Friday, October 22, 2010
Saltimboca Alla Romana
(Veal cutlets with sage, Roman style)
Makes 4 servings
In the Italian language Saltimboca literally means to "jump in the mouth", this is the classic Roman version consisting of prosciutto ham and fresh sage leaves sandwiched between two very thinly sliced and pounded veal scaloppini sauteed in butter and served in a rich Marsala sauce.
1 1/3 pounds veal scaloppini (thinly sliced veal)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ pound thinly sliced prosciutto ham
8 fresh sage leaves
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups of chicken stock reduced to 1 cup
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup dry Marsala or white wine
juice of ½ lemon
Flour for dredging
1. Pound the veal scaloppini slightly between sheets of plastic wrap or in a 1 gallon resealable plastic bag to a uniform thickness of 1/8-inch, season with salt and pepper.
2. Layout half of the veal scallopinis on a clean, flat work surface and layer each of the scallopini with 1 thin slice of prosciutto, folding the prosciutto to fit on the scallopini, then place 1 or 2 whole sage leaves on top of the prosciutto and finish by placing another scallopini on top of the sage leaf(s), use toothpicks, if necessary, as skewers to hold the veal packages together.
3. Set up a dredging station by placing about 1 cup of flour on a flat dish and, one by one, dredge each veal package in the flour and shake off excess placing the dredged packages on another plate.
4. Heat a large, heavy skill over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter and sauté the veal packages (a couple at a time) 2 to 3 minutes on one side and 1 to 2 minutes on the second side. As each group of sautéed veal is completed, transfer to a warm platter or individual serving dishes (you may keep the cooked scallopini warm in a warm oven until all serving have been cooked) and repeat the sauté until all the veal stacks have been cooked.
5. When the last of the veal has been sautéed and is being kept warm, reduce the heat to medium low. Deglaze the pan with the chicken stock and continue cooking the stock until reduced by half. Add the wine, the lemon juice and the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and swirl until combined to form a sauce. Bring sauce to a boil and cook until slightly thickened (if the sauce fails to thicken, compound a corn starch slurry consisting of 2 tablespoons of COLD water and 2 tablespoons of corn starch and add it to the sauce while stirring to thicken it).
6. Remove the platter (or the individual serving plates) from the oven and pour the sauce over the scallopini and serve immediately sided by Spaghetti con Burro e Formaggio.
Friday, October 15, 2010
Veal cutlet parmesan is an Italian restaurant staple, my version spices it up a little by adding the heat of red pepper flakes to traditional marinara sauce. Notice this version is not layered as most homemade versions but is made restaurant style (single scallopini topped with sauce, parmesan, and Provolone rather than mozzarella).
8 2-ounce veal cutlets, scaloppini-ed (pounded to 1⁄8" thickness)
1⁄2 cup flour
4 eggs, beaten
1 1⁄2 cups Italian dried bread crumbs
8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups spicy marinara sauce (yours or commercial marinara sauce simmered for 20 minutes with 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 tablespoon each dry basil and dry oregano, and 1/8 teaspoon of red pepper flakes)
8 slices provolone cheese (about 6 ounce)
3⁄4 cup grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley for garnish
Kosher or sea salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Pre-heat the broiler of an oven to broil placing the oven rack 10" from the heating element.
2. Season the pounded veal cutlets lightly with salt and pepper.
3. Build a breading station by placing flour, beaten eggs, and bread crumbs in separate shallow dishes and working with one scaloppini at a time, dredge it in the flour, the eggs, and the bread crumbs and transfer the breaded scallopini to a dish.
4. In a large frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Fry the breaded scallopini, 2 at a time, turning once with tongs, until golden brown, about 3 minutes; wiping out the frying pan and adding fresh oil between. Either transfer scallopini to large baking platter or to individual, oven proof plates.
5. Once all the scaloppini have been fried and plated, top each scallopini with 1⁄3 cup of the marinara sauce, sprinkle with 1 1/2 tablespoons of Parmesan, and one or more slices of cheese.
6. Place the plated and topped scallopini under the broiler until the cheese is golden and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Dress each plate with some of the parsley and serve immediately.
Friday, October 8, 2010
Marine Corps Style Corned Beef Hash
As a young Marine I started almost every morning with one of the two Marine Corps breakfast standbys corned beef hash or S.O.S. and eggs, and grits. I came across this recipe a few years back and it reproduces the taste of good old Corps hash pretty well. I've found the best way to produce the look and taste of a Marine breakfast is to divide the hash into serving sizes, vacuum seal the servings and freeze the portions. When ready to eat the hash, thaw it out and fry it in 2 tablespoons of bacon grease until the meat is slightly crispy, the potatoes are browned a little, and the whole thing is swimming in reddish tinged grease . . . hoo-rah now that's breakfast!
2 cups shredded, cooked corned beef
2 cups peeled and cubed potatoes (small cubes)
2 cups ketchup or so (Just so everything is nice and goopy.)
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce or so to taste
1 chopped onion
2 tablespoons of butter
1 small clove garlic, micro-planed
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Place the cubed potatoes in a large pot, fill the pot with water and add 1/4 cup salt. Boil the potatoes over high heat until they are just tender, drain and set aside.
2. Melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat sauté the chopped onions and chopped garlic until they are translucent; DO NOT allow the garlic to brown.
3. Pre-heat the oven to 325° F.
4. In a large casserole dish combine the shredded corned beef, the cubed potatoes, the catsup, Tabasco, chopped onions and garlic; mix until all the ingredients are evenly distributed and adjust seasoning.
5. Place hash mixture in oven and bake for 30-45 minutes or until heated thoroughly. Serve accompanied by fried eggs and toast for breakfast or with fried cabbage or coleslaw for dinner.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Roasted Red Pepper and Pork Scallopini Rolls
6 - 1/4" thick thin sliced boneless pork chops
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 to 1/2 cup grated Asiago Cheese
12 large fresh basil leaves
6 large pieces of roasted red peppers (see recipe)
Course Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Trim fat from the edges of each chop. One at a time place each chop flat into a heavy, 1 gallon re-sealable plastic bag and pound with a food mallet into a 1/8-inch thick scallopini.
2. One at a time, lay each scallopini (longest side away from you) on a clean flat work surface, lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper and layer with, first, one of the roasted pepper slices (placed lengthwise away from you) then 2 basil leaves and finally sprinkle with a generous amount of Asiago cheese over the roasted pepper. Pat the Asiago cheese gently to flatten it out.
3. Beginning at the end closest to you carefully roll the layered scallopini, jelly roll style, away from you securing the seam formed with a toothpick. Continue until all the scallopini, basil leaves, roasted peppers, and Asiago cheese are used up.
4. In a sauté pan over medium heat heat the oil and butter to the point at which the butter foam subsides. Add the scallopini rolls (without crowding) and sauté until the rolls are nicely browned. Serve immediately garnished with chopped Italian parsley and accompanied by sliced potatoes or creamy risotta.