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  1. Hi there Italian chefs around the world - Two years ago (while visiting my family in New York - we live for 25 years in California)) we went to New York and ate in an Italian Restaurant in Syosset Long Island, New York (Steve's Piccola Bussola) and ordered their Chicken Cacciatore. It was unbelievable, so savory and tender and juice and it had 4 lean and juicy (no skin, no fat, no gristle) rollups wrapped around what looked like a small (about 1-2" rib bone) (in chicken???_ was able to get some of the recipe because I called them 2x, but after 5 tries at various times, I am giving up. He (the chef) said they used thighs - but the thighs I know are fatty and tough so I don't know where they got it. He said they buy the whole chickens and cut it up, so I guess they can get rid of the fat,skin and gristle that way. One, because I am never able to get their dark brown sauce (don't know how they do it because having a brown sauce by working with chicken, mushrooms, wine and onions is an enigma. Their sauce is not sweet, or sour just rich and savory. I saw the kind of sauce that it was when I saw the recipe of Hubert Keller's Beef Borguignon on TV, but it looked soooo difficult and was made with meat, not chicken. That has meat rollups sitting in a dark brown sauce. Help! I want to learn how to make that. The initial recipe that they gave me was this: Take chicken and cut it into pieces the size of a meatball with or without the bone. Take olive oil and make very hot. Brown. Add 2 cups chicken stock, salt and pepper, parsley, and simmer for ½ hour. After brown, put until broiler and brown some more. In another skillet, put mushrooms, onions, little tomato sauce, and when sizzling and hot, add white wine (or Marsala) and cook in pan – ½ hour. Add butter to thicken – but do not boil after butter melts Said I can also put a little tomato sauce in there - maybe it was tomato paste. After ready, marry the two and cook another 15 minutes all together (or not) – just eat it. Below is a photo of Steve's Chicken Cacciatore - I know it looks like beef, but this is chicken!
  2. I'm thinking of making this on Saturday for four people. Recipes? On the grill? Sear in a pan? What cut? What would you serve with it? I need the kind of sage advice only eGullet can provide.
  3. Homemade Pesto

    i made some pesto on saturday and was wondering how long people would keep it for in the fridge. my partner is happy to scrape mould off stuff (bleurgh) and he says it will keep until saturday. i don't believe him... any ideas?
  4. The Fresh Pasta Topic

    Some of these questions may be answered in the upcoming eGCI pasta session. But, to get a head start, here are some questions that have arisen as I've made my first attempts at making fresh pasta. Any help is appreciated. 1) I've been using Hazan's recipe of 1 cup of flour (unbleached all purpose) to 2 large eggs. Doing so leaves me with a very sticky dough. I end up having to work in a lot more flour to get it to a rollable texture. So far, this has been a very time consuming process. Is there a faster or easier way to combine the eggs and flour? Or is a half-hour hand workout what I can expect every time? 2) I'm having trouble producing sheets of pasta, rather than long 1.5" to 2" strips. (I'm using the Kitchenaid rolling attachment, widest setting, low speed.) While the strips taste fine when cut and cooked, they pose some problems. First, they're very unwieldy (as in 5 to 6 feet long). Second, when fed through the cutters, because they're so thin they result in a lot more waste (because of the long irregular edges). And, third, their narrow width makes them unsuitable for lasagna, pappardelle, and all but the smallest ravioli. How can I produce wider sheets of pasta? 3) I've tried forming the "nests" that Hazan recommends for drying pasta. But, when I cook the nests, parts of them tend to stick together (and, therefore, remain undercooked and unattractive). I've tried letting the pasta dry a little longer before forming it into the nests, but tend to get the same result. Suggestions? 4) What about refrigerating unrolled dough for later use? Are there any problems (health or taste) with that? Should it be refrigerated before or after kneading? Would it need to be kneaded again before being rolled? How long will it keep in the refrigerator? Any info along those lines would be great. Thanks! Scott
