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Everything posted by dario

  1. dario

    Pan Sauces

    OK, pan sauce is a seasoning made after the meat has been cooked and removed using whatever is left in the pan. But what if you prepare your meat by adding it to a soffritto, then baste it with wine and adding other ingredients (anchovies, pancetta, etc) for additional flavor? This method of cooking already includes the ingredients used in a pan sauce and I'll presume that the taste would be more o less the same. So there must be other benefits/differences in the methods. Any ideas?
  2. Dario, how do you do the rice w/meatballs? Is this made as a risotto? or just like regular meatballs in red sauce but served w/rice instead of pasta? Thanks for the help. I made risotto last friday and added some mushrooms, pretty good but next I'll add some shrimp. ← hi, the risotto and the sauce are cooked separately untill the last minutes (depends on how you like it, al dente or not). When the basic risotto, done the usual way - onions, rice, white wine and hot broth, is almost done add to it the meat balls and sauce and finish it off to taste. I forgot to mention that, apart from butter, it is also traditional to blend in some grated parmigian cheese (if you like it of course). You can have additional parmigian cheese available for those that, like me, like lots of it. Dario PS. I guess you could also cook the rice the basic way (boil it or in a ricer) and serve it covered with the sauce (any sauce) - but I think that this way the rice does not gain the taste of the sauce that goes with it.
  3. g'day, 2 of my preferred rice dishes: 1) rice and peas (risi bisi), and 2) rice with meat balls cooked in a tomato sauce (tonite dinner) the secret of a good risotto, as I understand it, is to know when it's cooked. It should be all'onda (weavy), not too dry and not too liquid. Traditionally the dish is finished off (and I never do this) by blending in a tablespoon of butter to give it a creamier consistency. I would think that the additional butter would make the dish too fatty. Dario
  4. g'day, there are 3 ways I like to cook my eggplants: a) breaded eggplants 1) cut them in round slices, 2) dredge them in flour, egg and bread crumbs, 3) fry them in oil till golden/brown. Serve hot or cold, they are equally good (sensational when served with a home made tomato sauce). b) paprika 1) cube eggplants, 2) slice capsicums (bell pepper), 3) slice onion, 4) heat oil and stew the onion in it till tender, 5) add eggplants and capsicum and cook, stirring often, for a few minutes, 6) add tomatoes in pieces and continue cooking till the vegetables are tender. Note: you can also include sliced zucchini to this dish. c) eggplants in oil 1) shred the eggplants and place them in a bowl, 2) sprinkle with salt and leave them in the bowl for 24 hours, 3) squeeze the eggplants with your hands to remove all their water, 4) put them back in the bowl, cover them a good quality white wine vinegar and leave them in it for 24 hour, 5) drain and squeeze the eggplants to remove as much vinegar as possible, 6) place the eggplants in glass jars, cover them with oil and leave them for a couple of days before using. Note: if to taste, you can add garlic and other spices to the jars. Dario
  5. g'day, I used to cook my tomato sauce like this: 1) sweat one onion in oil/butter combo till tender, 2) add chopped tomatoes and season with salt, pepper, basil and oregano, 3) cook for 1/2 hour till tender, 4) mash the tomatoes while still in the pot. To combat the tartness of the tomatoes I used to add 1-2 teaspoons of sugar. Some times my sauce used to turn out a bit too sweet, so I changed my method to this: 1) chop a carrot, a celery stick, a red or yellow capsicum (bell pepper) and an onion and sweat the mixture in oil/butter till tender, 2) add chopped tomatoes and season with salt, pepper, oregano and basil, 3) cook for 20 - 30 minutes, 4) filter the sauce through a food mill. The sauce gains in taste with the addition of the extra vegetables as well as looses it's tartiness. Now a days when I make it I bottle it (I am still collecting bottles but I now have about a doz bottles) and keep it in the fridge for a couple of months. happy saucing Dario
  6. dario


