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Kevin72

The Cooking and Cuisine of Campania

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That pasta with eggplant looks delicious, Judith.

Gorgeous pizza, Pizza Napoletana. I think I've followed your writings on a pizza website in recent months, as I was in search of the secret of the amazing pizza I had at A16 in San Francisco. Would you say this is a great example of their pizza? I can't stop looking at your photos; I can even smell the charred crust through my screen!

I had some extra dough starter in the fridge, and I was reading Kevin's thread on Campania from last December, and I got inspired to make his gorgeous calzoncielli filled with cheese. Click. I didn't have any ricotta so I used what I had in the fridge. We had these late in the afternoon, and a dinner of risotto with mushrooms, pancetta, and peas soon followed.

Calzoncielli - filled with fresh mozarella, sheep's feta, pecorino romano, anchovies and parsley. Really good. Next time I will go for the ricotta, though, if nothing else just so they fill up the pocket better.

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...A16 in San Francisco.  Would you say this is a great example of their pizza?

Thanks for the compliments.

However, for the reports and pictures I have seen, plus an inside info on their dough production and management, I have to say that A16's pizza should be a BAD example of an authentic Pizza Napoletana and thus of mine.

No offence , but you would have to go in Naples or at least at Il Pizzaiolo in Pittsburgh-PA to see a great example. Nowadays, It is very diffucult to find an outstanding Pizza even in the mother city, where out of 3000 odds pizzerie only few make an authentic traditional product.

Ciao

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Tonight's dinner was a salad of red-leaf lettuce and a little treat from the region. I saw these made by Curtis Stone (the Take Home Chef) and had to make them! Layers of eggplant, basil, fresh mozarella, double-dunked in egg and breadcrumbs, then fried to golden crispy goodness.

Eggplant Fritters with Fresh Cherry Tomato Sauce

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Shaya: You are putting the rest of us to shame! Your eggplant fritters look especially enticing.


"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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Looking good, Shaya! Aren't calzoncelli amazing? Every time I make them, no matter how many there are, everyone puts away the whole platter.

You get special kudos from me since sheep's milk feta is one of my favorite cheeses.

If you're up for more frying, consider making that deep-fried calzone.

How'd you get the eggplant fritters to stay together in frying?

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Looking good, Shaya!  Aren't calzoncelli amazing?  Every time I make them, no matter how many there are, everyone puts away the whole platter. 

You get special kudos from me since sheep's milk feta is one of my favorite cheeses.

If you're up for more frying, consider making that deep-fried calzone. 

How'd you get the eggplant fritters to stay together in frying?

Thanks Pontormo, Kevin.

Kevin, the eggplant sandwiches get 5 dunks:

flour, egg, breadcrumbs, egg, breadcrumbs. I needed 4 eggs to make 16 sandwiches. Held together like a charm.

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I swear I didn't mean to miss the ferry back to the mainland...I got stuck in Sicily!

But, if I had seen what Shaya was making, I would have hurried up and gotten on that ferry!

Those cazoncelli look amazing, as do the eggplant fritters. If I get stuck for a recipe, I may PM you.

Pizza N.: thanks for all the great info on the ovens, its explains a lot about the passion for the traditional Napolitan pizza.

Ore: I'm in Italy, drowning in ripe tomatoes. All that chatter about ferries was pure fiction, I'm in Umbria, eating figs and drinking Sicilian wine.

Speaking of wine...where has Brad Ballinger been? He is always very informative when he writes about the Italian wines. I miss his write-ups.

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Hathor-

That is a lovely baked pasta. aren't these the best? I don't think I've ever had a baked pasta dish that is not good...pasta, gooey, crusty cheese, meats and vegetables, very hard to go wrong.

Shaya-

Your fried items are jusy gorgeous I can almost (I wish) taste them.

Sunday’s Neapolitan dinner:

- Primo was pasta with Ricotta and tomato sauce, from “Naples at Table”. The proper pasta for this should be large and tubular, sort of like Manicotti according to Schwartz. I had large rigatoni, so I used that. It had homemade ricotta, parm, basil and tomato sauce. A simple and utterly delicious dish, I can eat this by itself any day.

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- Secondo, Neapolitan meatballs, also from “Naples at Table”. I made a double batch of those lovely meatballs. I froze half of them for the “Big Night” Timpano later this month. The meatballs had beef, parsley, lots of bread, Pecorino, raisins and pinenuts. My wife declared these in tomato sauce “the best meatballs she’s ever had”! I agree.