  5. Buon giorno!

    Ciao! I'm Christine and I'm a born and bred New Yorker. I’m an Italian by blood (and at heart, of course) since my parents actually came from Italy. My father was from Sciacca, Sicily while my mother was from Sondrio, Lombardy. Despite coming from different regions, or because of it, love for food and cooking has been one of the mainstays in my family home life growing up. And I’ve always loved the dishes my parents prepared during special occasions, and even on regular days. And of course, I love cooking (and eating) Italian food and I have a few recipes from my mother, but I'd really love to collect some more, especially the traditional ones. And if anyone can contribute some historical background to each dish, that would be really great. Grazie mille!
  6. Making Limoncello

    Here is my predicament: I love limoncello, but the yellow sugary syrupy stuff sold at most restaurants in NYC (notable exceptions: Babbo and Girasole) and at liquor stores is totally undrinkable. Where can I find the good stuff? (I live in NYC, but any recommendation would be appreciated). Let me also add that I have been too lazy to make my own, but am starting to think that is my only option. Please, please help me.
  7. Cooking with "The Babbo Cookbook"

    Pardon me if there's already a thread, but I haven't seen one in all my searching and I'm really interested in this book. I happened to pick it up at the library on Saturday and I've been looking through it with various feelings since. I think most of it is wonder. I've never seen anything I'd rather eat more of than what's in this book. There are some particular selections which look especially incredible right now: The acorn squash sformato; the sweet pea flan; the goat cheese truffles; the asparagus vinaigrette; the duck liver ravioli; the pumpkin lune; the spaghetti with sweet 100 tomatoes; the penne with zucca; the gnocchi with venison and rosemary. My list goes on and on and about half the recipes in the book are on it. Not to mention the pasta recipe he gives, which I plan to try this evening. To give you an idea of how crazy I am, I don't have a pasta maker. I would love to know if any of you have made things from this book. Today is just the pasta, but I plan on making more than enough for at least 3 dishes for Adam and I. For a first dish, I may start with the beef cheek ravioli, though I plan to use brisket due to the fact that I highly doubt that here, in this tiny town in Iowa, I'll be able to find cheeks. I do plan to ask, though. Then we'll go to the tortelloni with dried orange and fennel pollen, though the pollen is going to be hard to source around here, though. And then the one that intrigues me the most because, as most of the people on my father's side of the family, we love the weed: asparagus and ricotta ravioli. I plan to make the ricotta from whole, lightly pasteurized milk. My grandmother grows asparagus, but I tend to go the more labor intensive route; here in Iowa, it grows in the ditches along the highways in massive quantities in the early spring. The wild really does have a better flavor than the store bought variety, but home grown tends to be about the same. I can just get the wild stuff about 2 weeks sooner. One other interesting thing about the book is that he mentions rhubarb being a 'nostalgic childhood memory', and I heartily agree. Both my grandmother and my great grandmother on my father's side grew it at home, and when my husband and I were looking for a house a few years ago I almost went with this one just for the four large plants that produced relatively large amounts of the stuff. As a child I used to eat the stalks raw, dipped in a little bowl of sugar, as a snack. If you don't like rhubarb in my family you're looked at a little funny. Hubby still doesn't get it. Anyway, this is getting much longer than it was supposed to be. Looking through this book made me yearn to live somewhere I could more easily get the ingredients used. Sourcing the things or coming up with suitable substitutions is going to be interesting and fun.
  8. I am led to believe that World Pasta Day 2016 is to be on Tuesday, October 25 this year. So, with this in mind, what are the eG cooks planning on "cooking up" in celebrating the day? I will start the ball rolling. I am going to make my standard egg yoke pasta sheets, rolled out on my now seldom-used manual pasta machine and use them in making lasagna, using my old and reliable bolognese sauce recipe layered with béchamel sauce and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan. And with the left-over egg whites I will make a few meringue bases for portioned pavlova - Spring is here in the Southern Hemisphere and berries and fruit are starting to appear in the shops!
