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.

Sign in to follow this  
Kevin72

The Cooking and Cuisine of Campania

Recommended Posts

i know i'm a day late, but i made the escarole/ricotta calzones today. they were good. but kevin, i'm sure you'll be disappointed to hear that i baked them.

i have some leftover filling though, so i'll probably make up somea that fancy dough per the recipe and deep fry them on tuesday.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the many appealing parts of Schwartz's book is the space he devotes to writing rhapsodically about the wealth of lard-enriched pastries found in Campania. I gave one of them, tortano, a spin for lunch.

Tortano is a yeast dough, eniriched with some lard, left to rise, then rolled out and flattened. You then spread more lard over it, along with cubed salami, provolone, and pecorino:

gallery_19696_582_61229.jpg

You then roll it up. I went with my own method here and then curled the roll in on itself:

gallery_19696_582_334.jpg

Into the oven for an hour, then another hour to cool (so it was a late lunch!):

gallery_19696_582_10615.jpg

Perfect with a nice tart salad on the side to cut the richness:

gallery_19696_582_46807.jpg

Didn't your say your husband didn't like this, Franci? I'm at a loss. You're very brave to work past such an obstacle.

A sort of summer's last stand meal, then for our last meal in Campania.

We started, then, with Insalata Caprese:

gallery_19696_582_22867.jpg

Our Central Market has a guy out making mozzarella in view of the customers on weekends. I don't know how it compares to the real deal in Campania, but if it's that much better I don't think I'd be able to take it. As it is, though, freshly made and still warm, it's buttery, oozes whey when you cut into it, and rich. Even just the day's difference from when I bought it to when I served it really dulled the taste. It was still good but lacked that softness and liquidity in the center.

Continued with spiritosa, pickled vegetables. Carrots are traditional, but I threw in fennel as well:

gallery_19696_582_73404.jpg

You make a reduction of vinegar, water, chilies, garlic, and oregano. Meanwhile, boil the vegetables to just the soft in the center stage and drain. Douse them with the reduction and leave to sit at least 24 hours. The oregano really delivered and impregnated the whole with its vaguely floral aroma.

For the main, it was the same lemon chicken Foodman made a couple pages back. I marinated the chicken in lemon juice, salt, olive oil, garlic, chilies, and oregano again overnight, drained them, browned them on one side in a hot pan, flipped them, poured the marinade over, and slapped them into a hot oven for half an hour:

gallery_19696_582_85836.jpg

Dessert was the "mythic orange tart of Anacapri" from de Blasi's book.

gallery_19696_582_72413.jpg

Much as I bag on her prose, I must say she really has influenced my style of cooking alot and everytime I thumb through one of her books for inspiration, I wind up getting lost in the recipes (in a good way).

That finishes Campania for me. See everyone in Umbria. I'll try and start the thread today, but it may have to wait til tomorrow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
i know i'm a day late, but i made the escarole/ricotta calzones today.  they were good.  but kevin, i'm sure you'll be disappointed to hear that i baked them.

i have some leftover filling though, so i'll probably make up somea that fancy dough per the recipe and deep fry them on tuesday.

Awesome Mr Big, and baked so you will live longer!

I picked up a few bunch of escarole yesterday and will try these later in the week. The recipe gets a hearty endorsement from Sophia Loren in Naples at Table and anything that's good with Sophia is great with me. :cool::biggrin::rolleyes:

-Mike


-Mike & Andrea

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a fantastic meal Kevin. I love the tart!

Much as I bag on her prose, I must say she really has influenced my style of cooking alot and everytime I thumb through one of her books for inspiration, I wind up getting lost in the recipes (in a good way).

This is so true, I really love her book (and her prose :huh: ). I am finding similar romantic notions in the Schwartz book too.


-Mike & Andrea

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I'm gonna have to stay in Campagnia a little while longer!

I made the Pasta e Piselli for lunch yesterday. The kids really have enjoyed both of these enough to garner regular rotation in their menu!

gallery_39050_2669_99443.jpg

-mike who really needs a new camera!


