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  1. Varmint

    Pasta Ideas

    Come Monday, my kitchen will be undergoing a much-needed renovation. During this process, we will be eating out of a small kitchen with a cook top having 2 burners and a grill. We will have a very small refrigerator, no freezer, and no oven. Our sink is tiny, and, of course, we'll have no dishwasher. Pasta has always been something easy to throw together, and it can be done using only two pieces of cookware and a colander. With that in mind, please help me with ideas for pasta. Here are the ground rules: no frozen foods. Our pantry of fresh foods will be limited, as we won't have much of a refrigerator to store them. Thus, in many instances, I'll have to resort to canned foods. I will stop at the market on the way home from work some days, but not always. Dairy products are OK, as we'll always have some cream, butter, and reggiano lying around. Oh, and Mrs. Varmint doesn't eat red meat, which really sucks. Thanks in advance for your ideas. It'll be a challenge to avoid much repetition. Dean
  2. Last year while staying in Central Florence we came across the large Mercato. A very large structure with Street Vendors lining the streets on the outside and a complet farmers market in the inside. While perusing the isles we came across a bakery where they sold "Appolinas". Basically it looks like a miniature croissant that’s been baked a bit too long so it's crunchy. Then they cut it in half and fill it with either Nutella, or a lemon or vanilla crème. These were so good that we literally spun around on our heals to go buy more after walking off and taking the first bite. In the four days we stayed there I think I gained 5 lbs. on these little suckers. It's funny, before we left for our 6 week Europe trip everyone said we would loose weight because of all the walking. Heh, not us, I think we gained probably 15 lbs. each and that's including walking the Cinque Terre! I've talked to almost every Italian baker in my town and have done searches on the Internet with no luck. Would anyone here know of these, someone who makes them, and/or a possible a recipe? Mille Grazie!!!!!!!!
  3. Hey y'all! I went to Chili's for Happy Hour with the hub last Friday (183 & Burnet - close to both our offices) and couldn't find a freekin' parkin space. Would have voted for a new location but the hub had already got us a table (what a great guy). On the rounds of the parking lot I noticed Tintinnio. It looked pretty cool and Rob Balon gave it a pretty good rating: Dining out with Rob Balon Has anyone out there been? What do you think? Is it worth the parking debacle?
  4. GordonCooks

    WTN: Italian

    2002 Antinori Orvieto Classico Campogrande A decent wine to serve ice cold. Clean with a little citrus and not much else going on. (like a Michelob ultra-light) A perfect party bottle i.e. “I’m coming to your party and I’ll bring a bottle of Antinori” 2001 Tenuta Dell'Ornellia Le Serre Nuove Lots of berry and what I would describe as peppermint (without the mint more like rosemary) on the nose. Round, fleshy with dark fruit and soft tannins. A delicious wine that makes me wonder what I’m missing with the first class Ornellia
  5. okay. love fresh pasta. also like dried stuff. can I dry my own fresh stuff? how? for how long? where? how to store? ravioli? how long do I dry it before I freeze it? how long does it last in the freezer. I really do love making the pasta, yet not every night. will it taste similar after I dry or freeze it? c'mon you guys google way better than me...
  6. From a recent Texas Food Media DIGEST entry by Raynickben: From the article Kuby's sausages have been a long time favorite of mine. What are your favorite sausage makers in the DFW area?
