Saltimbocca (serves 4)

Saltimbocca by The Fat Foodie

Although I enjoy eating most meat I’m not a fan of veal at all. Leaving aside ethical concerns about how veal is raised and slaughtered, the fact is, I simply don’t enjoy the taste of it. I didn’t realise that saltimbocca is traditionally made with veal until I decided to make it one day, but after doing some research online I thankfully discovered that a lot of professional chefs believe that saltimbocca is actually far tastier when made with pork escalopes instead.

Saltimbocca is an Italian dish that’s very simple to make, but is incredibly rewarding in the taste department. It’s made by wrapping a pork escalope in thin sheets of prosciutto ham and fresh sage leaves before cooking it in dry white wine and butter. I didn’t cook mine with the white wine, but I did make a sage butter to fry the saltimbocca in and I’m really glad I did because I think it really enhanced the flavour of the prosciutto.

If you enjoy meals made with pork I’d seriously recommend you try making this recipe for saltimbocca because they take very little time to make and are absolutely delicious. The pork escalopes remain tender and juicy upon cooking, thanks to their wrapper of prosciutto, and they are delicately infused with the woody aroma of fresh sage leaves. I served mine simply with potato wedges, but you could also serve it with pasta, a fresh salad, steamed vegetables or potatoes. It really doesn’t matter, the saltimbocca’s the star of the show.

Ingredients:

4 pork escalopes

8 sheets of prosciutto

12 large fresh sage leaves

2 tbsps unsalted butter

1 tbsp vegetable oil

Method:

Take 4 sage leaves and chop them up very finely before mixing them into the butter. Leave to one side.

Place 2 sage leaves on each pork escalope and then wrap each escalope in two pieces of prosciutto to form a parcel.

Put a large frying pan over a medium heat and add the vegetable oil before placing the saltimbocca into the frying pan.

Cook the saltimbocca for 7 minutes on one side and then turn them over and cook them for another 6-7 minutes.

Add the sage butter and let it cook for another 1-2 minutes before serving drizzled with the melted butter and your chosen accompaniment.

Saltimbocca by The Fat Foodie

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Sage and ‘Onion’ Chicken with Polenta Chips (serves 2)

Sage and ‘Onion’ Chicken by The Fat Foodie

My Mum makes a cracking dinner in which she coats chicken breasts in beaten egg and then dips them in Paxo sage and onion stuffing mix and bakes them in the oven. They’re absolutely delicious, but as anyone who follows the low FODMAP diet will tell you, onion can be a massive trigger for a lot of people, me included, so I needed to adapt Mum’s recipe to make a FODMAP friendly version.

The dried sage is perfectly FODMAP friendly and the breadcrumb component of the sage and ‘onion’ chicken was easy enough to substitute with some stale low FODMAP gluten-free bread, but the ‘onion’ flavour that’s so characteristic of stuffing mix can be difficult to replicate. However, I’ve written before about the fantastic spice that is asafoetida powder, a powerful spice that’s derived from a variety of giant fennel and is wonderful for using in recipes as an onion substitute. Its flavour truly mimics the depth of onion and it even has a hint of garlic notes to it too, so it’s the ideal low FODMAP solution to add to your recipes.

I’d been looking for something to serve alongside the sage and ‘onion’ chicken and although I love chips and homemade potato wedges, I fancied something a bit more exciting to go with it, so when I noticed the pack of ready made polenta in the cupboard I decided to have a go at making my own polenta chips.

I’ve tried making my own polenta from scratch before and I’ve never been that impressed with it, but I absolutely adore Jamie Oliver’s polenta chips that he serves in his Italian restaurants, so when I was shopping a while ago I thought I’d buy a pack of ready made polenta and try to have a bash at making polenta chips at home.

I’ll be honest with you, although these polenta chips are very tasty, it was difficult to get the same results as those you can have at a Jamie Oliver’s Italian because I think you’d need to deep-fry the polenta chips to get the same level of crispiness that his have. Also, I’d think I’d prefer to have a chip that’s made from potato instead of polenta because at least that way I’d be eating the abundance of vitamins and nutrients which are naturally found in potatoes rather than the pretty much pure carbohydrate that is polenta.

I really enjoyed this dinner of sage and ‘onion’ chicken with polenta chips. The crispy, but tender and juicy, baked sage and ‘onion’ chicken tasted just as good as the Paxo coated version my Mum makes, with the asafoetida powder providing the right oniony flavour it requires, and the parmesan coated polenta chips were a tasty accompaniment to go with it. All it needed was a good dollop of Heinz ketchup on the side. I’m classy like that…

Polenta Chips by The Fat Foodie

Polenta Chips by The Fat Foodie

Ingredients for the sage and ‘onion’ chicken breasts:

2 chicken breasts

50g gluten-free breadcrumbs

2 tsps dried sage

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1/4 tsp asafoetida powder

1 beaten egg

 

Ingredients for the polenta chips:

500g block of ready made polenta (cut into chip-sized slices)

2 tbsps vegetable oil

2 tsps ground polenta (aka cornmeal)

1 tbsp dried rosemary

Parmesan (to serve) or dairy-free version

Method:

Preheat your oven to 200C/180C Fan/400F/Gas Mark 6.

To make the chicken: mix your sage, salt and pepper and asafoetida powder into the breadcrumbs.

Dip each chicken breast in the beaten egg and then the breadcrumb mixture and lay them on a baking tray.

Coat your polenta slices in ground polenta, place on a baking tray, coat with oil and scatter the dried rosemary over the chips.

Bake both dishes in the oven for 25-30 mins or until the chicken is fully cooked and your polenta chips are crispy.

Sprinkle the polenta chips generously with parmesan and serve with the chicken breasts and a fresh salad.

Sage and ‘Onion’ Chicken by The Fat Foodie

Polenta Chips by The Fat Foodie

 

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