I am very proud to announce that those orange cookies I've been promising for over a month now have finally been made. I feel like I should be embarrassed over my lack of motivation to bake but I feel like it's not a surprise. I have to say, these cookies were worth the wait. I was thinking about doing a Cooking With Stanley: Baking Edition but as awesome as that sounds, I couldn't force myself to bake three types of cookies in one weekend. I mean, it took me over a month just to make one. Maybe somewhere down the line but for now, let's just keep it the way we normally do, a great menu with the occasional dessert. Like today!
MENU Appetizer: Concetta's Stuffed Artichokes Main Dish: Veal Chops Stuffed with Fontina and Prosciutto Side: Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary Dessert: Ponticello's Orange Cookies
As much as I want to start with the cookies because their such an accomplishment to me, let's start with the appetizer. Concetta's Stuffed Artichokes are fairly simply and really delicious. There isn't a whole lot of work for you to do as long as you buy ready to cook artichokes. Remember that time I bought artichokes with the intention of trimming them down myself? Yeah, I wasn't so naive this time. I bought the prepackaged stuff. So I skipped a step and went straight to the pot of boiling water. I now know that I should have trimmed the leaves down a little more because the outer ones were a bit tough but the stuffing and the inside was delicious. That tender heart of the artichoke is incredible and the simple stuffing of breadcrumbs, salty pecorino romano and parsley was simple enough but super flavorful. I would recommend this recipe for parties using baby artichokes. They'd be a home run.
The Veal Chops were also incredible. I liked everything on this menu. My chops look way different than the ones photographed for Stanley's cookbook. His are much lighter, mine look burnt. His are also much neater. Mine I just kind of folded in half. I'm not so good at this stuffed cutlet thing. I never read the directions in advance so when it says I need to have the butcher slice the meat in half only not completely, it doesn't happen and I attempt but usually fail. Luckily, the chops I got were large enough in surface area for me to just fold it in half with the sage leaves, fontina and prosciutto in the middle. This combination is to die for. I absolutely love fontina cheese and the prosciutto gave a nice saltiness that I loved. I paired this dish with the Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary which were equally tasty. You can't go wrong with oven potatoes and I love the flavor and fragrance of rosemary. It's one of my favorite herbs so I enjoy using it in dishes that are otherwise simple, like these potatoes.
Ok, now the cookies! This was a fairly simple cookie recipe with the addition of orange extract. I put them off for too long because the thought of baking gives me a migraine. I just don't want to clean up the mess and measure stuff out. There were so little ingredients though that measuring wasn't a hassle and there were two large bowls and mixer thingies. So not many dishes. The cookies rose and expanded more than I thought they would when I baked them. For some reason, I thought they would keep the size they were as dough. They turned out soft and moist and the orange flavor is present but not overpowering. I love putting some chocolate spread on top of these and they're also fabulous for dunking in your coffee.
So what do you think? Would you have liked to come over for dinner the night all this was made?