  9. This is one of my all time favorite desserts. Have had several versions of this. What should a novice home cook know about this dessert? Is there a basic recipe that could be of help here? Where should one go for the best of its kind in the US? Where in the world could one get a sampling of some of the best panna cottas?
  10. Just found out that a member of eGullet, @Cia has begun to post his short videos on Italian culinary culture on YouTube. Only one to date but I know there are more in the pipeline. While made by an Italian based in Italy the narrative is in English. Here's the first instalment:
  11. Homemade Ricotta

    I have seen a few recipes.. Some use Lemons , some use Vinegars, some use buttermilk some used whole milk. So it appears that different ways exist? Yesterday i made some for the first time. 2C Heavy Cream 1C 0% Milk pinch of sugar pinch of salt zest of 1/2 lemon and juice ( about 2T ) Cooked to 175 and added acid, let set about 30 mins. drained in a tea cloth, over night. What I noticed, it didn't drain as well in the tea cloth, this seems more like a cream fresh? Really creamy ( not grainy but not the curds that i expected. Not hot enough before acid? would be better drained through a cheese cloth? Doesn't taste bad, maybe a bit lemony. So I'll have to watch where I use it. Help and what is your go to recipe?
  12. Spaghetti Carbonara

    I want to make carbonara tonight. In the past I've used a recipe from the Betty Crocker cookbook (red); it's called Cheesy Spaghetti or something. Mario's recipe uses only pancetta, spaghetti, parmesan, eggs & pepper; Marcella's has garlic, white wine, parsley, parm & romano; Lidia's has onions, parm & chicken stock. Mario claims his is the authentic version. I'm confused. Should I go back to Betty?????
  13. 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
  14. Pasta Extruders: 2011-

    Society members Alex and Aki (twodogs) over at Ideas in Food have been displaying some remarkable pasta made with their Arcobaleno extruder. I need another kitchen gadget like I need a whole in my head, particularly one that has no price listed on the website but instead offers a "Financing" tab. But that doesn't prevent me from living vicariously from y'all. So who's got a good extruder out there these days? Even the hand-cranked ones are in the $400 range, it seems. Any budget options for those of us who just must make bucatini at home somehow?
  15. I have to admit that when I first read the teaser description of Molto Italiano: 327 Simple Italian Recipes to Cook at Home on Amazon last fall, I was worried. Had Mario gone the way of Rachel Ray and FoodTV in general and surrendered to the “quick and easy” path that seems to plague the cookbook shelves at bookstores these days? As it turns out, there was nothing to be worried about. This is still the same old Mario, who can give a 5 second breakdown of Pugliese cuisine, make an obscure reference to a Rolling Stones song, and grill an octopus tentacle without pausing for a breath in between. So, while the subtitle includes the word “simple”, this is not the stuff of other FTV shows like Everyday Italian or 30 Minute Meals. You’ll find sweet and sour calves’ tongue, tripe, the aforementioned grilled octopus, and an anchovy and almond soup in these pages. In fact I’d say that “simple” is in fact a misnomer or at the least a relative term here: recipes do call for making the pasta yourself, or making your own mustard fruits, Cremona-style. The book is staggering in its scope and depth, and nearly every recipe has a beautiful, artfully composed full-color photograph by Beatriz da Costa to accompany it. It’s laid out in the usual Italian fashion, flowing from antipasti, to soups, to pasta, then onto seafood, meat, vegetables, and desserts. As always, his pasta recipes, both for dried and fresh pasta, seem to be the standout, and truly are “simple”, if you can get past making some of the pastas yourself. Peppered throughout are essays by Mario or other guest writers on Italian wine, the glories of cooking cephalopods, why ducks aren’t as popular in the U.S, and other varied topics, and Mario shares some of his dry, esoteric worldview in almost every pre-recipe writeup: when you break down a chicken, keep the thighs and legs and feed the breasts to the dog. That said, anyone familiar with his previous books will be a little dismayed at the number of recycled recipes here. Too, some recipes are only subtly different from one another, with only a minor