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A Weeknight Supper passing for Sunday Dinner

January 30, 2011
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Cooking on Sunday is a ritual. I look forward to it each week. Usually by Wednesday or Saturday morning at the very latest, I have decided what I’m making for Sunday Dinner.  By Saturday afternoon, I have my ingredients.  I don’t do my ingredient shop on Sunday. I like to break up my shopping and my cooking so that I can relish each separate activity on its own and not feel rushed doing either. Proper puttering is key to enjoying this weekly ritual.

Sunday Dinner involves a dish that takes time to make.  Nothing expensive usually, but something that needs some care and patience; a dish that lets me hang out in the kitchen with a glass of wine and the stereo on.  But this Sunday, I broke my weekly ritual. A nurse visit, a furniture delivery, a monumentally dirty and neglected apartment that had to be cleaned, no clean clothes which meant loads and loads of laundry, a friend’s 40th birthday party and a niece’s 2nd birthday party all in one weekend plus an engrossing Sunday New York Times all resulted in nothing planned and nothing shopped.

This doesn’t mean that I starved. It just means that my idea of what to cook today didn’t have time to be realized. Yes, Sunday Dinner requires time to be realized – it’s very serious stuff (for me).   So, I just made something that I would have on a weeknight – quick and simple and with all the ingredients already in house. Sometimes cooking isn’t about inspiration in that light bulb going off, heart thump kind of way. It’s more about influence. The influence of how much time I have and the contents of my fridge.  This is usually the case on busy weekdays when I try to squeeze in anything extra-curricular after work and before I walk in my front door.

Thanks to my no puttering allowed weekend, I’m grateful to be acquainted with this quick, simple, and flavourful dish and to add it to my repertoire.  It is much easier to make a delectable dinner when you have loads of time. But being able to whip up a dish in very little time that is delicious and satisfying is just as valuable to me as a dish that lets me cook all Sunday.

Turkey Scallopini with Brown Butter and Capers
Adapted from Gourmet October 2008

3 tablespoons olive oil
all-purpose flour for dredging
1 pound thin turkey scallopini* (less than 1/4 inch thick)
1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons drained small capers
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

*The original recipe calls for veal scallopini but I only had turkey scallopini on hand, which worked great. I will try the recipe as originally written next time I do buy veal scallopini. I’m sure pork scallopini would be equally as good.

Heat a 12-inch heavy skillet (not nonstick) over high heat until hot, then add oil and heat until it shimmers.

Meanwhile, stir together flour with some salt and pepper, then pat turkey dry and dredge in flour.  Shake off any excess flour.

Cook the turkey in two batches, turning once, until browned and just cooked through, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes per batch. Transfer to a plate.

Discard oil from the skillet, then add the butter and cook over medium heat, shaking skillet frequently, until browned and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in vinegar, capers, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Return veal to skillet just to heat through, then sprinkle with parsley.

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