This month's MTC challenge is about scaloppine, and very kindly they allowed not only meat and fish scaloppine, but also seitan, for vegetarians. Now, the seitan in Italy may be better and more suited to scaloppine, I dotn't really know, but I can assure you that the one here is as suited as a shoe sole would be and so, risking of being eliminated, I am using tofu instead.
So what about the opossum?
For those who don't know, opossums in NZ are an imported dangerous pest that is destroying our native forests and birds. So it is our civic duty, especially if we live in the bush, to trap them... and kill them. For a vegetarian this is hard to stomach, but since I show little pity to mosquitos, for example, I have to come to term with the fact that yes, opossums and other predators must be eliminated. We didn't have any for a while, and then the other night my husband saw one, and he said that he was going to set the traps in the morning. But during the night the opossum got busy in my garden!!! The day after I decided to make my tofu scaloppine with white wine and parsley and... all the parsley was gone!! Eaten!! By the Opossum. OK, it could have been worse, I still had the wine, but the beast didn't leave me a single little leaf, and I had to buy the parsley, it was slightly irritating. That night, tempted by an apple with peanut butter, the opossum died in its trap. I still cannot get used to it, fortunately the boys deal with the carcass. How? Well, my next door neighbor is an old hippy, basically a vegan except for roadkill type of meat. He says that since we have to kill it we should also eat it. So when we get an opossum we call him, he checks to see if it is healthy (tb is a risk here) and then he skins it and cook it. This time it was nicely parsley flavored, and stuffed with apple and peanut butter! His son was most appreciative too: he doesn't like the policies of the meat industry and prefers to eat meat that comes from a wild animal, killed for an ecological purpose. Well, my hat off to them, but I still rather eat tofu :-).
Tofu Scaloppine with wine and parsley, and thin roast potatoes
I used 4 dried blocks of Japanese tofu: first I let it rest in 500 ml of warm vegetable broth to rehydrate, then I cut each piece into two thinner slices (scaloppine must be thin) and pressed them well to get the extra stock our (keep it, you will need it later!) and flatten them a bit more. I passed the slices in flour, and then placed them in a pot with plenty of sizzling melted salted butter. A quick sauté on both sides, and then I added a good glass of white wine. Once the wine was absorbed and the scaloppine had been turned around a few times I scraped the bottom of the pan (you may need to remove the scaloppine to do this, I didn't) and added the leftover vegetable broth. I simmered everything until I had a thick sauce, then I added salt and pepper to taste, and plenty of (bought) chopped parsley.
To accompany the scaloppine I made some thinly cut roast potatoes, (simply brushed with olive oil and salt only and roasted until crisp) and it was such a nice, vegetarian, main!!
Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©