Welcome to my world - a blend of passion, taste, and old-world traditions.

Benvenuti nel mio mondo - un mischio di passione, gusto e vecchie tradizioni.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

BAKED FRESH COD

If you're someone who is afraid of cooking fish at home, fresh cod is the fish for you.  It's easy to make and quick to cook.

Ingredients

  • 3 or 4 

    cod filets

  • Salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 cup

    extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 

    garlic cloves, chopped

  • Freshly chopped parsley

  • 1 fresh peperoncino


                            

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375° and pat cod filets with a paper towel until dry. Season all over with salt and pepper. 
  2. Place the cod pieces into a baking dish.  Add the olive oil and toss to coat the pieces of cod.
  3. Add the chopped garlic, parsley and peperoncino.
  4. Bake until fish flakes easily with a fork, 30 to 40 minutes depending on thickness of the cod filets.
  5. If you like a little crispness like we do, place the baking pan under the broiler for a minute.


 

Saturday, November 26, 2022

The Catch of The Day ... and It's Not Fish


Chuckers (Pernice)
It's small game birds - chuckers (partridges) or Pernice.

Our family’s passion for small game hunting is generational. My husband was taught by his father and other hunters of his generation. He then passed on his passion to our son and our grandson. Last weekend, my husband, son and grandson went hunting. They caught four chuckers and one pheasant.  As usual, they enjoy the outing but they leave the cleaning and cooking up to me.
So here we go!   

The freshly shot chuckers were hung upside down in our garage for two days to drain the blood.  After two days, they needed to be cleaned.


Chuckers  may be dry plucked or dipped in scalding water and wet plucked. Holding the bird upside down by its legs, I dipped it in scalding water for few moments. I placed the bird directly over the basement sink and started plucking the feathers against the grain using short plucking movements so as not to tear the skin.

 Finally, I briefly held the bird over the flame of a gas burner to remove fine hair.




Once finished plucking, with kitchen scissors, I cut off the head and bottom part of the legs. By sticking my fingers in the neck opening, I was able to remove the windpipe and gullet. From the bottom opening, I was able to remove all innards. I kept the livers and gizzards.
After washing the birds thoroughly with cold running water, I placed them in a bath of cold water and salt for few hours.

                                     


Braised Chuckers with Olives
2 chuckers (pernice) cut in pieces
1/4 lb. of pancetta (diced)
4 cloves of garlic (sliced)
2 bay leaves
1 small lemon juice
Sprigs of fresh rosemary and salvia  (sage)
1/2 cup white wine
4 tablespoons of olive oil
Salt and pepper
Some cured black olives (optional)


Procedure

Place bird pieces in a bowl. 
Add the juice of lemon, sprigs of rosemary,
salvia, bay leaves and half of the garlic.
Marinate for 3 hours or overnight.

In a cast iron pot or large frying pan, add the olive oil, garlic and pancetta.  Saute' until golden.  Drain chucker pieces, salt and pepper, and add to the pan. Brown pieces over medium heat.  Add white wine.  After few minutes, cover the pan and simmer gently for an hour, turning pieces occasionally.  Add additional wine if necessary. When tender, remove cover and brown briefly over medium heat.  Add olives and serve.

Pheasant alla caciatore (hunter style)

Braised chuckers with side dish of flat green beans with a light tomato sauce
Soffritto di Pernice



http://italianwinereview.blogspot.com/2012/03/garantito-igp-for-politically-incorrect.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/06/us/fostering-pheasants-to-keep-a-tradition-alive.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur&bicmp=AD&bicmlukp=WT.mc_id&bicmst=1409232722000&bicmet=1419773522000




















Friday, November 4, 2022

Turkey with Stuffing

To begin, I brine the turkey the day before by immersing it in salted water in order to add flavor and tenderness.

Then I pat dry the turkey with paper towels and place it in the refrigerator for few hours to dry out the skin.

Now it's time to do the STUFFING.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup olive oil

1 1/2 of sausage meat

1 cup of chopped onions

1 1/2 cup of chopped celery

2 eggs

1 cup grated cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano)

                                   

Procedure:

In a saucepan, cook the onion in olive oil until soft.

Add the sausage meat and cook it for 20 to 30 minutes.

Add chopped celery and continue to cook it for 30 minutes.

Turn off the heat, add beaten eggs with cheese.

  1.                              

  2. Once the stuffing is cold, add salt and pepper in the cavity of the turkey and stuff it.

  3.                            

  4. Truss the turkey by tying the legs and wings together so it remains in a compact package while cooking.

  5. When ready to cook the turkey allow it to come to room temperature.  Rub it all around with salt and pepper.

  6. Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Place the turkey, breast side up on a roasting rack set inside the roasting pan.  Add fresh rosemary and carrots at the bottom of the pan.

  7.                           

