Sunday, 4 March 2012

A New Taste of the Old Country

Scallopina di Maiale in Marsala Agrodolce con Spinaci & Pastinaca
Sicilian-Styled Sweet & Sour Pork Tenderloin with Marsala, with Spinach and Parsnip

I am all for trying something new- even when it comes to traditional dishes! Traditions are great and there are millions of books and restaurants keeping those traditions alive. I think that's wonderful. Because whilst they are busy doing that and everyone else is concerned with things being authentic and regional- it gives me a chance to get creative and have some fun in my kitchen!

Oh, I am being a little naughty I know with my flippant remarks, but this dish is basically your typical Italian sweet and sour meat dish and I have just speeded up the method and presented it in a slightly more modern way. But trust me... my Sicilian roots make this as authentic and traditional as you could want... because some flavors and combinations of ingredients just can't be beat and I want to share those with you!

So- this is actually a lot easier to make than it might seem! The ingredients are also very simple- a thinly sliced pork cutlet, or tenderloin, schallots, raisins, carrot and fresh marjoram and Marsala for the meat dish- spinach and parsnip for the side.

Dip the meat into flour and fry in a little clarified butter with a little crushed garlic, sliced shallot and a couple of stems of fresh marjoram. Once the meat begins to brown, add the carrot, which should be sliced to a fine julienne and the raisins and deglaze the pan with a cupful of Marsala. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add about half a cup of white balsamic vinegar.  To thicken the sauce a little, I used the juice of half an orange and a half teaspoon of flour, which I slowly trickled into the pan whilst stirring constantly. I seasoned with salt, pepper and a little cinnamon... simple and delicious!

The spinach was simply rinsed and sautéed with a drop of olive oil, some crushed garlic and seasoned with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

The parsnip was simply scrubbed and cleaned and then sliced thinly without peeling. I then fried it at a moderate heat in a little clarified butter, with a pinch of salt and sugar, until it began to brown slightly... yum!

So that is basically a traditional kind of Sicilian meal, speeded up and revamped by yours truly! And I hope you like it! Bon apetito!

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