Jump to content
  • 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 a free account.

The Cooking and Cuisine of Puglia


Kevin72
 Share

Recommended Posts

Franci, those eggplants look delicious. So how do you make the stuffing.. fry the ground beef together with the eggplant insides, and then mix with breadcrumbs, egg, and pecorino?

Thanks Chufi! I have a weakness for eggplants, I could eat everyday!

The stuffing: I will pulse the inside of the eggplants in the mixer, then cook with a little evo, add the ground beef (about half a kg for 4-5 medium-small eggplants) and cook untill there is no more pink, let cool add one egg, salt, pecorino and a little bit of breadcrumbs.

It's important to leave the tomato sauce runny enough to stand 40 minutes in the oven, in case add some water. Try and let me know, is one of my favourite dishes. I know in Greece papoutsakias are very similar but we don't add the besciamelle sauce on top.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Beautiful eggplant dishes, Franci. I too could eat eggplant every day, even for breakfast, much to my husband's horror.

I do know about separating the meat from the pasta. My stepfather was born in Frascati, so I got some education, although he wasn't much of a cook, even when he was younger. But somehow, at home in the U.S., it seems normal to combine them. I find the different plating system to be fascinating. I think Italians are much more rigorous about "pure" flavor, whereas we're quite casual about combining flavors.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

franci, i have another question: in a lot of italian recipes, fresh marjoram or oregano are called for.  but in many of these puglian recipes i've been reading--including the things you've made--dried oregano seems to be the most commonly used thing.  is that specific to the area?

We use herbs frugally.

Never seen using marjoram in my town.

The only fresh herbs that are used daily are parsley and some basil and those are the only fresh herbs that you'll find in vegetables stores. Of course, if you go to bigger supermarkets you find more variety...

Dry oregano is more common with tomatoes like on focaccia or on friselle or in a tomato salad. But I will not add to a simple tomato sauce for pasta.

We use a lot of capers, in some kind of fish stews with tomato sauce, for ex. baccala' or squid, in a pizzaiola sauce or with some vegetables (eggplants, potatoes).

A lot of bay leaves: in soups with chick peas or beans, in roasted dishes.

Thyme will grow wild everywhere but is not used very much.

Dry mint, expecially with peppers or some fried vegetables (like zucchini).

That's it.

And also the use of onions and garlic is different depending on which area of Puglia you are in. We use very little of both. For Taranto everything related to fish has garlic. For ex a fish soup or mussels would never be cooked with onions.....if you go toward Brindisi or Lecce they use onions with fish.

A cooking term in puglia that you will find very often is ARRACANATO, which originally ment with oregano but now just means "gratinato", au gratin. You'll see patate arracanate, cozze arraganate, ecc.

Something is arracanato if is spinkled with a mix of : breadcrumbs, finely minced garlic, chopped parsley, salt and oil, often pecorino.

These potatoes for ex are made with layers of thinly sliced potatoes, slice of red onions, cherry tomatoes, capers,, evo, salt and every layer is sprinkled with the above mixture. A little bit of water in the bottom and it is baked

img02180jg.jpg

It is a very common side dish for charcoaled meat

img02252yw.jpg

Edited by Franci (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

very interesting, thanks for the answer.

i just received my ada boni book in the mail (it was only $8 shipped, and even though it was obviously owned by a heavy smoker i'd say that was a damn good deal), so i can't wait to make a few more things...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Franci, I'm really overwhelmed by all the amazing food photos you've been posting. I love those eggplants.

I've been too busy to do much interesting cooking in August, but I aim to change that this weekend. Like mrbigjas, I just got Boni's book in the mail this morning. Gotta put it to good use!

Public ovens, as Pontormo mentioned, go way back in Italy. They're in evidence at Pompeii and Ostia, for example. The combination of fire risk from cooking in wooden high-rise buildings and the expense of running a wood- or charcoal-fired oven for just one family meant that it made a lot more sense to do one's baking at the local oven. Most people would cook their cooking over a brazier, or (as likely as not) buy their food from their corner popina or thermopolium- the Roman equivalents of the tavola calda.

