• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Kevin72

"Molto Italiano: 327 Simple Italian Recipes"

47 posts in this topic

That chicken is inspiring. My kid comes home from college this weekend and perhaps I will make it! I am relatively new to eG and was pleased to see this thread, since I am very fond of this book. I have no other Mario cookbooks; I've looked at them but Molto Italiano appeals in its simplicity. I've made many of the recipes and so far only one has been a failure. Currently I am completely enamored of that simple little clementine dessert w/balsamic and pepper. I have citrus cravings in the afternoon and this is just perfect.

Kevin, about problematic: has anyone made the radicchio pancakes? There's a wacky mistake in the recipe. Maybe he has a lazy editor. The ingredients list calls for 4 tbsps unsalted butter. In the direx there isn't a single mention of this butter. That's fine with me, since I try to avoid butter, but what would it be for? I ignore it and they are wonderful, with or without the ricotta salata. I usually have radicchio and eggs around, so this is a perfect emergency meal.

I have made the mostarda several times and served it as an app w/the suggested coppa, always to rave reviews. Recently I served a splurge dinner of the veal shanks and it was really easy (albeit absurdly expensive) and really excellent. I find his simple tomato sauce with thyme incredibly versatile. I keep it frozen and use it for all kinds of stuff--like the cauliflower soup and the shanks, but also for my own lasagne and eggplant parm.

The failure, by the way, was the Artichokes Roman Style. It was labor intensive and no one liked it. Could have been lousy artichokes, but I don't think so. Maybe I like artichokes better when sauteed til crispy instead of simmered as these are done. I like his tomato sauce on pasta topped with crispy artichoke hearts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dunno! The texture was fine, they were cooked to the right degree of doneness--knife-tender as you say--and the dish looked lovely in the serving bowl. As far as I know I followed the direx closely, didn't make any gross errors or omissions. I cook with fresh chokes a lot, all seasons, and sometimes they are more flavorful than other times, but I've never had a "bad batch" so I doubt the vegetable was at fault. This method of cooking just didn't seem to bring out the best in artichoke flavor. Maybe it just isn't a good recipe? No one (except of course my husband after the guests were gone) said a critical word about them, but no one said anything good either, and there was some leftover--never a good sign when it comes to a small veg side-dish. I choked those down (aww) the next day out of principle. It was simply... underwhelming. You make it and lemme know what you think.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I still get frustrated by the redundancy with his other works and that too many recipes are just variations of each other.

Tell me about it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Using Batali's caponata recipe as a rough starting point, last night I had:

Eggplant Caponata with Cinnamon-Scented Rice and Seared White Tuna

gallery_18974_1420_14529.jpg

gallery_18974_1420_52516.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last night I made Devil's Chicken and it was a major hit with my husband and daughter. Having a kid who survives on dorm food and caffeinated drinks is a sure way to get appreciated for a nice home-cooked meal. I confess that I cut the amount of pepper in the mustard slather by a lot, but made up for it with liberal used of the hot oil later. I also used a big chicken--5 lbs--and tented it for the first half hour, adding as well a little chicken broth to the roasting pan at the beginning. I ended up with lots of yummy sauce. The chicken was juicy and perfect and the dish was as pretty as the pictures.

The caponata with tuna looks delicious, Tupac. But tell me, what do you think I should do with the six gallons of hot oil left over?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Last night I made Devil's Chicken and it was a major hit with my husband and daughter. Having a kid who survives on dorm food and caffeinated drinks is a sure way to get appreciated for a nice home-cooked meal. I confess that I cut the amount of pepper in the mustard slather by a lot, but made up for it with liberal used of the hot oil later. I also used a big chicken--5 lbs--and tented it for the first half hour, adding as well a little chicken broth to the roasting pan at the beginning. I ended up with lots of yummy sauce. The chicken was juicy and perfect and the dish was as pretty as the pictures.

The caponata with tuna looks delicious, Tupac. But tell me, what do you think I should do with the six gallons of hot oil left over?

Sounds like a lovely dinner, Katie. I'm glad it was a hit with the family. I think our chicken was a bit over 4lbs, but the left-overs sure didn't last long, I can tell you that! I also scaled down the spicy oil recipe a lot, so ended up with very little leftover (which I just added to the leftover meat I shredded before popping in the fridge). But as for what to do with your leftover oil, I would think it should keep pretty well in a cool, dark place. It would be delicious drizzled over pizza, for sure. That's always the first thing that comes to mind for me with olio piccante. I also think it might be a nice way to flavor a meaty piece of fish before grilling, like swordfish or tuna. You know, I haven't really given it much thought, but I would think there should be several tasty uses for it. Let us know what you try!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tonight, I dipped into Molto Italiano once again and made:

Cauliflower Pancakes (p.17) with Eggplant Caponata (p.426), Basic Tomato Sauce (p.71), and Braised Kale & Turnip Greens

gallery_18974_1420_88124.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're talking about chili oil, yes, put it in a squeeze bottle and toss it in the fridge. You'd be surprised how many uses you'll come up with for it. Pizza of course is as the top.

