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Kevin72

The Cooking and Cuisine of Campania

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Broken record here when it comes to comparisons: brisket.

One of the reasons I cooked the dish the night before was practical. I didn't anticipate it would take so long for onions to disintegrate and I was making quiche at the same time to be eaten as soon as it got out of the oven. Yours, Andrew, should not take so long. May have been my fresh onions, who knows? However, some Neapolitans :unsure: will tell you Genovese should be cooked for 4-5 hours vs. the 2 1/2 specified in my recipe. Just make sure you have a thick sauce with deepened color.

The second reason I spread the cooking over the course of two days is taste. Such dishes always improve after being reheated. I've had a friend's brisket (recipe from a former Gourmet editor's family) at least three times. It's always great. It always is done in stages over a period of at least two days.

This morning, by the way, I stuck my finger in the jar of onion goo, and yup, even better the next day.

If only the two of you eat the Genovese, there should be enough to discover whether the second day's servings are superior.


Edited by Pontormo (log)

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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Yeah, particularly with beef braises, the longer the better. When I made the brasato al vino rosso from Piemonte last winter, that bad boy was in the oven at the lowest possible temp for 24 hours and it was the best version I'd ever made. Not even remotely dry, my normal issue with beef braises.

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I've been lurking on these threads for months now, and kept thinking I'd join you guys someday. I made my first attempt with this Batali dish

Spaghetti con Sugo di Peperoni http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/re...6_10656,00.html from his Home Cooking in Napoli episode.

You cook down tons of red and yellow peppers until soft, add tomato paste and red wine and simmer some more until you've achieved something ragu-like, then toss with pasta. This was gorgeous while cooking and I wish I had taken a picture, but the camera had gone with my sweetheart to the Mets game. (OT yay for clinching!) By the time it is done, its muddy and homely looking - not ready for its closeup, I'm afraid. But it was delicious - slightly sweet with a nice hidden kick. I slightly more than doubled the recipe, put it in the fridge overnight and then brought it back to a simmer before tossing with the pasta for a casual dinner with a group of friends. Definitely better the second day, and very easy.

The rest of the meal wasn't Campanian - a salad with apples and candied pecans, an eggplant-olive tapanade with toast, and caprese salad with beautiful buffalo-milk mozzarella and purple basil. Homemade apple pie with ginger ice cream for dessert. (I had vegetarians in the crowd, thus the meatless meal).

So, I'll have to attempt to join you again with a meal entirely from the region and with pictures. But I have been enjoying everything you've made!


The Kitchn

Nina Callaway

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Welcome Nina, great effort!  I loved that ep of MM!

And the caprese salad in there is totally Campanian.

Oh good! I thought caprese salad was Tuscan...


The Kitchn

Nina Callaway

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Oh good! I thought caprese salad was Tuscan...

Welcome, Nina! And no siree: caprese is as Campanian as Campanian can be; after all, it gets its name from the island of Capri.

This morning, by the way, I stuck my finger in the jar of onion goo, and yup, even better the next day. 

Pontormo, I have this image of you with your onion goo:

gallery_7432_3413_37333.jpg

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Oh good! I thought caprese salad was Tuscan...

Welcome, Nina! And no siree: caprese is as Campanian as Campanian can be; after all, it gets its name from the island of Capri.

Aha, I had thought it got its name from the town of Caprese, aka home of Michelangelo. Clearly I have much to learn.


The Kitchn

Nina Callaway

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yeah, I should also say that it's become pretty ubiquitous in Italy; fresh mozzarella is available in pretty much any Italian city of any size. In my neighborhood in Rome, there were two stores within a couple blocks of me that each got daily shipments. If I remember correctly, one had the northern kind of mozzarella, and the other the southern.

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one had the northern kind of mozzarella, and the other the southern.

What is a northern mozzarella

:laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh: , sorry Andrew

North of the Bay of Naples (say, Cuma); as opposed to south of it (e.g., Paestum).

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one had the northern kind of mozzarella, and the other the southern.

What is a northern mozzarella

:laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh: , sorry Andrew

There are two area of mozzarella production in Campania. One north of Naples is the "Caserta" region, with the major production towns of Aversa and Mondragone, while the other is in the Cilento region, south of Salerno (Battipaglia included)

Changing subject, here is a picture I have received from a pizzeria in Birmingham -Alabama for which I have worked as a Dough Consultant. It is a Marinara with fresh Oregano

gallery_24289_683_32440.jpg

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Once again I was inspired by Kevin's crazy year of Italian cooking. We had Gnocchi alla Sorrentina tonight. In my never-ending quest to make light-as-a-feather gnocchi, my husband and I have found them to be a tad "too delicate" lately. So I added extra flour today and a bit of egg too, in an attempt to make them hardy enough to stand up to being baked. It worked. They stood up great but were still light. Delicious dish!

Gnocchi alla Sorrentina - spicy tomato sauce, fresh mozarella, basil, pecorino romano

gallery_41870_2503_33927.jpg

I must say I am really loving this region. This is a wonderful way to aquaint myself with the various cuisines of Italy. I look forward to continuing in the new year.

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Nice gnocchi, Shaya! How sweet to accommodate so!

Pontormo, I have this image of you with your onion goo:

gallery_7432_3413_37333.jpg

Bifurcate and redistribute some of the belly fat. Add opposable thumbs and pants, and yes, mi chiamo Pu.