variation in technique or ingredient to stand apart. The book starts with two fried cauliflower fritters, and there’s three antipasti recipes for clams on the half-shell. I’d rather have seen them rolled up into one master recipe, with variations listed afterwards, rather than blow a whole extra page and photo on them. Mario begins in the introduction by surveying his previous works as an overview of where he was at at each point in his career when he wrote them, and then continuing right up to this book, a summation of his total experiences with three cooking and two travel shows, and an ever-growing army of successful New York restaurants. It’s a look at the state of Italian food and cooking today, and he does indeed swing from Italian-American staples, to arch-regional specialties never dreamed of on these shores, to trademark, only-in-a Batali-owned-restaurant dishes. Mario’s strength has always been to walk the line between professional, restaurant-level cuisine and simple home-style cooking, and this is no exception. It’s hard not to argue that it doesn’t deserve a place on the cookbook shelf. Certainly anyone looking to get their first Mario cookbook should now begin (and almost end) here, but those with more familiarity of his previous works may have some misgivings. I gave a few of the recipes from this book a spin and made a weeknight meal for some friends. Here’s the menu: Antipasto: Prosciutto and Grilled Figs (page 100) Pasta: Spaghetti with Green Olive Sauce (Page 168) Main: Grilled Jumbo Shrimp with White Beans, Rosemary, and Mint Oil (Page 268) Vegetable: Asparagus with Citrus, Parsley, and Garlic (Page 418) Dessert: Peaches with Primitivo Syrup (Page 486) Total cook time from walking in the door to serving the antipasto: Almost exactly 90 minutes. No significant challenges or special techniques in making these items, the title gives almost an exact description of the ingredients. About the thing requiring an unusual technique was making the red wine syrup for the peaches, but seeing as how this was one of my first successful desserts back when I was learning how to cook, it can’t be that outlandish.
  16. Makes 40 cookies, 2 loaves. 50-60 g very aromatic olive oil 80 g honey 120 to 150 g sugar (I use 120 because I like it only gently sweet) 2 eggs 2 teaspoons of fine lemon zest, from apx 1 lemon 230 g flour 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon baking powder 75 g lightly toasted peeled pistachios 50 g lightly toasted almonds (you can replace some with pine nuts) Optional: a little rosemary or anise seed Optional: more olive oil for brushing Heat oven to 170 deg C. In mixer (or by hand), mix oil, honey, sugar, lemon, egg and if desired, the optional spices - until uniform. Separately mix together the flour, salt and baking powder. Add flour mixture to mixer bowel with liquids and fold until uniform. Dough will be sticky and quite stiff. Don't knead or over mix. Add nuts and fold until well dispersed. On a parchment lined baking tray, create two even loaves of dough. With moist hands, shape each to be rectangular and somewhat flat - apx 2cm heigh, 6cm wide and 25cm long. Bake 25 to 30 minutes until golden and baked throughout, yet somewhat soft and sliceable. Rotate pan if needed for even baking. Remove from tray and let chill slightly or completely. Using a sharp serrated knife, gently slice to thin 1/2 cm thick cookies. Each loaf should yield 20 slices. Lay slices on tray and bake for 10 minutes. Flip and bake for another 10-15 minutes until complelty dry and lightly golden. Brush with extra olive oil, if desired. This will and more olive flavor. Let chill completely before removing from tray. Cookies keep well in a closed container and are best served with desert wines or herbal tea.
  17. I love good rustic fare. Apparently this chain, owned by Outback Steak House, has decided to open an outlet in Reston. Meet those authentic Italian guys Johnny and Damian. Johnny's grandmother's mother (and grandmother's mother-in-law) were both born in Italy in the 19th century. Johnny says he enjoys the rigatoni campagnolo, while Damian prefers the spaghetti and meatballs, though he astutely points out that "Italian food is much more varied than the spaghetti and red sauce that has come to represent Italian food in America." Transportation Options to Carrabba's The preferred method is the ancient horse-drawn cart, but given the restaurant's modern twist on a traditional theme, arriving on a real Italian racing bike is always a propos.
