Veal chops in a spicy saffron tomato sauce is a nice way to serve veal. Each chop is then topped with a tasty yogurt relish. Serve with brown rice.
8 veal chops, fairly thick
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
4 large garlic cloves, finely minced
1/2 tspn saffron threads *
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 tspn ground cumin
1/2 tspn cayenne pepper
2 cups chicken broth
3 tbspn tomato paste
2 tbspn lemon juice
2 large tomatoes remove seeds and coarsely dice
2 large cucumbers, peel and remove seeds, then dice
6 tablespoons plain yogurt
4 tbspn flour
4 tbspn vegetable oil**
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Add salt and black pepper to flour. Pat veal chops dry with a paper towel, then flour both sides of each chop. Heat oil in large skillet with cover and brown all chops on both sides. When chops are brown, remove from skillet and place in a covered dish to keep warm.
In same skillet, saute garlic, onion, coriander, cumin and cayenne pepper over low heat. Stir to keep from burning. Add saffron threads when onions become wilted. Return veal chops to skillet, add chicken broth and stir. Cover and simmer for 45 to 55 minutes or until veal chops are tender.
Remove veal chops from skillet and return to plate, cover chops once more to keep warm. Spoon any fat from skillet and add tomato paste, stir or whisk briskly. Cook over high heat to reduce liquid until it becomes a slightly thick sauce.
In separate bowl, mix together yogurt, lemon juice, diced tomatoes and cucumber. Stir to mix well. Set aside.
Spoon thickened sauce over veal chops. When plated, top each chop with yogurt relish. Serve with brown rice.
*Saffron threads can be expensive to moderately priced. It is best to buy the best saffron threads you can afford, since they are used sparingly and a little goes a long way, it will be money well spent. Some people use turmeric as a substitute for saffron, however, turmeric imparts a flavor much different from saffron. I recommend using Achiote (annatto seeds) which can be found in some supermarkets or Latino markets. I use seeds packaged by La Flor products and follow their directions. Bring one cup of oil (or lard) to a boil, add 3 tablespoons of annatto seeds and stir for 30 seconds in the boiling oil. Remove heat immediately and continue stirring. Strain oil into a Pyrex type bowl through a metal strainer. Cover and refrigerate annatto oil when cool. Use oil to color and flavor white rice or use a bit when frying or sauting meats.
**For the recipe above, use 1 tablespoon annatto oil and 3 tablespoons vegetable oil.