Monday, February 25, 2008

Saturday Night Dinner Party - Pork Scallopine with Salsa Verde Browned Butter and Fresh Corn Risotto

Pork Scalloppine with Salsa Verde Browned Butter and Fresh Corn Risotto
Not to toot my own horn or anything, but this was dinner on Saturday night, and it was delicious. I started with a recipe from Sunday Supper with Lucques, but I made some changes so I've typed it up below. Mostly I subbed pork for the veal, and used a risotto recipe from Food and Wine magazine instead of Polenta.
The riffed-on recipe
For dessert, we had churros (from Suzanne Goin's recipe) and hot chocolate (not from her recipe.) The churros were a little softer than I would have liked, but pretty tasty. Her dough is basically a choux paste, so it's very light but also very rich - almost custardy inside. Suzanne Goin's Churros
I tried adding some cocoa powder to the hot chocolate per Suzanne's suggestion, but I thought it made it a little too bitter. My favorite is still a blend of the dark Michael Recchiuti (which comes in chips) with the sweeter cinnamon-spiced Guanni. Williams Sonoma's is pretty good too, but it doesn't look like they have it on their website right now - it's usually available at the holidays. I have one of these things that whips and heats the chocolate, and then dispenses it, which is awesome. I absolutely love it. For some reason though, it's almost impossible to find one with a metal carafe - most of them are plastic. If you see one and you want one, buy it - you might not get another chance.

Here's the recipe. It's a little involved, but totally worth it. I promise!
Pork Scalloppine with Salsa Verde Brown Butter
Pork Scalloppine with Salsa Verde Brown Butter and Fresh Corn Risotto
adapted from Sunday Suppers at Lucques by Suzanne Goin, and Food and Wine Magazine
Serves 6

12 pork loin cutlets or boneless chops, pounded thin
1 cup Wondra flour
vegetable oil
salt and pepper

1) Make the salsa verde an hour or two before serving (recipe below.)

2) Get your mise en place ready for your risotto and the pork cutlets. Start cooking the risotto about 45 mins before you plan to eat. When about half of the stock has been absorbed, start heating your frying oil.

3) Season the flour with salt and pepper and dredge the cutlets in the flour mixture. Fry in a large saute pan in the vegetable oil over medium-high heat until nicely browned. Drain and remove to a warm serving pan. When the cutlets are done, drain the excess oil out of the pan, leaving the brown crusty bits behind and add the stick of butter, allowing it to melt. Turn off the heat until the risotto is almost ready to serve.

4) When the risotto is just about ready - turn the heat up and brown the butter, being careful not to let it burn. Transfer the browned butter to a small pitcher or gravy boat, and spoon in about half of the salsa verde, making sure to get lots of the green stuff. Pass at the table with the pork cutlets and risotto.
Fresh Corn Risotto
Fresh Corn Risotto

6-7 cups of chicken stock
2 cups of arborio rice
2 large shallots or one medium onion, finely chopped (about 1/2-3/4 of a cup)
vegetable oil
1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons white wine
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
kernels from 4 ears of fresh corn (about two heaping cups)
a knob (about 2 Tablespoons) of butter

Heat the stock to a boil in a large saucepan or stockpot, and reduce to a simmer. Get out a large ladle and keep it nearby.

Coat the bottom of a heavy medium to large pot (I made a double recipe in a 6 quart dutch oven) generously with oil and heat over moderate flame for about 1 minute. Add the shallot and cook, stirring constantly, until soft. Add the rice and stir until opaque, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook until absorbed, stirring constantly. When that's absorbed, ladle in about a cup of stock, and continue to stir until it's absorbed. Continue doing this - adding stock and stirring until it's absorbed, until it starts to take on a creamy appearance. At that point, add the corn. Continue cooking and stirring, adding the stock and checking the texture of the rice. Add the parmesan toward the very end - when there's just about one more addition of stock. It's done with nearly all of the stock is absorbed, and it has a creamy just slightly firm texture - the whole process should take about 30-40 minutes.

Salsa Verde
Salsa Verde
(all volume measurements are after chopping)

2 teaspoons fresh whole oregano leaves
1 cup roughly chopped parsley
1 cup roughly chopped other mildly flavored bitter greens - watercress, spinach, arugula, etc.
1/2 cup roughly chopped mint
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 anchovy
1 heaping Tablespoon capers (rinse and adjust the salt content if using salt-packed)
3/4 cup good quality olive oil
juice and zest of half a lemon
about teaspoon of sea salt (or to taste)

In a mortar and pestle, grind the oregano, parsley and other greens to a paste with a little salt and olive oil. Place in a small bowl. Mash the garlic and anchovy and add to the greens. Lightly crush the capers and add them. Stir in the olive oil, lemon juice and zest, and any remaining salt (if needed) and let sit for an hour or two at room temp, stirring occasionally.

Bon Appetit!

And special thanks to Becky and James for bringing over this sweet cheese plate from Taste - you guys rock!
The cheese plate from Taste that Becky brought


  1. Cheese. Check.
    Pork. Check.
    Risotto. Check
    Sauce with lots of 'good stuff' (yum capers and mint!)
    Freaking Churros to cap it all off! Check.

    Could anyone ask for a more heavenly meal?
    You said chocolate too, right?

    Looks fantastic Culinary Angel Alice! Great Job!


  2. Alex - you are too kind. Not a light meal - but I figure every once in a while won't hurt!

  3. Hi Alice,

    I discovered you after you left a comment on dooce (prior to their tragic San Diego trip). I love your passion for food, and though my budget won't allow much dining out, you have given me many great places to ass to my list of We Should Go There Some Time.

    But I'm commenting because I wanted to let you know that I tried the corn risotto last night, which I paired with thick cut pork chops (stuffed with breadcrumbs, bacon, onion, celery, apples, pecans, and gruyere). It was a fabulous side. Even my ultra-picky husband enjoyed it.

  4. I'm so glad you tried it and liked it! Thanks for letting me know.

  5. i could eat any one of the components of that dinner and be perfectly happy.

    i was on the verge of buying goin's book this weekend, and then bought the french laundry cookbook instead. now i'm a little sorry...but not that sorry, since i'll probably just pick it up this weekend!

  6. It is looking fab! I like pork - we have it almost as much as we have chicken, which is a lot. It should keep me busy in the kitchen.