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Cotechino


jg488
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I hope someone out there can help me prepare a wonderful meal with cotechino sausage. I live in St Thomas, US Virgin Islands - not exactly a great place to find Italian sausage. But good friends just visited me from my old neighborhood in New York and brought me some meat from Faicco's on Bleecker Street. They froze the sausages and brought them to me in a cooler. They brought the regular sweet Italian sauages with fennel, and a more exotic cotechino, which I've never cooked.

So I have a few questions. First, how should I deal with defrosting the meat? I don't have a microwaver, so I assume the thing to do it put the meat in the fridge the day before, and it will be ready to go.

But now I need to know how to cook the cotechino. I found some recipes online that suggest pricking it with a fork and boiling it, and serving it with lentils. Does anyone out there have alternative suggestions? I'd love to hear your input.

Thanks-

JG

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I recently had a hot cotechino sandwich here in Seattle that was to die for. Cut the cotechino into 1/4" slices and grill. Top with a sautee'd garlic, onions and bell peppers and top with a little evoo. Use your favorite bread but I'm a big fan of French rolls.

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jg488, the traditional thing to do would be to poach it for about an hour then serve it sliced with lentils and a tomato sauce.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Cotechino is a traditional holiday dish in northern Italy and originates from Emilia Romagna. Is it the choice for New Year's Eve where it is served with the lentils as you mention. The lentil represent financial good fortune in the New Year and the more you eat the more money you are supposed to make. The Cotechino is fully cooked already so just defrost it and simmer until heated through. Then the traditional meal is to just served it sliced over the lentils.

Very tasty!

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Great idea, Steve. I've enjoyed mostarda with cheese in New York and during trips to Italy. I guess I'd boil the cotechino in the usual manner, then slice it into rounds and serve it with the mostarda as a first course.

Unfortunately, St. Thomas doesn't have a shop that would carry mostarda. Do you have any ideas about where to order some good mostarda online?

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Great idea, Steve.  I've enjoyed mostarda with cheese in New York and during trips to Italy.  I guess I'd boil the cotechino in the usual manner, then slice it into rounds and serve it with the mostarda as a first course.

Unfortunately, St. Thomas doesn't have a shop that would carry mostarda.  Do you have any ideas about where to order some good mostarda online?

A.G. Ferrari - mostarda

I confess I have never seen it served with mostarda - but what the heck, Its worth a try. Mostarda, a specialty of Lombardia where we live, is usually served with boiled meat dishes (which are common) and with cheeses.

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Did anyone mention cooking the lentils in the sausage's poaching liquid?

This sounds great - how do I do it?

I'd also welcome suggestions on the overall menu. I guess the cotechino will be the piece de resistance, but I need to put together an entire dinner.

Right now I'm thinking about the following:

Appetizer - Fettunta - toasted bread rubbed with garlic and drowned with extra-virgin olive oil

and some chunks of parmesano drizzled with balsamico

Pasta - maybe just a spaghetti with tomato sauce

then the cotechino - maybe with lentils, or over cubed friend potatos

Any other ideas???

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As for the poaching liquid, if you prick your cotechino here and there to avoid it splitting, it will leach delicious fat into the water you're poaching it in. You can the use that water, with seasoning and any other additions you fancy, like minced onions, to cook your lentils. You'll then want to slice the cotechino and re-heat the slices to serve over the lentils - I'd just turn the slices gently in a warm, dry pan.

Your entire menu sounds heavy to me. This is a very large, dense sausage we're discussing, to be served with lentils. Bread and pasta? I am thinking a salad to start, and then a sharp cheese to follow, but that's just me. Anyone know how the Italians do it?

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The Cotechino is fully cooked already so just defrost it and simmer until heated through.

I called the good people at Faicco's and they told me it's raw, so it needs to cook.

They suggested that I prick it a few times, then simmer it for at least an hour. Does that sound right?

Your entire menu sounds heavy to me.

Good call - that's exactly why I wanted some suggestions. Wilfred, those ideas sound very good. I'd love some ideas on an appropriate salad and cheese. Maybe the cheese should come from Emilia Romagna or somewhere in the north?

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In Italy this would be called "un piatto unico" or a dish to be served by itself without a first course. The cotechino is quite rich and the lentils quite filling so it stands by itself. The exception is New Years Eve, which if you attend a dinner party, the cotechino con lenticchie will arrive after midnight no matter how many courses have preceded.

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The Cotechino is fully cooked already so just defrost it and simmer until heated through.

I called the good people at Faicco's and they told me it's raw, so it needs to cook.

They suggested that I prick it a few times, then simmer it for at least an hour. Does that sound right?

Your entire menu sounds heavy to me.

Good call - that's exactly why I wanted some suggestions. Wilfred, those ideas sound very good. I'd love some ideas on an appropriate salad and cheese. Maybe the cheese should come from Emilia Romagna or somewhere in the north?

I never heard of 'raw' cotechino. It is a made of cured pork.

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The exception is New Years Eve, which if you attend a dinner party, the cotechino con lenticchie will arrive after midnight no matter how many courses have preceded.

Cotechino con lenticchie is for tourists. Zampone con lenticchie is the real deal. :wink:

da vero

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Raw or cured, the usual preparation does indeed involve slow simmering in liquid for about forty five minutes to an hour.  You wanted it heated through thoroughly.

Stuffing is basically Salami mixture, is cured. Most cotechino/zampone sold around new years eve are pre-cooked and vacuum packed. Instructions mostly read: Simmer for fourty minutes in plastic bag. ie. no delicious juices for the lentils.

If you are lucky enough to find a butcher that has made his own (rare in Chinati) they will tell you to simmer it for two hours.

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And zampone is the version stuffed inside the pig's foot, with the trotter still on the end.  I mean, you want to talk about delicious juices... (sex-throb Emeril impersonation there).

Zampone is the real deal. Cotechino is the version. :cool:

The stuffed pigs trotter represents the purse, lentils the money. I brought one back to the UK and cooked it for some friends. Nearly had a mass walk out when I served it up in all its jellied glory. :sad:

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I just called Faicco's again and confirmed the info on their cotechino. It is raw, not cured. The boss told me that I could cure it by leaving it out at room temp for 2-3 weeks, which would dry it out. But they make it fresh and refrigerate it, so it has to fully cook.

He recommended that I simmer it for an hour, maybe an hour and a quarter.

New Yorkers are lucky to have a butcher like Faicco's that makes fresh cotechino, but I don't believe even Faicco's does zampone. I could be wrong...

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