How much caponata do you have left, Tupac? :biggrin: Every time I make it I love it, but wind up having to toss it after eating off it in vain for the next couple weeks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How much caponata do you have left, Tupac?  :biggrin: Every time I make it I love it, but wind up having to toss it after eating off it in vain for the next couple weeks.

I didn't really look at the quantities listed in the recipe. Just did it by taste. Also, I added capers, anchovy, roasted peppers, cherry tomatoes instead of basic tomato sauce; and I didn't have any cocoa powder. So my interpretation of the recipe was, well, loose. That said, we got about 4-5 servings out of it. I just killed off the last of it right now. I was thinking of warming it up, and having it with crostini. Realizing I had no bread, I shamelessly devoured it cold straight from the fridge. :cool:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

is Mario Batali' an Italian chef?

he!he! He is as Italian as I am

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure what you're getting at . . . he is of Italian descent and spent 3 years in Emilia Romagna cooking at a well thought-of trattoria. While it's easy to take shots at him now that he's moved into saturation marketing mode, he still remains intensely knowledgeable about Italian regional cooking.


Edited by Kevin72 (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm not sure what you're getting at . . . he is of Italian descent and spent 3 years in Emilia Romagna cooking at a well thought-of trattoria.  While it's easy to take shots at him now that he's moved into saturation marketing mode, he still remains intensely knowledgeable about Italian regional cooking.

Yeah! Right! but he is NOT Italian born and I am glad. otherwise there would be millions claiming Italian citizenship and original recipes. I have no problems accepting him as an "American" (North of Rio Grande citizen).

Would you accept me as an American because I am blonde and blue eyed of Russian origin and Spanish speaker? Yeah right?! :biggrin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
... He uses pasta, butter, garlic, cheese, no cream.  She describes alfredo sauce "the sexy, Roman way" as using (for one pound of pasta) a stick (quarter pound) of butter, 1 cup of cream, and handsful of good grated parmesan.  ...  This discussion is about cream vs. none. 

I feel like the last person on the planet who has never seen Mario Batali on television or read a word he's written -- though I saw him in person at a panel thing at the NY Public Library and was appalled at his Italian-language errors. In any case, cream is not original to the recipe for "fettuccine al triplo burro," which is the original Italian name of fettuccine Alfredo. But cream is at least on the same team as butter and cheese. But Mario calls for garlic????? And nobody has objected?


Edited by Maureen B. Fant (log)

Maureen B. Fant
www.maureenbfant.com

www.elifanttours.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really like the meatballs and make them regularly. The recipe uses ground beef, eggs, bread, garlic, pecorino, plenty of fresh parsley, and roasted pine nuts (recipe here). The meatballs are browned first and then simmered in the sauce. They are very tender. The best part is the pine nuts inside - a delicious surprise!

Neapolitan Meatballs (Polpette alla Napoletana)

5382580303_61e0ce7b27_z.jpg

They are delicious with homemade tagliatelle (purists, please avert your eyes), or on their own.

5382583349_96e467de55_z.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm not sure what you're getting at . . . he is of Italian descent and spent 3 years in Emilia Romagna cooking at a well thought-of trattoria.  While it's easy to take shots at him now that he's moved into saturation marketing mode, he still remains intensely knowledgeable about Italian regional cooking.

Yeah! Right! but he is NOT Italian born and I am glad. otherwise there would be millions claiming Italian citizenship and original recipes. I have no problems accepting him as an "American" (North of Rio Grande citizen).

Would you accept me as an American because I am blonde and blue eyed of Russian origin and Spanish speaker? Yeah right?! :biggrin:

What an odd thing to say and to get hung up on. My kids are born in the US, they are still Lebanese as well. Man, Irish people who have been here for generations still say they are Irish.

1 person likes this

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Batali's meatballs are the only ones I make. My Batali recipe is a little different. It uses 2 kinds of ground meat, less egg, less bread product, but definitely the cheese and the pine nuts. Sometimes I make them with beef and veal, sometimes I add a little ground pork. I especially like the technique of quick saute for the meatballs and then warming them up in the red sauce so they don't overcook.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last night I was looking for a recipe for duck breasts, and found this recipe for Duck Scaloppine with Dried Cherries and Grappa in Molto Italiano (I don't have the book but the recipe was available online). The breasts are separated and cut into pieces. They are pounded until thin, dredged in flour, and cooked in olive oil (the recipe called for 1/4 cup but I used a couple of tablespoons). He uses dried cherries, red wine, grappa, chicken stock and butter for the sauce. I did not have any stock on hand so I just used water. As for the grappa, I decided to substitute armagnac and reduce the amount from 1/2 cup (!) to a more reasonable ~ 3 tablespoons.

8576945992_aef09e238a_z.jpg

It's a great dish because it takes very little effort and only uses one pan. The sauce is a tad oily (it's not degreased) but it's very flavorful and has a luscious texture.

8576947232_89d487d134_z.jpg

I found the recipe here.


