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joesan

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  1. Antonio Carluccio - RIP

    Just noticed this now. Very sad to see him go. He was a true aficionado. Many years ago -- before he began what was to become a huge, successful and not too inauthentic chain -- I used to visit his original Covent Garden deli every Saturday to stock up on supplies. I used to buy a lovely balsamic pepper dish regularly. Antonio noticed this and said to me, "Look here's the recipe, you can do this yourself at home." He then gave me a whole lesson on the finer points of making it. A real gent whose passion for food made him want more to share it rather than profit from it.
  2. Seafood stock help

    I agree. I got into the habit of pressure cooking my shellfish stock (because chicken stock turns out so much better that way). But the other day I did a side-by-side comparison of langoustine shells pressure cooked versus simmered for the same time. The result? The simply simmered was much better, lighter but fresher and altogether better. No more pressure-cooked shellfish stock for me!
  3. Cooking with an electric pita oven

    Thanks for the tips. I'm going to try to make those myself. Pittas also look great. You can't beat a nice flat bread, wherever it's from. I bet that oven would make great piadinas as well.
  4. Cooking with an electric pita oven

    The breads looks fabulous. Looks like a great investment. Do you have a recipe to share?
  5. Endive? Chicory? What is this?

    I think, more correctly, endive is a part of the genus chicory.
  6. Endive? Chicory? What is this?

    In Italian cuisine, I think that's what's called puntarelle. It's part of the chicory family. The fleshy parts of the stem are cut into slivers and left in iced water until they curl. it's then made into a delicious, refreshing salad with a dressing of good olive oil, lemon juice and pounded anchovy (and a little crushed garlic to flavour the dressing). I can't recommend it highly enough!
  7. Looks nice. Are they expensive?
  8. Hi David - Thanks for the replies. Yes I do read your reviews - and like them - so keep 'em coming. I live in London so can get a bit jaded with the restaurant scene here therefore it's always nice to see new places through someone else's eyes. To me the pictures add immeasurably to the reviews but I am probably too reserved in taking them when I am in a restaurant. I must say it's always a consideration point for me. I find if people are using flash it can be extremely annoying. For example at Tetsuya's during a tasting menu my neighbours flash went off about 30 times which kind of spoiled the ambience. But a discrete point and shoot with no flash would not be even noticable I guess. Thanks again for the tip - we are actually going to go tomorrow. I'll look forward to your next find!
  9. David - Great review. It looks excellent. So nice in fact that I think I will be taking my girlfriend there for lunch tomorrow. So thanks for the tip-off! Two questions for you about your reviews - do you not feel a sense of English reserve when taking the photos? And secondly, more of a suggestion really perhaps it would be good to put prices paid?
  10. Sunday Red Gravy or Sugo

    Thanks for the tip Linda. I'm in the UK so I'm not sure if we can get them here. Maybe I should take a look in Whole Foods? Mild smokiness sounds perfect!
  11. Sunday Red Gravy or Sugo

    I've haven't yet tried canning/jarring tomatoes - so I'm jealous. When I was in Italy last summer we saw people jarring tomatoes over wood fires. Can you imagine the smokey deliciousness of those? I see in the window of your grandma's shop that they had fresh home made Italian sausage. I bet they were good. I must say I'd love to make my own salsiccia but am a bit daunted by the prospect. I've made my own guanciale. It's super easy to do and makes a great addition to the sugo.
  12. Sunday Red Gravy or Sugo

    Paul - I really like the look of your family store. What a shame it is now closed. I bet you had some nice memories of there. We lose a lot when these type of enterprises go under. It will be horrible if all we have left eventually are massive stores and overly-designed boutique type stores. I was wondering why you start with factory made sauces? From your own ingredient list there seems more than enough flavourful items to get an excellent sugo without it. We also called the sauce sugo. Our household uses a similar method to yours but we don't use sugar preferring to get the sweetness from onions, and occassionaly a small amount of carrots. When we do a long cook it's also great to add rolled beef - thin slices of beef rolled around a raw garlic, parsley and black peppercorn stuffing. Because the pot is on a long time you can use cheaper, flavourful cuts of meat as they soften nicely anyway.
  13. Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli

    Hi Paul, Here's the recipe I use (from the River Cafe). Cooking the cavolo in the pancetta fat would be an excellent idea! 1kg Cavolo Nero S+P 100g butter 1 onion peeled and finely chopped 250g pancetta cut into matchsticks 250g fresh ricotta cheese Nutmeg to taste, freshly grated 100g parmesan freshly grated Cut the leaves of the Cavolo Nero from their stalks and blanch drain and roughly chop. Finely chop about 150g of the stalks (the whiter the stalk the more tender) and blanch them separately in boiling salted water. Heat the butter in a heavy saucepan and gently fry the onion until soft and beginning to colour. Add the blanched stalks and the pancetta and cook together for a few minutes just long enough for the pancetta to become translucent but not crisp. The pancetta flavour should blend together with the onion and stalks. Season then add the cavolo nero leaves and cook for a few minutes. Remove from the heat and cool. In a large bowl break up the ricotta using a fork. Season with nutmeg sea salt and black pepper. Add half the cooled chard mixture and stir together lightly. Add the Parmesan and the remainder of the chard and fold together. The mixture should not be at all wet; if it seems so add a little extra parmesan. Taste for seasoning and ensure that the mixture is completely cold before making the ravioli. Makes about 50 These are great with sage butter. I hope you give these a try. They're very good.
  14. Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli

    I'd like to add my 2 euro's worth. Pancetta - no, no, no. The beauty of Spinach and Ricotta ravioli is in the balance - meat is absolutely not necessary. I abhor the tendency to add extra ingredients (normally some pig based product!) to every classic Italian recipe. Half the reason Italian cuisine is so good is that they know when to stop adding excess ingredients - the mark of a good chef in my opinion. A classic ratio would be 200g spinach / 100g ricotta / 50g parmesan (if liked). Nutmeg would be (sparingly) used. If you really want to use your pancetta, try it with cavolo nero in ravioli - truly good.
  15. Cannelé Molds

    Hi Petrus - I've seen the larger ones on ebay here in the UK. They were flexipan but large size. I've only seen the copper ones in France.
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