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New Year’s Eve 2011

2011.  It’s hard to grasp.

I remember as a little kid figuring how old I was going to be in the year 2000.  Not just old.  Ancient.  I couldn’t quite fathom being almost as old as my grandparents.

And here it is, 11 years after that.

I do know that that little boy in San Francisco never imagined his life would be what it is today.  I don’t think I even knew where Pennsylvania was, let alone thinking that I would actually be living here.

And I certainly didn’t imagine going to war, working in hotels all over the United States, or actually settling down and getting married to the greatest guy in the world after a rather wild and somewhat misspent youth.

No.  That little boy couldn’t have imagined half of it.

A computer?!?  The World Wide Web?!?  Transistor radios were the hot new thing and television was in black and white.  Annette was the most popular Mouseketeer, but Cubby was secretly my favorite.

A long time ago.

And not such a long time ago, I don’t think I imagined this being my 999th blog post.  How fitting that New Year’s Eve should be the last post before I hit 1000.

1000 posts!  What will I cook?  What will I say?  We have been planning having Linda and David over on Sunday.  I never did plan anything for New Year’s Day, itself.

In typical Tim fashion, I’ll just have to wing it.

Like I did with dinner tonight…..

I knew I was doing veal chops and I knew I was going to serve them on a bed of arugula, but that was about it. I found a recipe from Gourmet with radicchio and white beans that gave me the idea for endive, tomatoes, and white beans.

Veal Chops

  • veal chops, 1″ thick
  • olive oil
  • rosemary
  • garlic, minced
  • tomato, diced
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • Belgian endive, roughly chopped
  • arugula
  • red wine vinegar
  • chicken broth
  • cornstarch
  • salt and pepper

For 2 chops, mince 1 clove garlic and mix with 1/4 teaspoon rosemary and about a quarter-cup of olive oil.  Marinate the chops for about an hour, turning a couple of times.

In a hot skillet, sear the chops and then place in a 375° oven for about 20 minutes.

A couple of minutes before the chops are done, quickly saute arugula in a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper.  Arrange on plate.

Place chops atop arugula.

In chop pan, add endive and diced tomato.  Add 2-3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar (or vinegar of your choice.)  When vinegar has reduced a bit, add beans and about 1 cup of chicken broth mixed with a tablespoon of cornstarch.

Cook until lightly thickened, check for seasoning, and spoon over chops.

That chop was way too much even for me, but I gave it that old college try.  Cybil will be eating well for the next couple of days!

The flavors all worked well together.  The vinegar was just sharp enough, but also diluted by the chicken broth so as not to be overpowering.  The tomato added sweetness, the beans a comforting smoothness.  The endive added a nice bitterness and a good crunch.  The chops themselves were excellent.  And the peppery goodness of the arugula played off everything else.

In other words, it was a perfect meal to end the first decade of the second millennium.

And post 999.

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