Flash in the Pan – Pork Scaloppine with Prosciutto, Capers and Sage

This is a really interesting recipe and is something I’ve never tried before, plus, it looks absolutely delicious!

The Garum Factory

Tackling your first scaloppine recipe is a bit like being handed the car keys for your first night driving solo, an event occasioning braggadocio tempered by  a gruff fatherly warning, Don’t screw this up.  Your skills are on display.  Since the dish is cooked just a few minutes before eating, it necessarily involves a bit of brinksmanship.  If it doesn’t work, well, there’s always pizzaphone.  The thing is, despite appearances there’s not much chance of that happening.  The risk is illusory.  This week’s Pork Scaloppine with Prosciutto, Capers and Sage is guaranteed to have you home by midnight.  Plus, you’re going to look really good.

Scallops, scaloppini, scaloppine (Italian) and escalopes (French) are all the same thing–thin cuts of meat, pounded even thinner by the cook (that would be you) before being dredged in flour and sautéed in butter, oil or a combination of the two.  Although veal is the…

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Potatoes three ways

Agria potatoesMaris PipersPotatoes

This week I’m including three recipes in my post instead of one, all of which are very, very good. The first one I have is called Sookhe Aloo. Roughly transalted it means dry potatoes which isn’t a great description for them, but that doesn’t take anything away from their delicious flavour, smell and look – bright yellow. These potatoes would nicely compliment an Indian or Thai curry, like the Lamb and Spinach one that featured in my first post and would also be great for a dinner party banquet that you could throw for your family and friends. I’ll leave you to decide how you’d like to serve them but one thing’s certain and that is that you’ve got to try them. Note – If you find that you cannot get all of the spices for this dish at your local supermarket then look out for a good Indian spice shop. These places will have every spice you could possibly need and they generally turn out to be far cheaper than the ones in those tiny packets from the supermarket.

Sookhe Aloo(serves 4 comfortably)
This recipe comes from the fantastic “Madhur Jaffrey Cookbook”

Sookhe Aloo

Ingredients

7 medium sized potatoes
2-3 tbsp rice bran oil
1/8 tsp asafetida
1 tsp whole fennel seeds
1 tsp whole cumin seeds
1 tsp whole black mustard seeds
12 whole fenugreek seeds
3 dried, hot, red birdseye chillies (optional)
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice (optional)

Dice the potatoes into 1/2 inch thick cubes. Measure out your spices and let the oil in your wok heat up on high or medium heat.

When very, very hot, put in the asafetida and then five seconds later add the fennel and cumin seeds, then the mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds in quick succession (I find that if I measure out all of the spices first and put them in small pots it is easier and you can just drop the contents straight into the wok quickly).

As the seeds begin to change colour and pop, add the red peppers. As soon as the red peppers swell up and darken, add the diced potatoes, turmeric and salt.

Keep on the same heat and fry, turning often, but gently so as not to smash up the potatoes too much. Fry for 25-35 minutes or until they are golden brown.

Squeeze over lemon juice and add more salt if necessary. Serve in a pretty bowl or simply on the side of a plate.

Note – You can also do this recipe in an oven tray. Just use enough oil so that you can pool it over to one corner to cook your spices before you bang in the potatoes. Make sure that the oil is really, really hot.

Also, warn your guests not to eat the red peppers as they are extremely hot and spicy!

Roast Potatoes cooked in duck fat –
This is the same recipe from my how to video on “how to make the best roast potatoes”, but instead of cooking them in oil they are cooked in duck fat and turn out beautifully and the reason I prefer to cook with it is because it has a much higher roasting point and it lends a delicious flavour to the potatoes. It is very interesting though to see how people react to the word “fat” in a recipe. Duck fat is actually very good for you.

“Duck fat contains 35.7% saturates, 50.5% monounsaturates (high in linoleic acid) and 13.7% polyunsaturated fats.(Which contains Omega-6 and Omega-3 essential oils). This compares to olive oil which is: 75% monounsaturated fat (mostly oleic acid) 13% saturated fat and 10% Omega-6 linoleic acid and 2% Omega-3 linoleic acid. The main difference between chicken, turkey and duck is that duck contains more linoleic acid, which chicken and turkey contain a higher amount of polyunsaturated fats. It appears that duck and goose fat is more like olive oil than it is like butter or beef.”

Excerpted with thanks from – http://greenmarketrecipes.com/poultry/health_benefits_duck_fat.htm

“”All in all, duck fat is a good fat,” says Alejandro G. Marangoni, a professor in the department of food science at the University of Guelph. Good fat includes monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, and bad fats include saturated. “Duck fat is pretty high in monounsaturated fat, and thus not too high in saturates,” he says. “I actually have a jar of it in my fridge.” So consider ordering that duck confit next time you go out for a fancy dinner. As you can see from this breakdown of one tablespoon (15 mL), duck fat ranks between butter and olive oil.”

Excerpted with thanks from – http://www.besthealthmag.ca/eat-well/nutrition/is-duck-fat-actually-healthy-for-you.

Roast Potatoes cooked in duck fat –

(Serves 4, whenever I make potatoes I always do one for each person and then an extra for every four as this allows for good generous portions and extra in case anybody wants more)

Roast Potatoes

5 non-waxy roasting potatoes, e.g. agria, red jacket, maris piper, etc. 1 tbsp of duck fat 4 – 5 squashed and unpeeled garlic cloves 2 – 3 sprigs of rosemary Salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat your oven to 250 C/490 F/Gas mark 9 on fan bake. Peel and wash your potatoes. Turn them so they are lengthwise across then make one diagonal cut from the left to the centre and make another diagonal cut from the right. This way you should have three good sized potatoes with a maximum surface area. Now put them into an accomodating pot, fill with cold water and allow to boil. Once the water’s boiling, remove the lid and fast cook the potatoes for 5 – 8 mins or until they are soft around the edges and you can easily insert a fork. Drain them and then return the lid before shaking the potatoes till fluffy. Turn them out into an oven tray and leave to steam for about 3 mins. When the oven is heated, add the duck fat to the tray with your potatoes and put them into the oven. After about 30 mins, you need to take them out of the oven and turn them over a bit, and you should also add the garlic and rosemary sprigs, return to the oven and cook till the potatoes are golden brown and the garlic tender. Season with salt and pepper and serve to accompany your roast or whatever you may be having.

Gratin Dauphinoise – (serves 4 – 6)

These potatoes are gorgeous. They’re beautiful. They are a must try recipe. Well, all of these recipes are must tries but this one is great. This dish originated from the Dauphiné region in France and as expected, does contain cream but you could use normal milk as a substitute or farmhouse milk which would work well. Below is a simple and delicious recipe and is one that you will certainly want to try.

Ingredients

6 non-waxy potatoes, new potatoes would work well
Knob of butter to grease
1 garlic clove, crushed
Enough cream to just cover (less than 2 cups)
Generous handful of cheddar/tasty cheese
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Pre-heat oven to 180 degress celsius/350 degrees fahrenheit/Gas mark 4. Peel potatoes and slice 1/8 inch thick. Quickly plunge in a large bowl of ice cold water and drain thoroughly ina colander. Rub your garlic clove around your oven dish and then grease with the butter. Layer the potatoes carefully in an attractive pattern, one resting on the other, etc. in lines maybe. Season with salt and pepper, add the nutmeg and then pour on the cream. Cook for 40 – 45 mins and then sprinkle over the cheese, switch the oven to grill and melt it till golden brown. Serve as a side dish to anything and it will be amazing!