  7. Two Italians from this week... 2001 Villadoria Nebbiolo d’Alba - Dark red with an orangish tint. Very aromatic, with cherry, red berry, rose petals, and what I swear smelled like truffle oil. Flavors of cherry, red berry, herbs, and some minerally notes. Initially the tannins very firm and grainy, almost crunchy! Extremely drying, chalky, and gripping on the finish. This did soften up somewhat on day two, but there were some substantial tannins that were really getting in the way of the fruit. Not sure if age will soften this, or if it is just really tannic. Great nose, but it left me feeling somewhat ambivalent. 1997 Tenuta Cappallotto Barolo Sori Paradiso - Sat for a good hour in the glass before tasting. Brick red in color. A pretty and fairly intense nose with cherry, tar, and a sweet floral perfume. Flavors of tar, flowers, cherry, licorice, and orange peel. The wine was quite approachable, with tannins that are a little drying, but they are pretty fine and were easily tamed by a bowl of duck and wild mushroom risotto. Good balance and nice flavor, finishing with some nice tar and licorice notes. Drinking well now, and seemingly not a long term ager, but it was tasty with the meal and a good Barolo bargain for the $29 paid. I found this enjoyable. All the best, Jean
  8. I have a block of high quality (and expensive) reggiano. Would it be a waste to use this as the cheese in a homemade pesto sauce? I'm just wondering if the flavors will be lost in the sauce. Maybe it's better to use a cheaper supermarket cheese in the sauce itself - and use the good stuff for topping later? Any thoughts or opinions? ~WBC
  9. I'm planning on a nice festive dinner, with one main being Braciole, a classic Italian stuffed, and rolled beef. Marcella Hazan, in her "Italian Cooking" cookbook suggests using slices of top round steak, filled with ham and parsley, and bacon then cooked in white wine, sans the traditional red marinara. Another not so famous tv cooking personality, uses flank steak topped with bread crumbs, and some freshly grated cheeses, rolled and tied and into a saute pan, briefly before it goes into the oven, after the addtion of marinara and then bakes, under a loosely foiled tent pan for about 30 minutes. I've had not so good success with flank steak, other than quickly grilled for tacos. I want to use the marinara recipe with top round steak. Will the top round suffer if I bake it in the oven? Any other suggestions? woodburner
  10. I would love a really good tried and true recipe for a from scratch italian cream cake. Does anyone have one to share? Jane
  11. I recently had one of the most inspiring agnolotti in LA's La Terza. The thing was light fluffy and swathed in a delicious butter sauce with wild mushrooms. The whole experience has inspired me to blow the dust off my pasta machine. Here's what they look like: Anyone know how it's done? and how do I get the best results?
  12. Ciambellone (Ring Cake) is an Italian favourite of mine and I would like to recreate it at home. Can anyone help? Thanks
  13. Click here for Raccolta: 2001 Tenuta Sette Ponti Oreno
  14. Hello everyone-once again I'm back asking for ideas to help me consume a surfeit of Salmon. The Fishcakes as suggested earlier have worked very well-that's what I'm having tonight. However with all the cooked Coho in the fridge I'm having friends over tommorow and I thought I could use up the rest by adding it to a creamy sauce over pasta. Times and waistlines being what they are I need a simple recipe that's not too heavy on cream or cheese-obviously I need some though ;) TIA Also-we caught one Spring Salmon over 30# today and another Coho about 15#. Tonight I'm processing Salmon Caviar about 5 pounds of that from just 2 fish.
  15. I haven't been receiving my truffle reports from Alba, which leaves me in the dark about quality and price. I am expecting a good year, but right now this is only a guess. Has anyone read or heard anything in this regard?
  16. On October the 11th Gambero Rosso will announce its annual Tre Forchette prizes for the best restaurants in Italy. On their newly started blog Papero Giallo the chief editor, Stefano Bonilli, gives a few hints on the chefs that will be honoured with the pirze this year. A few names get explicitly mentioned: Pierangelini, Vissani, Alajmo, Tamani and Santini. The usual suspects, one might add. Maybe more intriguing is the reference to "a squad of new entries". Considering the media coverage some restaurants have recieved from GR itself I wouldn't be surprised if the following would get the three forchette this year: Bill Klapp's favourite Combal.0, Cracco-Peck in Milan and Uliassi in Senigallia. Just for kicks, is there any other places you think might or should get the prize?
  17. So lets hear it people! What do you think the best is for Italian cuisine in these areas? Not that have to be the most expensive haut cuisine, just really good Italian food! From Italian American to regional Italian specialty restaraunts. Let us try these places or comment on ones we have tried already, and thanks for the input from the new guy, CTchef! Great site by the way. Now I think for the price, and quality of their seafood dishes Gabrielles restaurant in Orange, CT. on the Post road is delectible! Try their calamari, melt in your mouth! And the Marinara is suberb over shrimp or Scrod with Linguini. The price is reasonable and the portions very nice. THe warm bread at the beginning of your meal is to die for! Don't fill up though, leave room for a great appetizer and main course, and if you are brave and still hungry enough try their homemade mousse, or taramisu, suberb! This is a place I think many will enjoy if you havent been there, reservations recommended on the weekends, but it is worth it, plus they have a good sized bar area to wait if need be. Now lets hear what else is out there to try.