  18. Pasta e Fagioli

    Finally, it's soup weather, even way down deep in the heart..... Instead of just my old standbys, I'd like to simmer up a nice big pot of Pasta e Fagioli -- which I order often in restaurants, but which I've never prepared myself. My restaurant experiences with this soup have taught me that there are good ones and very mediocre ones and a few great ones. Any of you make this wonderful soup at home? Will you share your methods???
  19. Steve Sando in NY Times

    Steve Sando had a nice write up in the Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/06/dining/marcella-hazan-rancho-gordo-beans.html?ref=dining According to FedEx tracking my Marcella beans (and others) are due to arrive tomorrow.
  20. I first came to Venice in December 1981 while visiting my then girlfriend (later wife and ultimately ex) in Austria. She dragged me there despite my reluctance to go due to the overwhelming Saccharine sweet cliché that is Venice. 19 years old; w/o a pot to piss in. $150 budget for three days in Venice incl. the cheapest hotel we could find. Suffice to say I also learned that a 4 course meal in what appeared to be a hole in the wall can really torpedo one's budget during that visit. Still I fell in love with Venice- her reality far exceeds any cliché especially if one is willing to wander just a few meters off the beaten path. As it turned out my relationship with the city far outlasted the one with her. I was and remain enthralled by this city. I was fortunate to be able to visit frequently during the '80s while I was living in Austria. I moved back to the US in1990 and took a 14 year hiatus mostly due to having taken a great many financial steps backward when I returned to California. Nothing like a recession to put the brakes on any number of plans. Fast forward to 2004 when I returned to Venice with my wife Carrie for a little over a week- since then we've been back three times and will endeavor to do so for the foreseeable future. We booked this trip mid December since we had cash to pay for it and it seems that this is a great time to travel assuming one has steady income and the means to pay for it. The fact that we are here during Carnivale is purely accidental; we just looked at our calendars and picked a window that worked out for us both. Generally speaking I avoid this period like the plague since the omnipresent tipsy tourist lunacy is only magnified this time of year. Still, Winter is my absolute favorite time to visit Venice. Our last stay unexpectedly was in an apartment (the hotel said “you are here for 10 days why not stay in one of our apartments?”). Tough choice- small hotel room with iffy hot water vs. a 2 bedroom apartment with a full kitchen and an altana, a sort of rooftop deck/balcony that I believe is peculiar to Venice. Obviously a no-brainer to take the apartment. That trip was fantastic despite the fact that we kind of lost track of what day it was and managed to miss our flight home altogether. So we had a “bonus” day to enjoy which cost us 1,200 Euro each in airfare plus an extra night in the apartment. Worth every penny really! (ouch) The apartment we had last time was unavailable but adding “apartment” as a search criteria on expedia worked out just fine (more on that later). I've decided to put an account of this trip up mostly because I've been dying to write about Venice for years and hopefully won't bore you all to death with my ramblings. I'll probably not be posting on real time instead updating every couple of days as time allows. There will be a few pictures; few if any *in* restaurants most taken with my Iphone which is a blessing and a curse- the camera is low res and sometimes has interesting artifacts due, I believe, to slow shutter speed. I'll be tweeting as well- feel free to look me up on twitter (jonsavage). I'll also be not naming names for the most part as far as eating/drinking establishments are concerned. I'm a firm believer in the “figure it out as you go” school of thought and feel that targeting one place over another without foreknowledge unselfearned is folly. Instead I prefer a random walk stopping only where a place “calls out” to me. Screwy logic at best I know. Still this has served me well for a bit and applies even to where myself and friends from work have lunch. Think beginners mind and you'll be on the right track. Thanks for reading; any EG folk that might be in the neighborhood please also feel free to give me a shout via PM if you want to grab an umbra or whatever with us (usual disclaimers and EG legalese apply). Day 1 13-14 Feb (lost 8 hours in transit). 