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  1. Name is Feriel, most likely, unless she's doing the big Baltimore market and sent one of her assistants to a market founded by Nina Planck's mother. The former, known by many as The Mushroom Lady is quite a character: warm, fiercely political and a sucker for children. The chanterelles might have been foraged locally or possibly cultivated in Southern PA. No local porcini, though.
  2. From what I recall, Rick Bayless was more patronizing in his endorsement of a "healthier" new line of low-fat chicken sandwiches at Burger King than hypocritical. Definitely compromising his principles, but out of the belief that if the American public was going to eat fast food, at least he could steer them toward a menu item that wasn't packed with grease, fat, processed cheese, etc. and didn't cry out for an accompaniment of fries. Not sure what the historical sequence was: Oprah sued after vowing not to eat beef again, Bayless's commercial and the rise of the McNugget, but wasn't our hero's endorsement at a time when hamburgers were the overwhelming choice of the American public? Certainly, Jared wasn't even a twinkle in Subway's eye, Michael Pollan was writing about letting your lawn grow wild and The Naked Chef wasn't telling kids how gross processed chicken is. So, no one was questioning how humanely raised or "natural" the animal protein was, but some were worried about red meat and cholesterol. In any respect, the flack from a misguided appeal to the masses clearly embarrassed the guy (I remember being outraged) and he did try to make amends. Now, the person who really owes the American public an apology for food endorsements is Doctor William H. Cosby, Jr. Granted, he's not a culinary professional. However, he's all about the kids. Shouldn't he be as concerned about their bodies as he is about their emotional well-being? Someone should send him to a famous organic garden south of Philadelphia where he could hold a press conference and apologize for all those Jell-O ads.
  3. CREMA DI RISO CON I RICCI 4 servings 12 g Carnaroli rice 12 g Basmati rice 200 g Vegetable stock ["broth" is literal translation] 300 g Cream [see note below] 4 g Instant coffee, divided into 4 equal portions of 1 g each 40 g Sea urchins; weight of edible contents Extra virgin olive oil (light or subtle, e.g. from Liguria or Garda district) Pour both liquids into a saucepan with all the rice, then bring contents to boil. Allow them to cook for around 15 minutes, checking every 1-2 minutes. (Recipe does not say "simmer" or "stir", but trusts the reader's judgment.) Stir the resulting cream of rice thoroughly to blend and pass the entire contents of the pan through a fine sieve to eliminate all the solid gunk, i.e. lumps. You're aiming for a perfectly smooth mixture. Salt to taste. Heat four soup plates. Spoon 1 g of instant coffee into each plate. Top each with the cream of rice, making sure it is not too hot. Distribute the sea urchin, spooning 10 g over each mound [vs. "pool"—not too liquid] of rice. Finish with a splash of the olive oil. I may be missing some of the nuances of the original Italian regarding the optimal interaction between the powdered coffee and the rice. Is it saying that if the rice is too liquid the coffee will dissolve before contact with the diner's spoon? At least, that's how I understand it: he wants each of the four components of the dish—coffee, rice, uni, olive oil--to remain discrete and intact upon presentation, relegating the act of unification to the diner during consumption. N.B. Apparently at Cracco-Peck and other speciality stores you can buy pasteurized uni as shelled, cleaned pulp. Also note that the recipe doesn't say "panna" for cream, but "crema di latte fresca" or "cream of fresh milk", a phrase unfamiliar to me. * * * It was hard to us to figure out why you needed help with Italian until your very useful second post . I googled keywords from your initial inquiry and gather that HB took inspiration from both Marchesi's celebrated "gilt" risotto and Cracco's riffs on tradition. (The link you provide has more than one recipe, thus its length.)
  4. sometimes a degree of richness based on bechamel does co-exist in the otherwise sleekly tomato-evoo-basil leaf Neapolitan palate. a leftover of the French chefs who cooked for the aristocrats during the days when naples was part of the kingdom of....whichever kingdom it was part of...... ← Even earlier: The Kingdom of Naples. Angevin (as in Louis of Anjou, etc.). 13th and 14th century--i.e. another example of Franco-Italian cuisine, though this is too early to have more than recipes as marginalia and insertions in the kind of manuscript that might be cataloged as a compilation. Pizzanap. would be the expert here. (MS's reference is to the age after tomatoes. Spanish rule, 15th C, intervening.) However, I am objecting to the idea that you need to wait until the Napoleonic age and defer to the French to account for rich, aristocratic food on Italian tables. As said in my earlier post responding to this question, there are other examples of a roux-based white sauce used in the region of great fresh cheeses, cows and bufale. Cf. Foodman's beautiful ziti above in which ricotta plays a role similar to Romagna's balsamella.
