Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Veal Scallops with Lemon and Capers (Page 456)

  • Date: Tuesday, April 3, 2007 -- 7:30pm
  • Location: Somerville, MA
  • Kitchen: Matt's Apartment
  • Dining Companion: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: B-

I picked this recipe for dinner yesterday because I wanted something celebratory and decadent, and veal fit the bill! This recipe wasn't great though. Veal is delicious, so the meat tasted delicious. But the preparation resulted in really slimy meat. For the life of me I can't figure out why. Perhaps I dredged the cutlets too heavily (although I don't think so -- I was careful to shake off the excess)? Or there was too much fat in the pan? Or I didn't pat the veal dry carefully enough? I don't know. But the veal cutlets were each coated with a nasty layer of slimy stuff (NOTE: flour + water = paste). It was a shame because the meat was tender and delicious, and the pan sauce was pretty good (a little overpowered by the lemon, but still tasty). The sliminess was hard to tolerate though, so I ended up eating only a small amount of meat. Instead I sopped up the pan juice with some baguette and ate that!

An anecdote:

"How Mike Hill's guilt trips are (secretly) responsible for me becoming an algebraic topologist:"

When people in college would ask me what kind of math I wanted to study I would often jokingly answer, “Not topology.” Many things made sense to me in math, but topology was not one of them. Elementary topology required visualization skills. You needed to be able to think about shapes and imagine what would happen if you were to bend, stretch, and move these shapes around in space. I cannot visualize such things. I took an algebraic topology course at Stanford and despite loving the professor, it regularly made me want to cry. When I came to MIT I was completely ready to leave my topology days behind.

“What are you going to take this semester?” It was a few days before classes started my first semester and Mike and I were trying to fill out our sample registration forms.

“I don’t know. I was thinking commutative algebra, algebraic geometry, and maybe lie groups, or geometry of manifolds” I responded. “You?”

“Wait. What about algebraic topology?” Mike held his hand over his heart and gave me his most convincing fake-hurt look. Mike had already decided to study algebraic topology. Indeed he came to MIT because it is widely reputed to be one of the best place in the world to study the field.

“You know Mike, the thing is... I don’t like topology.”

“WHAT!?!” Mike put on his most guilt-inducing shocked face.

“I know, I know, it’s hard to hear,” I joked, “but it’s really not about you Mike. It’s me. I’m sorry.”

After lengthy negotiations though, Mike convinced me that algebraic topology is important foundational material. Well, and he threatened to pout all semester if I didn't take the class! I figured he was probably right: taking one semester of algebraic topology would likely be good for me. Only days later, my first semester at MIT began. And the rest, as they say, is history...

I still wonder if he somehow knew that I would love it if I gave the subject another chance... How would he know that though?


Mike Hill said...

Psychic powers. I knew you were a topologist at heart!

Mike Hill said...

I also should add that I have absolutely no recollection of these events. It seems much more likely that Teena is just blaming me now for the good as well as the bad, since, as we all know, I never forget anything, especially things as important as guilt trips (or anti-tastings).

Teena said...

If I were going to make up lies about you, Mike, they would be much more outrageous than this story!