-Mike & Andrea

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
People, people, people. They're fried in olive oil and olive oil's good for you.  No worries.  Right?

definitely. it's just that i had someone over for the football and baseball games, and it was just too much effort.

plus the whole 'deep frying in extra virgin' thing is a little pricey for me. well, it was until i found a source of oil that is about $8/L. figure a liter for frying, use that three or four times, it only adds a couple bucks to the cost of the meal. WORTH IT.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kevin-

I love that bread. Actually your last post is all lovely. See how much better your chicken looks than mine because you baked it in the oven.

Saturday

I made the Ragu Napoletano for tomorrow's Timpano. Boy did I replay that scene from the Godfather where Michael is getting taught how to make a proper "sauce" with beef and sausage from the fat guy (Lou or Carmine is it?). Looked just like this

Just starting

gallery_5404_94_331947.jpg

Some 2-4 hours later

gallery_5404_94_299448.jpg

I only need about 3 cups of Ragu for tomorow, so, I slow cooked some white beans and served them with sliced sausages, some of lovely rich sauce, a good pinch of chili flakes and parsley for dinner

gallery_5404_94_406369.jpg


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sunday Dinner: Project “Pasta al’Antica Per Timpano” or Big Night’s Timpano (aka, disaster nearly averted).

Click Here for FTV recipe

I hope you were looking forward to this, I sure was. Planning for it more or less for all of October. As you can see from my title, this threatened to be a disaster, a Molto disaster. Let’s get the bad out of the way first, because in the end it was a grand dish and pictures should confirm.

The problem with this recipe, or should I say series of recipes are two fold. First, the quantities, second the Pasta Frolla (pastry). There is no way on earth that this recipe can be made in a 4 quart mixing bowl. The white pasta alone comes about fills about 75% of the pastry lined Pyrex bowl.

Solution: remove half of the white pasta, mix it in with half the red pasta, place in a casserole dish and freeze. This means I have dinner for some other time at the ready.

The pastry recipe is not good. It is the most fragile, brittle, curse-inducing (f-words and their variations. Glad the kids were asleep), no way on earth it can be rolled and placed in bowl piece of dough I’ve ever worked with and I've done lots of baking. Yes I did refrigerate it for a good while before attempting to roll. Add to that the quantity of dough, it is far too little to cover the sides and top of the Timpano.

Solution: use the cut and paste method to paste small pieces of the dough on the insides of the bowl. Also make an extra batch last minute to cover the top (ie: bottom) of the Timpano. Swear to never ever use this dough recipe again for such a preparation.

I should’ve gone with a recipe from Naples at Table, but this one just had such a cool title and it invoked a favorite movie of mine, Big Night. Ok, enough complaining.

Other than the mad 2 hour rush caused by the problems above, making this and presenting it was a blast. I still think the pastry is crap and I did not even care for it’s sandy texture or taste. The whole piece though was lovely and tasted awesome. The pastas and their sauces with the layer of the meatballs makde this month were heavenly. I allowed it to bake for about 1.5 hours and rest for a good 40 minutes (too hot, too hot :smile: ) and it still steamed when cut into and was very warm. You live you learn, so learn and if you plan on making this Timpano, keep my notes up there in mind.

Ok, on to the pictures.

gallery_5404_94_305653.jpg

gallery_5404_94_347235.jpg

gallery_5404_94_426252.jpg

gallery_5404_94_215684.jpg

gallery_5404_94_277805.jpg

gallery_5404_94_194914.jpg

gallery_5404_94_444470.jpg

gallery_5404_94_415911.jpg

gallery_5404_94_300112.jpg

Hope that's enough pictures!

Looking forward to Umbria, but I cannot promise Campania will not be revisited soon. :wink:


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Spectacular, Elie!

I've made that same crust before and I agree: too sandy and fragile and not worth the effort. I use phyllo now and it's perfect because it doesn't distract from the filling and absorb all the sauce.

