Lieutenant Columbo’s Scallopini

Murder Under Glass is the BEST Columbo episode for foodies.  There is so much brilliant stuff going on with Cioppino, “Bon Snacks” biscuits and Japanese blowfish I cannot even begin to explain… 

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If you have never seen it, seek it out on DVD and get yourself a bottle of Margaux and a Spong Corkette and settle in for the night…

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Without giving anything away, let’s just cut to the chase and get to the Lieutenant and his cooking skills.  As mentioned in the post about Columbo’s Omelet, he claims not to be a very good cook.  However, it’s easy to see from this episode that he really does know what he’s doing with veal. 

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I have watched, and watched, and watched his technique, and here’s how he cooks Veal Scallopini (aka Escalope de Veau aux Cèpes).  I made this one Saturday night recently for just me, myself and I, and it was soooooooooooooooo good!

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Serves 2

2 veal escalopes, cut into long thin pieces if large
Approximately 1 tablespoon sweet / unsalted butter
Dash of olive oil
Salt
White pepper
2 shallots
Approx 50g dried wild mushrooms, soaked in boiling water for 20 minutes and chopped
1/2 glass red wine

Heat the butter and a dash of olive oil in a skillet / frying pan.  Season the veal with salt and white pepper (Columbo observes that white pepper “somehow looks better on veal.”)  When butter is bubbling, place veal in the pan and cook until browning on the edges, turn over and cook the other side.  Columbo’s veal is in the pan for approximately 1.45 seconds – but depends how thin your escalopes are.  Put the veal on a plate in a warm place.

Add shallots to the pan, “two should be enough” and the mushrooms and let them “bubble around” for a minute.  Then add wine, and stir around for a moment until getting hot.  Put the veal back in the pan for approximately 40 seconds to warm through.  Serve with a simple tomato and onion salad with a mustard vinaigrette:

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and lashings of Margaux!

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