Hello there! Sorry I’ve been away so long. I’ve been having some technical difficulties as well as a small case of Winter Doldrums. But – I think I’m on the mend and at least I can post again- thanks to those of you who kept checking in only to find nothing new here.
I’m feeling more energetic now and eager to get back on the blogging trail. I am so sad to have missed out on the second round of Festa Italiana hosted by two of my sweetest friends Marie from Proud Italian Cook and Maryann from Finding La Dolce Vita– so here is what I wished I could have brought- it’s my own variation of Saltimbocca- (which means “jumps in the mouth”.) Usually this dish is a scallopini of veal, pork or chicken with sage leaves and prosciutto and sometimes an Italian Fontina is added. I altered it to what I had on hand and used basil pesto, marinated mozzarella and thinly sliced ham. It was delicious and I’ll definitely be making it again. I served it with garlic mashed potatoes and a spinach salad on the side. wish I had another go round right now.
Saltimbocca- Gabi’s variation
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to a uniform 1/4″ thickness (scallopini)
- salt and pepper
- a pinch each of dried oregano, basil and sweet paprika
- 8 Bocconcini of marinated, fresh Mozzarella, cut in half
- 2 teaspoons prepared fresh basil pesto
- 8 very thin slices of ham
- 2 Tablespoons Olive oil
- 6 Tablespoons butter, divided
- 1/3 cup white wine
- 1 cup low sodium chicken stock
- 2 Tablespoons Madeira or Amontillado
- 1 teaspoon sugar if needed
Mix about a quarter cup of flour and herbs together on a plate. Wash the chicken scallopini and pat dry, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Be careful and don’t over salt because the dish can be salty with the chicken broth. Spread about 1/2 teaspoon of pesto on one side of the scallopini. Place 2 mozzarella balls (4 pieces) on top of the pesto on each breast. Cover this all with two slices of ham. Press down to seal the ham to the chicken breast around the cheese. Dredge both sides of the scallopini in the flour mixture and tap gently to remove excess flour. Heat two Tablespoons of olive oil and two Tablespoons of the butter in a large, heavy bottomed skillet (I use 14 inch cast iron skillet) over medium to medium high heat. When foamy, add the scallopini- ham and cheese side down. Brown for about 2 minutes and turn to the other side. Remove to a paper towel lined plate and keep warm. Drain the oil from the pan but make sure you leave the browned bits. Add the white wine and boil, scraping the pan to deglaze it, cook until the wine is reduced slightly. Add the four remaining Tablespoons of butter and melt in. Add the chicken stock, Madeira or Amontillado and taste. If needed, add a bit of sugar to round out the flavour. Tuck the scallopini back into the sauce in the pan and cook for about another 4 minutes, until the sauce is thickened slightly and the scallopini are cooked completely through. Enjoy lapped with the pan sauce over garlic mashed potatoes or even steamed greens.
Spinach Salad for two
- 2 Tablespoons Port Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cups baby spinach leaves, washed and dried well
- 1 medium shallot, finely slivered
- 1/2 cup chilled mandarin orange segments
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- 4 Tablespoons crumbled Feta cheese
Place the vinegar and Dijon mustard in the bottom of a chilled salad bowl, whisk well. Add a pinch of salt and a few grindings of black pepper. Whisk in the olive oil slowly. Add the Spinach and shallot and toss well. Place on chilled salad plated and top with the orange segments, almonds and Feta. Grind a bit of pepper on each and serve.
I hope you enjoy and I want you to know I’ve missed you all and I am so glad to be back!