More from Time-Life Foods of the World: The Cooking of Italy. Tonight's main course included Scallopine al Marsala—Sautéed Veal Scallops with Marsala Sauce (p65) and the Broccoli alla Romana—Broccoli Braised with White Wine (p35) that I've made before. For dessert, there were Pere Ripiene—Pears Stuffed with Gorgonzola Cheese (p89).
Veal Marsala is a classic dish and quite simple to make. The scallops are salt-and-peppered, dredged in flour then sautéed briefly in a mix of butter and olive oil. When they are brown, they're put aside; the fat is drained from the pan, which is then deglazed with dry marsala and chicken stock. The scallops are returned to the pan, then simmered in the sauce over low heat for 10-15 minutes. Put the scallops on hot plates or a platter, then boil the remaining sauce down until it's syrupy. Finish off with some soft butter, pour over the scallops, and serve. We don't have veal often, and this is a a favorite sort of way to do it.
The Gorgonzola Pears were good, but not a big hit. I really think I'd rather have slices of the fresh fruit with a chunk of cheese on the plate. For this dish, you peel the pears, then half them, hollow them out, and rub with lemon juice inside and out. (You are instructed to leave the stem on one of the halves, but one of my pears was a bit soft on the end, so I decapitated both of them.) The filling is a mixture of Gorgonzola and butter. Stuff that in the hollows, put the halves back together, then roll in crushed walnuts (or pistachios or pine nuts). Chill, then serve.
December at Cookbook Countdown means folks can cook from books they've used during the year, or start with a new one. Why don't you choose a cookbook from your shelf and join in?