  5. Given the lively discussion on Meat and Morality in a different forum, I am reviving a cooking topic which never caught on the same way that Regrettable Meals did as an alternative to the Dinner thread. Here, recent posts on dishes from Campania (Naples, etc.) might inspire others wishing to prepare more vegetarian meals. Cf. my own post on pasta stuffed with eggplant, basil and bechamel, then Foodman's gorgeous Ziti alla Sorrentina. Others?
  6. I can see why you say that, though aren't sformati rather widespread at this point? At least you find them in Central Italy and not just Piemonte. Given the importance and fame of fresh cheeses in this region, it makes sense that there are more dishes w balsamella, which Marcella Hazan attributes to Romagna. Sartu, is the one that springs to mind. * * * Shaya, good to see you here, too! This is actually the second time I've made it, the first being at a time when my principal ingredients were local and in season. It's still one of my absolute favorites of all the things I prepared first for these regional cooking threads: up there with those incredible swordfish impanate! * * * As for Franci, send me a PM and I'll be happy to update you (sort of) with pictures, etc. * * * Finally, many of you have probably heard the sad news about bufale and the fate of our beloved mozzerelle. Just in case: BBC on the threat of disease.
  7. While it's hard to feel nostalgic for summer during a winter of unusual warmth and little snow, finally the temperatures dropped and winds picked up enough to make treks down long city streets a bit of a challenge. Fortunately, the best place to pick up basil in January is only two blocks away and the leaves survived the journey home. Eggplants were on sale and I've been thinking about this dish ever since I spied cans of cherry tomatoes imported from Italy at Whole Foods. Also found something equivalent to paccheri called "gigantoni" by a local supermarket as part of its upscale line.So, last night, after a two-hour hike, I came home and listened to old radio shows and prepared this dish. Ate around midnight since it took forever to chop the garlic, make the sauce, slice two eggplants into slivers, salt, drain, rinse, dry them, coat them with flour, fry and stack them in between sheets of paper towels. Then, there's the béchamel. Water to boil. Pasta to cook half way through in 10 minutes. Cheese to weigh, cube, and mix in with the eggplant, including the fried slices processed with basil and white sauce. The gigantoni are only about 1 3/4 inches long, so I don't want to know how many I stuffed. I will say, the proportions in the recipe are nearly perfect since I had enough stuffing to spare for not quite 2 more by the time I was through. Baked for half an hour. FYI: I subbed feta for about 1/3 of the cheese in the filling with success. However, omitting the passata this time around was not a good idea. Perfectly fine, but sort of Italian-American since cherry tomatoes are canned w their skins and the thicker sauce that results does not seep into the pasta the way a thinner sauce does. Next time, I think I'll skip flouring and deep-frying the thin slices of eggplaint--I don't see why baking or even a flip under the broiler wouldn't suffice. I raise my glass to Alberto of Campania whose warmth, knowledge and passion for Italian food are sorely missed! Here's to Franci for introducing us to this wonderful dish and Shaya whose documentation inspired me to prepare it in the first place. Tanti auguri to all who participated in these threads in days of yore.
  8. Thank you for introducing all of us to a new term. Strictly speaking, though, Prince William might tee off near his alma mater, but Queen Elizabeth II does not tea with corgis curled up at her feet.
  9. Andrew, I am very interested in this topic, too, and asked culinary professionals who are members here if they smoked. FYI, here's what was said a couple of years ago: Chefs, Cooks & Cigarettes.
  10. Also a place I passed for the first time on the western side of Columbia while walking north from Dupont Circle into Adams-Morgan in the past couple of weeks.
