Friday, June 19, 2009


I just can't get enough of Tyler, so this week for Tyler Florence Fridays, I'm serving up his Saltimbocca alla Romana alongside his Crispy and Creamy New Potato Pie. A double header of goodness, but two dishes that won't keep you in the kitchen too long. Both recipes are available online at the Food Network TV's site, though I've included them here along with my comments.
One of the reasons I love getting recipes online is the reviews of other foodistas. Understand, however, that if there are 216 reviews, 108 reviewers will gush over the recipe and 108 will pronounce it inedible. You'll quickly learn to spot who can't boil water, who has some cooking chops, who can't follow directions, and who knows a thing or two about cooking riffs.

The downside of getting recipes online is that they are sometimes written as if no one bothered to proofread them--steps out of order, cooking times vague, critical techniques and serving sizes omitted. The result of this carelessness is that the integrity of the recipe is not preserved and the chef is blamed for something out of his or her control. In my opinion, this accounts for a great many of the negative reviews that are posted on cooking sites.

Having vented, I've taken it upon myself to correct problems in these two recipes. In fact, I've added more photos than I normally do to provide something of a tutorial. I've done this because these are two fabulous dishes that are really quite simple to make as well as being very cost conscious. Yet, they look sophisticated and are full of the flavors of fresh herbs and earthy ingredients. The silkiness of the sauce on the saltimbocca contrasts beautifully with the crispy exterior of the potato cake, which encases a creamy interior. Prep time for both dishes was under 30 minutes. I substituted turkey cutlets for the veal, a huge savings. I substituted garlic and rosemary for the chives in the potato dish--my chives had expired--with no loss of flavor.

One at a time or together, you must try these dishes; you won't be disappointed.

4 (5-ounce) sliced turkey cutlets (scallopini)
4 slices thinly sliced prosciutto
8 fresh sage leaves, plus more for garnish
All-purpose flour, for dredging
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1/4 cup chicken broth
Lemon wedges, for serving

Put the cutlets side by side on a sheet of plastic wrap. Lay a piece of prosciutto on top of each piece of veal and cover with another piece of plastic. Gently flatten the cutlets with a rolling pin or meat mallet, until the pieces are about 1/4-inch thick and the prosciutto has adhered to the veal.

Remove the plastic wrap and lay a couple of sage leaves in the center of each cutlet. Weave a toothpick in and out of the veal to secure the prosciutto and sage.

Put some flour in a shallow platter and season with a fair amount of salt and pepper; mix with a fork to combine. Dredge the veal in the seasoned flour, shaking off the excess.

Heat the oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter and in a large skillet over medium flame. Put the veal in the pan, prosciutto-side down first. Cook for 3 minutes to crisp it up and then flip the veal over and saute the other side for 2 minutes, until golden. Transfer the saltimbocca to a serving platter, remove the toothpicks, and keep warm.

Add the wine to the pan, stirring to bring up all the delicious flavor in the bottom; let the wine cook down for a minute to burn off some of the alcohol. Add the chicken broth and remaining tablespoon of butter, swirl the pan around. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the saltimbocca, garnish with sage leaves and lemon wedges; serve immediately.


2 pounds potatoes, washed and halved
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon freshly grated horseradish (or prepared)
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup chives, chopped (2 cloves garlic, minced; handful fresh rosemary, chopped substituted)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Wash and boil potatoes in salty water with bay leaf until fork tender. Drain potatoes and mash along with horseradish, sour cream, garlic, and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper.

(Based on the reviews I read, I sprayed my nonstick skillet and heated the olive oil until almost smoking, patted the mashed potato mixture into the hot skillet, then transferred the skillet to the oven.)
The bottom of the potato cake crisped up beautifully, but not the top.
(I brushed the top of the cake with a bit more olive oil, then ran it under the broiler for a few minutes.)
To serve, invert onto a plate and cut into pieces.
I think the photos speak for themselves. The only thing I can add to this is an offer to Tyler. I have excellent writing and editing skills as well as a good grasp of cooking. Most importantly, I'll work cheap. Call me!

You must check out the wonderful dishes of my fellow Tyler devotees at Tyler Florence Fridays.


  1. Excellent critique - and you're right about peoples' reviews.

    We loved the potato pie - but mine didn't come out nearly as crispy as yours did!

  2. Smart way to get to Tyler...cheater!!! (Just kidding sweetie) The potato dish is superb. So is the Saltimbocca, but we have potatoes alot more often here at home, so I know I will be using this recipe. If you do work with Tyler, I hope you don't forget us little people. :)

  3. I'm definitely going to have to try that potato pie - sounds delish! :)

  4. Thanks for the step by step. This looks delicious!
    I myself am guilty of writing recipes vaguely. I forget that not everyone works in a kitchen and is use to recipes that only have the ingredients.

  5. Both of your dishes look beautiful and I would love to have some of each! I've been eyeing up that potato dish ever since I saw it posted a couple weeks ago. I also agree with you about recipe reviews.

  6. i've never understood why food network doesn't post the recipe as stated on the show or in the books. i saw a reply comment on one of tyler's recipes that they don't always do it exactly to protect the "propriety" or something like that. that could end up hurting more than helping i think. anyway... this meal sounds wonderful and i love how it seems easy.

  7. The food network recipes are always rough around the edges. I've learned to take them with a grain of salt or I google the recipes and look for bloggers who have made them. I always love reading the reviews though! I was eying this saltimbocca the other day. Good to know it was a hit.

  8. Hehe nice "resume"
    I agree on the potatoes, I made them myself recently and they did not brown on top. But then I inverted them on a plate and you couldn't see the bottom anyways.

  9. Great job editing and perfecting the recipes. I have tried the Saltimbocca before and loved it and the potato cake looks amazing too!

  10. Both recipes look excellent! I've been wanting to make the potato cake for a while, and now I'll bookmark your adaptation and get to work on the recipe. Thanks for going to the work of clarifying instructions.

  11. Omg the picutres are making me sooooo hungry!

  12. Oh yeah I feel your pain about the flip-tops instead of the screw caps. I just bought some extract and I hate the flip-tops with the pour spout! When you try to pour it slowly, it doubles back and goes down the side of the bottle!

  13. Tyler twice all the time is a very good thing!

  14. What a great post, I love the extra explinations and pictures! Now I want to try both!! Have a great weekend!

  15. You definitely shared some valuable insights on how people review recipes. Like you, I take into account that some people really don't have the "chops" (as you put it). Sometimes, I cringe at how people substitute so many ingredients, and then slam the recipe. I read the reviews and look for a pattern. If there's a common complaint, then I made adjustments. With that said, I would have never thought to make these dishes until I read your tutorial. I grow sage, so the turkey cutlets is a brilliant way to go! As for the potatoes, I have to think of an alternative. I love horseradish, but my boys don't. Great job! Thanks for visiting my blog!

  16. Some really awesome looking dishes here! So yummy :)


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