Vitello alia Siciliana

A succulent dish, perfect for a dinner party, Vitello alia Siciliana (vee-tehl-oh ah-lah see-chee-lyanah) may be served with rice and a Tomato Salad. Accompany it with a well-chilled Verdicchio Bianco wine.

4 veal escalopes, pounded thin and cut into

3-inch pieces

1 oz. seasoned flour, made with

1 oz. flour,

1 teaspoon salt,

1 teaspoon black pepper and

2 teaspoon dried basil

1 oz. butter

5 fl. oz. double cream

2 fl. oz. olive oil

1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

4 oz. button mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced

6 fl. oz. home-made veal stock

3 tablespoons brandy

3 oz. sultanas or seedless raisins (optional)

2 tablespoons chopped almonds

2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

First make the sauce. In a medium-sized saucepan, heat the oil over moderate heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent but not brown. Stir in the mushrooms and cook for a further 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour in the stock and brandy and add the sultanas or seedless raisins, if you are using them, the chopped almonds, salt, pepper and lemon rind and stir well to mix.

Bring the liquid to the boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer the sauce for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to warm 325°F (Gas Mark 3, 170°C). Dip the escalope pieces in the seasoned flour to coat them thoroughly. Shake off any excess.

In a large frying-pan, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the veal pieces and cook them for 3 minutes on each side or until they are lightly and evenly browned. Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the veal pieces to a large, warmed serving dish. Keep warm while you finish the sauce.

Place the saucepan over moderately high heat and bring the liquid to the boil, stirring occasionally. Boil for 5 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by about one-quarter. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the cream. Simmer the mixture for 2 to 3 minutes or until it is hot but not boiling. Remove the saucepan from the heat and pour the sauce over the veal. Serve at once.

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