The mix before adding the soaked bread

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Ready to form

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Formed polpette

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Served

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- Dolco was a homemade blueberry gelato. Sure blueberries are American, but I am confident that any Neapolitan would love this intense creamy gelato (it has 2 whole pounds of berries, 8 yolks and 3 cups of cream based on a recipe by Alton Brown). I literally cannot get enough of this concoction.

gallery_5404_94_73105.jpg


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

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...

I had some extra dough starter in the fridge, and I was reading Kevin's thread on Campania from last December, and I got inspired to make his gorgeous calzoncielli filled with cheese.  Click.  I didn't have any ricotta so I used what I had in the fridge.  We had these late in the afternoon, and a dinner of risotto with mushrooms, pancetta, and peas soon followed.

Calzoncielli - filled with fresh mozarella, sheep's feta, pecorino romano,  anchovies and parsley.  Really good.  Next time I will go for the ricotta, though, if nothing else just so they fill up the pocket better.

gallery_41870_2503_46181.jpg

...

These look so good!

Even after reading Kevin's initial post you linked to (for others, the calzoncielli post is the last post on that linked page) I still have some questions.

Is the dough a standard pizza/calzone dough? And is it deep fried or baked?

I guess that the dough would be left to rise again after forming the rolls and before cooking them.

Thank you, sorry if I'm missing the obvious... :smile:


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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I use a standard pizza dough recipe for mine. I don't let them sit for a second rise after stuffing, other than the time it takes to stuff them all and bring the oil up to temp. They freeze very well.

Edit:

Foodman, I'm really looking forward to the Timpano later this month!


Edited by Kevin72 (log)

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Shaya, what a great dish! I am going to try that one this month for sure!

I <3 eggplants.

Ellie, They don't call you the Food Man for nuthin! Great looking meal!

I am still waiting for Naples at Table book! Bummer about ebay and shipping, book cost 5 bucks but they sure make you wait to get it!

-mike


-Mike & Andrea

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Elie, that meal looks fabulous from start to finish. Regarding the meatballs, I tend to think of pinenuts and raisins as being typicially Sicilian. Interesting to see them in a Neapolitan dish too.

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These look so good!

Even after reading Kevin's initial post you linked to (for others, the calzoncielli post is the last post on that linked page) I still have some questions.

Is  the dough a standard pizza/calzone dough?  And is it deep fried or baked?

I guess that the dough would be left to rise again after forming the rolls and before cooking them.

Thank you, sorry if I'm missing the obvious...  :smile:

Ludja, I made these up after seeing Kevin's version; I also used a pizza dough. I let them sit about 20 minutes before frying and they are most definitely deep fried!

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Elie, that meal looks fabulous from start to finish.  Regarding the meatballs, I tend to think of pinenuts and raisins as being typicially Sicilian.  Interesting to see them in a Neapolitan dish too.

Naples and Sicily actually have a lot in common culinarily, especially given their history together under the Spanish. Indeed there is a lot of influence of Spanish cooking, especially in Neapolitan cooking. My mother's family is from Campania and my father's from Sicily. A common dish I had growing up was the potato and egg "frittata", essentially the same as the Spanish "tortilla". Spain and southern Italy also both have a lot of Arab influence in their cuisines. The raisins and pinenuts, common in both, may also be an example of that.

I will also add my admiration for the dishes presented here.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Docsconz, thanks for the information. It explains a lot. Growing up I often saw my grandmother adding pine nuts and raisins to her middle eastern dishes.

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We had some good orange cherry tomatoes from "Our Farm", a local farm that sells through our Farmer's Market so decided to make "Spaghetti Sciue Sciue alla Caprese" from Naples at Table (pg 160). Not only was this dish very quick and easy, it was delicious too. The term "sciue sciue" means "hurry, hurry" according to Schwartz. It employed the tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt, plenty of basil, a little oregano and some Parmiggiano-Reggiano to taste.

gallery_8158_790_17853.jpg

I definitely recommend this dish while these tomatoes are still in season. If not, a jar or two of piennolini would work quite well also.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Doc, that does look really good and I have cherry tomatoes at home, if the larger type that some of us used for a Pugliese focaccia.

Judging from the photo, the skin is kept on the tomatoes, no?


