Veal Parmigiana; Stocking the Pantry

Veal Parmigiana    Veal_parmesan

My pack-rat little self is starting to feel secure again: I have food in the pantry.

For the 4 1/2 months we lived at Vlad's house, I had no stash.

I went shopping two or three times a week.  There was simply no place to store anything.  If I needed 2 potatoes, 3 carrots and an onion, that's exactly what I bought.

I bought a small jar of mustard (one kind); a small bottle of soy sauce.

I couldn't take advantage of any specials or sales.

I had to behave very unlike my normal self.

I've never lived within easy access of shops.  A 45 minute round trip to the nearest grocery store taught me, early on, to be prepared.  When one can get snowed in for days, one wants to know there is food in the house.

The last weeks before we moved we ate completely from the pantry and freezer.

Both have been empty since.

Yesterday, I put all of my shopping bags in the car, went to the hypermarket and started replenishing.  I bought '2 for the price of 1' stuff; big boxes of chicken breasts; multiple cans of tomatoes; large bags of rice; 3 different kinds of mustard….

For the first time in months, even though I had my list, I could buy at will.

And I did.

My trolley was embarrassing. 

People were looking.

One young man (knows me by sight from the local DIY store) actually came over and started counting…

I had to send mon mari for a second trolley.

It took me over 2 hours to put it all away when I got home, neatly filling the freezer and pantry shelves.

I was in heaven.

So was the store manager….  I spent almost 300 euros.

I know many people are quite happy with daily shopping, getting everything fresh (supposedly), but, while I like the fruit and veg to be fresh, and will go to the local markets for that, I also like to know that I don't have to… I can survive from my pantry.

What kind of shopper are you all?

Now, what shall we have for dinner?

How about something easy after a busy day….

Veal Parmesan

Veal Parmesan. A classic on every Italian menu, and one that is easy to make at home. The veal is lightly breaded and quickly fried. I topped it with a slice of Mozzarella di Bufala, not traditional, but I was in a crazy mood. You can substitute turkey cutlets or chicken breasts, pounded thinly, for the veal.

Veal Parmigiana

4 thin veal cutlets, about 8oz (250gr) total weight
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan
1 egg
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
15oz (450gr) whole tomatoes
8oz (250ml) tomato sauce
1 tbs tomato paste
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup (2oz, 60ml) red wine
4 slice fresh mozzarella Di Bufala
freshly grated Parmesan for sprinkling
3oz (90gr) spaghetti

The pasta: Cook according to package directions. Drain.
The veal: Mix bread crumbs and Parmesan on a plate. Crack egg into a flattish bowl and lightly beat with a fork. Dip both sides of the veal cutlets in the egg, then in the crumbs/Parmesan. Lay on wax paper or a plate to rest for 5 minutes. In a medium nonstick skillet heat 1 tbs oil over medium-high heat. Add veal cutlets and brown well on both sides, 2 – 3 minutes. Remove, put on a large, heat-proof plate and keep warm in a 250F (125C) oven.


The sauce: Chop onion and finely chop garlic. Roughly chop tomatoes, reserving all juices. In same skillet add remaining tbs oil, onion and garlic and sauté 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, juices, sauce, paste, herbs, wine, and Worcestershire. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes.
To serve: Remove veal from oven and put into pan with the sauce. Top with sliced mozzarella and cover until the cheese stars to melt. Arrange the veal on the warm plate, spoon some sauce around and serve with the remaining sauce on the side for the pasta. The Parmesan is for sprinkling on the pasta.

In addition to the above, for the week of February 20 we have Lentil and Mozzarella Salad, Sole with Capers, Chicken with Tarragon Mustard, Pork Chops with Braised Cabbage….

Become a Thyme for Cooking Subscriber and get the menu, complete recipes with meal preparation instruction, and shopping list each Thursday. (Reverse seasons available for Australia, and others in the Southern Hemisphere)

15 thoughts on “Veal Parmigiana; Stocking the Pantry”

  1. I am a pack rat too. I have a list on the fridge and back-up of every pantry staple. When I have to open up the back up jar/bottle/box then I put it on the list.
    I have mason jars filled with every legume and grain imaginable. Scarcity thinking to the extreme!
    I am sure that we could live for months on my pantry.
    Now the freezer…
    I love veal parmigiana, I haven’t had it in forever – good call on the mozzarella bufala!

  2. Katie,
    I have been spoiled all these years by having easy access to a local grocer…only 3 miles down the road. In the summer I can ride my bike with the big basket on the front, for any odds and ends I might need to put together supper, but in the winter I am forced to get in the van and drive. I, too, am a pack rat, and feel unsettled if the freezer and pantry aren’t full. I think we could easily live for 3 months w/o going to the grocers for anything but fresh veggies!

