All Seasons · Life in Umbria · Meat Dishes · Recipes

Travels, gratitude and a quick dinner (balsamic and sage chicken scaloppine)

 

A Kitchen with a View cookbook Signing
Setting up my first US cookbook signing at Caffè Umbria in Seattle

What a wonderful and different springtime I have had this year! I am back from the most exciting book tour in the US where I have visited old and new friends and presented my cookbook at 4 different locations.  Also, I have taken with me a little bit of Umbria: a hand-woven cloth by the Brozzetti Atelier, a Deruta plate by Franco Mari, several bottles of fragrant San Potente olive oil and  Scacciadiavoli Sagrantino wine.

My wish was not only to talk about my book and food philosophy, but to be an ambassador of our marvelous region and its many talents. This has been so appreciated that I have even appeared in an article by Rita Cipalla on the Italo Americano.

During a month-long visit, I have been involved in a whirlwind of activities thanks to the dedication of  many friends who hosted me in their homes and helped me arranging all events. Also, many more friends have joined the events traveling often from far away. I was overjoyed to see you and I am so grateful to all of you for your enthusiasm and generosity!

Seattle Groups
Right: at Caffe Umbria in Seattle with friends Roberta and Elisabetta and cousin Rosaria. Top left: with John and Corrie at book signing. Bottom left: Relaxing with a glass of Sagrantino wine after my presentation at the Seattle-Perugia Sister City event. With association President Alan Viegel and my friend and creative writer Alex Leviton

In Seattle I have given a presentation at the Seattle Perugia Sister City Association , had a book signing at Caffe Umbria at Pioneer Square and joined the students of Percorso Italiano language school (see below the video of both Italian class and presentation).

Italian language classes at Percorso Italiano in Seattle include fabulous food of course!
We Italians love to eat and talk, is there anything better than learning Italian while cooking? Classes at Percorso Italiano Language school in Seattle provide both, cooking and lots of talking!

 

 

In Boise (ID) I was hosted by the splendid Heather of A Merry Feast Travels, the Italian American Club and a Tavola Boise for more talks, olive oil tasting and pasta demonstrations.

with HeatherIAC_Boise

from above: with Heather of A Merry Feast Travels, with Catherine and PAtty of IAC Boise and my little Umbrian Table at A Tavola Gourmet Cafè
from above: with Heather of A Merry Feast Travels, with Catherine and Patty of IAC Boise and my little Umbrian Table at A Tavola Gourmet Cafè.

In Palm Springs I was hosted by my friends Jack and Angene and I held an outdoor pasta session 😀 thanks to the support of Just Fabulous, the only bookshop in California where my books are on sale.

Under the Palm Springs sun
Under the Palm Springs sun: wherever I go there is someone making noodles, I wonder why?

In Nashville, where I was hosted by my friends Wes and Linda, Nick Pellegrino honored me at his brand new restaurant Mangia Nashville. He cooked a brilliant dinner based on my cookbook which was served with a perfect selection of Umbrian wines. I was almost moved to tears when I realized he had made my own meal gluten-free so I could taste the entire menu! Over 80 people attended, we ate and danced and had a fabulous time.

with Nick Pellegrino, chef, musician and phenomenal entertainer at Mangia Nashville
with Nick Pellegrino, chef, musician and phenomenal entertainer at Mangia Nashville’s new location

Now I am back home and it’s good to be with my family again, but I miss my lovely friends, it’s been such an incredible experience to be with you! I wish I had more place for all the photos but even if you are not in this page Deena, Alexei, Mary, Tammy, Jan, Mimi, Jeff, Kimberly, Patti, Sid, Duane, Margie, Marilyn, Heather, Josh, Norma, Cindy, Vicky, Michelle, Becky, John, Corrie, Beth,  the list is long…. you are all in my heart!

with my Nashville host Wes and long time friend and travel consultant Leslie Erickson
with  long time friend and travel consultant Leslie Erickson and very dear friend Wes

In fact, I hope to repeat my book tour next year in the early spring. If you wish to host me and have ideas for venues for public events like the ones described above, please do send me an email. I am building up a list and start planning next fall.

Now life is back to normal and busy as usual, but I always take the time to cook wholesome food from scratch. Even when I have hardly any time. I can always find and easy recipe, just ask me, I’ll be happy to share.

Balsamic and Sage Chicken Scaloppine

a light dinner ready in 5 minutes!
a light dinner ready in 5 minutes!

Recipe

  • 300 g (10 oz) boneless, skinless, organic, thinly sliced chicken breast fillets
  • wheat flour or a gluten-free flour of your choice (e.g. rice) for dredging
  • 10 g (2 teaspoon) butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • one handful fresh sage leaves
  • 3 tablespoon white wine
  • 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • a sprinkle of brown sugar
  • salt and black pepper to taste

The chicken in this recipe must cook very quickly, so it’s important to slice it as thin as possible without shredding it, no more than 0.5 cm (1/4 inch). Have your side dishes and the dinner table ready. Place all ingredients near the cooktop. Pour the wine in a small cup as it might flambè. You want to flash-cook the meat on fierce heat and serve it the very minute is ready.

Coat chicken slices in flour. Heat a heavy cast iron skillet on high then add butter, olive oil and 3-4 sage leaves. As soon as the butter starts melting, about 20 sec., add the chicken slices and brown lightly, about one minute per side. Season with salt and pepper.

Add wine and cook over high heat until slightly reduced, about 1/2 minute. Turn the slices once to coat them in the sizzling wine. Add balsamic vinegar and a small pinch of brown sugar (or half teaspoon honey) then shake the skillet to coat the chicken slices or turn once more. Transfer the chicken onto a plate, decorate with additional fresh sage leaves and serve immediately.

I like these scaloppine accompanied by an arugula salad simply dressed with extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice or with steamed/blanched greens saute in olive oil, garlic and fennel seeds or with my zucchini carpaccio. If I need starch but have no time I might take a few new potatoes, pierce them all over with a fork and microwave until tender – 5 to 10 min depending on size – then split and drizzle with my best olive oil.

Never ever, will scaloppine and pasta meet on the same plate in my house. Serves 2. Buon appetito!

7 thoughts on “Travels, gratitude and a quick dinner (balsamic and sage chicken scaloppine)

  1. As wonderful as it was to follow your US tour via FaceBook, this is far lovelier. The whole experience encapsulated with photo and word, together. And as always, an utterly delicious recipe to cap it all off. You are a wonder, Letizia … thank you for all your energy and creativity. And yes, I do hope to get you to Vermont next year. 🙂

    Like

  2. Frank I will certainly contact you if I happen to be in your area. I have an invitation by some close friends who are musicians and live in Takoma Park so there is a high chance that this will happen!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s