It's my understanding that until pretty recently, South Philadelphians would take their Thanksgiving turkeys to their local bakeries, leaving their home ovens free for baking other stuff. It's a great example of cultural continuity, but I don't know whether people still do it: mrbigjas, do you know anything about that?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's my understanding that until pretty recently, South Philadelphians would take their Thanksgiving turkeys to their local bakeries, leaving their home ovens free for baking other stuff.  It's a great example of cultural continuity, but I don't know whether people still do it: mrbigjas, do you know anything about that?

it's totally ringing a bell, perhaps in relation to sarcone's or cacia's. but i can't remember the details and googling isn't turning up much... oh wait here we go, from an AP article in 2003:

In South Philadelphia, Cacia Bakery continued a Thanksgiving tradition that has lasted more than 50 years: roasting customers' turkeys.

"They bring me the turkey here all stuffed and ready to go in the pan and it frees up their oven so that they can do other things with it," bakery owner Sam Cacia said. He charges customers $10 for the service.

which of course leads me to cacia's website:

http://www.caciabakery.com/specials.cfm

Holidays- 07/15/2005

Our holiday specials are Easter cake and cookies. We also roast your turkey or pig on Thanksgiving and other special holidays and occasions.

Edited by mrbigjas (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my area what I also consider fast food is carne al fornello: almost every butcher, or a big majority, has what is called a fornello next to the store, a brick oven where meat is cook on a iron flat spits. The spits lean vertically on a grate inside the oven, so the meat cooks slowly away form the heat. Usually the meat cooked is lamb chops (called costatine), salsiccia a punta di coltello (knife cut pork sausages), bombette (involtini with a cheese heart and often wrapped in pancetta), gnumeridd (meaning ball of thread which are made with lamb offals). Meat is cooked all the way through, people is not used to eat pink lamb :biggrin:

I think as soon as I have been introduced to meat I was hooked to carne al fornello. I was maybe four year old and I would be one of the biggest fan of Cataldino, being the best butcher and the fornello king of all times. I had my own personal chair in his store and I would wait patienly for my meat to be ready. I even manage to get the two young Cataldino's daughters to be my baby sitters....Cataldino died a couple

years ago, saddly I haven't find anybody after him who could be at his level.

Last time home, I went to visit Cadaldino's wife: Pasqua. Pasqua and Tina, the older daughter, were so kind to teach me how to make "marretti". Marretti are rolls of offals which can be grilled of baked with potatoes. A very traditional dish on Easter would be a big marro. In Bari province I discovered through another pugliese from my italian forum that marretti instead are meat rolls, involtini, that we'll call braciole.

For marretti you'll need lamb casing (Pasqua told me that they are not replaceable with pork casing they are too hard, in emergency just just use white cotton yarn)

200605260136ou.jpg

These are lamb offals. It is important that you know where you are buying it, must be superfresh.

200605260198rr.jpg

You need the lamb net –which we call zeppa- for tying the marretti. You could use the pork net, but Pasqua said it's not the same, she explained to me that the lamb net is more lean and more resistant, it's easier to work with since it is less easy to break.

You need to soak the net in warm water to open.

This is the net still closed.

200605260175at.jpg

Open net after soaking.

200605260359by.jpg

Boil plenty of water. Put the casing in water and with the help of a wooden spoon try to disentable it, the purpose is to clean it, to open up a little in a uniforme way.

200605260216or.jpg

You don't want to cook the casing, infact as soon it comes to a boil drain in plenty of cold water.

200605260234ta.jpg

200605260255wf.jpg

Now you need to cut the casing. You will me amazed but it is not as easy as it looks because you don't want to break the casing otherwise you'll end up with short strings that cannot be used.

You should have seen Pasqua, unbelievable speed and precision (but she use to make one hundred kilos of this every we), If the casing is not big enough you can cut in three, is you have enough and don't care about saving you could cut in two. Pasqua cut before on the right (1/3 of the diameter of the casing), then cut the remaining strip in half. Do you see how she keeps it in her hands? One end will rest on the index and the other slide between the middle and the annular fingers, wet the hand every once in a while if gets too dry.

200605260299sd.jpg

Then she went on cleaning the offals and cut the single organs, everything needs to be cut in julienne, not in cubes, it will change texture and taste.

Liver

200605260307ci.jpg

Take out the skin around the kidney and cut into julienne

200605260337qp.jpg

In the lung if there are hard parts they need to be removed. And check there are no stones in the kidneys.

