Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Loca for Saltimbocca Part II

So the last time I made saltimbocca, it was with chicken and I went easy on the sage. I recently found a recipe for pork saltimbocca in my Best of Cooking Light cookbook and decided to just go all in. Turns out that fresh sage leaves aren't as overpowering as I thought they were, and the technique used in Cooking Light totally trumps the technique suggested by America's Test Kitchen (surprising, since they're notorious for testing, re-testing, and testing again).

While the chicken saltimbocca was very good, I strongly suggest this recipe instead. The pairing with the polenta was amazing, and the sauce was so much better!

Pork Saltimbocca with Polenta
2 boneless pork loin chops
2 very thin slices of prosciutto
2 large fresh sage leaves
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 tablespoon fresh sage, thinly sliced

To prepare pork, place each chop between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound to 1/4-inch thickness using a meat mallet. Arrange a slice of prosciutto and a sage leaf over each chop. Fold chops in half to sandwich filling. Sprinkle both sides of pork chops with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour.

Heat oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chops and cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove chops from skillet; cover and set aside.

Add wine to pan, scraping up the browned bits. Cook until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Stir in sliced sage. Reduce heat to medium. Return chops to skillet. Cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

For the Polenta:
1 2/3 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup polenta
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 oz. grated Parmesan cheese

Add the water, milk and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Slowly add the polenta while whisking constantly in a circular motion to prevent clumping.

Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook, stirring often and vigorously, until the poletna is soft and smooth, about 10 to 15 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the butter and cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve chops over polenta with sauce spooned over.

I thought my chicken saltimbocca was pretty yummy, but this dish FAR exceeded it. I think the secret was pounding the pork super thin and folding it over to sandwich the filling. This enabled me to get a perfect crust on the pork, which was really flavorful. With the chicken saltimbocca recipe, there was no folding involved, so you got a sear on the prosciutto layer as well (and it was kind of tricky because you had to flip it in the pan without separating the prosciutto and sage from the chicken). That approach made the prosciutto more bacon-y (which isn't necessarily bad), but the folding makes it more cordon bleu-y (which is awesome!).

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