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I love pasta and eat it several times a week.
I love cheese and eat it when I can find it here. When I was a kid, the local grocer called us the Cheese Family as we ate so much.
But I loathe macaroni cheese as it is known where I'm from. Maybe just too many stodgy, bad experiences in the past. Or maybe it's just horrible. My brother loved it though and when he moved to Spain insisted on the family sending him regular packs of his favourite brand of British macaroni.
What I did like was what my mother called 'Macaroni Mish-Mash', which was basically cooked macaroni fried with bacon, onions and tomatoes plus any leftovers, however inappropriate. Never mushrooms.
I hadn't thought about that dish in decades until this topic disinterred it from the ravages of my memory. Might have to make it. I will include mushrooms.
Makes 40 cookies, 2 loaves.
50-60 g very aromatic olive oil
80 g honey
120 to 150 g sugar (I use 120 because I like it only gently sweet)
2 teaspoons of fine lemon zest, from apx 1 lemon
230 g flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
75 g lightly toasted peeled pistachios
50 g lightly toasted almonds (you can replace some with pine nuts)
Optional: a little rosemary or anise seed
Optional: more olive oil for brushing
Heat oven to 170 deg C.
In mixer (or by hand), mix oil, honey, sugar, lemon, egg and if desired, the optional spices - until uniform.
Separately mix together the flour, salt and baking powder.
Add flour mixture to mixer bowel with liquids and fold until uniform. Dough will be sticky and quite stiff. Don't knead or over mix.
Add nuts and fold until well dispersed.
On a parchment lined baking tray, create two even loaves of dough.
With moist hands, shape each to be rectangular and somewhat flat - apx 2cm heigh, 6cm wide and 25cm long.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes until golden and baked throughout, yet somewhat soft and sliceable. Rotate pan if needed for even baking.
Remove from tray and let chill slightly or completely.
Using a sharp serrated knife, gently slice to thin 1/2 cm thick cookies. Each loaf should yield 20 slices.
Lay slices on tray and bake for 10 minutes. Flip and bake for another 10-15 minutes until complelty dry and lightly golden.
Brush with extra olive oil, if desired. This will and more olive flavor.
Let chill completely before removing from tray.
Cookies keep well in a closed container and are best served with desert wines or herbal tea.
My own recipe, though influenced by many sources.
Santucci's Practical Torrone (Christmas Nougat)
180g honey (½ cup)
100g egg whites (2 eggs)
350g sugar (1 ½ cups)
50g water (2 tablespoons)
450g (1 pound) roasted nuts
5-10 drops orange oil
2 sheets (8 ½” x 11”) Ostia (aka wafer, edible paper)
Combine honey, water, and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Skim foam (if any is seen) off the honey when it reaches the boil.
In a stand mixer, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
Cook the honey mixture to 280° F (137° C). Remove from the heat. With the mixer on high speed, slowly pour the mixture into the egg whites. Continue to whisk until volume has increased by about half and the mixture just starts to lose gloss – only about 5 minutes.
Reduce the mixer speed and add the orange oil and nuts. When they are thoroughly mixed in, spread the resulting nougat over a sheet of Ostia. Try to cover the sheet as evenly as possible- the nougat is sticky and will make things difficult. When it is evenly covered, top with the other sheet of Ostia.
Leave to cool and crystallize completely in the open air before cutting, preferably overnight.
Note: I call this 'practical' Torrone because the recipe is made for home confectioners of reasonable skill to be able to easily understand what and how much to buy and what to do with it. The ingredient portions are biased for my country, the USA, but I saw no point in using English ounces for the weight-based version – those of us who prefer weight generally prefer it in grams.
Tips and tricks:
1.Keep nuts in a warm oven ( about 150° F / 65° C ) until you add them. Adding room temperature or colder nuts will reduce working time.
2.Getting the nougat spread between sheets of Ostia is the trickiest part of the process. I use buttered caramel rulers on the outside edges of the bottom sheet, pour and press nougat in place, and then press the top layer on with an offset spatula. If you don't have caramel rulers, try spreading the nougat with an offset spatula, topping with the other sheet, and rolling with a pin to smooth. I advise against trying to cast the slab in any kind of fixed side pan, as the stickiness will make it very difficult to remove.
3.Score the top layer of Ostia before cutting through. Once scored, a straight down cut with a Chef's knife works well. Cut into six 8 1/2” long bars and wrap in parchment or waxed paper to store, then cut into smaller rectangles to serve.
4.There are many possible alternate flavorings. 1-10 Lemon oil or 1 t. (5 ml) vanilla or almond extract work well and are traditional flavors. Candied orange peel and/or orange zest can also be added.
5.I use half pistachio and half almonds as the nuts. Hazelnuts (filberts) are also traditional. Any common nut should work.
6.Ostia is available from confectionery suppliers. I get 8-1/2” x 11” sheets from www.sugarcraft.com under the name 'wafer paper'.
This recipe is copyright 2009 by Patrick J. Santucci. Contact the author on eGullet under the username psantucc.
By Paul Bacino
1 C Northern Beans soaked over-night in
4-6C Water or Chxn Stock
1/2 t Cayenne Pepper
1//2 t Granulated garlic
1 twig Dried oregano-- dried from last yr
pinch of salt ( yes ) and few pepper corns
in the Morning; All into the Slow Cooker for 5 hrs. ( Crock Pot )
I removed half the liquor and added chicken stock here back in . to this I added diced cooked Italian sausage about 1 whole .. simmer in a pot.. I transferred to... then add 1/2 head of shopped chicory ( curly endive ) finish cooking 15 mins
Most measurements again are from feel
ITALIAN CREAM CAKE
1/2 c BUTTER (RT)
1/2 c SHORTENING
2 c SUGAR
5 EGGS, SEPARATED
2 c AP FLOUR
1 tsp BS
1 c BUTTERMILK
5-1/2 tsp VANILLA
3-1/2 oz CAN GRATED COCONUT
1 c CHOPPED PECANS
Cream Cheese Frosting
1/4 c BUTTER (RT)
8 oz CREAM CHEESE (RT)
2 c SIFTED XXX SUGAR
1 tsp VANILLA
1/2 CHOPPED PECANS
1/2 c GRATED COCONUT
Cream butter and shortening. Add sugar, beating til smooth. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flour and soda. Add alternately with buttermilk. Stir in vanilla. Add coconut and pecans. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Bake in 3 greased and flour 9-inch cake pans at 350* for 20 to 25 mins, or until done. Cool and frost with CREAM CHEESE FROSTING.
Cream butter and cream cheese. Add sugar, mixing well. Add vanilla. Spread between layers and on top of cake. Sprinkle with pecans and coconut.
Keywords: Dessert, Cake
( RG1053 )
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