0300 wake up – off to freaking work but glad to have a job especially in this economy. 1000 Carrie picks me up in a taxi and off to LAX we go, Free at last! LAX is showing its age. The last major renovations I recall happened in preparation for the 1984 Olympics so traffic and passenger volumes are increased straining what infrastructure is there. I hate flying not due to fear but rather as a result of not being able to move around much for 10+ hours at a stretch. We go checked in with mercifully short lines. Maybe Friday the 13th is a good day to fly or perhaps the current recession is really making a difference as far as discretionary travel is concerned. We did a little duty-free shopping and were happy to discover that there was Udon available in the int'l terminal. While not haute cuisine it certainly represents a refreshing alternative to most other airport food. We found free wireless at LAX as well and duly got our last EZ internet fix for the next 2 weeks. Internet access in Venice is spotty at best but is improving (more on that later). 2 or three cocktails later we grabbed a quick smoke and braved our way through security. This line was also the shortest I've experienced since 9/11. The TSA folks were actually really friendly (is that a good thing?) and after a brief crisis when the conveyer belt inside the scanner thingie ate my wife's glasses we were finally on our way. The flight itself was uneventful and boring in the extreme. We arrived in Frankfurt with almost 2 hours to spare and were pleased to find Camel sponsored smoking spots (sort of like a well ventilated aquarium). Nicotine fix resolved we went through passport control and got tagged for excess cigarettes to the tune of 3.80 Euro/pack. Good thing he did not look in my carrry on bag 'cos the cigars nesteled in it would have probably gotten expensive as well. We found our gate and grabbed another smoke prior to boarding. Those smoking booths are kind of odd in that there is a very subdued atmosphere in them with very little if any conversation taking place. I felt tempted to ape a monkey in a glass cage but (fortunately) my wife suggested that that would probably not be a good idea. Still the temptation to do so remains strong; perhaps I will be able to get away with such behavior in a few more years when I reach a certain age. in any case the atmosphere in the cubes was funereal at best (puns intended). We arrived at VCE right on time, no more passport controls oddly enough, and made our way to the water taxis/Alilaguna. The Alilaguna service runs frequently and runs around 13 Euro, quite the bargain as compared to the motoscarfi where the going rate is 95 Euro. We like the Alilaguna as we can ease our way back into the city with hardly a ripple. The weather was beautiful in the way that only a Venetian Winter can have. Approaching Venice. Eventually we arrived at Arsenale where we were to meet the apartment person at 1630. When we reserved the apartment the language was non-specific, only allowing us to choose the general area it would be in and also some amenities. We chose Castello because that district is a little less crazy than say San Marco or San Polo and generally seems more sane and down to earth. We'd stayed there before as well so had a reasonable comfort level re: getting around, supermarkets bars etc. as well. 1630 came and went. No sign of our apartment contact. A few minutes later my phone rang and it turned out Giulia was at the other Arsenale stop. We sorted ourselves out and walked to the apartment which was just 50m away. The stairs were a bit of a challenge after having been awake for 28 hours;– the apartment is on the 3rd floor (2nd for american readers) – the stairs are a straight excruciatingly steep shot. Coming home twisted or leaving the apartment even slightly tipsy for that matter is clearly not a safe option unless we wish to test the limits of our health insurance. Imagine a gangway up the side of a container ship at high tide and you get the idea. The apartment itself is lovely. 