    g'day all, can I point out that a basic frittata is, traditionally, a mixture of eggs cooked on both sides until light brown in a pan (no oven or grill) while an omelette is a mixture of eggs cooked on one side only. I could be wrong but it seems to me that this topic is describing more an omelette than a frittata. cheers Dario
  7. I would like to add a couple of things to this discussion: 1) if you use wine (in any dish), use only a wine that you would drink - if it's disagreeable to drink the taste of the wine will effect the taste of the dish 2) boxed wine also comes in 2 litres (at least in Oz) 3) most dry white wines, Riesling, Chardonnay, Semillon, etc are suitable for cooking (don't know about reds, don't drink, only use it occasionally for some stew/ragus). ciao Dario
  8. sprinkle some salt on the back of your hand between thumb and forefinger and suck it. Don't know why but it works ciao Dario
  9. thanks for the reply, if I find the liquid paraffin I better keep it separate from my beer......
  10. seafood cocktail - although it doesn't sound as imposing as "Trionfo di mare". It was a complete success, every single bit was eaten and hardly left any room for the rest of the food. It consisted of calamari cut in rings, prawns, clams and mussels briefly cooked in boiling water then seasoned with lemon, oil, salt and pepper. Simple but great!
  11. dario

    Making a frittata

    A basic italian frittata consists solely of whisked eggs poured into a pan with melted butter in it and cooked on both sides. You can then work from that allowing your immagination to modify/improve on the recepy. Not sure about tortillas but aren't they a type of fritter made from a batter like mixture ?
  12. Hi Pat, once, in a club restaurant, I actually called the waitperson and asked her to make up the bill for what we consumed up the that time (a bottle of wine and a Caesar salad) because we waited for about 1 hr for our main meal. People in the next table were served, gone, and new people arrived and served and we where still waiting. Apparently they kept on loosing our order..... After we left I went to complain at the desk about the service. The next day the club manager rang to apologise and, eventually, sent me a letter offering 2 dinners at no expense. We went back, the service that time was excellent but the food was poor. Needless to say we didn't go back for a long time.
  13. dario

    Making a frittata

    yeah, I also found a few meat recipes using this type of filling, but I wanted to try it out with eggs. I love eggs but they make me feel a bit sickly in the stomach so I though I try this out.
  14. dario

    Making a frittata

    I like to share my latest experiment which we had for dinner last night: mini frittate with bechamel filling Ingredients for 2 people: 5 eggs, 1/2 lt bechamel sauce (a bit on the thick side), left over salumi, tomato sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese, grated parmesan cheese Make 5 mini frittatas using 1 egg for each (to tell you the truth 5 are 1 too many, but it depends on how hungry you are). Reserve them on a plate. Prepare the bechamel and tomato sauces to your taste. Dice leftover salumis (I had about 5 slices of prosciutto and 5 of salami) then stir them in the bechamel sauce. Blend in the shredded mozzarella, stir well until you obtain a smoothish cream. Dress an oven dish with a laddleful of tomato sauce. Spoon some of the bechamel mixture in the middle of each frittata then roll it up like cannelloni. Place each roll in the oven dish close to each other. Cover with more tomato sauce and sprinkle with grated parmigian cheese. Bake in the oven, preheated to 180 C, for about 10 minutes until the cheese turns golden. That, truly, was not a bad experiment ciao Dario
  15. thanks for the info, and Maliaty is right, Oz is our abbreviation for Australia (and aussies is the abbreviation for australians) thanks mate Dario
  16. thanks for the reply, octaveman, that's what I suggested and she nearly jumped down my throat. BTW, can someone please explain what mineral oil is? I am not sure what it is called here in Oz.... thanks Dario
  17. g'day, my wife bought me a new cutting board which had a sticker stuck on its top. After removing it there was a large area of glue left on it. After washing it several times using soapy water, lemon, vinegar, etc we got rid of most of the sticky substance but still have some matter on its surface which you can feel when rubbing your hand on it. Is this substance potentially nocive? I really would like to remove it. Anybody can tell me how? thanks Dario
  18. hi, if you like italian food, I recommend Santa Lucia in Kingston (10 minutes drive from the city). In fact Kingston is full of restaurants, mostly italian. I did them all a few years back but the best, in my opition, is Santa Lucia. ciao Dario
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