"Finding new ways to rework typical dishes in a seasonal way is probably my favorite part of cooking. For example, ‘meat and potatoes’ or ‘peas and carrots’ can seem bland and ordinary, but substitute milk-fed veal for beef, Jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes) for potatoes, and farm fresh spring veggies for their preservative-packed counterparts, and you have a gorgeous, flavorful dish with practically the same amount of work.
Sunchokes are like a cross between potatoes and water chestnuts, with a slightly sweet, nutty taste. Prep time can be shortened with a little strategic shopping as well: choose sunchokes with the most regular surface to make peeling easier; pick out the large, thick pods to yield bigger peas; have your butcher clean and tie the veal tenderloin while you shop. The secret to an effortlessly juicy sauce on this dish is deglazing the pan with chicken stock before finishing in the oven. It picks up the extra spices and captures the flavors of the fresh herbs/garlic (called aromatics)." -Chef Lior Lev Sercarz
- 1 pound sunchokes
- ¼ lemon
- 1 cup chicken stock, divided
- 1 cup shucked peas (¾ lb. in the pods)
- 10 pieces Thumbelina carrots, peeled and halved (3 oz.)
- 1 small veal tenderloin, trimmed and tied (2” diameter/9 oz.), room temperature
- 1 teaspoon Ayala Spice Blend N.16
- 1 tablespoon high-heat oil (grapeseed/safflower)
- 1 medium garlic clove, lightly crushed
- Sea salt & white pepper
- Prepare a medium bowl of cold water with lemon. Peel and quarter sunchokes, putting them directly in the water so they don’t turn brown (oxidize). Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook sunchokes for 12-15 minutes until completely tender, drain water, and crush with a vegetable masher.
- Blend with ½ cup hot chicken stock until completely smooth; season to taste with salt & pepper and hold warm.
- Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil and prepare an ice bath. Blanch peas for 30-45 seconds, until tender, remove with a large slotted spoon and chill. Return water to a boil and add carrots for 6-7 minutes until tender but firm; chill in the ice bath. Reserve a few carrot tops/leaves for garnish.
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F and turn on the fan. Heat an oven-proof sauté pan on medium high heat until smoking hot. Season room temperature veal generously with sea salt and the Alaya N.16 spice. Add grapeseed oil to the pan and sear meat on all sides until a deep golden color. Add aromatics (herbs/garlic), deglaze with ½ cup of chicken stock, and move to the oven for 5 minutes.
- Remove string from veal and rest on the cutting board for 2-3 minutes before slicing. Reheat the sunchoke purée; add peas and carrots to the veal pan over medium heat until hot and serve over purée.
- Finish with the veal medallions and spoon the leftover pan juices over the top.