The latest publication by the Okanagan Institute is a book by Ricardo Scebba, owner of Ricardo’s Mediterranean Kitchen in Lake Country, called That’s Amore.
It’s a selection of 55 recipes for some of the popular dishes offered at his restaurant, mostly Italian, and many passed on by his mother, who helps out at the restaurant, as do most of the family.
He also dedicates it to his mother, Maria Concetta Scebba.
The full-colour photographs are even taken by his family members, and they are excellent and quite delectable-looking.
Chapters cover appetizers, soups, pasta, salads, main courses, sauces & sides and desserts, and each is preceded by a little personal introduction, sometimes with a few kitchen hints.
These recipes are simple and straightforward, but, be warned, there’s a lot of cream and butter used in Ricardo’s kitchen, so if you’ve a tendency toward high cholestrol or a bit of a paunch, you may wish to skip them.
Otherwise, the methods are easy and the contents fresh and often locally-available, so the results should be tasty.
Certainly, the Veal Saltimbocca we made was good and not at all difficult to put together. Many other classic Italian recipes are included in the book: Spaghetti Puttanesca, Pasta Fagioli, Biscotti, Tiramisu and Bruschetta.
It’s available locally at bookstores, through the restaurant or at the B.C. Wine Museum, where you can also pick up a copy of my new book, also published by the Okanagan Institute, Jude’s Kitchen.
Incidentally, congratulations to young chef Brandon Pridie of the Grapevine Restaurant at Gray Monk Estate Winery, on coming out on top in a black box competition on Sunshine Farms against four young colleagues recently. He won a three-month visit to Tuscany where he will work on a farm, immersed in the field to table concept, thanks to the dedication and commitment of the Okanagan Chefs’ Association.
Ricardo’s Panettone Bread pudding
This looks very decadent and delicious, but if you only make it for a special occasion, what the heck, eh? Ricardo says the Italian panettone, a sweet bread, can be found at Italian grocery stores. This makes a large quantity.
2 c. (500 ml) sugar
1 c. (250 ml) milk
2 c. (500 ml) heavy cream
1/2 c. (125 ml) milk
1/2 c. (125 ml) heavy cream
1/2 c. (125 ml) sugar
1/4 c. (60 ml) amaretto
1 tsp. (5 ml) cornstarch
Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
Slice panettone into small cubes and arrange in a deep 9×12-inch oven-safe pan.
In a bowl, mix remaining bread pudding ingredients well. Pour into pan, until the bread is saturated.
Bake, uncovered, 45 minutes to one hour, or until the middle of the pudding is about to set. Remove from the oven and cool at room temperature. The middle should finish setting while the pudding cools.
Make the glaze by heating all the glaze ingredients in a pot to a simmering boil.
Combine the cornstarch with about a tablespoon of cold water until well-blended.
Slowly stir the slurry into the pot, until thickened to a nice pouring consistency. Use more or less to achieve the proper viscosity.
Spoon the bread pudding into a serving bowl and drizzle it with glaze.
Ricardo’s Veal Saltimbocca
Apparently Saltimbocca translates from Italian to English, as something like ‘to jump off the mouth,’ or flavoured to delight the taste buds, and this is very tasty. I did find the cheese didn’t brown at all in the time recommended in the oven so I had to turn on the broiler for a minute. We paired this, very effectively, with a pinot grigio wine from the Okanagan but I think the Beaujolais Nouveau now out or a light pinot noir would also be good.
24 oz. (680 g) veal strip loin
1 tbsp. (15 ml) vegetable oil
4 slices prosciutto
8 whole sage leaves
8 thin slices provolone cheese
salt & pepper, parsley, chillies
1/3 c. (75 ml) chicken stock
1 tbsp. (15 ml) butter
Cut strip loin into eight thin 3 oz. pieces. With a meat tenderizing hammer, gently pound veal even thinner, to cutlet style.
Over medium heat, in a hot non-stick pan, quickly pan sear one side of veal in oil for one minute, seasoning with parsley, chillies, salt and pepper. Turn over and remove from heat.
On each piece of veal place one sage leaf, one slice of prosciutto and one slice of provolone cheese, in that order.
Bake in an oven-safe pan at 400 F for five to seven minutes or until cheese is nicely melted.
Remove pan from oven and place finished veal on a serving tray.
Place hot pan with drippings on medium heat and add stock. Once simmering, stir in the butter to make a glaze. Pour the sauce over the veal and serve.