  3. Pack rat #3 — especially when I get nervous about money — I’ll stock up on pasta. My brother and I were roommates for a couple of years, and he’d come home once in a while, look in the pantry and ask “worried about your job this week”? I love my pantry. It’s so beautiful with all the mason jars of grains and beans and my own tomatoes and jams all put up. And pasta. There’s a whole shelf of pasta, and big bags of rice and lots and lots of herbs and spices. I could live for weeks off that pantry.

  4. Firt of all, your veal parmigiana looks fabulous.
    Now, on to other matters of import: I’m somewhat of a packrat (staples: spices, pasta, flour, beans) but I love shopping almost every day. One of the first things we talk about in the morning is what we’ll have for dinner that night. We both work at home so the bikeride (as long as the roads aren’t irritatingly covered in snow) to the various shops is a welcome break from being trapped inside.
    When you are standing in line waiting to pay for your groceries, do you examine what is being purchased and secretly nod approvingly or shake your head disapprovingly about what the person’s dinner will be like that night?
    (Alas, it’s true; I’m one of the people who stares open-mouthed at the giant shopping carts full of food that some people have. And imagine what their dinners are going to be… I also try desperately not to stand behind them at the checkout line.)

  5. Pretty obvious I’m a pantry fan, too! I don’t mind going to the farmstands or local market in town for fresh produce and milk, but I also like to know that if I were housebound for, oh, a week, I could survive on what I keep in the freezer, fridge and cupboards. Congrats on a wonderful restocking!

  6. Katie,
    It must feel so cozy to be in your own house and in control of your food supply. When we first moved to Lake Lure in the mountains of NC we had to drive 25 miles to the nearest grocery store. Now we have a huge Ingles Supermarket, so I no longer feel the need to hoard, but still keep the basics for emergency meals and lots of meat in the freezer when there are sales. Your veal sounds divine.

  7. I like to have a stocked pantry, but prefer to shop daily.
    And I love eating to clean out the fridge before a trip – I never know what meals will emerge from what is on hand.
    I’d like to have seen that cart, Katie. When we are in France, we have always shopped daily.

  8. We are food hoarders. We have never had the French habit of shopping every day, so we are typical large stash Americans, often with tons of stuff that really can’t go together to make a decent meal!
    We obviously buy French stuff, but we hoard special things one can’t always find. We hoard American stuff, because it can’t be gotten again. We hoard odd stuff from other European countries we visit for the same reason (plus the fact I don’t know what to do with it when I get back home!). Sometimes we just hoard stuff because we’ve had it so long it’s become a close friend. I think we are weird. I’d like to know there are others like us out there.
    Now, if I only had the room to store all these fun things we hoard. And didn’t have to keep telling hubby that he cannot buy five more bottles of whatever just to compare them all, obviously forgetting one taste by the time he moves on to a second one (except he likes to open them all at once!).
    Isn’t it nice to just buy what catches your eye?

  9. I guess I’m sort of caught between both worlds. I love to buy fresh produce and meat/fish/chicken when I need it, but do buy specials for the freezer…which is too small to do that often. And we live in a beautiful condo but it’s a third floor walkup so I hate to buy too much at one time. And of course my pantry is also my hall closet, so…not too much room for storage.
    BTW…now that you’re more organized, it’s time again, friend for more Presto Pasta Nights, don’t you think? This would have been perfect. Just teasing, I’m sure you’ve been up to your eyeballs with packing, unpacking, etc.

  10. Cindy, I’ve always thought it would be fun to live within walking distance of shops – but never do.. O get on my bike and I just want to keep riding.
    Natashya, got to have back-ups! What if one forgets to replenish?
    Charlotte, pasta, rice and beans and I’m happy!
    Elizabeth, that’s funny! The first thing mon mari says every morning is ‘what’s for dinner?’. I’m looking forward to checking out our new local market this spring.
    Lydia, it just feels so, I don’t know…virtuous, to have my pantry filling up again.
    Zoomie, chicken, turkey, all good…We get ‘country’ veal, which is older and less expensive.
    Penny, now the challenge is not every store carries everything I want… so I still hoard!
    Joanna, I have a freezer system (can you believe that ;-0)
    Mimi, I cook differently when I have to shop everyday. A combination is best…
    Azurienne, mon mari gives me a hard time about it… Until the store runs out of what he wants and I can magically produce it from my stash…
    Ulrike, it’s different with boys at home – I remember!
    Val, normally my freezer only holds stuff from my garden… not this year, sigh…
    Peter, one of those that is so easy, I often forget, too!
    Okay, okay Ruth ;-)) What was killing me was seeing 3 duck breasts for 10 euros and not being able to buy…

Comments are closed.

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap