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Kevin72

The Cooking and Cuisine of Campania

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Oh great, I had the butcher cut up my rabbit and I didn't check on how he did it. Now I'm gonna be all self-conscious about my chunks of bat-bunny.

Pontormo, does Rodgers recommend pre-treating (pre-salting, brining) rabbit? I wasn't planning on it, but if it's worthwhile, I'll give it a go.

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Just checked back (I'm cloaked since all I was going to do was read a message), but, yes. Rodgers is always into salting meats, usually dry a day or two in advance.

For this, she asks, instead for brining in rock salt for an hour, room temp. Then rinse each piece under cold water, quickly, but removing ALL kernels of salt (I guess that's why she calls for rock). Drain. Place in new dish and cover with milk for 1 1/4 hour to de-salt further, room temp. Stir a few times to make sure salt's coming off the rabbit. Drain, but you don't have to rinse again.

For some preps, she rec's adding 1 t coarse-cracked black pepper and a couple bruised branches of fresh thyme to the milk. Fried rabbit? Just lift pieces out of milk, remaining soggy.

If you have spare money in your book allowance, Andrew, I'd consider investing at one point. After a girlhood experience in Lyons, and college, she went back to Florence to learn more of her eventual trade. Yes, not Rome, but I am sure she did the sandwich thing. Writes brilliantly and teaches very well, indeed. Book's not for the impatient, but it is more generous with the wisdoms really good cooks pick up than are certain rushed, restaurant-generated counterparts.

ETA after the next two posts by Docsconz & AF: Since I came back to revise a phrase, I will add, yes, John, actually my dinner guest this week lives close to Berkeley and had eaten our chicken at the source. Her family really likes the restaurant, too. P.S. I do intend to cook Neapolitan food shortly myself. Thus the reading about rabbits and thoughts of ragu.


Edited by Pontormo (log)

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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Just checked back (I'm cloaked since all I was going to do was read a message), but, yes.  Rodgers is always into salting meats, usually dry a day or two in advance.

For this, she asks, instead for brining in rock salt for an hour, room temp.  Then rinse each piece under cold water, quickly, but removing ALL kernels of salt (I guess that's why she calls for rock). Drain.  Place in new dish and cover with milk for 1 1/4 hour to de-salt further, room temp.  Stir a few times to make sure salt's coming off the rabbit.  Drain, but you don't have to rinse again.

For some preps, she rec's adding 1 t coarse-cracked black pepper and a couple bruised branches of fresh thyme.  Fried rabbit?  Just lift pieces out of milk, remaining soggy.

If you have spare money in your book allowance, Andrew, I'd consider investing at one point. After a girlhood experience in Lyons, and college, she went back to Florence to learn more of her eventual trade.  Yes, not Rome, but I am sure she did the sandwich thing.  Writes brilliantly and teaches very well, indeed.  Book's not for the impatient, but it is more generous with the wisdoms the really good cooks pick up than the rush-jobs that some restaurant-generated counterparts tend to be.

The restaurant is not to bad, either. :wink:

Hathor, those meatballs look delectable. Consider them modern Campanian :laugh:


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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Thanks for passing that along, P. I will give brining a go. I wonder why she says to rinse in milk? (I also wonder whether brining is as useful in braising as it is in, e.g., roasting. Perhaps because rabbit is like poultry, prone to dry out?)

I'm sure I'll buy the Zuni book one of these days. I've been using Rodgers's roast chicken technique very successfully lately (c.f. the "anti-brining" thread).


Edited by Andrew Fenton (log)

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I made rabbit on my thread last year and the results were dry and tough, which put me off making it again myself. Hathor and others told me it's a different story in Italy, but stateside at least, they breed 'em lean.

As for ragu, I'll let this meal stand in for it. I may make a one meat version this month but I'm having difficulty finding the inspiration for such an understaking.

ETA: Anyone going to cook Genovese this month? I'm not such a fan of heaps of onions myself, so I'm sitting it out.


