Veal Rolls (Involtini) and Caponata

Jan 11, 2008 by Gabriele Corcos

This is the second and last episode we shot in Italy, let us introduce you to Aunt Laura.
Laura is Gabriele’s aunt, and she’s the one usually in charge of cooking for the big family events…she has it in her.
She is an excellent cook, a great entertainer and a superb host.
Enough said, today’s menu is:
Veal Rolls with Ham and Emmenthal cheese and a traditional Caponata (Vegetable Stew).

Ingredients

VEAL ROLLS

Serves: 4 / Prep time: 20 minutesCook Time: 45 – 60 minutes

  • 1 Lb veal cutlets pounded thin (count two per serving)
  • 1/2 Lb ham
  • 1/4 Lb Emmenthal cheese, cut in 8 small cubes (about 3/4 inch)
  • 1/2 glass (about 3 tablespoons) of lemon juice or dry white wine at room temperature
  • 1/2 glass (about 3 tablespoons) of milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive Oil for pan-frying

 

CAPONATA

Serves: 4 / Prep time: 15 minutesCook Time: 45 – 60 minutes

  • 1/2 red onion, sliced thin
  • 3 medium-size potatoes, 1/2-inch dice
  • 3 zucchini, 1- inch dice
  • 1 medium/small eggplant, 1-inch dice
  • 1 Red Pepper, 1-inch dice
  • 12 Oz can of Pelati tomatoes, diced
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Olive Oil

Preparation

VEAL ROLLS

1Lay down on a cutting board a slice of veal, season with some and pepper.

2Lay a slice of ham on the cutlet and top it with a cube of Emmenthal

3Roll it tight and secure the ends with a toothpick…you can use how many toothpicks you want! Place them all on a plate.

4In a non stick pan, on a medium high flame, heat two tablespoons of olive oil. Place the rolls into the pan, and without lowering the flame brown them all the way around, stirring constantly, making sure not to burn them. When the meat is well browned add the lemon (or the wine), and lower the flame to a medium.

5Let the wine evaporate and when ready add the 1/2 glass of milk, stir well.

6Lower the flame to a low medium, keep on stirring and flipping the rolls for a couple of minutes,then add a 1/4 cup of water, to help the sauce.

7Cover the pan with a lid, not completely though, make sure that some vapor is able to escape the cooking, you do not want to boil your meat. Do not worry if some cheese spills out of the rolls, you did your best to secure them, now it’s time to cook…let it be part of the sauce! In about 45 min, an hour, depending on how thick your rolls are, your dish will be ready to be served; you can take the toothpicks off yourself before serving it, or leave them into the meat, and give your guests an excuse to get their fingers dirty.

Notes:
From what I noticed, a 1/2 glass is a rough 3 tablespoons.
I tried to use turkey instead of veal: not bad. A little bit harder to close the rolls because of the softer meat, but cooking time is faster.
Wine and lemon together…I thought: “Why not?” But I have not tried it yet!

CAPONATA

1Slice the onion thin, wash all the vegetables and cut them in cubes, about 1 inch. Cut the potatoes in small cubes.

2Saute the onion in two tablespoons of Olive Oil, then add all the vegetables, except the tomatoes.  Saute all the vegetables, except the tomatoes, for about 2 to 3 minutes, on a medium high flame.

3Add the diced tomatoes, stir well, add salt and pepper, and some red pepper if you’d like. Lower the flame, and cover with a lid, stir every 5 minutes. It is very important to be delicate while stirring the Caponata; since potatoes are harder then the rest of the vegetables, it comes natural to be rough while using the spoon. Remember, you do not want the vegetables to get destroyed while cooking, try to be delicate, otherwise the eggplant and the zucchini will melt into the sauce.

Buon Appetito
Debi and Gabriele

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