200605260376lz.jpg

We also made some gnumeridd, take is about the right size

200605260382fk.jpg

When all the meat is cut, add some salt, pepper, a mince clove of garlic, finely chopped parsley and a good amount of grated pecorino.

200605260393gb.jpg

Put some on the net, cut a little bit of net on the side, so you can cover with it the filling and roll very very tight. Cut a little more on the side and make sure the roll is well covered.

200605260415hb.jpg

then you need to tie with the casing, first on the long side and then wrapping around. Do not tie too strong since will swell during cooking

200605260428lv.jpg

Better to let the marretti rest in the refrigerator for a couple hours before cooking

Pasqua usually cooks the marretti in water before adding the other ingredients: it gets a lighter and in any case marretto will take longer then potatoes to cook.

200605260432xq.jpg

Add 2 fingers of water and cooke semi covered, turning them once in a while. Meanwhile cut the potatoes and dress with a little garlic, oil, salt (not much sice marretti are alreay been salted) and if you wish a dash of white whine.

200605260442sy.jpg

200605260458wa.jpg

Add to the marretti and bake until the potatoes are golden brown, adding warm water if necessary (it shold not be too dry, a little bit of sauce is good). You can eat the all marretto as it is.

.

I am so sorry that the quality of the picture is so bad but this was my previous camera and I was not able to make it work anymore in a proper way.

gnumeridd are easier to make. Every piece is wrapped in a strip of net and then tied with the casing. Cook on the iron spits in the break oven or charcoal with bayleaves in between. Of course also marretti can be grilled.

200605260482gc.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Franci, that's interesting how the meat is wrapped in the casing, not stuffed into it like we do for sausage. Since you already have the net in place, I wonder what the purpose of the casing is. I've never seen anything like that before. I've only used caul fat to wrap up awkward pieces of meat.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was all set to make some polpette ai capperi tonight. But when I was shopping, I noticed that the supermarket had dandelion greens for sale. I've never noticed those there before now, and took it as a sign. Quickly retooling my plans, I made the lamb stew with greens mentioned above:

gallery_7432_3413_432436.jpg

It's hard to take a great picture of stew-- it's just kind of brown, you know? But this tasted really good. I'd never cooked with dandelion greens before; they're very bitter, maybe a little too bitter. While cooking them for a long time killed some of the bitterness, I might use Swiss chard next time.

Served the stew with bread and some marinated roasted red peppers as a contorno. Good stuff for a chilly (ha!) evening.

(edited to add: the stew reminds me of an Italian version of one of my favorite Persian dishes, ghormeh sabzi. Yum.)

On another front: Franci, I see lots of references in Pugliese cooking to lampasciuoli (or lampascioni or lamponi). They seem to be a kind of wild onion-- this site has a description of them. Can one substitute onions for them? I have a recipe for lampasciuoli fritti dorati, and am tempted to serve onion rings under the guise of a Pugliese dish...

Edited by Andrew Fenton (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's hard to take a great picture of stew-- it's just kind of brown, you know?  But this tasted really good.  I'd never cooked with dandelion greens before; they're very bitter, maybe a little too bitter.  While cooking them for a long time killed some of the bitterness, I might use Swiss chard next time.

I am sure it turned out good, but in fact it shouldn't be brown, I guess you browned the meat and maybe deglazed with red wine...It should be a kind of no colour stew (like for blanquette).

You could have use polpette too, leaving a little soupy, with grated pecorino on top an some crusty bread. If dandelion are quite bitter you can blanch them before adding to the soup that is generally done. But I like it and I am used to the bitterness of the veg.

On another front: Franci, I see lots of references in Pugliese cooking to lampasciuoli (or lampascioni or lamponi).  They seem to be a kind of wild onion--  Can one substitute onions for them?  I have a recipe for lampasciuoli fritti dorati, and am tempted to serve onion rings under the guise of a Pugliese dish...

If you don't like dandelion for the bitterness you'd like lampascioni even less. They can be very bitter and have a different taste than regular onions. In fact it is necessary to clean them, cut a cross at the base and leave them to soak in cold water even for a day, changing it different times to remore the bitterness. I really do like the taste they leave to roasted potatoes but I am not a big the lampascione in itself. I saw them around Chirstmas in Astoria NY.

