Recipes for a Long Weekend
Finally, the long weekend has arrived. For most of Canada, this is a three-day stretch of uncertain weather — cold temperatures, rain, snow, sometimes even warmth and sunshine. Whatever Mother Nature decides to toss our way, get out and enjoy the weekend for what it is — the unofficial start of summer.
For some of us (I’m definitely including myself, here), barbecue season doesn’t have a beginning or an end. Anytime the weather is decent enough (define any way you please), you’ll find us outside firing up the grill. This weekend, while you’re hauling out the patio furniture, planting or doing nothing in particular, give these recipes a try.
Red Square Martini
(Makes 1 cocktail)
Adapted from Kathy Casey’s Sips and Apps (Chronicle Books).
Dash of dry white vermouth
2 oz vodka
1 small slice of peeled raw beet
1 small slice smoked salmon skewed with a sprig of fresh dill or a pick
Pinch of fresh lemon zest
1. Roll the vermouth around in a cocktail shaker, then shake out any excess. Fill the shaker with ice. Measure in the vodka. Drop in the beet. Cap and shake vigorously. Strain into a martini glass.
2. Zest the lemon over the cocktail. Thread the salmon onto a sprig of dill or pick, lay it across the drink.
Grilled Veal Shoulder Chop with Marinated Zucchini and Black Olive Salad
Adapted from Stanley, Evan, Mark and David Lobel’s Lobel’s Meat Bible (Chronicle Books).
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and sliced into 1/4 inch thick half-moons
14 grape tomatoes, quartered lengthwise
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1/4 cup pitted Kalamata black olives, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1 – 1-1/2 to 2 lb veal blade shoulder chop (1 inch thick), cut into 2 pieces
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
1. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Working in two or three batches, add the zucchini and spread it out in a single layer. Cook until mostly golden brown in spots on both sides and just tender, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the zucchini to a baking dish large enough to hold all the zucchini in a single layer.
2. Pour the oil from the skillet into a small bowl and reserve. Scatter the tomatoes, red onion and olives over the zucchini.
3. Return the skillet to medium heat and add the garlic, salt, black pepper, oregano, red pepper flakes, sugar and vinegar. Bring to a simmer, swirling the skillet to dissolve the salt and sugar. Pour the hot vinegar mixture evenly over the zucchini, shaking the dish to help the zucchini soak up the vinegar. Set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 hours.
4. Prepare a medium-hot charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill to medium-high. When the coals are covered in a light gray ash, salt and pepper the veal. Grill to desired doneness, about 5 minutes per side for medium. Transfer the veal to serving plate. Spoon a generous quantity of zucchini salad over the veal, as well as a few spoonfuls of the seasoned oil and vinegar mixture. Scatter the crumbled feta cheese and mint over each portion and serve with a chilled glass of Riesling.