And that's so cool you quoted Godfather: that scene is responsible for starting my entire cooking hobby. First time I watched it, I grilled my mom about how to cook and made that sauce the next night for dinner. NYC Mike even has a quote from it in his sig.


Edited by Kevin72 (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hmmm Phylo dough, great idea! Does it crisp up nicely? I actually think a decent pastry dough, like the one in Naples At Table would have worked much much better.

Yeah that scene is one of my all time favorites. I even mopped some sauce straight from the pot with a piece of bread thinking of it.


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Elie, that is an amazing looking timpano. They don't call you the foodman for nothin!

When I was a kid, dipping into the sauce pot with a crust of bread was a privledge reserved only for the bravest of my uncles. My grandma swung a mean wooden spoon. :biggrin:

-mike


-Mike & Andrea

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Heh, come over here, kid, learn something. You never know, you might have to cook for twenty guys someday. -Clemenza

Ah! that's the one. So it was Clemenza then. I should've reviewed my DVD before posting.

Thanks for the compliment Mike.


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I spend a few days away from the internet and you guys have finished the month off with a bang! I shouldn't be surprised. Elie, my mouth is watering.

Last night, inspired by this thread, I put a few extra eggplants into my shopping basket and came home to make Alberto/Il Forno's pitticelle di murignani. They weren't too hard to make, other than the fact that I'd left myself too little time and thus was trying to scrape the steaming hot flesh out of the eggplant while cursing. They probably could have used another egg in the batter, as well as a few more herbs or garlic. My food co-op didn't have either of the specified cheeses, which also might have upped the flavor. (I substituted pecorino and mozzarella). But I was decently happy with them, and my sweetheart and our friend who dropped by were estactic (It could just be that they are easily pleased when someone else is cooking).

I served them with some (shhh...) store-bought tomato sauce, and a salad of mixed greens and pomegranate seeds. Dessert was the easiest - some fresh-from the oven Korova cookies, hazelnut gelato, and roasted figs.

Now I've got the eggplant soaking for the chocolate eggplant torta to bring to a break-the-fast dinner tonight. (I'm not fasting, but I hope it will be a tasty thing for those hungry people. A grand experiment!)


The Kitchn

Nina Callaway

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am impressed by the flurry of activity here, including the lovely, fully orchestrated meal prepared by Our Founder and the timbale. Also looking forward to reports on the chocolate eggplant torta!

I still haven't put together Franci's eggplant-stuffed pasta, though I am aiming for tonight. Just had to chuck a small portion of La Genovese :sad: since the little white dots I noticed a couple of days ago were spores and not, as I had hoped, just dabs of congealed oil on the surface. :shock: Wish me luck. I added at least 1/3 cup to some chili along with the heel of the meat. So far, no ill effect, but I put the rest of the long, long simmered chili in the freezer just in case. :unsure:

And, yes, I may roll my eyes oat MdB's dramatic excess, but her cookbooks do have interesting recipes that are not merely the same-old, same-old. She does make you want to cook and glad that you did.

While I own very few DVDs, along with Buffy Season Two, The Godfather is on my shelves. You all make me want to watch it soon.


Edited by Pontormo (log)

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Before we get to the food part: Pontormo...can we talk Buffy?? I was/am a major Buffy fan. :cool:

Back to the food: WOW!!!

Man, have you guys been cooking up a storm. Beautiful meal Kevin!! That torte looks gorgeous.

Was it NYCMike or Mrbigjas: I'm with you on the baked pasta dishes...mmmeh...

Olive oil for frying: As an instructor once instructed: olive oil is the closest thing to mother's milk. How could that ever be bad for you??

Foodman: You are amazing!! That timpano is gorgeous!!!

Franci: As always your photos and descriptons are inspirational!

We just got back from Puglia, with a few nights in Campania. I honestly thought that I had never met a shrimp that I couldn't eat. I did. I actually managed to completely eat my fill of sea food. I did not think it was possible.