If you want to fry veg in batter, there are plenty of options (blanched califlowers "mugnoli"), mushrooms (you'll find even bitter mushrooms, funghi di mucchio ), artichokes, etc.

Well, I am leaving today for Italy, Milan for 3-4 days , then Puglia, I hope I can come back with something interesting, like all the fish part that I have negletted and the tielle.

Ciao

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am sure it turned out good, but in fact it shouldn't be brown, I guess you browned the meat and maybe deglazed with red wine...It should be a kind of no colour stew (like for blanquette).

You could have use polpette too, leaving a little soupy, with grated pecorino on top an some crusty bread. If dandelion are quite bitter you can blanch them before adding to the soup that is generally done. But I like it and I am used to the bitterness of the veg.

Interesting. The recipe I followed called for browning and either red or white wine. Next time I'll make it your way. I imagine that white wine would highlight the greens better. And I definitely like the idea of making it with meatballs...

I just had some leftover stew for lunch; it will surprise nobody to learn that it tasted even better today. And the dandelion greens are really growing on me.

Have a good trip, Franci! I look forward to seeing your fish...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We had dinner at a friend's house last night. She'd asked me to bring cheese, so I used it as an excuse to get a burrata:

gallery_7432_3413_99377.jpg

This is from Claudio Caseificio in Philly and was made yesterday morning. Since I was with company, I didn't take any photos of the inside, which was soft and sort of rough and shredded looking. Not as much sangue as you'd get in an ideal mozzarella, but it was still pretty darn good. I served it caprese-style with tomatoes, basil, some oil and salt.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

oh man, andrew, that burrata looks great, although different from the ones i've gotten at dibruno's.

i made a puglian-esque dinner last night. i started off the sweet and sour onions from that food and wine site i posted:

gallery_7799_1601_21380.jpg

mighty tasty. (that's a tomato salad in the foreground, made with these awesome little tomatoes called peach tomatoes--they're slightly fuzzy like a peach. but that's not keeping with the theme, so it only gets a corner of a cropped shot. also my photos of it were bizarrely lit.)

anyway, onward! with franci's focaccia recipe:

gallery_7799_1601_33030.jpg

of all the things in the world that will never cease to amaze me, dough and bready sorts of things are right up on the list. i made it with half AP and half semolina flour, and since it was a hot dry day here yesterday, it took quite a bit of water. beating the dough was a real workout, but as franci said, right about at the 15 minute mark, it just kind of magically came together from a batter-type thing into a slack dough. amazing.

i know it's a little dark around the edges, but that was a mistake on my part--i baked it near the bottom of the oven, so the top bits right around the tomatoes weren't getting cooked. i moved it up to the top of the oven for the last five minutes or so, and that cleared things right up. delicious. next time, in the middle of the oven.

then a combination of three or four stuffed squid recipes from a book and several websites:

gallery_7799_1601_30954.jpg

stuffed with bread crumbs and the chopped up tentacles, flavored with capers, garlic, pecorino, parsley and anchovy. there were as many ways to cook this as there were recipes--roasting, braising, even frying--i decided to go with a stovetop braise, since my oven was already in use for the focaccia.

the tomato sauce wasn't in any of the recipes (although one had tomato in the stuffing), but the squiddies looked lonely and pale there on the plate by themselves, so i threw a tomato in the pan after i took them out and cooked it down with the juices. this was good stuff--i've made lidia's version of it before, in which you braise it with peas--but i think i should have either chopped up the capers or soaked them longer. they were a little big and occasionally you'd get this blast of caperness.

also we served peas and onion braised in olive oil with tons of mint and basil, but that's just because they were there--i didn't find an official puglian recipe for that, so i didn't bother taking a picture for the thread.

the end,

jas.

Edited by mrbigjas (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bjas: Great series of dishes, quite a meal!

A question to those of you who made the lamb stew: is there A lamb stew with greens that is linked or documented somewhere with recipe and/or instructions? Descriptions suggest this is so, but my skimming got me nowhere. I've got the greens. I've got ground beef and pork and Franci's suggestion to use meatballs instead (Buford on lamb in the summer may be in the back of my mind) for a variation on the dish. Where do I go from here?