  8. Transfer to the oven for 30 minutes. Baste the turkey to add flavor and moisture during the cooking. Cover the breast with aluminum foil. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue roasting for 3 hours more or until the thermometer reaches 165 degrees.  Brush the turkey few times with pan drippings during the last hour of roasting.


  9. Transfer turkey to a cutting board to rest for 30 minutes or more before carving.

  10. I hope you find my details useful and wish you all a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!














Sunday, October 16, 2022

ARROSTICINI ABRUZZESI MADE AT HOME

As we all know, Arrosticini (lamb skewers) are of one of Abruzzo's famous dishes.  Today, they are known around the world.  Even though, they are available in many restaurants, the best arrosticini are the ones hand made at home.

Ingredients:

2 lbs. of lamb leg cut into 1" cubes

1 sprig of rosemary

olive oil

salt and black pepper

Procedure:

To prepare the arrosticini, cut the meat into small cubes of about 1 inch. 

Place the lamb in a bowl with rosemary and olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

                                     


Thread the lamb cubes onto wooden skewers (usually 10 to 12 inches long) neatly making sure that the fat and meat is evenly distributed.

Raw arrosticini and lamb chops ready for the grill

       The arrosticini are traditionally cooked on a special grill called a fornacella, which is a thin, long grill resting on four feet. One end of the skewer has to be left empty so that it can remain off the coals and be used to turn the arrosticini

Fornacella

Not having a fornacella, we cook the skewers over our outdoor fire pit.  The coals are prepared beforehand in order to distribute the heat inside very well. 

Cooked the skewers on the hot grill for 15-20 minutes by turning them to cook well on all sides.




Once cooked, slide the hot cubes of meat into the mouth and enjoy taste and tradition.






Friday, August 12, 2022

GRILLED CORN ON THE COB IN HUSK


There's nothing like grilled corn on the cob during the summer!

I always buy freshest cobs at the farmer's market.  The husks are nice and green and are wrapped snuggly around the corn on the cob.



Corn on the cob at the farmer's market

  1. Procedure:
  2. Place the corn in a large tub of water and soak them for at least 30 minutes. Then, shake off as much water as possible from the corn.

  1. Preheat the grill to 350ºF.  Cook the corn in the husks for about 30 minutes and turn them frequently so they don’t burn.  Let cool for 5 minutes before removing the husk.
  2.  

They come out so juicy and with a hint of char.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

ZUCCHINI CAKE (TORTA DOLCE DI ZUCCHINE)

This zucchini cake recipe has the perfect, moist, cinnamon flavor and is basically the best.

The recipe uses both brown sugar and granulated sugar.  Not only do I like the combination for the flavor the brown sugar gives, but the brown sugar helps keep the zucchini cake soft.  



INGREDIENTS

 ½ cup/100 grams unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan

3 ½ cups/400 grams all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder

1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda

 ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (or ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg)

4 large eggs

 ¾ cup/160 grams light brown sugar

 ¾ cup/150 grams sugar

 ¾ cup/180 milliliters canola oil

1 ½ pounds zucchini, unpeeled and grated on a box grater (about 3 medium zucchini)

                 

PREPARATION

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease the pan with softened butter.

 Melt butter in a small pot over medium heat. Cook, swirling occasionally.

 Whisk together flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, baking soda and nutmeg in a large bowl.

Whisk together eggs, light brown sugar, sugar and canola oil in a medium bowl until no lumps remain and eggs are well blended.

 Using your hands, squeeze out as much water as possible from the zucchini. Add zucchini and melted butter to the egg mixture, whisking to blend.

 Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients. Use a spatula to slowly incorporate.

 Place batter in pan, smoothing the top and place in oven. Bake until cake is golden brown on top and springs back lightly when pressed at the top, 50 to 60 minutes.

Let cool completely on a wire rack before removing from the pan.



Friday, July 22, 2022

CLAM CHOWDER with FRESH CLAMS



 

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 1/2 celery stalks, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

Pinch crushed red pepper

1/4 cup tomato paste

2 potatoes, diced

5 cups clam juice obtained from fresh clams 

One can whole, peeled tomatoes (with liquid), chopped

1-1/2 cups chopped clams

1 tablespoon salt (if needed)

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped parsley for garnish


---------------------------------

I have been given 20 medium to large clams.


First “purge” the clams, to remove any sand that might be inside of them.  Place them in a pot with water and some salt.  Let them sit for 30 minutes and repeat again.

When ready to make the chowder, begin by steaming the clams.

Place the clams in a large sauce pot and add about a cup of water. 

Place the stock pot on your stove top over medium heat. Cover the pot and let it quickly come up to a boil. The clams need to cook for about 10 minutes, or until the shells begin to pop open.

Once they all open, remove the meat from the shells and save the liquid in the pot.  Chop the clams with scissors.



Directions:


 Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, garlic, and crushed red pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomato and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute more then add the potatoes. 


Pour in the clam juice and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the clams. Cover and bring to a low simmer. Season with pepper to taste. 


Serve in soup bowls and sprinkle with the parsley.