Osso Bucco

I love veal, and if I could eat veal all the time, I would. Unfortunately, its one of those foods that caught something of a reputation that it doesn’t entirely deserve. This makes enjoying it all the more difficult though since not everybody you’re cooking for will approach or even consider veal quite the same way as you (a veal lover, of course). I however, couldn’t hold back the craving any longer and I went right for the veal dish that is one of my all-time favorites: osso bucco.

Osso Bucco plated atop some mascarpone polenta

If you’ve never had osso bucco before, you really have to try it. This is one of those dishes that, I think, always leads to full bellies, happy guests, and clean plates. Why? Osso bucco is a beautiful, Italian preparation of veal that really shows off the unique flavor and tender qualities of the meat with the culinary sensibilities of Italian cuisine.

You start with a thick, tough cut of… click to read more…

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Trio of Ravioli–veal, mushrooms, and goat cheese

I was very excited about making pasta from scratch and had grand visions for making ravioli. But what kind of filling should I make? Beef? Chicken? Veal? Cheese? I kept tossing ideas around and decided to be reasonable and just choose: I’d make three different fillings (veal & olive, mascarpone mushroom, and herb & lemon goat cheese). Decisiveness is one of my strong points.

Ravioli

So knowing that the fillings would be the slow part, I hurried to work, preparing far too much of each, telling myself no problem, I’ll just freeze the excess ravioli and have an easy back-up dinner for weeks to come. I was in a good mood and in no real hurry at all–I was hungry, but the fillings were coming along great and making/stuffing the pasta would be a really quick process. There was nothing to worry about. I could just snap my fingers, and dinner would be ready. So I casually pour the flour… click to read more…

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Chicken Saltimbocca

If I have sage on hand, this is one of my favorite dishes to put it to good use: chicken saltimbocca.

Chicken Saltimbocca

Saltimbocca is Italian for “jumps in the mouth” as all of the core flavors to this dish are really vibrant when they come together. Surprisingly though, there are countless variantions on saltimbocca as it is apparently popular in Switzerland, Italy, Spain and Greece where the featured meat, sauce, and garnish can all differ greatly (e.g. chicken, veal, pork, wine, salt water, oil, etc). The one commonality across all of these interpretations of the dish though: roulades stuffed with that mentholy, peppery flavor of sage and the richness of prosciutto. In this version, I stuffed chicken breast roulades with fresh sage, basil, goat cheese, and prosciutto and then top it off with some Marsala and mushrooms. This dish is also my entry for this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by click to read more…

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Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Parmesan, next to lasagna, is to me, the quintessential Italian comfort food. Its not too heavy, not too unhealthy, and can work as a nice dinner or even as a hero/sub/hoagie/whatever you call it in your part of the world.

Chicken parmesan

I had my doubts in writing this post that Chicken/Veal Parmesan was in any way, actually Italian. Surprisingly, it seems that yes, at one point, there was an authentically Italian version…it just had no cheese, tomato, or anything that would look familiar to us today beyond the meat. But history aside, this is still delicious and is another household favorite of mine that can surprise a lot of people, because, like burgers, I feel that most people are accustomed to subpar versions of this dish. I suppose that’s the price you pay for popularity.

For me, the key is to use a really flavorful breading on the meat, frying it as… click to read more…

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Chicken Marsala

Chicken Marsala is a really simple Italian-styled dish to prepare and is incredibly flavorful. There’s a surprising number of recipes out there for this dish, but they do something to the sauce which takes away from it–dillute it with water, mix in cream, substitute in a non-Marsala wine ( 😮 ), and so on. The whole point of this dish is to take the distinctive flavor of Marsala wine and focus the attention on that. So with that in mind:

  • 1-1.5 lbs chicken cutlets (veal scallopini would work wonderfully, as well!)
  • ginger powder
  • Italian-flavored bread crumbs
  • knob of butter
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • ~2 cup Marsala wine (which is roughly one bottle of cooking Marsala wine)
  • 1/2 cup Chicken broth
  • 1/8 cup flour
  • 2 handfuls of fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley leaves
  • 8 oz small mushrooms (e.g. baby bella, or whatever kind you prefer)
  • 1 egg
  • 3-4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • black pepper
  • optional: dried sage

Trim your chicken and… click to read more…

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