Edited by Kevin72 (log)

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ETA:  Anyone going to cook Genovese this month?  I'm not such a fan of heaps of onions myself, so I'm sitting it out.

i thought genoa was in liguria. or are you talking about a specific dish and i'm being dense?

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Hee hee, now you've opened the door for a discussion on the dish, so no harm there, bigjas. It's a dish of a cut of beef (or maybe pork?), braised with onions, the onions cooked until golden and collapsing. Number of debates on its origins, but it is cooked in Naples/Campania primarily. The two most common theories are that it was either thought to be a specialty of a chef there who happened to be from Genoa in Liguria, or brought in by Genovese sailors.

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interesting. i totally googled a bunch this afternoon but didn't find that information. when these here innernets don't provide me with the information i need almost immediately, i get confused.

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One,,

two,

Three....

Brisket with onions?  What's not to love?

Nice work, Pontormo. The about.com Italian cuisine site and Cosa Bolla en Pentola, the newsletter compiled by Kyle Phillips is a very good resource.


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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Hmm; you know, I do have a nice pot roast in the freezer... Could be a good dinner for later in the week.

I also have a recipe for "mezzani con salsa genovese", which looks more like a reduced tomato sauce than anything else. I'm not 100% sure of what "mezzani" are, though: it ought to mean "middles"-- are we talking offal here?

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Er, yeah. Looking more closely at the recipe, it's definitely a kind of pasta.

(See, that's why I need to get my Italian into better shape. I can read it okay, but I can't skim it worth a damn...)

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Everything seems too familiar for me to plunge into Campania's great food since I have decided two Ishian rabbits are enough and I just do not have a craving for a very meaty dish...or lasagna with sausages AND meatballs. I don't have the guts to make the chocolate eggplant thing for a dinner of nine tomorrow.

However, I would like to thank John for the description of the spaghetti sciue sciue. The pomodorini from the market were absolutely perfect for the dish. I've made something similar from Hazan that calls for LONG simmering of lots of garlic and basil (c. 25 minutes) with chopped tomatoes. And we've all had the raw version with mozzarella before, I'm sure. This quick sauce with the addition of red chile flakes was a welcome medium between those two. The preparation emphasized the sweetness of this type of tomato.

FYI "alla genovese" according to Fred Plotkin also refers to a pasta sauce that has LOTS of carrot, onion and celery as opposed to the T or two in a number of recipes.

Also, Plotkin describes one meal in Sorrento composed of plate after plate of the city's famous lemons which sounds interesting.

Finally, a reminder, sigh. Our much missed Alberto is from this region. Here's a beautiful entry from Il Forno this past summer inspired by a vacation in Campania. The subject is the market at Gaeta.


Edited by Pontormo (log)

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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ETA:  Anyone going to cook Genovese this month?  I'm not such a fan of heaps of onions myself, so I'm sitting it out.

Yes!


"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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Last easter I asked Kevin about a pie my grandmother (who is from Naples) used to make. I found this on Recipe Gullet and it looked nearly exact. I remember something like Pizza Gen/Jen.

Thanks to Jason for posting it, the pie is amazing! Only real difference from my grandmother's is that she used a pie crust. Next time we will try it that way.

San Felice Easter Pie! Should be called So Good San Felice Eat Anytime Pie!

gallery_39050_2669_68399.jpg

Out of Oven.

gallery_39050_2669_378375.jpg

We couldn't wait to slice but when this gets cold is when its best.

In hindsight, I think we will fill it more too, we were afriad of an explosion reminisent of our cheese foccacia from Liguria experience.

-Mike


-Mike & Andrea

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Last easter I asked Kevin about a pie my grandmother (who is from Naples) used to make.  I found this on Recipe Gullet and it looked nearly exact.  I remember something like Pizza Gen/Jen. 

Short for "San Gennaro"-- that is, the patron saint of Naples?

