Saltimbocca is a well-known Italian recipe, and saltimbocca is available in chicken saltimbocca and veal saltimbocca as well. This article will discuss everything about veal and chicken saltimbocca recipe.
We all like to spend our hard-earned money on various dishes just for the sake of trying something new. People have as much love for continental dishes as they do for the local ones that represent their nation.
However, Italian food has somewhat of a special place in our hearts as it is full of exquisite flavors and quite simple to make. Pizza, pasta, spaghetti, lasagna, etc. are a few common dishes that almost every human being has tried at least once in their life. Now; here’s a question, ‘would you be interested in learning a new Italian dish that is equally, if not more, tasty than other Italian food?’.
Hoping that your answer is positive, it is time for you to take out a pen and notebook to write down the ingredients of a dish called ‘Saltimbocca’. You must have noticed that all Italian dishes are very easy to prepare if all the ingredients are correctly cooked. All you need to do is pay attention to the instructions while cooking and enjoy the final result with your loved ones.
Before getting into the details of how to cook the dish, let’s just start by discussing a bit about the dish and its origin.
What is Saltimbocca?
A good chef is not someone who can prepare a dish by following instructions and adding all the right ingredients. A competent chef must always know everything about what he/she is cooking including the main components of a dish and its background information.
Saltimbocca which means ‘to jump in the mouth’ is often considered a Roman dish, but some believe that it was originated in Northern Italy. Why? This remarkably tasteful Italian dish uses an ingredient called prosciutto that comes from Brescia, Northern Italy. People think that the shepherds who found Rome brought prosciutto while moving and settled there.
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This dish uses very few ingredients but tastes increasingly delightful. Chefs all over the world add their own variations to the original dish to enhance taste, but it only works if you put your heart into it. It is better to use a traditional recipe while cooking something for the first time and add variations as you learn more about the dish.
Similarly, it is completely your choice to use a traditional method of cooking this dish or the modern one. For instance, saltimbocca was cooked in a copper skillet pan but you can definitely use a non-stick pan that is available in the market for frying purposes.
Traditionally, it is cooked with veal, but you can replace it with chicken as per your requirement. There are countless recipes available on the internet that uses chicken, pork, and other meat items instead of veal to prepare saltimbocca. The choice of meat you wish to use is dependent on your taste, but it is advisable to use veal while preparing this dish for the first time.
Equipment Needed for Saltimbocca
We will take a look at the ingredients of saltimbocca, but let’s start by looking at the utensils and equipment a person should have to cook;
- Get a Plastic wrap or waxing paper
- A meat mallet for pounding
- Toothpicks to hold the layers together
- A frying pan
- A serving platter
All of these items are present in everyone’s kitchen and you can also get them at reasonable rates from nearby shops. If you have a replacement for anything in mind then go for it at your own risk. However, it is true that any kind of metal can be used for pounding the veal.
The first step to start preparing any kind of dish is to get all the ingredients accurately in one place. The items that you require to make a good saltimbocca can be easily purchased from local supermarkets. However, make sure to get a good part of the veal as it will play a major role in the overall taste of the dish. The ingredients you need to buy for a standardized saltimbocca are;
- Get 8 cutlets of veal. It is the meat of the calves that can be obtained from either a male or a female one
- You need 1 tablespoon of butter
- You have to get 8 slices of prosciutto. It is a thinly sliced Italian dry-cured ham that is mostly served uncooked or half-cooked
- You need about 8 slices of fresh leaves of sage
- Olive oil
- Chicken Stock
- A pinch of salt
- A pinch of pepper
It should be noted that we are discussing the traditional recipe of saltimbocca, hence, the list of ingredients does not include anything for variations. Once you have gathered all the ingredients mentioned here, it is time to get in the kitchen, put on a stove, and start cooking.
How to Cook Saltimbocca?
The second and a vital step to preparing a gluttonous dish includes reading and following all the instructions accurately. If you try to be smart and do something you are not suppose to, then the dish is less likely to taste good. It is okay to improvise and bring your innovations to the kitchen as long as you are not ruining the actual recipe. Let’s take a look at the instructions;
- Take the cutlets of veal and check to see if there are any unwanted tissues covering the meat. After cleaning the cutlets, get a plastic wrap or 2 sheets of wax paper. Now you have to pound the meat to make it thin by keeping the veal in the wax paper or plastic wrap.
- Once the veal scallops are taken care of, take one sage leave and prosciutto and put them on top of each scallop. You should use a wooden toothpick to hold all the layers together, otherwise, it is likely to fall off.
