Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pork Scaloppini with Sage, Prosciutto and Wine

While on vacation in Austin, Kris and I ate at an old favorite - Vespaio on South Congress. And here's my confession - I ordered the veal scaloppini with prosciutto and sage. But that's not the worst part. The worst part is I ate it like it was running away from me. It was so tender, so sinful, so perfectly wrong I couldn't stop myself.

They used dried sage instead of fresh and I think this is genius. Fresh, whole sage leaves can overpower a delicate meat in my opinion. When I got back to New York, I knew I'd have to recreate it at home. I went to the butcher, opened my mouth to order veal cutlets...and got pork instead. It turns out I'm the worst kind of hypocrite on earth. I can order veal out (once in a while), but not make myself prepare it at home. Oh well...

A trick to keeping the pork as tender as possible so that it mimics veal is to NOT get your pan scorching hot before adding it. I know this goes against everything I ever tell you, but it works. I read about it in Cuisine at Home, a great little magazine my mom got me a subscription to years ago.

Just curious - do any of you out there in the blogosphere have veal guilt? I asked a girlfriend of mine once over drinks - a petite adorable little lady - and she just turned to me and said "I have no problem eating baby cow. They're delicious."

Pork Cutlets with Prosciutto and Wine Pan Sauce
* Believe it or not, you can make this ahead, putting the cooked veal and pouring the sauce over, in a small rimmed baking sheet or oven proof platter in a low heat oven for up to an hour. Just make sure it's on the lowest setting so it's just keeping it mellow and not cooking it further.

2 boneless, skinless pork chops, pounded to 1/4 inch, scallopini style, salt and peppered on one side, then lightly dredged in flour on both sides
* Go easier on the salt than normal - between the prosciutto and stock, there should be plenty;)
2 garlic cloves, smashed

1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup chicken stock

3 slices of prosciutto, chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried sage
1 tablespoon butter

Spray a nonstick pan with cooking spray. Add the pork cutlets to the pan WHILE THE HEAT IS OFF, then turn the heat onto low/medium. Once the meat begins to sizzle, let it go for 30 seconds, then flip to the other side and cook only another minute. You just want it cooked through - not even browned like normal.

When just cooked through, remove and transfer them to a low oven to keep warm. Add the wine and chicken stock to the pan along with the garlic cloves and bring to a boil over high heat. Let bubble away until reduced by half, then take off the heat and stir in the minced prosciutto, sage, and butter.

Drizzle the sauce over the warm cutlets and serve.

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