  11. Hi, Randi. I've been skimming through this joint-blog and wish all of you success, or should I say continued success in deference to the impressive results Mizducky has reported in the past.Last year when I decided to do something about over a decade of slowly accumulating pounds, I chose simply to modify the amount I ate and to impose a few restrictions while exercising more. Granted, I am not counting WW points, nor concerned about limiting carbohydrates, but in researching various words of advice about weight loss, I decided to heed something I read over and over again: Don't waste calories on beverages. I switched from my beloved glass of grapefruit or orange juice in the morning to eating fresh fruit with the exception of transitional weeks when citrus fruits get dry and bitter and melons are not yet in season. Half a grapefruit has half the calories of a glass of juice. Since even "home-style", heavy pulp juices have 0% fiber, the fiber in the fruit is probably more filling, too, and I find it sweet enough to not require additional sugar. Also, I guess I'm bothered by the fact that Tropicana is asking you to pay for water, and adding artificial sweeteners to mask a watered-down taste. (Coco-Cola owns the company and is starting to narrow the gap between its premium, un-reconstituted fruit juices and its soft drinks.) You'd save money purchasing a carton of regular orange juice and mixing it with water yourself, as in 1 part juice to 2 parts seltzer, which is something I adore in the summer. Sorry for sounding so Pollanesque. The grace of prescribed diet plans is that they impose discipline and permit some degree of freedom within a clear set of guidelines that you're not following all on your own. Whatever works for you works. And straight women and gay men want to look good to themselves and other women, kind to animals, sweaty to other runners, hip yet authoritative to their teenager's friends.... It's all so very complicated.* * * Dried beans rise when there's air in between the skin and the legume within. Often, you'll see the skin is wrinkly, the bean tiny, and it's best to throw the floaters out.
  12. To atone for my original response, I'd like to add something that offers a bonus since lentils also are rich in iron: Here's a picture of the soup, unfortunately on an Italian cooking forum, but I think you can get the idea: Lentil soup w fresh clams. And while not exactly what I was looking for--something w clams, sausage and spinach or greens in a broth: Spicy sausage soup w clams; there are also tomatoes as per advice concerning benefits of acidic component. For a brief moment, fregole were poised on the brink of becoming the new thing here in the States, and I admit, the small Sardinian bread balls that I bought last year are not as versatile as I would like, nonetheless there is a classic brothy dish in which they're prepared with clams. First the picture, then the recipe, also involving tomatoes.
  13. As in pappardelle.Broader than spaghetti pasta and more suitable for the condimenti than baguette bread.
  14. Have you been researching other foods high in iron to lend variety? While moist, cooked clams, canned or fresh have 28 mg iron per 100 g. serving, dried Beluga whale will supply 72.3 mg iron for the same amount. Dried spices would amp up the amount of iron considerably. Maybe use a citrus-thyme sauce to go with? Cf. Nutrition Data.
  15. While I seem to have lost the set of pom poms that matched the letter sweater I picked up at one of those sconti at Armani, I have nonetheless glanced periodically at the Italian forum, pleased with all that you've been doing with huge slabs of porcini (Kevin, wow!) and round pans of lasagna (gorgeous, Klary!). The recent flurry of activity inspires me to raise a glass to all the original participants of the Italian regional cooking threads who continue to contribute, as well as newcomers. Elie: As always, your commitment to make everything from scratch impresses me as much as your skill in shaping pasta. I've never even considered baking amaretti. What a fabulous meal! Bravo! Pedalforte: Thank you, thank you for singling out the ducal lasagna. You'd have to go back quite a bit in this very long thread, but I raved about the lasagna the first and only time I made it. I, too, thought the whole medieval/Renaissance taste for sweet & savory would be odd, especially when it came to spices. However, I didn't change things radically at all, but instead, made two separate lasagne, the smaller one, based faithfully on the recipe as written. I preferred the smaller one, finding that LRK had modernized the dish sufficiently (largely by switching to egg noodles) while, presumably, keeping to the spirit of the historical recipe. Currently, my neck of the woods is going through a Sicilian phase of warm weather, but if it turns bitter cold again, it might be worthwhile to give the dish another try. A generous hand w prosciutto dolce, as far as I was concerned, is mandatory since its flavor complements the sweet ingredients, the funky ragu, the silky pasta and the rich cream.
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