Classical Veal Oscar
Yield: 4 servings
Potato and onion rösti
8 oz. all-purpose potatoes
4 oz. onion
Salt and pepper, to taste
Clarified butter or lard
1. In stockpot, parboil potatoes in salt
water. Drain; cool. With cheese grater,
coarsely grate potatoes.
2. Peel onion; coarsely grate. Wrap
grated onion in cheesecloth,
squeezing out liquid. Mix onion and
potato; season with salt and pepper.
3. In large skillet, heat butter or lard (if
using saute pan, increase amount
and lower heat). Place 4-inch metal
round-form cutter in pan; fill with
potato/onion mixture to desired
thickness. Pack down. Slowly remove
cutter, t wisting gently. Repeat.
4. Cook röstis over medium-high heat
until each side is brown and crusty,
approximately 10 minutes each side.
Smooth edges as needed with spatula.
20 medium-size asparagus (approximately
1 oz. clarified butter
Kosher salt and white pepper, to taste
1. Trim asparagus to desired length.
Prepare ice bath.
2. In salt water, blanch asparagus for 30
seconds or until slightly tender. Place
asparagus in ice bath. Keep in ice
bath until ready to saute.
3. In saute pan, lightly saute asparagus
in butter over medium to high heat.
Add salt and pepper, to taste.
1 oz. unsalted butter, split
1 T. shallot, fine diced
8 oz. lump crab
Salt and white pepper, to taste
2 oz. white wine
2 t. tarragon, minced
2 t. parsley, minced
2 t. chervil, minced
2 t. chives, minced
1. Heat butter in saute pan, add shallot;
sweat. Add crab; season with salt
and white pepper.
2. Deglaze with white wine; adding
remaining butter, emulsify. Remove
pan from heat; add tarragon, parsley,
chervil and chives. Set aside.
Seared veal cutlets
8 ( 2. 5 oz.) veal cutlets
2 oz. flour, seasoned with kosher salt and
3 oz. clarified butter, divided
1. Cut/trim veal cutlets. Pound veal
cutlets to ½-inch thickness; dust with
2. Preheat large saute pan over
medium to high heat, adding 1. 5 oz.
3. Place dusted veal cutlets in pan.
Sear until golden-brown, about 2
minutes each side. Cook in batches,
if necessary. Use remaining clarified
butter as needed.
2 oz. tarragon vinegar
4 oz. white wine
4 T. shallot, fine diced
2 T. dried tarragon leaves
1 t. white pepper, fresh ground
4 T. fresh tarragon, chopped
1. Simmer tarragon vinegar, white wine,
shallot, tarragon leaves and white
pepper to au sec.
2. Remove from heat. Cool slightly; add
½ cup white wine
¼ cup white wine vinegar
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 t. whole white peppercorns
2 egg yolks
8 oz. clarified butter
1 T. tarragon reduction
1. In nonreactive saucepan over
medium heat, combine white wine,
vinegar, bay leaf, fresh thyme and
white peppercorns; reduce by half.
2. Strain mixture. Place 2 T. of mixture into
stainless-steel bowl; whisk in egg yolks.
Place bowl over double boiler; whisk
until mixture reaches ribbon stage.
3. Remove from boiler; whisk 20 seconds.
Slowly whisk in clarified butter, emulsify.
When desired consistency is reached,
mix in tarragon reduction to taste.
1. Place potato/onion rösti on plate.
2. Place veal cutlet on top of rösti.
3. Layer asparagus.
4. Layer crabmeat.
5. Top with béarnaise sauce.
Tower was born in Montreal and
spent 23 years there. Montreal has
the highest number of restaurants
per capita in Canada and is second
to New York in North America.
Food was a big influence in Tower’s
life, and her mother was a great
cook. Her first food memory was
smoked salmon and new potatoes
with dill and blueberry pie for
dessert. “I remember many times,
growing up, I would be disappointed
by salmon and food at a restaurant,”
she says. “I couldn’t understand why
people would pay for something
they could make at home cheaper.”
She worked in several restaurants,
and eventually held management
positions. But she shifted to a career
in cosmetics and was a product
manager in Italy for several years.
Then, she started an online pet
products company that donated
a percentage of proceeds to pet
charities. But Tower wanted to make
a change. She had always loved to
cook for family and friends, so she
decided to go to culinary school.
“Food is what brings us together,
and every food experience, good
or bad, remains imprinted in our
memories forever,” she says.
This was the first time Tower
had prepared veal Oscar. The
technique she perfected making
this dish was sauteing potatoes.
Properly sauteed potatoes reflect
a browned appearance and have a
crispy texture, and it can be difficult
to master. But perfectly sauteed
potatoes can be achieved with
consistent practice, she says.
The potato and onion rösti was the
hardest part of the dish for Tower.
She used mealy potatoes, but
afterwards felt that waxy potatoes
would have worked better for this
side dish, as mealy potatoes are too
soft and dry. An original potato
rösti recipe does not have onions.
But by including onions, it added
a dimension of flavor while staying
true to Swedish cuisine. It is
common in Scandinavian countries
to eat potatoes and onions
together. Squeezing the moisture
out of the onions before adding to
the potato mixture is key. “If they
are too wet, it would make the
cooking process uneven and render
the end product mushy.”
Béarnaise is Tower’s favorite sauce.
She enjoys the marriage of flavors
and its versatility with food. The
sauce works well with starches,
vegetables, meat and fish. She
prefers béarnaise on the acidic side
and stays away from the pudding
texture common for the sauce by
going easy on the fat. “You don’t
want to add more than 6 oz. of oil
per yolk or the product will break,”
If putting this dish on the menu at
her own location, she would change
the presentation. “I would separate
each item so guests could sample
each flavor with the béarnaise
sauce.” Depending on the season,
she would change the side offerings.
“If serving this in the summer, I
would serve it with new potatoes.”