You'd look through a glass pane and see a display of meat, of all sizes and shapes.
Ah, there! You'd see a few chops and point out the exact ones you wanted.
Two, four, six, thin or thick cut, lean or fatty… all according to your choice.
In the twenty-first century meat is usually sold pre-packaged.
More efficient, more sanitary.
And let's not forget the bargain hunters' delight: warehouse packs.
These are great if you're inviting a crowd, or have a large family.
If you are half of a couple, it's a little different.
Either you cook it all and have a week of leftovers - same old, same old - or
you rewrap most of your purchase and add it to the pile in the freezer.
There is a third solution…
Group your recipes by main ingredient.
Bought a package of veal? Or boned chicken breasts?
Veal Piccata on Sunday.
Veal Spiedini on Tuesday.
Fried Veal Cutlets on Thursday.
Same ingredient, different dinners.
Oh, about that Veal Spiedini - Stuffed Veal Rolls…
There's a dandy recipe for Veal Spiedini in Tony's chapter Grilling - Italian Style in Artie's The Sopranos Family Cookbook.
If you don't have a meat pounder or mallet, just use a heavy plate or a hammer.
You might want to give the hammer a quick wash first.
Plastic wrap does tear sometimes... especially when it's being whacked.
That's whacked... not whacked.
If you're broiling, place the pan 4 inches from the heat.
When I broiled the rolls, I didn't bother with the skewers.
I just used tongs to turn them.
No one noticed the lack of skewer holes.
Prepare a medium hot fire in a grill, either charcoal or gas.
Place the grill rack 4 inches from the heat.
Place between 2 sheets of plastic wrap
1 1/2 pounds veal cutlets
Gently pound with a mallet to a 1/4 inch thickness.
Cut the veal into 3 x 2-inch pieces.
Sprinkle the meat with
salt and pepper to taste
Cut into 1 x 1/2 inch thick sticks
8 ounces mozzarella
Place a piece of cheese across the center of each veal cutlet.
3 Tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
Roll up each piece of veal from a short side.
Hold 2 metal or bamboo skewers parallel about an inch apart.
Push one of the rolls onto the skewers, as if the skewers were tines of a fork.
Leaving a couple of inches clear at the opposite end for easy handling,
push the roll toward the opposites ends of the 'tines'.
Repeat with the remaining veal rolls.
Brush the rolls with
3 Tablespoons olive oil
3/4 Cup plain bread crumbs
Pat the crumbs so they stick well to the veal.
Grill the rolls, turning once, until the meat is browned and the cheese is slightly melted, about 10 minutes.
Slide the rolls off the skewers onto a heated serving platter.
Would I make Spiedini again?
Why not? It's a nice change from the usual sausages.
And it uses some of the chicken breasts.
Or, for the lucky few, veal cutlets.
One recipe down. Six more to go.