Guest Blog by Debbie Aidinis
With the cooler weather upon us, we start to look forward to meals that are warm and hearty. Veal Rollatini is a great dish for this season. It may take a little time to prepare, but it is well worth the effort. For those who do not eat veal, this dish can also be done with chicken. I like to serve this with a marsala sauce and a mushroom risotto on the side. There are many good packaged risottos available, so you do not have to make your own from scratch unless you have the time to do so.
With this recipe, I have found that using specific ingredients is a must. For example, the cheese. I use an Italian Scamorza, belonging to the same family as Mozzarella, but it is firmer, drier and has more flavor. It melts evenly, making it perfect for this dish. You will probably have to go to an Italian deli that carries specialty items to buy this cheese. Make sure it is hard; if the cheese is soft, it is not ready to use. I also use Prosciutto di Parma, but not a domestic brand, which can be too salty. The Veal Demi Glace gives the sauce a good flavor, but if you can’t find any you can use 1 cup veal stock in place of the water called for in the recipe.
I always enjoy going to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx to shop for the food I need. Mike’s Deli in the market is where I find the cheese and prosciutto, plus many other items. Biancardi’s is my stop for meats, and Madonia Bakery for excellent breads. On 187th Street, you will find Borgatti’s for fresh pasta and, of course, you cannot miss Egidio’s for some delicious Italian pastries. With so many stores to choose from, you definitely will not come home empty handed! It is a true culinary experience and well worth the trip in order to stock up on the best ingredients to make this Veal Rollatini dish a truly authentic and memorable meal.
8 Veal cutlets, sliced and pounded very thin
1 Scamorza, sliced thin and cut in half or thirds, depending on size of the veal cutlets
½ to ¾ lb Procciutto di Parma, or enough to use 2 slices per cutlet
½ cup Seasoned breadcrumbs
¼ cup Grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup Marsala wine
¼ lb Shitake Mushrooms, sliced
2 Shallots, chopped
8 oz Vegetable stock
½ tsp Veal demi glace
1 cup Water
3 tbsp Butter
2 tbsp Olive oil
¼ cup Basil, finely chopped
¼ cup Parsley, finely chopped
1 Sprig of Rosemary
Salt and Pepper to taste
In a bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, black pepper, and a small amount of the basil and parsley.
Place one veal cutlet on a flat surface and spread the breadcrumb mixture on the cutlet. Place 2 slices of prosciutto di Parma on top of the breadcrumb mixture, then place a slice of scamorza cheese on top, covering cutlet but not hanging over the sides of the cutlet. If the cheese is cut too thick, it will make the cutlet difficult to roll. Roll the cutlet and secure with skewers. Repeat with remaining cutlets.
In a large, deep skillet, melt 2 tbsp of butter with 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Season veal rolls with black pepper and place in skillet. Cook, turning rolls to brown on all sides. The total cooking time will depend on the size of the rolls, but typically a few minutes per side or total of not more than 15 minutes is sufficient. Remove rolls and keep warm.
To the same pan, add 1 tbsp of butter, the shallots, and the mushrooms and sauté until tender. You may need to add a bit more butter while they cook. Next, add the marsala wine and cook for a few minutes. Stir in the vegetable stock, 1 cup water, and veal demi glaze. Let mixture cook, stirring often. Season with salt and pepper, add rosemary sprig, remaining basil and parsley, and let simmer for 5 minutes.
Place veal rolls and juices they’ve exuded into the sauce, turning to coat, then let simmer for about 30 minutes. You may need to add more water or stock, especially if your rolls are on the large side. Before serving, remove the rosemary sprig.
Place Veal Rolls on a platter with mushroom sauce. Serve with a risotto, salad, and a warm crusty bread.
My mom is a very talented cook and gardener. She is also my new guest blogger! Please welcome Debbie Aidinis as she contributes her first post, her amazing tuna salad recipe. –Amy
This is a great summer dish that can be a light main course on a very hot day or to start as an antipasto or appetizer. I am not one who measures the ingredients. If I follow a recipe, I will only do so at first and then make changes after I’ve made the dish a few times.
This Tuna Salad is a recipe I decided to try one night after having a similar dish at a restaurant. It is a lot like a scungili salad or a combination seafood salad. You can definitely substitute another seafood for the tuna.
You will need:
2 cans of Solid White Albacore prime fillet in water or Tonno, which is an Italian tuna
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 small onion, chopped (optional)
½ to ¾ cup green olives, pitted and sliced into halves
½ to ¾ cup large black olives, pitted and sliced into halves
1/3 cup 0live oil
Handful of fresh basil
Handful of fresh parsley
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Coarse black pepper, to taste
Salt to taste, optional
Romaine lettuce, for serving
Place the green and black olives and the tuna in the refrigerator until they are cold. Chop the celery and onion, if using, and place into a medium bowl. Slice the olives and add them to the bowl. Drain the tuna and pull it apart, then add this to your bowl as well.
In a food processor, chop the parsley and basil together. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, parsley/basil mixture, black pepper, and lemon juice. Whisk together thoroughly and add to the tuna mixture. You may need to add a bit more olive oil, just to hold the ingredients together. Combine all ingredients well and season to taste with salt. Place in the refrigerator until chilled through.
For individual portions, place lettuce on each plate and top with tuna salad.
With the arrival of summer, many of us start planning summer parties, cook outs, or even lazy days relaxing by the pool, at the beach, or lounging in a shady back yard hammock. Scenes such as these aren’t complete without a colorful cocktail, and nothing fits the bill like a margarita.
The origin of the classic margarita remains something of a mystery. Some sources claim it was created by a bartender in Mexico in 1941, while others say the first margarita hails from Galveston, Texas. Another possibility is that Americans crossing the border for alcohol during Prohibition simply adapted a brandy-based drink called the Daisy by substituting tequila for the brandy. It probably isn’t coincidence that margarita is the Spanish word for daisy.
Whatever its origins, the classic margarita’s combination of tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice served up in a cocktail glass rimmed with salt has been an enduring favorite for more than just its flavor. Perhaps more than any other drink, the margarita symbolizes everything we love about a hot summer day, whether you prefer them frozen, over ice, or straight up.
If you’re a margarita purist, sticking with the classic lime version might be your ideal. But, creative bartenders and margarita lovers have adapted on the original to create all kinds of tempting flavors and colors. I’m not talking about your typical frozen strawberry margarita! Why not surprise your guests — or treat yourself — with one of these more unexpected margarita varieties?
Clicking on any of the delicious images above will take to you recipes for each margarita. You can get creative with glassware and avoid using traditional margarita glasses for serving or lime slices for garnishing. Take inspiration from the flavors and colors of each margarita and experiment with different salts and sugars for rimming the glasses. Whether you make a single drink for yourself or a pitcher for guests, your efforts will certainly be appreciated!