, it’s the real deal, and absolutely delicious. Have a wonderful Christmas, I’m spending them in the tropics!

      Like

      • tinywhitecottage
        December 20, 2013

        The tropics?! Incredible! (as I sit here expecting a snow storm to hit any moment now.) I visited Florida a few times during Christmas and I loved seeing the palm trees covered in lights. Enjoy! πŸ™‚

        Like

  4. marymtf
    December 20, 2013

    Now and again, as I’m crushing up garlic for some dish, I wonder how we ever did without it. Lovely story and lovely dish.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 20, 2013

      Ah glorious garlic, I wonder how I ever managed without it! That first encounter was certainly memorable!

      Like

  5. Transplanted Cook
    December 20, 2013

    Having similar problems accessing your site. Really want to read more… Hope it’s just a technical glitch, easily fixed.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 20, 2013

      I hope you can read my post now. Please let me know if you can’t, meanwhile we’ll keep working on refining the site. Thanks for letting me know there was a glitch.

      Like

      • Transplanted Cook
        December 20, 2013

        Perfect! Lovely story.

        Like

      • ladyredspecs
        December 20, 2013

        Well that’s a relief!! Thanks, not a day goes by that I don’t miss my Dad, he was an extraordinary character!

        Like

  6. ohlidia
    December 20, 2013

    Oh Sandra, for some reason I can’t access your blog… And I really want to because you know I just love to read stories that involve moms and dads. Your Parmigiana does look incredibly delish!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 20, 2013

      Lidia, sorry for the mess up, hopefully you can access it now, if not please let me know. We are refining the site and all I can do is keep your fingers crossed and hope for the best with each change. Cutting my wonderful followers off makes me feel nervous though! Thanks for letting me know there was an issue. πŸ’

      Like

      • ohlidia
        January 3, 2014

        I finally got to read that story and what a wonderful memory that must be for you! It all looks so delicious, I’m craving this dish right now! Happy New Year Sandra and all the best in 2014! xoxoxo

        Like

      • ladyredspecs
        January 3, 2014

        And Happy New Year to you Lidia! My Dad was an adventurous eater for an Englishman. His father had the influence of an Italian step father from a very early age to whom we all give a big hearty thanks!

        Like

  7. Fae's Twist & Tango
    December 19, 2013

    I love veal pyjamas, oops, I mean veal parmagiana! πŸ˜€ ))) I can see why your Dad liked it so much that her brought home the recipe. I rally like what you have done here, with prosciutto, Italian style tomato sauce and cheese.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 19, 2013

      Thanks Fae, as you know Homemade with love is always best!!

      Like

  8. Darya
    December 19, 2013

    Oh what a wonderful memory! I am so happy your shared the story about Veal Pyjamas, this was such a fun read, and it is such a delicious dish when properly made, as you did!

    Like

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This entry was posted on December 19, 2013 by in FODMAP diet, Food, Gluten Free, Main Meals, Pork and veal and tagged , , , , .
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