Scallopini – Milanese – Piccata

Super quick dinner that everyone will love; if they don’t you are probably reading / following the wrong blog. Or maybe should rethink who you eat dinner with – OK I know you can’t probably stop feeding your kids but you can definitely make them take the “no thank you” bite and they might just like it enough to keep going.
IMG_3737.JPGYou might be thinking I am confused today having 3 different “meals” listed in the title. Well it is quite possible. Last night was our annual Christmas party and I am literally writing this while setting up for it and directing 3 of my on hand “staff” aka as my daughter, one of her friends and my sister-in-law. So if this blog is a little frazzled you’ll know why.  I am SUPER multi-tasking right this minute.

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Yes that is my glass of wine – wink wink

OK so back to why I listed the 3 above and they actually are in order of how you can make a quick dinner that again you will love. They all start with thin sliced meat. Usually Chicken but I had Turkey on hand and usually always do in my freezer so that is what I used. So thin sliced meat lightly breaded and fried in a little oil in the pan. This is the definition of Scallopini. To make it a Milanese you need to make a sauce by deg-lazing the pan with white wine and a little lemon juice and then finish it off with a tab of butter. Then to make it a Piccata you add a small jar of capers. Voila dinner 3 ways!
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Turkey, Chicken or Veal cutlets – buy them or slice your own
salt & pepper
flour
2 tablespoon Olive or vegetable oil
¼ cup white wine
3 cloves garlic
½ cup chicken broth
2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 jar capers
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 lemon sliced

Salt and pepper both sides of the cutlets, dredge lightly in flour. Shake off the excess.
IMG_3726IMG_3727Swirl some oil in your saute pan, place them in the pan, not touching and leave them alone until they release on their own. Should be about 3-5 minutes. Flip, cover and cook another 2-3 minutes. Remove them from the pan and set aside. If there is excess fat in the pan, pour it off.  
IMG_3729IMG_3730Deg-laze the pan with white wine and add the minced garlic; cook the garlic just till it starts to get brown and cook till the liquid is about gone. Don’t walk away from the stove about 2 minutes. Add the broth, lemon juice and capers.
IMG_3731IMG_3732IMG_3733Return the cutlets to the pan and let the juice reheat the meat up. Transfer to a warm plate.
IMG_3734IMG_3735For the sauce add the butter and sliced lemons, once the butter melts pour the sauce over the cutlets. If you want to be fancy and have fresh parsley it looks really nice chopped sprinkled on top.

Lobster Cake with Tomato Tartar Sauce (Blanchard’s on Anguilla)

I am not sure if you have ever tried this but sometimes when I am at a restaurant I ask the server what their favorite thing on the menu is, especially if I am torn at what I might want to order.  This last Friday night was our last night of vacation we were on the Caribbean island of Anguilla.

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While we waited for our table to be set I opened a cookbook that was sitting on the table; it opened to somewhere in the middle and I saw Vermont Cheddar Soup – I thought that was odd but looked good, maybe I might purchase a copy out of sheer interest.

We had all decided; our son came with us on vacation; that were not going to order any apps.  When one of our many servers came to the table, they were all very attentive; I asked him what was his favorite thing on the menu? He mentioned the Lobster Crab Cakes; we ordered them to share and that was when I decided I was going to buy their cookbook, they were excellent and I was SO happy to see the recipe listed for Lobster Cakes.

On the plane home I read the entire cookbook cover to cover and found several things I want to try my hand at making.  Here is the first recipe I wanted to share it with you.

Oh the deal with Vermont being part of their cook book is they are originally from Vermont and now split their time between Anguilla in the winters and Vermont in the summers. Sounds like a pretty awesome gig to me.

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Blanchard’s Lobster Cakes with Tomato Tartar Sauce – I made 22 cakes – freeze cooked leftovers – re-heat in the oven just till warm – about 15-20 minutes.

5 Tbs unsalted butter

¾ cup AP Flour

2 cups Milk

1 Pound cooked lobster meat, coarsely chopped and patted dry (you can substitute crab or shrimp or any combo)

1 cup red bell pepper, diced small and patted dry

¼ scallions (white and green), thinly sliced

½ tsp cayenne pepper

¾ tsp salt

½ Tbs freshly cracked black pepper

2+ cups fresh bread crumbs

Olive oil and butter for sauteing

1 ½ cup tomato tartar sauce – see below

In a large deep sided saucepan, heat the butter over low heat until it stops foaming. Add the flour gradually and cook for 2 minutes, it is very dry, whisking continually. Add the milk ½ cup at a time, whisking constantly to get rid of the lumps. Simmer for 5 minutes, continuing to whisk until thick and smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the lobster, peppers, scallions, cayenne, salt and pepper. Add 1 cup of bread crumbs, you will want this a little sticky, if too much, add a little more breadcrumb; add the milk mixture, and mix well. Cool to room temperature, shape into small 1 – 1 ½ inch balls and flatten slightly. The lobster cake should be about ½ inch thick. Coat the cakes with more breadcrumbs.

Heat butter and olive oil in a saute pan over medium high heat until hot but not smoking. Cook the cakes until golden brown on both sides. Drain on a paper towel and serve hot with Tomato Tartar Sauce.

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Tomato Tartar Sauce

1 cup Hellman’s mayonnaise

1 Tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tsp tomato paste – (I LOVE the tube tomato paste from Amore – it keeps for a VERY long time in the fridge once opened – Buy it you wont be disapointed)

2 Tbs minced onions

1 Tbs capers, rinsed, drained and chopped

¼ cup minced dill pickles, patted dry

Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

In a small bowl, whisk together the mayo, lemon juice and tomato paste. Add the onion, capers, pickles, and salt and pepper, and whisk until blended

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Great Tip

an easy way to get the sweet lobster meat out of the legs is to use a rolling pin – though as a child we used to just suck the meat out – that was my first taste/joy of eating lobster.