Thursday, July 11, 2013

Gaming journalism is about getting the information and making interesting stories out of the tidbits we find. Sure, you can just report the news straight up, but turning into something better takes more effort and yields greater rewards (sometimes).

So the relationship between journalist and public relations is a tenuous one. They have an angle they want to push forward as they serve their clients while reporters should try not to be just a mouthpiece, but dig for something new.

Some of the best PR people I’ve worked with will approach with information and then ask me what angle I’d like to explore. Give me a base and let me experiment.

That same process works in the kitchen with recipes. Recipes give you the basic ingredients and techniques, but when you “go off the ranch” and try something different, magic happens.

Stephanie Schopp, a very talented PR agent and friend, knows of my love of good food and good games. She feeds both of those beasts whenever she can.

Recently, she forwarded me a veal scaloppini recipe she adores. It looks like a great recipe, but there are some in my household who have a problem eating “baby animals.” 

However, with a little ingenuity, this dish can still be something great. Think of it as a DLC to the main game.


·      1# beef tenderloin (trimmed of fat)
·        2 eggs
·        Flour
·        Cayenne pepper
·        4 T olive oil, divided
·        1 T garlic, minced
·        1 medium shallot, diced
·        8 oz. sliced mushrooms
·        ½ c marsala wine
·        ½ c vermouth
·        1 14 oz. can diced Italian tomatoes
·        ½ c marinara sauce (I like the spicy version)
·        Salt & pepper
·        1 pkg. egg noodles (or go with fresh if you can get them)
·        Shredded parmesan cheese

Now to get to it.

Slice the tenderloin about a ½ inch thick and pat them dry. It’s okay if some of the pieces are larger than bite-sized.

Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk. Prepare a second flat bowl with the flour, salt and pepper, and cayenne powder. How much you use of the heat is up to you depending on your preference.

Put 2 T of the olive oil in a medium skillet and put it on medium heat. While that is heating up, dredge each piece of meat through the whisked eggs, and then the flour mixture before placing on a rack. Let them rest for a minute to give the breading time to get a good grip on the tenderloin.

Once the oil is heated, place the breaded meat in the skillet and cook for about 2 minutes on each side. 

Work in small batches and don’t overcrowd the pan. Place the cooked meat on a different plate to rest.

While you are working on your tenderloin batches, place the other 2T of olive oil in a medium saucepan and sauté the shallots and minced garlic for about 2 minutes. Add a pinch or two of salt at this point.

Add sliced mushrooms to the pot. Stephanie and I disagree here about how thick you should cut your mushrooms. She says make them thin to soak up all the garlic awesomeness. I say go thicker if you want more bite to your final dish. The choice is up to you.

Let those cook for another 2 minutes, then add the marsala and vermouth. Let that cook for another minute, and then add the tomatoes.

Modify your heat so that you get a simmer. You aren’t looking for a boil – just enough heat to create some steam and tiny bubbles. Stir occasionally so it doesn’t stick to the bottom and cook for about 15 minutes.

By this time, you should be done with the tenderloin. Set a pot of salted water on high heat to boil and cook the egg noodles to package instructions.

While the noodles are cooking, check on the sauce. After 15 minutes, put the tenderloin slices in the sauce and add the marinara to the pot. Let that cook for about another 5 to 10 minutes or until the sauce gets thick enough to coat the noodles.

Plate the noodles in a layer on a plate and top with the meat and sauce. Sprinkle some shredded parmesan cheese on top and dive in.

In this DLC, you get to have the flavors of the original dish with a little bit extra along the way. You could also try it with pork tenderloin as well. Choose the adventure that's right for you.

Happy gaming!


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