Spring Herbal Osso Bucco & Herbed Gremolata

May 25th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-6

This lovely & lively dish is perfect for a chilly spring day, perfectly fresh yet warming with loads of fresh herbs and spring vegetables.


4-6 cross-cut veal shanks (osso bucco tied with kitchen string)
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped fine
¼ cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 sprigs onions, whites and green parts, chopped fine
1 medium carrot, chopped fine
1 small fennel bulb, cut in half and sliced thin
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped fine
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken or onion broth
3 plum tomatoes, chopped medium
1 cup fresh peas
Herbed Germolata (recipe follows)


Tie the veal shanks up with the kitchen twine so that the shanks stay together. In a small mixing bowl mix the flour and mint and season with salt. Dredge the osso buco in the flour until they are all coated. In a large dutch oven or le creuset bring the oil to a medium high heat. Brown the osso buco on all side or about 2 minutes on each. Take out of the pan and set aside. Sauté the garlic, onions and lemon zest for a few minutes or until translucent. Add the carrots and the fennel and sauté a few more minutes. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne and add the herbs. Mix well and continue to sauté a few more minutes. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne and add the herbs. Mix well and continue to sauté. Add the wine and stir well removing any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken stock and the tomatoes and stir well. Add the veal shanks to the pot and cover with the vegetables and juice. Turn the burner to low and cook for about 30 minutes. Add the peas and cook another 5 minutes. Take off heat and serve on its own, with pasta, polenta or rice and topped with the herbed gremolata.

Herbed Gremolata

Makes approximately ½ cup


¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh marjoram, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, chopped superfine
3 tablespoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon maldon salt
½ teaspoon red chili flakes


In a small mixing bowl combine all ingredients and mix well.

Bitterballen & Herbed Mustard

April 26th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Bitterballen are a staple in old Dutch cooking and have been modernized quite a bit over the years and essentially made a bit healthier. Originally served alongside a Dutch bitter Gin, hence the name, these snacks are seen throughout the country in many different forms. These lovely snacks and medium-sized meals are essentially a fried meatball. Typically loaded with fresh herbs and made in various ways, a common version is where the meat and herbs are mixed with mashed potatoes or another starchy vegetable, deep fried, and served with spicy, herbed mustard. Here is an adapted & healthier version from Ger-Nis.

Bitterballen Ger-Nis Style

Makes about 20 bitterballen


1 medium celery root, peeled boiled and mashed
1 small carrot, shredded
1 medium red onion, grated or chopped super fine
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped fine
½ cup cooked ground veal
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper, ground
¼ cup butter melted
3 eggs, beaten
1-2 cups breadcrumbs, superfine
Oil (for frying)


In a large mixing bowl, combine the mashed celery root, carrots, onion and herbs, mix well. Add the ground veal and continue to mix well. Season with the salt, pepper, and cayenne. Add melted butter and mix well. Place in the refrigerator for about an hour.

Heat oil in a large frying pan.

To assemble bitterballen, take a spoonful of the celery mash mixture and form into a ball, dip in the beaten egg and roll or cover in the breadcrumbs. Place in the fryer and fry until balls are floating and they are cooked through about 3 minutes. Take out of oil and place on a towel so that the excess oil drains off. Serve warm or hot with the mustard!

Herby Spicy Mustard-Dutch Style

Makes 1 cup


¼ cup black mustard seeds
¼ cup brown mustard seeds
¼ cup yellow mustard seeds
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon tumeric
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
¾ cup cider vinegar
¼ cup water


In a small, non-metallic mixing bowl, cover the mustard seeds with the sugar, tumeric, salt, ½ cup of the vinegar and the water and soak covered overnight. Then, with a mortar and pestle pound the mustard seeds until coarse and broken to desired texture. Add the herbs. Add remaining vinegar and continue to mix and mash until coarse yet smooth. (A blender or coffee grinder works perfectly as well.) Place in a covered jar, and refrigerate.

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