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pontormo, there's a recipe for the lamb here. Beware: the site has a really annoying noisy ad. The recipe is dead easy, and very satisfying.

Jas, great looking meal! I like the little squids all lined up on their skewer. I've always been a little intimidated by cooking squid-- not that it seems so difficult, but that I'm afraid I won't be able to get good quality ingredients. I should just get over that, I guess, because I loves me some calamari.

(Oh, and aren't those peach tomatoes just crazy good?)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, Andrew. BTW very pale yellow fuzzy tomatoes are sold here in DC, too.

While waiting for blackberry sour cream muffins to cool enough to present to a helpful security guard from Cameroon, I went searching for Puglese recipes for polpette and found out that we all missed an important opportunity to celebrate on August Third with meatballs, wine and friselle; snails were last week. However, next Tuesday's one of the orchiette days and there IS lamb ahead towards the end of the month along with watermelon. Every day's a festa!

(In August, a procession into the sea sounds like a good idea.)

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

Link to comment
Share on other sites

dinner last night was inspired by dishes in both the puglia and sardinia thread.

fish couscous, blatantly copied from kevin72's sardinian meal:

gallery_20641_2687_614103.jpg

(given the lack of fregola in the stores i checked, it was actually israeli couscous.) sauteed shallots and celery, white wine, tomato sauce, broth, saffron and mint, then couscous and tilapia (my partner added chili flakes to his portion). definitely will make again.

focaccia stuffed with fresh tomatoes and green olives:

gallery_20641_2687_704528.jpg

probably a little crustier than it should be, but i liked it (changes of plans led to dinner being delayed a night, so the dough had a longer-than-intended overnight fermentation). i don't know if the green olives are traditional, but it seemed like a good compliment (maybe the couscous put me in a tagine-ish mood).

and following andrew's tradition, here's the pet-watching-the-meal shot (aka "are you gonna eat that?"):

gallery_20641_2687_1330135.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm starting to be a fan of aging pizza and calzone doughs overnight myself, also.

Deen & Kevin: Is there a noticeable difference between fresh and delayed use of said doughs? The only thing perceptible in the photo of something any dog would love to investigate is the way the upper crust seems to have pulled away from the filling, although that may be a result of cutting or just that part of the pizza rustica.

A second welcome, too. Good to see you're looking at a number of the regional threads in this forum.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's a nice-lookin' dinner you got there, Deena. Much like Owen, I could go for some of that focaccia right now. So, so hungry.

Did you freestyle that couscous or use a recipe? When I've had fish couscous (in Sicilian or Tunisian versions), the sauce bit has gone on top of the couscous bit. Yours looks stewier. (And awesome, I might add.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

aw thanks for the welcome. to answer questions:

Did you freestyle that couscous or use a recipe?  When I've had fish couscous (in Sicilian or Tunisian versions), the sauce bit has gone on top of the couscous bit.  Yours looks stewier.  (And awesome, I might add.)

freestyled. i souped up the tomato sauce with a cup or so of broth, and then cooked the couscous and fish directly in it. definitely could have been less stewy, but good as it was. saffron + mint = good combo.

Deen & Kevin:  Is there a noticeable difference between fresh and delayed use of said doughs?  The only thing perceptible in the photo of something any dog would love to investigate is the way the upper crust seems to have pulled away from the filling, although that may be a result of cutting or just that part of the pizza rustica.

i think that aging doughs give them a more developed flavor, better crust-to-crumb distinction (or maybe i've just been brainwashed by my cookbooks). my focaccia (or pizza rustica) definitely pulled away from the filling -- it was one big air bubble when i took it out. not sure how to change that part.... the recipe was from 'bread alone,' and meant to be topped rather than filled. it was a very good recipe -- i think i would do nice things as a pizza crust, cooked in a hotter oven (this was only baked at 400).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the reply! One of the two (three?) new year's resolutions I made for myself this year was to USE Bread Alone to make serious loaves with poolish instead of relying on familiar stand-bys with yeast. I should look at the focaccia recipe as a way to ease into fulfilling that one remaining pledge. The description was an observation, not a criticism. The air bubble seems to be a happy development since those gorgeous fresh tomatoes didn't make the interior of the dough soggy as a result.

Edited by Pontormo (log)

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...