Celebrity square meals: 'Escalopes de veau en papillote' by the novelist Andrew Miller

Serves 2
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Indy Lifestyle Online

This dish appears in one of my novels, Oxygen - one of the characters cooks exactly this. I first made it when I lived in Paris, in an attempt to seduce a Danish girl I was crazy about. It seems to have the desired effect - just make sure your dinner companion is not upset by eating veal - it is easy to find humane West Country veal. It's my adaptation of an Elizabeth David recipe.

This dish appears in one of my novels, Oxygen - one of the characters cooks exactly this. I first made it when I lived in Paris, in an attempt to seduce a Danish girl I was crazy about. It seems to have the desired effect - just make sure your dinner companion is not upset by eating veal - it is easy to find humane West Country veal. It's my adaptation of an Elizabeth David recipe.

4 veal escalopes
4 slices of Parma ham
About 250g mushrooms
1 small onion
A few shavings of Parmesan cheese
Good unsalted butter, for frying
A little parsley
The juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 100°C. Beat the escalopes out nice and thin. Pour the lemon juice over the veal, season with salt and pepper and fry them for just 30 seconds on each side in the butter - keep them to one side. Finely chop the mushrooms and onion and fry them in the same pan, using the butter.

Place the escalopes in the middle of four sheets of greaseproof paper (I've used foil before and it's OK), cut into the shape of hearts. Place the parmesan on top of each, and then top each with the fried mushroom and onion mixture.

Gather up the greaseproof into a fold to secure it and form a parcel. Pop them in the oven for about 20 minutes. Serve in the parcels, opening them at the table to free the savoury steam.

You'll want to serve them with some chipped potatoes cooked in goose fat, and some crisp greens.

Andrew Miller's latest novel is 'The Optimists' (Sceptre, £16.99)

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