Actually played Pooh in Girl Scout camp one year. Still remember the

"What shall we do about poor little Tigger?

If he never eats nuthin he'll never get bigger..."

speech.

* * *

As for the burrata flown in from Campania this very morning: :smile:

Ricotta in the center :wub:

The milk of the bufali is just different over there. The grass they eat. The air.

Can you tell how much Brunella I drank, too?

ETA: Opposable thumbs noted. Okay, add fingers. And shouldn't that read <<CIPOLLE>>>?


Edited by Pontormo (log)

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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Pontormo-

That Genovese short essay is mouthwatering to say the least. I am sure like Kevin said, the whole neighborhood envied your family that week.

That almost makes me forgive you for the Baba comment! Yeast cakes soaked in rum syrup and eaten with copious amounts of whipped cream are heavenly. And there you go bashing this traditional French...er...I mean Italian dessert. Actually up until reading about them in Naples at Table, I had no idea that those Babas (and Savarins) I've made are actually common in Italy. Now, I'm craving Baba Au Rum, I also want to make that cone shaped ricotta filled pastry (forgot the name) and with the new baby I am not sure I can find time for both....decisions decisions. Someone HAS to redeem the bashed Baba and post a picture of it on this thread though.


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

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Pontormo-

And there you go bashing this traditional French...er...I mean Italian dessert. Actually up until reading about them in Naples at Table, I had no idea that those Babas (and Savarins) I've made are actually common in Italy.

It is a neapolitan dessert (not common in italy) which has reached Naples via France from Poland. Howevr in Naples it has found a new life, changing methodology, shape etc, and now is a completely different dessert.

The texture and flovour is unique

here are some pictures that do not really show this due to the flash reflecting on the shiny crumb

gallery_24289_2821_17812.jpg

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Isn't it also sometimes soaked in limoncello?

The traditional is with Rhum... In the last 10 years the limoncello version have appeared. firstly it was a ring mould, filled with neapolitan pastry cream and soaked in limoncello. now they even sell min-baba, in jars soaked in limoncello...

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I put the genovese in the oven (200 degrees) last night at 10:30 or thereabouts. Woke up (stupid cat yelling) at 5 AM and decided to check on it. The onions were still pretty pale, and the meat too firm; I raised the temperature to 250 and went back to bed.

Just checked on it again: the onions are golden and soft, but nowhere near the goo I was hoping for. I put the whole shebang into the fridge; I'll take it out again tomorrow afternoon and cook it for another couple of hours (maybe with the meat removed, if it's cooked enough).

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Finish on stove top with cover off, or pushed slightly aside. I speeded up process by turning up the heat up and too much would have lept out of the pot were there no lid. The meat seemed to benefit from being cooked forever.


"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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For a quick Firday dinner I prepared farfalle with tuna sauce based on another Naples at Table recipe. Tuna and pasta combo is probably my wife's favorite weeknight quick pasta dish usually with the addition of some frozen spinach. This one had good quality canned tuna in olive oil (I use Genova), a little garlic, chopped parsley, tomatoes and of course a good pinch of chili flakes.

gallery_5404_94_262534.jpg

For Saturday, my wife's aunt had stopped by and dropped off two very nice veal chops! So, I scrapped the lemon chicken I had in mind and decided to make something else from Campania with them but I had no idea what. Naples at Table had nothing, so I decided to prepare them simply following the recipe for Pork Chops Benvenetto style with the fennel seeds and a wine pan sauce. It worked perfectly well and cooking the chops in a cast iron skillet sure helped.

gallery_5404_94_460705.jpg

Our contorno was also from the same book, grilled yellow squash layered with herbs, garlic and olive oil.

gallery_5404_94_118584.jpg

I cannot believe the Campania month is almost over still with so many things to try.


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

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Saturday night, I made the dish Schwartz describes as a "mess o' beans": chickpeas and beans with sausage. "Ah, franks-n-beans!" My wife said when I served it . . .

gallery_19696_582_29977.jpg

A bout of unexpectedly cooler weather has re-awoken my desire for braised meat, so I did decide to have a "Sunday Ragu" type meal, brasatto al nero from Marlena de Blasi's book on Southern Italian cooking. Pork shoulder is braised with an equal measure of pureed tomatoes and red wine and a battuto of pancetta, garlic, sage, and chilies.

While the pork braised away, filling the house with an incredible smell that had me ravenous, I made myself a little snack, described so vividly my Arthur Schwartz in his cookbook: alice al burro, anchovies and butter: " . . . a piece of toast slathered with sweet cream butter and topped with a single, shimmering anchovy fillet."

gallery_19696_582_557.jpg

Is it heresy that these anchovies were the salt packed kind, not fresh or marinated?

This being the South, all that sauce from the braise is, of course, used to top pasta for the first course:

gallery_19696_582_55025.jpg

My picture taking got pretty sloppy and my camera wasn't cooperating very well, so no appealing pictures of the meat, but then, we've noted how hard it is to get braised meat to look good before.

The contorno was stuffed escarole? chicory? I can never tell the difference.

gallery_19696_582_16572.jpg

Finally, for lunches this week, I made an immense pot of minestra maritata, the famous Campanian soup packed with leafy greens, as my wife requested a vegetable soup. No pics of that, though, either.

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