PANEED VEAL AND FETTUCINE (from New Orleans, for six)
6 quarts hot water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 pound fettuccine
½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2-1/2 cups heavy cream
½ teaspoon cayenne
¾ cup plus 4 teaspoons finely grated Parmesan
1-3/4 cups fine, dry breadcrumbs
1-1/2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
¾ teaspoon white pepper
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
six, 3-1/2 to 4 ounces, slices of baby white veal, pounded thin
vegetable oil for pan frying
1. Place the water, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and salt in a large pot over high heat. Cover and bring to a boil. When the water reaches a rolling boil, add the fettuccine, return to a boil, and cook uncovered until al dente (about 12 minutes). Do not overcook.
2. Drain immediately into a colander and stop the cooking by running cold water over the strands (if you used dry pasta, first rinse with hot water to wash off the starch). After it has cooled thoroughly, about 2 to 3 minutes, pour a liberal amount of vegetable oil on your hands and toss the fettucine. Set aside in the colander.
3. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium low heat and add the cream and red pepper. Turn the heat to medium high. With a metal wire whip whisk the cream constantly as it comes to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce has reduced some and thickened enough to coat a spoon well, about 7 or 8 minutes, whisking constantly. Remove from the heat and gradually add ¾ cup Parmesan, whisking until the cheese is melted. Set aside.
4. In a shallow pan combine the bread crumbs, parsley, olive oil, white pepper, onion and garlic. Mix well. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs well, then beat in the remaining 4 teaspoons Parmesan. Soak the veal in the egg mixture for at least 5 minutes, being sure to coat it thoroughly.
5. Heat ¼ inch oil to about 400* in a large skillet. Just before frying, dredge veal in the bread crumbs, coating well and pressing the crumbs with your hands, Shake off any excess.
6. Fry the veal in the hot oil until golden brown, about 1 minute per side. Do not crowd. (Change the oil midway through frying if the crumbs on the bottom start to burn). Remove veal to a large platter and set aside.
7. Reheat the cheese sauce over medium high heat, whisking frequently (if the butter starts separating from the sauce, whisk in about 1 tablespoon cream or water). Add the fettucine and toss until thoroughly coated and heated through, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
NOTE: For the best pan-fried crust, the frying oil should be just deep enough to come up the sides of the food without covering the top. It is important that the oil be hot enough to seal the meat in the bread crumb coating without penetrating the coating, which leads to a greasy crust. And it is essential that the food always be in contact with the pan bottom, so never crowd. Fry pieces in batches if necessary.
adapted from Paul Prud’homme’s Louisiana Kitchen