- Take either stainless steel or a non-stick frying pan and heat it. Pour some olive oil in the pan along with a dab of butter.
- As you see the butter melting in the frying pan, take the three-layered veal and put it inside the pan. You need to put the veal upside down so that the sage leaves touch the pan and the brown part is on top. Do this for as long as one or two minutes because letting it cook longer would harden the prosciutto.
- Now flip the veal and let the other side cook for up to one or two minutes. You can also add salt and pepper according to your preference.
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- Take the veal off the frying pan and put it on a serving platter. You can remove the toothpicks and cover the meat with foil to keep it warm. Don’t take the pan off the stove as you need it for the next step.
- Add some chicken stock to the frying pan and stir so that the parts of meat stuck on the pan are also used for flavor. Then you need to let it come to a boil and leave it to cook for at least two to three minutes. The sauce should have a thick and milky texture if you wish to obtain a perfectly flavored saltimbocca. A good way to test the sauce is by moving the spoon through it and see if it leaves any trail. If it does, you are good to go.
- Now you can remove the pan from the stove and add more butter to the sauce. Stir properly and pour the sauce smoothly over the veal.
As you may have realized by now, cooking a good saltimbocca only takes eight steps and a few minutes of your precious time. It is one of the most quickly-cooked Italian dishes that you can serve to your friends and unexpected guests. Strictly following the time limit mentioned in this recipe while cooking the veal and sauce will give you a perfectly balanced flavor.
Is Saltimbocca Nutritious?
Indeed, this is an Italian dish that offers you a way to enjoy different flavors and eat something healthy at the same time. Saltimbocca has 73g of protein, 16g of fat, and 6g of saturated fat. Moreover, it has 320mg of sodium, 1279mg of potassium, 20mg of calcium, and 2.8mg of iron. It is a good dish for someone who is on a strict nutritional diet as it uses very few ingredients. The recipe is also quite simple and anyone who pays close attention can prepare it without any difficulty.
Moving on, let’s try to explain some of the complications and answer a few questions about preparing a tasteful saltimbocca.
- At the start, it was mentioned that it depends on your preference what kind of frying pan you are going to use. There are various options available to chefs across the world, but what’s the best one? The traditional recipe of saltimbocca mentions the use of copper-skillet frying pan because the meat sticks to it. The caramelized leftovers of veal on the frying pan are very useful and play a vital role in enhancing the taste of the sauce. Those brown bits stick to the pan are full of concentrated flavor that everyone deserves to enjoy.
- A veal saltimbocca stands out itself on any dining table, but it goes well with some green healthy vegetables on the side. You can either serve the vegetables fresh or cook them in a bit of olive oil beforehand.
- You can also serve this delightful veal saltimbocca with a plate of pasta. Moreover, it also goes well with the marinara sauce.
- It is necessary to remove the tissues or grains from the veal or it will harden the meat after cooking.
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- Make sure to pound the meat properly to reduce it to an ideal shape. It will help it cook excellently within the time limit.
- There are a few recipes that instruct you to roll up the layers of sage leaf, veal, and prosciutto. It will result in more tenderized meat but will take longer to cook.
- The order of the layers of sage, prosciutto, and veal depends solely on the chef. However, putting the leaf at the top results in equal distribution of the flavor of the leaf in the sauce.
- Don’t let the prosciutto touch the frying pan as it will get hard and salty. Keeping the prosciutto in the middle would be a wise decision.
- Make sure to cook both sides of the three-layered bunch to create a perfect blend of all the flavors.
- You can replace the meat of veal with chicken and other similar items according to your preference. If you wish to use chicken, then make sure to let it cook for a sufficient amount of time.
- People also add mozzarella cheese to the sauce and drizzle a few bits on top for garnishing.
- There are some modern recipes that guide you to marinate the pieces of veal in flour before putting them on a frying pan.
- You may find other recipes on the internet that instructs you to add some chicken stock while cooking the sauce. It is just another technique to enhance the taste of saltimbocca and it is your personal choice. It is advisable to do research before going with this one if you do not want to unintentionally ruin your dinner.
These recommendations should be completely understood by someone who is planning to cook saltimbocca. A chef has the right to be curious and try new things, but make sure that your innovations are aligned with the recommendations given here.
It is obvious that making a desirable plate of saltimbocca is not a very difficult task. The main part of the whole process is taking care of little details that are often ignored. Sticking to the traditional recipe is favorable, but you can make variations as well. Lastly, it is essential to follow the basic instructions and use the ingredients efficiently for a perfectly cooked saltimbocca.
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