  18. Does anyone have a non-pork suggestion as a substitute for pancetta? I have a recipe which I want to make, but my wife doesn't eat pork. It's a pasta dish which involves browning the pancetta until nice and crispy, and then using the fat in the rest of the dish. So I need some kind of meat which will accomplish a similar task. I guess I won't be able to get the exact same flavor, but I'd like to try something at least. Any ideas? Thanks! ~WB
  19. I am busy reading a scholarly treatise on the cultural history of Italian cuisine, and while it is not exactly summer beach reading, I find it absolutely fascinating. The book, Italian Cuisine: A Cultural History, is co-authored by Alberto Capatti and Massimo Montanari. Montanari, a professor at the University of Bologna, is perhaps the preeminent Italian food historian, and the author or co-editor of other works dealing with the history of food in general and in Europe in particular. This volume, originally written in Italian, became available in English translation last month. A forewarning: this is a serious work, and while it will occasionally bring a smile to your face (the opening quote from the series editor's preface: "What is the glory of Dante compared to spaghetti?"), it can also be a little dry for the reader who does not share my obsession with all things culinary and Italian. On balance, it is highly readable (the footnotes are all buried in the back of the book, and thankfully, not at all necessary for the illumination of the text) and extremely informative. I may post again after I have finished it, but I wanted to share with you a couple of the tidbits asserted in this book. The shocker, although not documented to an historical certainty, is the authors' belief that the Arabs gave the gift of pasta to BOTH the Italians and the Chinese! (The logic is impressive, since there is a school of historical thought that claims that Marco Polo's notes of his travels may be fictional, and there is also evidence that the Chinese and Italians may have had pasta at the same time, as far back as can be traced. The authors suggest that the Arabs, being a nomadic people, made the first dried pasta, the ultimate roadfood!) It also appears that the Italians invented the tossed green salad, and were the first European people to use herbs in cooking (although I personally believe that the Greeks probably started the trend and the Italians merely grew it). Also, the authors note repeatedly that many of the late-arriving raw ingredients upon which Italy's most famous dishes are based (corn, potatoes and tomatoes, to name a few) were presumed to be dangerous and inedible by the aristocracy, who, with a flourish of generosity, threw them to the peasantry, who in turn cultivated them and went on to give us a superior corn-based polenta, gnocchi, ragu and pizza. To hear the authors describe that process recalled the Life cereal television commercial of many years ago. You remember it: "Let Mikey try it. He'll eat anything! He LIKES it! He LIKES it!" More importantly, the book explains the history of some of Italy's most healthy eating habits, which does much to explain why they are so damn thin and good-looking! I assume that this book will not be in print for long in the U.S., so if you are as hard-core as I am, get while the getting is good. (I post this with an apology to whoever sent Craig and I a private message some months ago, looking for primary source materials on Italian food history. This book, although not footnoted with the rigors of a doctoral dissertation in the U.S., is a great source for such materials.)
  20. A little background and some recipes would be appreciated
  21. I just got a small jar. Powdered, not brick. What do I use it with? The one time I had botarga, it was sprinkled over a pasta dish. I think it was pappardelle with a ragu.
  22. I haven't finalized plans yet, but assuming we do the next dinner at Bella Rosa in East Hanover on May 18th (that's a Saturday), who would be interested in attending? The price would be similar to the previous dinners and it is BYOB. Here are some links about this restaurant: Recent eGullet thread Daily Record review from March 2002 eGullet thread from Dec 2001/Jan 2002
  23. Wanting to try a different theme other than french for my eating out I'm looking for some recommendations for Italian restaurants in London. Already rang Locanda Locatelli and booked up until july! Been to Zafferano's several times, so don't want to go there. Any other ideas that I stand half a chance of getting in somewhere in central London (not Barnes or Putney etc.)
  24. Given that most gourmets would cite Italy as one of the top food destinations on Earth -- there are even many who prefer dining in Italy to dining in France -- why is it that Italy hardly seems relevant to the world of modern gastronomy? Is it a simple question of the heavily regional orientation of Italian cuisine combined with the lack of identifiable Italian chef-personalities? Or is there something more to it?
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