Cook's dishes have that worldly touch

Pat Peters in her well-equipped kitchen on Kiawah Island.

Today's featured home cook is a part-time Lowcountry resident and Cleveland, Ohio, native who has lived all over the world, including Paris, Brussels, Buenos Aires and New York City. She and her husband have been coming here since the 1970s, knowing a world-class destination before anybody else took notice.

Her friend, Pat Mesel, says of her, “She loves to cook and has many, many cookbooks. She will find a recipe and end up doing the whole dinner while browsing her cookbooks.”

Name: Patricia Peters

Age: 73

Residence: Washington, D.C., and Kiawah Island

Occupation: Retired

Family: Husband Phillip, son Brian

Q. Tell us what motivated you to start cooking.

A. I was motivated to start cooking when we moved to Paris. Every bite of food seemed delicious and the markets were full of beautiful produce, cuts of meat and fish that I knew nothing about and had never seen.

Q. What is the French dish or food that you make or have made and are most proud of?

A. I bought the “Lenotre's” cookbook and made a chocolate meringue layer cake called a Cote-d'Ivoire that was so beautiful that my husband did not believe that I had made it.

Q. You and your husband have been coming to Kiawah since its beginning, after reading about it in a travel magazine. What are your favorite Lowcountry bites?

A. I love hushpuppies and a really good Southern biscuit. My husband loves shrimp-and-grits and fried chicken (which I could not make if my life depended on it).

Q. Let's say someone important is coming for dinner. What would be on the menu?

A. If I was doing a really special dinner, my menu would be:

  • Foie gras wrapped in cabbage leaves
  • Roasted guinea hen
  • Scalloped potatoes
  • Asparagus
  • Green salad and cheese board
  • Flourless chocolate cake
  • Raspberries with creme anglaise

Q. What's your most valued piece of cookware or serving dish and why?

A. I have an cast-iron omelet pan that I purchased at Dehillerin in Paris when I started cooking lessons. It is so well-seasoned that absolutely nothing sticks to it.

This is one of Phil's favorite meals.

Ingredients

3 1/2 pounds veal shoulder, cut into cubes

Salt and pepper

2 or 3 tablespoons peanut or corn oil

1 onion, chopped

2 to 3 garlic cloves, smashed

2 to 3 tablespoons flour

1 cup dry white wine

4 tablespoons tomato paste

5 to 6 carrots, cut into slices

1 to 2 ribs celery, chopped

3 to 4 tomatoes, seeded

1 bay leaf

3 to 4 thyme sprigs

2 cups veal stock (see cook's note)

1 (8-ounce) carton mushrooms

1/2 bunch of parsley, chopped

Cook's note: I use Classic French Demi-Glace to make my stock. You can purchase More Than Gourmet stocks online.

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Season veal with salt and pepper and then saute veal in the oil in a frying pan until browned. Do not crowd pan. When all of the meat is browned, transfer it into a heavy casserole or Dutch oven.

In the frying pan, saute the onion and garlic but do not allow the garlic to brown. When they are soft, add the drippings in the fry pan along with the onion and garlic to the casserole. Sprinkle the flour over the meat, garlic and onion and cook for a few minutes to cook the flour. Turn the burner up to high and add the wine to deglaze the pan and reduce the wine.

Add the tomato paste and stir in well. Add the carrots, celery, tomatoes, herbs and the veal stock. Cover the pan and cook in the oven for about 11/4 hours or until the meat is fork-tender.

Add the mushrooms and cook for about 15 more minutes.

Remove from oven and skim off any fat on the surface. If your sauce is not thick enough, you can add a little cornstarch. Mix 1 tablespoon cornstarch with a little cold water and then add to hot liquid. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with noodles or polenta.