"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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Doc, that does look really good and I have cherry tomatoes at home

Same here Doc, great dish. We will give it a try!

-Mike


-Mike & Andrea

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Kudos to Kevin for suggesting Campania in September, the height of tomato season! Everyone's eating cherry tomatoes. Shaya's gorgeous dish, Docsconz's yummy looking orange tomatoes.

Today's lunch: roasted cherry tomatoes with onions, garlic, capers, and chili peppers. gallery_14010_2363_504803.jpg

I have a rabbit waiting for the Ischia braising pot for dinner. I see Andrew is poking around at the Reading Terminal Market looking for a bunny. Now its coniglio in the air! :laugh:

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Doc, that does look really good and I have cherry tomatoes at home, if the larger type that some of us used for a Pugliese focaccia.

Judging from the photo, the skin is kept on the tomatoes, no?

Thank you.

The tomatoes are simply sliced in half and than cooked as per the resipe after the garlic and red pepper flakes. The skin is indeed on. This dish can easily be made in half an hour.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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I think the tomato skin becomes a problem with long cooking. This is a quick dish in which the tomatoes retain their vibrancy. I liked it equally without and with the Parmiggiano.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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I see Andrew is poking around at the Reading Terminal Market looking for a bunny.  Now its coniglio in the air!  :laugh:

shhh! Be vewy vewy quiet! I'm hunting wabbits...

edit: or should I say, "conigwio"?


Edited by Andrew Fenton (log)

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Tonight I made parmigiana di melanzane, a dish that in spite of its name (and its ubiquity throughout Italy), seems to have its origins in Naples. If there's a better comfort food, I don't know what it is; oozing and wonderful, with the richness of the mozzarella balanced by the acid of the tomato sauce.

I followed the recipe in Gosetti della Salda's book (with the modification that I brushed the eggplant with oil and baked it, rather than fry the slices). Both she and Boni call for slices of hard-boiled egg to be added to the dish. That seemed weird to me, but I went ahead and tried it, to discover that... yeah, it's a little weird. Maybe it's just because it's not like the parmigiana I'm used to, but the egg didn't really do much for me.

Oh, message for the Doc: that's some nice lookin' spaghetti! I was looking at another Campanian cookbook which had a recipe for a similar cherry tomato dish, called spaghetti alla "chiummenzana"; evidently that's what pomodorini are called in Naples.

edit: Here's a photo of a plate of eggplant. I think docsconz and I have the same dinnerware:

gallery_7432_3413_141608.jpg


Edited by Andrew Fenton (log)

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Tonight I made parmigiana di melanzane, a dish that in spite of its name (and its ubiquity throughout Italy),  seems to have its origins in Naples.  If there's a better comfort food, I don't know what it is; oozing and wonderful, with the richness of the mozzarella balanced by the acid of the tomato sauce.

I followed the recipe in Gosetti della Salda's book (with the modification that I brushed the eggplant with oil and baked it, rather than fry the slices).  Both she and Boni call for slices of hard-boiled egg to be added to the dish.  That seemed weird to me, but I went ahead and tried it, to discover that... yeah, it's a little weird.  Maybe it's just because it's not like the parmigiana I'm used to, but the egg didn't really do much for me. 

Oh, message for the Doc: that's some nice lookin' spaghetti!  I was looking at another Campanian cookbook which had a recipe for a similar cherry tomato dish, called spaghetti alla "chiummenzana"; evidently that's what pomodorini are called in Naples.

edit: Here's a photo of a plate of eggplant.  I think docsconz and I have the same dinnerware:

gallery_7432_3413_141608.jpg

While eggplant is not my favorite dish, Andrew, yours looks pretty good too.

What book were you using for the "Chiummenzana"? I don't ever recall hearing that word in Naples or environs for cherry tomatoes, though my experience and knowledge is far from exhaustive. The terms I am familiar with are either pomodorini or piennolini.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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What book were you using for the "Chiummenzana"? I don't ever recall hearing that word in Naples or environs for cherry tomatoes, though my experience and knowledge is far from exhaustive. The terms I am familiar with are either pomodorini or piennolini.

The cookbook is a cheapie (E 3.99), published by Bonechi, and entitledLa Cucina di Campania. I'd never heard the word before running into it in this book, though googling pulls up over 100 hits, and also suggests that it's a Caprese dish.

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