Edited by FrogPrincesse (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Beet greens remind me of sorrel which I love. They are slightly acidic (from the oxalate). The recipe for beet green soup in Molto Italiano starts by cooking onions and garlic in olive oil, then adding diced potatoes and sliced beet greens. I adapted this recipe and mixed them with radish greens and turnips greens that I did not want to throw away. Everything is then cooked in water with a bay leaf and red pepper flakes. I chose to put everything in the blender but it would also work without that step for a more rustic soup.

The key for me is the pecorino garnish. Very comforting (although not especially photogenic) with a slice of rustic bread.

8657400244_88a3506351_z.jpg

It's another soup that changes color with the temperature, by the way. Hot (left) it's noticeably darker than cold (right).

8661154967_690d562140_z.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Frog Princesse, what is that dark bread you served with duck? Looks great!


"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Marinated Zucchini in the Style of Naples, with a few substitutions. Based on of what was available to me, I used a large white patty pan squash instead of zucchini, rice vinegar instead of white wine vinegar, and mint instead of parsley & basil.

 

It is a bit involved with 3 steps required - salting, grilling, and marinating, but it's very delicious and works great as a side dish with grilled steak or sausages, or as a "salad".

 

Patty pan squash #batali

 

Recipe link.

 


Edited by FrogPrincesse (log)
2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By yentakaren
      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!
       
       

    • By boilsover
      My Breville BSO 800XL  just died on it's second birthday, after only *extremely* light use at my beach house.  Just won't power up.
       
      Reading online, I learned that a common failure mode is the thermal fuse blowing -WHICH IS DESIGNED TO BLOW AT <450F.  This is a $3 part at Radio Shack, and there is a detailed instruction on how to replace it here:  http://virantha.com/2014/03/02/fix-your-breville-smart-oven-by-replacing-the-thermal-fuse/
       
      So I guess I'll give fixing it myself a try and report back.  Has anyone here done this repair?  Was it successful?  And why would Breville use a fuse that is lower than the appliance's top heat settings?
       
      Thanks!
    • By CanadianSportsman
      Greetings,

      I've cooked several recipes from Keller's "Bouchon" the last couple of weeks, and have loved them all! At the moment (as in right this minute) I'm making the boeuf Bourguignon, and am a little confused about the red wine reduction. After reducing the wine, herbs, and veg for nearly an hour now, I'm nowhere near the consistancy of a glaze that Keller specifies. In fact, it looks mostly like the veg is on the receiving end of most of it. Is this how the recipe is meant to be? Can anybody tell me what kind of yield is expected? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you, kindly. 
    • By Lam
      I have been experiementing with macarons these last few months, and I have yet to make perfect macarons. Most of the macarons I have made are hollow on the inside. They're so hollow, if I nudge them a bit, the top crust just comes right off. They still taste decent but not what a successful macaron should be like. I don't think I am overbeating my meringue at all. They are always firm and stiff. I have tried whipping a little less than I usually do but still get hollows. I did some research and saw a few people recommend adding a bit of cornstarch to the dry mix. Yep. Cornstarch.  This really perplexed me because I always see people saying not to use powdered sugar that contains cornstarch, so how could adding cornstarch prevent hollow macs? I also saw one person use tapioca starch to prevent hollows as well. This time around, I whipped the meringue at a much longer time, but no higher than speed 7 (kitchenaid), which gave me a super stable meringue. I also added cornstarch. I piped the batter out, and they looked super perfect the first few minutes in the oven. Sadly, they came out very wrinkled. The first batch was super wrinkled, but the second batch was less wrinkled, or bumpy even. Not sure if this is because of the silpat for the first batch and the parchment pper for the second hmm. Does anyone know what I did wrong to get these wrinkled macs and how to troubleshoot? Also some help on hollow macs would be appreciated! Thanks




    • By Franzisaurus_Rex
      I've had an idea flowing across my brain waves over the last few months. It's on every channel and I'm getting ready to pull the trigger. 
      I'd like to try to braise a dish in my smoker. I am thinking of braising a rabbit, but the I'm not looking for guidance on the protein/ingredients, rather the technique. I turn to you, o internet, in hope you will tell me your secrets.
      Has anyone ever braised in their smoker before? I've done some research, but I haven't seen much on the "how to" for the technique. Here's my plan:
      - Brown the rabbits on skillet (stovetop)
      - Get the aromatics/other stuffz sweated browned, etc.
      - (MEANWHILE) Smoker heats up to 300-325 degrees.
      - Add stock to rabbit, bring to a simmer on the stove top.
      - Transfer to smoker, braise uncovered for 1-2 hours, then cover with foil to finish for as long as necessary.
      I've seen folks smoke and then braise, but I haven't seen much on the idea of braising something IN the smoker. I saw something on CookingwithMe.at about doing something similar with pork belly, but that's about it.
      All I know is that after using stock+drippings from a smoked turkey created this CRAZY MIND-BLOWING flavor, so I'm basing this a lot off that idea.
      -Franz
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.