What Makes a “Best Recipe” like Saltimbocca?
I’m always on a quest for “Best Recipes,” like the one for Saltimbocca at the bottom of this post. It’s my dream to one day have compiled at least 50 recipes like this one. When that happens, we will be in the cookbook business.
But what is a “Best Recipe?”
You might call a “Best Recipe” an “Ultimate Recipe” or “Perfect Dish.” Well, in my book, this elusive beauty comprises of at least 4 out of 5 things listed below.
- It has got to really good! I’m talking like macaroni and cheese good, not some high-and-mighty-pinky-in-the-air-I’ve-got-to-get-use-to-this-concoction good. I’m talking soul food good!
- You can make it within an hour. It gets BIG points if you can make in in 30 minutes.
- None of the ingredients come from a box.
- For savory dishes, if the main ingredient is taken out completely or switched out the dish is still wonderful and doesn’t lose it’s integrity..
- If it’s not low carb, it can easily be transformed into a low carb version.
In a nutshell, it’s got to be delicious, fast, healthy, and versatile. So far, Venetian Pasta with Shrimp and Scallops and Saltimbocca both fall into this category. Two recipes down, 48 to go!
I learned how to make Saltimbocca from Ian, a retired English chef and restauranteur who now resides in Ajijic, Mexico. He gives a small group demonstration cooking class in his home kitchen every now and then. Since Ian is so fun to watch, has great stories, excellent tips, and of course his food is out of this world, I attend his class every chance I get.
He gives everyone who attends his class a packet with all the recipes and a pencil for you to take notes. At first glance, the Saltimbocca recipe looks intimidating. However, once you get into it, it’s no big deal.
What the heck is Saltimbocca?
Saltimbocca is an Italian dish that literally means: jump in your mouth. And when Italians give a name to a dish that literally tells you to put it in your mouth, it’s best to pay attention. Italians know food.
This is thinly sliced chicken breast with a sage leaf pressed into both sides, wrapped in prosciutto, lightly dusted with flour and sautéed. Then it is nested on top of slightly wilted baby spinach, covered with a mushroom marsala sauce and blanketed in cheese. Oh my God, I’m going to cry. I want to eat this so much right now.
Does it qualify as a “Best Recipe?”
Yes, it does and here’s why.
- I’m teary eyed right now thinking about how good it is. Delicious?… Double check!
- If this is your first time making it, it might take you a full hour to pull it together. Typically, I make this is about 40 minutes. Fast? Check!
- No ingredient comes from a box. Healthy? Check!
- If you make this without the chicken, it’s still amazing. Substituting portobello mushrooms for the chicken breast… excellent! Or you can use a thinly pounded pork tenderloin… very good! Versatility?… Check!
- So low carb! Check!
There’s something really fun about making a meal with a fancy name, especially when it’s this easy. When you make this, and I really hope you do soon, maybe serve it up with a side of pasta, rice or cauliflower “rice,” a green salad, and a pinot noir. Enjoy!
Jump in Your Mouth divine! Juicy tender chicken breast wrapped in prosciutto and smothered in cheese and mushroom sauce. So good and super easy! | www.lakesidetable.com
- 4 chicken breast boneless and skinless
- 8 slices prosciutto
- 8 sage leaves fresh
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sage ground
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano ground
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 3-4 tablespoons butter unsalted and chilled
- 8 ounces mushrooms chopped
- 1 cup Marsala
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 cups Italian cheese blend shredded
- 8 ounces baby spinach fresh
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 casserole dish
- 1 saute pan
- 1 cookie sheet
- measuring spoons and cups
- 1 gallon zip lock bag
- 1 meat mallet
- knife and cutting board
- 1 shallow pan
Put 1 chicken breast in the zip lock bag and with the smooth side of the meat mallet, pound the chicken until it is 1/2 inch thick. Repeat with remaining chicken breasts.
Press a sage leaf into each side of each chicken breast and wrap with 2 pieces of prosciutto.
Make your seasoned flour: in the shallow pan mix 2 cups of flour with salt, ground sage, oregano, and Italian seasoning. Dredge prosciutto wrapped chicken through the seasoned flour and place on the cookie sheet.
Refrigerate chicken for at least 1/2 an hour. (This helps the prosciutto stick to the chicken when it's cooking).
Heat the saute pan on medium heat and add olive oil. Add garlic. Wait 2 minutes to flavor the oil, then add spinach. Turn the spinach over in a large bunch with tongs to lightly wilt, approximately 2 minutes. Put spinach in the bottom of the casserole dish.
After chicken has rested in the refrigerator, heat the saute pan over medium heat. Saute chicken for approximately 3 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Place chicken on top of spinach.
Cover chicken with cheese and keep warm in the oven while you make the mushroom sauce. Set oven temperature to 200 degrees.
Heat another 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When oil is hot, add mushrooms. Saute mushrooms until they release their liquid and lightly brown. Add Marsala and reduce by half. Add chicken stock.
Whisk in 1 tablespoon of butter at a time until sauce thickens. Taste and add salt and pepper to your taste. Pour mushroom sauce over chicken and cheese. Serve immediately or keep warm in the oven at 200 degrees for up to 1 hour.