Monday, November 3, 2014
VEGAN "SCALOPPINE", MY GO-TO QUICK MEAL, THIS TIME "AL LIMONE"
|Vegan Scaloppine al Limone ( made with "Breast of Tofu") with Chanterelle Mushrooms on a bed of orzo pasta, with roasted asparagus|
Scaloppine is the term used for very thin Italian-style cutlets (or "scallops" or "medallions"), quickly prepared with a savory sauce. My vegan version of this Italian favorite is made with thin seitan cutlets, commercial vegan cutlets, or my Breast of Tofu Crispy Slices, which I usually have marinating in my refrgerator for quick meals.
Scaloppine are sauced in a number of ways, and no doubt you will make up a few of your own once you get the hang of it. (This is one of the most successful vegetarian dishes to serve to omnivores, by the way.) You are limited only by your taste, your pantry and your imagination.
This type of dish is actually one of my favorite "go-to" dishes for occasions when I have to make a really quick meal (start-to-finish in 20 minutes or less). My husband likes orzo, so I usually put some on to cook first. (I cook it like rice-- 1 cup orzo to 2 cups salted water or broth; add herbs if you like.) It takes about 20 minutes to cook. Crusty bread is a ready-made and traditional accompaniment, too. Add a salad or some quick-cooked greens. Quick as it is, it's good enough for company-- really!
The Method: I brown and crisp the "B of T"(Breast of Tofu) or the cutlets and set them aside, and then make a quick sauce with some wine (sherry, vermouth, Marsala, port, white or red wine) and broth and whatever interesting ingredients I have around. That could include bell peppers, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, fresh or canned tomatoes, onions, leeks, a variety of herbs, both dried and fresh, miso (my vegan equivalent of anchovies or anchovy paste, which is often used as an umami flavoring agent in Italian cooking), a tiny bit of chopped vegan "bacon" or "ham", unsweetened vegan creamer, ... even fruits like sliced apples or pears.
In this recipe, lemon is the primary flavoring and chanterelle mushrooms (which we can pick on our local walks at this time of the year) take the starring roll in this version of the dish. Whatever you use in your recipe, follow the same method of cooking as in this recipe and it's hard to go wrong!
BRYANNA'S VEGAN SCALOPPINE AL LIMONE
(WITH CHANTERELLE MUSHROOMS)
This is adapted from a recipe in my book "Nonna's Italian Kitchen". If you prefer, use 4 commercial or homemade vegan cutlets, floured or breaded and crisped in a little olive oil, instead of the tofu.
1/2 recipe Breast of Tofu, Crispy Slices, made ahead and set aside (or alternate, see above)
1-2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. minced fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp. dried)
2 cups sliced chanterelle mushrooms (or use any type of mushroom you have available)
1/2 c. dry white wine (can be dealcoholized) or dry white vermouth
1 c. vegetarian broth (I like Better Than Bouillon Vegan No-Chicken)
grated zest of 1 lemon (preferably organic)
1-2 T. fresh lemon juice
freshly ground pepper
In a heavy non-stick, cast iron or hard-anodized skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and rosemary and stir-fry for a minute. Raise the heat to High and add the mushrooms. Sauté until the mushrooms exude their liquid and then evaporate most of the liquid. Add the wine and reduce the liquid by half. Add the pre-cooked crispy slices of Breast of Tofu (or alternate) to the pan. Add the broth and lemon zest. Bubble the sauce over high heat until a nice sauce forms. Add the lemon juice and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. In