Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Great Ingredient and a Classic Technique

Pork meets fennel this week in Titina's kitchen. This fall and winter vegetable which looks a little like an onion with stalks, has a long history in Italy, but many of Titina's students have never cooked with it before.

"Treat it like an onion with a core," she advises. Slice off the root end and remove the tough outer skin. Then slice off the stalks. Cut the fennel in half and remove the woody core.

Mild, sweet, with a distinct anise flavor, fennel can be sliced and eaten raw (it's great in a salad with romaine) or cooked.

For Titina's Scaloppine al Finocchio (Pork Tenderlion with Fennel) the vegetable is cooked in olive oil while students learn a basic technique--using a metal meat pounder to flatten the pork slices until they are almost paper thin--Scaloppine style.

A good, heavy meat pounder is a tool that's hard to find. Titina inherited hers from the family restaurant in Italy where she remembers her father using it almost every day. Scaloppine is an Italian classic.

At home, a heavy pot will do the trick. Put a layer of waxed paper on a wooden cutting board, top with a piece of tenderlion, sliced about a quarter of an inch thick. Another piece of waxed paper goes on top and the pounding begins. Then dredge the meat in flour and brown in oil.

A pan sauce is traditional . For Titina's recipe, broth, wine, and the juice of a lemon are cooked 2-3 minutes with the meat. A little butter is swirled in to finish.

Delicious, fast, a classic, Titina's scaloppine is the kind of master recipe cooking class students can take home and make any number of ways.
Another big hit on this week's Fiesole menu--every one's favorite Italian Desert--Titina's Tiramisu.

No comments:

Post a Comment