Wegmans Escarole with Pancetta

Uploaded by wegmansfoodmarkets on 07.09.2012

My first stop today to make escarole with pancetta is the produce department.
Now escarole is a hearty green.
The outside leaves that are darker green are a little bit--little more peppery
than the inside leaves which are milder.
And the inside leaves I like to use alone in salads.
This recipe calls for both, so I'm going to instead of getting the whole bunch,
pick this convenience package of chopped escarole.
It's already washed, cut up, and ready to use.
Pancetta is Italian style bacon, salt cured from a pork belly,
but it's not quite as smoky and salty flavored
as American type bacon is.
You can buy it very, very thinly sliced to be used in one way,
but this recipe calls for diced pancetta.
And this convenience package makes it really easy.
You know, it takes a long time to make a great stock.
It's very time consuming.
So our chefs developed our very own brand of culinary stocks
using the finest ingredients and they're lower in sodium
than most canned broths.
These are great for all kinds of applications
including soups, sauces, or our escarole with pancetta.
All right, I'm starting out by adding about two tablespoons
of pure olive oil to my braising pan.
It's important to have a pan that's big enough
to accommodate two packages of escarole.
So this braising pan works just perfectly.
To that I'm adding the package of pancetta.
And I have the heat on medium here.
I'm going to cook the pancetta in the oil for about five minutes
until the pancetta renders its fat
and becomes slightly browned and crispy.
Okay, a lot of that fat has melted away from the pancetta
and you see some nice little brown bits
on the bottom of the pan which is great.
Pancetta adds a lot of flavor.
But we will continue to build flavor by adding onions right now.
So in goes the whole package of onion.
And stir that around a little bit so that is coated with the fat
from the pancetta and the olive oil.
And continue to cook that for about two minutes.
You want the onions to start to be nice and soft but not too browned.
That looks just about right, the onions are softened.
And now I'm adding the garlic and the red pepper flakes.
I'm adding the garlic now rather than with the onions
because I want those flavors to be a little more prominent.
So I'm adding them toward the end of the cooking
instead of at the beginning.
So stir that around and continue to cook that for about a minute.
Okay, in goes the escarole.
Now I can't add the whole amount at once, so I'm adding a half of one bag
to start out with.
And I'm going to let that wilt down.
First, let's add the chicken broth to that.
You'll hear that sizzle at the bottom a little bit.
And that's great--so let's cook that down until this is wilted
which will make room for more escarole and we're gonna continue
to add the escarole a little bit at a time until it's completely wilted.
Let's add the very last of the escarole to the pan.
Okay, we got it all in there, believe it or not.
Now one of the thing I sometimes do at home is add a lid--or cover it,
and that'll build us some steam in the pan and help it wilt a little faster.
This looks completely wilted so let's remove the lid.
And it is, and all that's remaining to do is to season this
with some salt and pepper to your taste.
All right, and then this is optional, but I think it's also very delicious,
is to add a little bit of shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese to the top.
And you're ready to serve this.
I think this is a year round dish.
In the summertime, I like to grill some sausage to serve with this.
And in the winter or in colder months, maybe some roasted chicken or pork
would be a great match for this dish.