Has anyone ever been to the town of Avellino? Its near the Puglia border. This is a description of what we had for lunch at a goofey restaurant called "Aqua Pazza". Your right Judy...Aqua Pazza everywhere you look!

"Things are getting desperate, its almost 2:00 pm, full into the lunch danger zone, we’ve been turned away from 2 restaurants and others are empty. Finally we stumble on Acqua Pazza which has all the charm of a large Greek diner, leering mermaids on the wall, sea shells around and about, a boat steering wheel (what do you call it???) with a sign in English underneath it "Open 24 hours".

No menu, just a quasi friendly, ancient waiter who keeps bringing us plate after plate after plate of the most amazing seafood meal. It has become the standard by which we judge all other meals. Our choices consisted of 'si' meaning bring it on, or 'non'. We never used the 'non' word.

Appetizers:

Fried dough balls with herbs

**Marinated alcii: outstanding, not too acetic, the fish is clean, frim, fresh and tasty

Bruschetta con pomodoro

Insalata spinaci con fromagio, pancetta (soft, with aceto), outstanding, lick the plate clean

Insalata di mare con polpi e gamberetti

*Clams, and mussles alive alive o!!!! oh!

Con secret sauce. Mabye saffron?? Viscous consistency Miraculous I explain to everyone that I must mop the sauce up, all of the sauce to be able to ascertain the ingredients and recreate the sauce. Pretty much I get away with it.

Ravioi stuffed with potato and buffalo mozzarella with fruit di mare, soft, pillowy ravioli ....the stuff dreams are made of

Fish Platter: grilled orata, sepia (cut into a charred rib cage, interesting bordering on grotesque), pesca di spada, gambero rosso

Dolce: Garden of Eden: Crenshaw melon, strawberries, banana , red currants, nectarine, pears, black and green grapes

3 bottles of Fiano di Avellino….turned out to be my favorite wine discovery of the trip.

.....need to go back to Avellino.......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So thanks to Pontormo's recipe I made the chocolate eggplant torta tonight, and took it to a break-the-fast party. Due to not leaving enough time, and also trying to finish baking my bagels it was a little bit of a mad house, and I'm sorry to report, not my greatest success.

The bagels, on the other hand, turned out wonderfully. :raz:

Actually, there were several people at the party who thought the torte was amazing. I think it wasn't sweet enough for me - or perhaps not custardy enough. In the end, it felt like a savory dish that had chocolate in it, rather than a dessert that had eggplant in it.

Here is a picture of the torta before dusting it with confectioners sugar, because we all know what something that is covered in powdered sugar looks like!

gallery_37101_2754_1282247.jpg

The eggplant layers were crispy and flakey, and in between was a rich dark chocolate sauce, almonds, and pistachios. The recipe then called for a mixture of one egg, one egg white, and sugar to be poured over, going between the layers. However, this wasn't nearly enough, and I added half again as much. I think I could have easily doubled or trippled this part of the recipe.

The chocolate sauce was divine - I think I might make something similar and incorporate it into a different dessert. 7 oz of good dark chocolate and half a cup of red wine = my kind of party! Come to think of it, it would be good over ice cream or just eaten with a spoon.

I am not at all afraid of chocolate and eggplant any more --- they worked very well together. You could definitely tell it was eggplant, but the flavors worked in harmony here.

Anyway, I must say buona notte to Campania, and say hello to my pillow. Good night!


Edited by Nina C. (log)

The Kitchn

Nina Callaway

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Foodman, that is one beautiful timpano. I have never been tempted before, but you have managed to put it on my radar...

Nina, the chocolate eggplant looks wonderful. Can't wait to hear how Mike's turned out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nina, I am in awe! Delighted to hear the cake was enjoyed by others, too.


"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I've been following this thread since the beginning, and am really impressed by everyone's creations. I've been hesitant to post because we don't follow recipes much, so I'm never sure whether a given dish actually belongs to a particular region of cuisine. Anyway, Pontormo mentioned in the Dinner thread that I should post here, so here it is!

