Friday, September 05, 2008

Italian Heaven: Saltimbocca alla Romana

You know that look, don't you? That look of increasing hunger combined with impending satisfaction. And no, not the look that McCain gives Palin when measuring her to be Cindy's replacement. By the way, did you hear (and I heard it in this column in the Washington Post) that the HI-larious lipstick joke that was written for her was originally used by evangelical pastor John Hagee, who cracked in his I'm sure VERY enlightening book "What Every Man Wants in a Woman,": "Do you know the difference between a woman with PMS and a snarling Doberman pinscher? The answer is lipstick." Ha-ha-ha-ha......get it?....women who are PMS-ing are mean bitches....boy, that is some funny stuff coming from a compassionate "Christian" mind. Nice job Mr. Speechwriter-for-Palin, stealing a sexist joke so your clueless candidate can robotically repeat it.

Sorry for veering off course there. The look I'm referencing above is the one w and I gave each other last night after our first bite of this SPECTACULAR Saltimbocca alla Romana I made last night. I saw the recipe in Saveur a few weeks ago, and have been pining to make it ever since. Various factors kept it out of my sauté pan until last night, and holy f*cking christ was it worth the wait. This is one of the best things I've stuck in my piehole in a long time. Tender veal cutlets topped with a few thin slices of prosciuotto di Parma and sage leaves, gently pan fried then topped again with a buttery, sensual sauce that Saveur perfectly described as "sumptuous". The best part, as with so many really good recipes, was how simple and quick it was to put together. This is one of those dishes that start to finish you can absolutely stagger your eager palates with in less than 30 minutes. I told w that I'm already pulling the guest list together for the next dinner party because i have some worthy friends that must experience this. With a side of polenta with some butter and Parmagiano stirred in, this was truly Italian heaven!
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Saltimbocca alla Romana
from Saveur Magazine
serves 4

"This dish is slightly salty, slightly woodsy, and entirely sumptuous."-Saveur
8 2-oz. veal cutlets (preferably
from the veal top round)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
16 - 24 thin slices of prosciutto
16 sage leaves
1⁄2 cup flour
4 tbsp. olive oil
8 tbsp. unsalted butter
1⁄4 cup marsala (I was out of marsala but had some madeira which worked perfectly- bb)
1 cup Chicken Stock

1. Using a meat mallet, pound the veal cutlets, one at a time, between 2 sheets of plastic wrap until each piece is about 1⁄8" thick. Lightly season with salt (little is needed, as prosciutto is salty) and pepper, to taste.

The veal topped with prosciuotto and sage (from my garden!) ready to be threaded on the skewers.

2. Lay 2 to 3 thin slices of prosciutto atop each piece of veal, gently pressing prosciutto against veal to adhere. Place 2 sage leaves on top of the prosciutto and stitch them into the veal with a toothpick. Place flour on a large plate. Dredge each piece of veal in flour, shake off any excess, and set aside.

The saltimbocca sautéing, just before flipping over.

3. Heat 2 tbsp. of the oil and 2 tbsp. of the butter in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the meat and cook, turning once, until prosciutto side is crisp and the veal side is lightly browned, about 1 minute per side. Transfer the meat to a paper towel–lined plate. Repeat with more olive oil, butter, and remaining meat. Remove and discard the toothpicks.

Veal out of the pan resting while the sauce comes together. Almost there!

4. Drain and discard the oil and butter from the skillet; place over high heat. Add marsala; cook, scraping up browned bits, until reduced by half, 1–2 minutes. Add stock; reduce by half, about 3 minutes. Stir in remaining 4 tbsp. of butter; reduce heat to medium. Return meat to pan; cook, turning occasionally, until sauce thickens slightly, 1–2 minutes.

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