Asked why he uses pork in his saltimbocca (a Roman dish prepared with veal, prosciutto and sage), Jimmy Bannos Jr. responds, “Because pork is better.” When he fries the pork, he uses a spatula to press the prosciutto into the chops until it’s like a crust, a technique he learned cooking at Lupa in Manhattan.
Slideshow:Innovative Pork Recipes
Recipe from Food & Wine America's Greatest New Cooks
2 1/2 pounds Swiss chard—stemmed, leaves cut into 2-inch pieces, 1/2 cup diced stems reserved
1 stick unsalted butter
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
Twelve 3-ounce boneless pork loin chops, pounded 1/4 inch thick
12 thin slices of prosciutto di Parma
12 sage leaves
Wondra flour, for dusting (see Note)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
How to Make It
In a large pot of salted boiling water, blanch the Swiss chard leaves and stems for 1 minute. Drain and cool under running water. Drain well and pat dry.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter over moderately low heat. Whisk in the lemon juice and season with salt and black pepper; keep warm.
Season the pork with salt and black pepper. Place 1 slice of prosciutto on each chop, folding the slices to fit. Press the sage leaves onto the prosciutto, then dust the pork with Wondra flour.
In a very large skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Carefully add half of the pork, prosciutto side down, and press with a spatula. Cook over high heat until golden on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Flip the pork and cook until barely pink throughout, about 1 minute longer. Transfer the saltimbocca to a serving platter and tent with foil. Repeat with the remaining pork chops.
Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the oil from the skillet. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and cook over moderate heat until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the Swiss chard and cook, tossing, until heated through. Season with salt and black pepper. Transfer the Swiss chard to plates and top with the saltimbocca. Drizzle the lemon butter over the meat and serve right away.
Wondra flour, also known as instant flour, is more granular than regular flour and dissolves quickly, making it ideal for thickening sauces and gravies. It also becomes a silky coating for ingredients like the pork here. It’s available at most supermarkets.
Juicy, fruity Dolcetto: 2010 Elio Altare
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