A calzone we made for a dinner party last weekend: ricotta, broccoli rabe, tomato and sausage. My husband made the dough with some garlic mixed in. This was definitely inspired by all the lovely calzones others have been posting here :smile:

gallery_45959_3064_6815.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nishla, benvenuto!

It looks just as delicious down here :smile:


"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

so as i mentioned that i might do, i had some leftover escarole/ricotta/olive/caper/currant/pinenet filling from the other day, and truth be told the flavors had melded, so even though the ricotta was a couple days old, the filling was actually a little tastier than it was on sunday.

so decided to fry up some calzones tonight. i had used mario's recipe for the filling, but i hadn't used his dough recipe at the time, sticking with a more standard pizza dough recipe.

but i thought it might be convenient to use for a weeknight dinner, because it had a little wine in it and some honey, so it got the yeast going real fast and only needed to rise 45 minutes--i could get home, make the dough, and have a little while to hang out before making/frying the calzones, assuming i had the filling made.

which i did, as i mentioned, and indeed that turned out to be the case. plenty of time to work things out. now, i don't know if my oil was a little old (it was) or if it was the sugar in the dough, but these things darkened up real quick. of course, you know a fried calzone is done when the cheese melts and leaks out the cracks where you didn't seal it QUITE enough, and causes massive splattering in the oil. anyway, delicious. and on the menu again sometime soon...

gallery_7799_3691_206896.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow. Those calzones look incredible. I think the sugar caused the rapid darkening of the crust, but it looks beautiful mrbigjas!

Nina, the eggplant also looks marvelous. Kevin, what do you mean about the seeds? What bothers you about them? Usually they pretty flat, inocuous sorts of fellows.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Similar Content

    • By haresfur
      I found this article about arancino/arancina really interesting
       

    • By jennyandthejets
      I'll be in Naples for a few days next month and I wanted to try something traditional, and my friend recommended trying parmigiana. She said she loved it, but the problem is that she ate it at her Italian friend's house, and I won't be able to have that exact parmigiana. So, I did some research online and found a few restaurants that have good ratings and are serving allegedly great eggplant casserole. This place is 4 stars rated, but people seem not to agree whether the parmigiana is good or not.... On the other hand, this place has a great rating, appears when searching for the parmigiana, but nobody seems to write about it in their reviews. Finally, this one is said to have the best parmigiana in Naples (or in the world, for that matter), and I wanted to know if anyone had the so-called world's best?
      I would really appreciate if you could help me make the decision. Looking forward to your advice!

    • By alacarte
      I recently took a trip to Northern Italy, and was delighted to find that the cappuccino everywhere was just wonderful, without exception. Smooth, flavorful, aromatic perfect crema, strong but not too strong.
      Aside from the obvious answer (duh, Italians created cappuccino ), what makes Italian capp so fantastic, and how do I duplicate the effect here?
      I'm wondering if it's the water, the way the coffee is ground or stored, the machines used....I'm baffled.
      Also noticed that the serving size tended to be smaller than what I'm used to -- i.e. a small teacupful vs. a brimming mug or Starbucks supersize. Not sure why that is either.
      Grazie mille for any insight on this!
    • By Modernist Cuisine Team
      The Modernist Cuisine team is currently traveling the globe to research pizza and different pizza styles for our next book Modernist Pizza.  Nathan and the team will be in São Paulo and Buenos Aires soon. We'd love hear from the eGullet community—what pizzerias should they visit while they're there? You can read more about our next book Modernist Pizza here. Thanks in advance, everyone! 
    • By scordelia
      My article was published (my first one!)! Hooray! And I do have some Florentine restaurant recommendations including the new Osteria del Pavone which is amazing--lampredotto ravioli is now a thing and it must be tried.
       
      http://www.classicchicagomagazine.com/florence-in-winter/
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...