Anyway, that's a nice looking pizza rustica. My Neapolitan friends make a version with hard-boiled eggs, ham and (I think) olives, baked into a torus. It's really good.

I had less luck with last night's dinner. I wanted to make sciue, sciue last night but couldn't find any acceptable cherry tomatoes; instead, I chopped up some nice yellow tomatoes. With fresh basil, oregano, etc., it was pretty good.

And then, the coniglio. I did brine it, but didn't soak it in milk, a step that seemed overly fussy for me. Brining didn't hurt, and may have helped: I'd asked for a particularly wascally wabbit, which I'm sure ensured I got an especially flavorful lagomorph, tender and not dry.

The mistake was getting lazy and using Batali's online recipe for coniglio all' Ischitana. Not that it's a horrible recipe-- in fact, it's pretty tasty. But he calls for way too much tomato, plus tomato paste, making a very thick, tomatoey sauce. I prefer-- and I think, this is more traditional-- a lighter sauce, with less tomato and no paste. Still, the extra sauce will be good on pasta tonight, I think...

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Short for "San Gennaro"-- that is, the patron saint of Naples?

I didn't know this! It makes perfect sense! Thanks!


-Mike & Andrea

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For the chocolate lovers, this is Caprese. Very moist chocolate cake from Capri: chocolates, eggs, butter and almonds. Very good.

img1310wk6.jpg

I wasn't in the mood for a fancy presentation, so I simply served with a little of vanilla ice cream and some grated chocolate. Just to show the inside

img1314gl4.jpg


Edited by Franci (log)

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As threatened, my pizzas from the weekend:

I managed to track down the canned cherry tomatoes I plugged earlier and now, of course, they weren't as tart as I remembered.

These are my stock three pizzas I make almost every time:

Started with a pizza Margherita:

gallery_19696_582_111520.jpg

This pizza stuck to the board when I went to slide it in, so when I did the jerking motion to get it into the oven, the dough stayed while the sauce and cheese oozed onto the stone. Some quick moving still didn't spare its visual appeal.

Next was prosciutto and mushroom, topped with arugula right out of the oven:

gallery_19696_582_67201.jpg

Yeah, it was an arugula/radicchio mix, so I wasn't as meticulous as I thought in getting the radicchio out. Normally, pizzas made this way are hit with the prosciutto out of the oven; they're hot enough to wilt it right in, but since my oven doesn't get hot enough, and my wife isn't such a fan of "raw" prosciutto (I know, I know), I put it on and bake it in with the pizza. The result: her favorite pizza of the night!

Finally, a sausage and roasted pepper pizza:

gallery_19696_582_68522.jpg

Edit: double posted a pic.


Edited by Kevin72 (log)

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Sunday night's meal.

Ever since reading about paccheri in Schwartz's book, I've been wanting to make them. Their name, he says, is reflective of the sound they make when they cook: they are very large tubes and so they flop about in the boiling water, making the "pac, pac, pac" sound.

gallery_19696_582_66283.jpg

I made a contorno of beans, stained with tomato sauce, and mussels to top them:

gallery_19696_582_40100.jpg

Very nourishing and comforting food and a nice transition into autumn fare, if I do say so myself.

For the main, "frito misto" or I guess, "frito due" with shrimp and calamari, followed by salad:

gallery_19696_582_97413.jpg

Probably not Campanian, but one of Mario Batali's fry mixes that he endorses is cornstarch and flour, which I'm really getting into alot lately. It makes for a perfectly crisp, but light, coating and they stay crisp for a long time out of the oil.

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Probably not Campanian, but one of Mario Batali's fry mixes that he endorses is cornstarch and flour, which I'm really getting into alot lately.  It makes for a perfectly crisp, but light, coating and they stay crisp for a long time out of the oil.

definitely not campanian, but you know what makes great fry? wondra.

rice flour makes a nice crisp coating too.

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