A very thin cut of meat sometimes called a scallop in English and escalope in French, though English speakers more often use the Italian term scaloppina (singular) or scaloppine (plural). Scaloppine are also called veal cutlets; breaded and fried, they are known in Germany and Austria as wiener schnitzel.
Ideally, scaloppine are cut across the grain from a single muscle on the leg of a calf, usually the top round, sometimes the bottom round. Less skilled butchers may cut scaloppine with the grain from the sirloin, across two or three muscles; such cuts shrink and buckle as they cook and yield a chewier end product. So only buy scaloppine from a really good butcher.
Scaloppine are usually cut to 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) thickness and then lightly pounded to half that; such a thin cut of meat cooks very quickly. Prepared well, they are tender, juicy, and succulent; overcooked, they are dry and leathery.
Because they are so thin, each diner can probably eat two scaloppine. They are often lightly dredged in flour seasoned with salt and pepper before being fried in a little olive oil and butter heated over medium-high till the butter stops foaming; fry each scaloppina no more than one minute per side, preferably a little less. If you're doing lots, you'll need to fry them in batches. Once they're cooked, remove them to a warm oven and make a quick pan sauce, for example by adding Marsala to the pan, scraping up any brown bits, and boiling till reduced, then swirling in some cold butter; or by adding some lemon juice and a little dry white wine to the pan, again scraping up any brown bits, and then adding some capers and freshly chopped parsley (this is known as piccata, and it's a very nice way to prepare chicken as well).
Another delicious variation is to line each scaloppina with a thin slice of prosciutto and fold it in half with the prosciutto on the inside; don't flour the scaloppine, just fry them for a total of three minutes, flipping halfway through; finish this off with one of the pan sauces above. I served this last night with steamed new baby potatoes and broccoli and it was very quick to prepare and very delicious. (I'm lucky to have a stellar butcher nearby who cuts scaloppine perfectly.)
If you object to eating veal, substitute pork or chicken cutlets.