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.

Sunday, December 31, 2023

Sfogliatelle Casalesi

You say sfogliatella, you say Naples. But no, because of the glorious sweet from Campania, there is also a version Abruzzese, or rather Casalese.



Ingredients for 20-24 sfogliatelle

For the dough:

1 lb. flour
2 tablespoons sugar
3 eggs 
½ cup white wine
1/2 cup melted lard (Crisco)

Filling: Crema pasticcera


In addition:

¾ to 1 cup of melted lard (Crisco) to brush over the dough

Dough:

Pour the sifted flour, sugar, eggs, wine and lard into a bowl.  Mix well until a smooth and elastic paste is obtained, wrap it in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for an hour to rest.

After the hour, flatten the dough as thin as you can*, brush it with lard and fold in half. Brush again with more lard and fold halfway again. Brush the dough with lard and roll for the last time. Wrap the roll in plastic wrap and place it in the freezer for an hour.



*Use a rolling pin to flatten dough. 

Have filling ready.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Remove the roll of pasta from the fridge, cut it into thin slices about 1 inch, flatten slices with the roller pin and place a teaspoon of filling, fold in half and seal the edges well.



Bake for about 10-15 minutes, remove from oven and cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar.




Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Frittatina per Brodo Natalizio



A Natale non manca mai sul nostro tavolo come primo piatto, il classico brodo con cardone, polpettine e frittatina tagliata a dadini.



                                  

Ingredienti per frittatina 

2 uova 
50 gr. di formaggio
20 gr. di farina
Prezzemolo tritato finalmente
Olio per friggere in padella


Sbattere le uova con una forchetta in una ciotola, aggiungendo un pizzico di sale, farina, formaggio e del prezzemolo tritato. Volendo anche un pizzico di pepe nero. Sbattiamo ancora un po, affinché gli ingredienti si uniscano per bene.


Prendete un cucchiaio alla volta e versatelo nell'olio per qualche minuto.


Una volta raffreddata, tagliare la frittatina a cubettini.




Aggiungere al brodo circa 30 minuti prima di servire.
Buon pranzo natalizio!



 

Saturday, June 17, 2023

STUFFED BABY ARTICHOKES

 I love baby artichokes because with just a little trimming you can eat the whole thing. Unlike fully mature artichokes, baby artichokes haven’t developed the fuzzy portion of the choke in the center. Baby artichokes are a seasonal size and availability does vary throughout the year, but the month of May is the peak volume month for this size artichoke.




Ingredients

9 or 10 baby artichokes
1/2 cup olive oil + 2 tablespoons for sauteing artichokes
2 cups of water
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
Sprig of parsley
1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes (optional)
1 tablespoon red pepper conserve or tomato paste

Stuffing
2 cups day-old bread crumbs
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
2 cloves chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Start by rinsing and brushing off the baby artichokes under cold water.
















Then, snap off the outer layer of petals of the baby artichoke until you reach the pale, yellow-green layer of petals. With a sharp kitchen knife, trim off the stem and remove the rest of the dark green stem that can cause a bitter taste if not removed.  Cut about one half inch off the top of the baby artichoke.  Place artichokes in water with some lemon juice to prevent them from darkening.






Prepare stuffing by combining all ingredients and mix well. 

Drain artichokes and stuff them.














Take a small skillet, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.  Briefly sauté artichokes face down until the stuffing gets golden, then remove.




In a large pot, add 2 cups of water, 1/2 cup olive oil, 3 cloves of garlic, salt, black pepper, teaspoon of hot pepper flakes (optional), and 1 tablespoon of pepper conserve (alternate tomato paste).  Bring ingredients to a boil, add the stuffed artichokes, cover and simmer for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.  Taste for tenderness of outer leaves. 



Once the outer leaves are tender, ready to eat. 





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.