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Ode to Mike Flynn

June 19, 2011

As it is father’s day I feel I should stop and take a minute to think about mine. While he is not around anymore, I can’t help but constantly think about how much of him is present in me when I cook. Sure, my dad wouldn’t have a clue what to do with coconut milk, mung beans or  thai curry paste…but interestingly enough, I haven’t had a craving for these ingredients since he passed away. The flavors I have been desiring in the last year and a half were never spicy. They were complicated and rich. Dishes were filled with meat, butter, oil, shallots, cream and tarragon. My kitchen often looked like a tornado had just swept through it with every dish, utensil and pan strewn about. I guess in the absence of letting myself mourn his passing, he took my palette hostage to make sure I didn’t forget who put me on this earth in the first place. So, here you are Mike Flynn. One of your favorite dishes. It has meat, butter, oil, shallots, cream and tarragon…and of course a few morels to boot. Hope you are enjoying it wherever you are.

Roasted Veal Chop with Morels

copied directly from

  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1 1/4 ounces dried morels (about 1 1/3 cups)
  • 2 (1 1/3-inch-thick) veal rib chops
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
  • 2 tablespoon Cognac
  • 2/3 cup crème fraîche
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 1 teaspoon chopped tarragon

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.

Pour boiling water over morels in a small bowl and soak until morels are softened, about 30 minutes. Transfer morels with a slotted spoon to a medium-mesh sieve set over a bowl. Press on morels with back of spoon to remove excess liquid (be careful not to squeeze out all the moisture), then add to soaking liquid and reserve. Rinse morels to remove any grit. Reserve morels and liquid separately, allowing liquid to settle.

While morels soak, let veal chops stand at room temperature 30 minutes.

Pat chops dry and season with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper (total). Heat an ovenproof 12-inch heavy skillet (not nonstick) over medium-high heat until hot. Add oil and heat until smoking, then add veal chops and sear underside well, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn chops over and sear 1 minute.

Add butter, garlic, and thyme to skillet and baste veal with melting butter. Transfer skillet to oven and cook, basting every few minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into center of chop registers 130 to 135°F for medium-rare, 10 to 15 minutes.

Transfer chops to a plate to rest. Discard garlic and thyme, keeping juices and fat in skillet, and return to burner over medium-high heat. (Handle will be very hot.) Add morels and sauté 1 minute. Add shallot and sauté 1 minute.

Remove from heat briefly and add Cognac, then return to heat and deglaze, stirring and scraping up brown bits, until most of liquid has evaporated. Slowly pour in reserved soaking liquid, being careful to leave last tablespoon (containing sediment) in bowl. Add meat juices from plate and boil until liquid has reduced to about 1/3 cup.

Stir in crème fraîche, swirling to incorporate, and boil until morels are lightly coated and liquid is slightly thickened. Stir in chives and tarragon and season with salt and pepper. Serve chops smothered with morels.

p.s. for those of you wondering if i enjoyed this on father’s day with a nice glass of red…alas i did not. this picture is from three years ago when mike flynn sent me the recipe in an email.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. jules permalink
    June 20, 2011 3:04 am

    Oh my it’s beautiful! xoxoox

  2. June 21, 2011 12:46 pm

    Yes, it sure sounds like him. I hope you enjoyed it as much as he would have.

    • thesinglechef permalink*
      June 21, 2011 3:27 pm

      i hate to admit, i only made the dish on sunday in spirit. that was from 3 years ago when he recommended the recipe after a friend gave me a bag of morels.


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