4 burner stove with adequate BTUs to do the job and a nice externally vented hood. A dishwasher (why?) but no oven. Guess I'll be braising rather than roasting this trip. Some apt. rental paperwork completed we took a quick inventory of what was on hand in the flat and ventured out to buy some groceries before the stores closed for the day. Markets are generally closed on Sunday's here so this was a fairly important task. My knife roll made the trip intact so +1 to luck. We headed down a random street; a few moments later we were at the coop market I knew from our last trip and stocked up on a few essentials (Havana Club Anejo Riserva (a rare and illegal treat for US citizens), pasta, coffee, bread, cheese, Vino Novello (kinda late I know but I love this wine and it was on sale, garlic, eggs and some assorted salumi to tide us over until Monday. On the way back I noticed a new bulk wine store where wine is very nearly cheaper than water. At 2 Euro on average per liter they have several varieties of very passable table wines. Apropos table wine- don't discount the 1-2 Euro tetra pack per liter stuff until you've tried it. Yet another reason to love this place. Funny thing is I get lost everywhere but in Venice. I'm capable of losing my way while on the way home from work just a 3.7 mile drive but here I never do. Odd since I don't lose my way in the one place I really should. To balance that out my wife never loses her way at home frequently runs into a spot of bother here. Go figure. We were both starting to feel wiped out and grabbed a bite at a place on on the waterfront right by the Aresnale vaporetto stop. The food was OK but not memorable but then again it was not the sort of place we'd normally eat at and it certainly fulfilled its purpose. We fell into bed and I hoped that having been awake for the better part of 30 hours would ensure that I'd not be up at 0 dark thirty and wandering the streets as I am wont to do here. Don't get me wrong I love wandering around when the city is asleep but sleep is a good thing. More to follow tomorrow. I'm already 4 days behind (writing this on the afternoon of 18 Feb.). The view from our apartment on the evening of our arrival.
  21. Pizza nei testi

    Ever seen this cooking technique ? A reference with pictures in italian language. Could'nt find any in english. http://cheprofumino.blogspot.it/2009/02/la-nostra-pizzasenza-forno.html
  22. A friend recently gifted me with a small jar of this incredible Bomba Calabrese. I thought I'd died and gone to spicy heaven. :wub: This particular brand is made by Gigi and is a product of Italy. The ingredients are: eggplant, pepper, hot chili peppers, mushrooms, artichokes, sunflower oil, olive oil, spices and salt. It is also not in chunks or pieces, but is easily spreadable. I found a few recipes for Bomba Calabrese online, but would like to try one that someone from eG recommends if possible. Barring that, I will make one of the found recipes and blenderize it perhaps. And also try to locate the product locally. I've contacted the distributor but not heard back yet. Thanks for any help.
  23. When grandmum made Cappelletti last christmas i took some pics , so i can share this tutorial. Cappelletti are pillows of pasta stuffed with bread, parmesan and stracotto juice, cooked in a chicken broth soup. So what is Stracotto: its just a Pot Roast made from some tough and unexpensive beef cut, simmered for a long time, 6 to 10 hours depending on the cut you choose and your willingness of making the ultimate sacrifice driyng your meat in order to get the best roast juice vs having a proper and tender pot roast on your table.
  24. Can anyone recommend a few good Italian baking/pastry books? (in English, I mean) I have Carol Field's The Italian Baker, the newish Biscotti by the American Academy in Rome Sustainable Food Project, and Gina de Palma's Dolce Italiano. Oh, and Sweet Maria's Italian Cookie Tray. TIA.
  25. Has anyone tried to cure guanciale (cured pig's jowls) at home? There is a simple recipe in the Babbo cookbook, which also appears on the Babbo Web site: http://www.babbonyc.com/in-guanciale.html I was surprised that the recipe did not call for using any "curing salt." I would love to avoid using curing salt/nitrite, but from some preliminary research, it seems to be a standard curing ingredient in order to kill certain bacteria. I looked at a few recipes for pancetta, and they all use a curing salt, in addition to regular salt. I'm wondering if this is an omission in the recipe, or if it could safely be made without curing salt. Another question: The recipe does not discuss washing the salt off the meat after the cure and before the drying period. This is a step I have seen in pancetta recipes. Another omission of a step that should be followed? Any thoughts on either of these questions? Thanks.
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