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ekscrunchy, koreaprincess and franco invite you to join them expanding on the secrets of Italian cuisine

ekscrunchy, koreaprincess and franco invite you to join them expanding on the secrets of Italian cuisine

Old Jun 30th, 2007, 09:27 AM
  #241  
 
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My parents were born in Italy nd my mother did fry them at times in Olive oil Bread crums, garlic and we also had them in Ratatouile(sp?) and in a kind of mousse.
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Old Jun 30th, 2007, 06:24 PM
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EK,
That article made me want to rob a bank, fly to Venice, eat for 5 days, and then rob another bank to supply tips for the waiters (and hire a personal trainer to work off the results.)

I read "ungarnished and served as if they needed nothing else" and felt that someone was calling my name: I love to eat good food simply prepared.

And not one but two mentions of the infamous Treviso!!
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Old Jul 1st, 2007, 02:59 AM
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TC..I guess we could team up. The bank on my block got robbed a few weks ago...they may have their guard down. (The bank robber was nabbed asleep at the park down the street a few hours later). I do not care about frills..just give me the good ingredients well prepared. So it looks as if MB is one of us, then.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2007, 08:47 PM
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OK, I wasn't going to mention it but ...
The Venice restaurants article had a passing mention of "olive oil mashed potatoes", so I hunted down a few versions online and made them for a dinner last night.

They were my favorite course and are my favorite new way to eat potatoes. Although tonight I flattened the leftovers in a skillet, crisped up the outsie and turned them into a delicious version of hash browns that might be perfect with an omelet - or just about anything.

Just yukon golds, olive oil, salt and pepper. And I sauteed some scallions and mashed those in. The olive oil actually gave a nice, nutty flavor I didn't expect.

Also want to recommend RATATOUILLE - the new animated film. My 8-yr old gourmand goddaughter and I enjoyed it equally. (Although she found the "flashback to a childhood meal" scene sad ...)
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Old Jul 2nd, 2007, 09:07 PM
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That sounds like I made several versions - only one, actually.

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Old Jul 4th, 2007, 04:00 PM
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I think I should, though belated, comment on the NYT Venice food article... well, I don't absolutely want to disappoint you, dear virtual dining companions, but I don't share your enthusiasm about the author. Most of what he's writing about has absolutely nothing to do with Venetian food; just the Vecio Fritolin (which is on my to-do list), and Al Covo (which doesn't sound overly appealing to me, though, all the less for the respectable prices they're charging) seem Venetian. As for the rest, what he was eating are cooks' fantasies that would be equally at home in Singapore, New York, Venice, you name it. Eel with blueberries? Sea bass in clam broth? Ok, for me, it sounds interesting, but this is no Italian nor Venetian food; the locals, OMG, they wouldn't even think of sampling it. Tourist stuff, that is...
I've never been at Da Fiore, since both the hype and the prices are putting me off. But I know the two remaining restaurants, both heavily overpriced, as well. Fiaschetteria Toscana is a place that has my respect since it's the only one I know where they're serving gò, one of the two greatest specialties of the laguna and the best soup fish on this planet (the Fiaschetteria is doing a very good risotto with it). THIS one is a Venetian signature dish, generously overlooked by our food writer... Nevertheless, I think the Fiaschetteria would be worth going if their prices were 40 percent of what they actually are.
Santa Marina does really good cooking, but I don't visit - it's nevertheless a typical rip-off restaurant inconceivable without tourism's negative impact on Venetian gastronomy. I vividly recall having lunch there with two friends, one Venetian, one from Vicenza (almost Venetian, thus); the one from Vicenza, a very distinguished person, literally went off at the size of the helpings and had a long and loud dispute with the extremely arrogant owner, and what this owner dared insisting on, and repeating a hundred times, has become a dictum with me ever since: "Quattro ravioli sono la porzione ideale" - four ravioli are the ideal helping. If you ever happen to see a guy sitting in a restaurant and mocking a small helping saying "quattro ravioli sono la porzione ideale", that's me.
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Old Jul 4th, 2007, 08:39 PM
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bookmarking
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Old Jul 4th, 2007, 09:24 PM
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"Quattro ravioli sono la porzione ideale"

Franco, I'll have my ears peeled. (If not my zucchini)
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Old Jul 29th, 2007, 11:48 AM
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grazie mille
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Old Jul 29th, 2007, 01:00 PM
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So where is Venice living, italian food cooking, opera digitizing, and supposedly mysterious, Franco the Homeboy? And what is he cooking right now?
 
Old Jul 29th, 2007, 02:23 PM
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Comfy, F was last on this board on July 4 - perhaps he's been celebrating his independence ...

Or like me, he's eating cold food this summer.
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Old Aug 8th, 2007, 01:03 PM
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Ok...here is a question to all of you Italian food fanatics:

Have any of you cooked from the Silver Spoon cookbook and if so, what do you think of their recipes? (I have taken this book out of the library but am not all that impressed so far...would like to read others' opinions..)
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Old Aug 8th, 2007, 01:07 PM
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BM
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Old Aug 8th, 2007, 01:55 PM
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I do not understand your comment, Ernie.
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Old Aug 8th, 2007, 02:02 PM
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Hi, ek. I can't help with Silver Spoon, but with ernie's comment: he was just bookmarking (bm) our thread.
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Old Aug 8th, 2007, 02:23 PM
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Ciao Franco! We have missed you.

This book has been touted as the one that every Italian bride receives for a wedding present. But the same could be said about a number of American cookbooks that are not very good. I remember one review compared it to Betty Crocker, which is about the LAST book a serious cook would use these days...
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Old Aug 8th, 2007, 09:32 PM
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EK, The Silver Spoon cookbook got a lot of exposure on WNYC during pledge week last year or the year before, whenever it was new. The translator and publisher were both on, etc. I mentioned it in turn to the "serious Italian cooks" among my friends and they apparently ignored me - or are waiting for me to give it to them.

Amazon reader rating is 4.5 stars, by 127 people. Pretty good by any measure. With 2000+ recipes, and at a price under $30, probably not a big risk. Here's an excerpt from a user review on Amazon: "The book is exceptionally well laid out, with color-coded pages by chapter and subchapter, a full index, plus a separate list of recipes. The glossary of culinary terms in the beginning is great, even if the translation is a bit quirky. This is not as definitive a coverage of ITALIAN cooking as the older `Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well' by Pellegrino Artusi, but it is a very, very good source of recipes cooked in Italy today. "
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Old Aug 9th, 2007, 03:56 AM
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Hi from the burning sands of Arabia. Thought I'd drop in and see what's been happening. Very grateful for recent eggplant suggestions ekscrunchy, since they're available all the time here. Specially nice are the glossy baby ones, about 3-4 inches long, that I just halve, brush with olive oil and BBQ then drizzle with olive oil, or sometimes with tahini dressing.

Anyway, wanted to offer that I was given The Silver Spoon last year for my birthday and am a little lukewarm about it. I actually think the problem may be in the translation. Somehow the glamour of the food seems to have disappeared (as it does when you call something "cabbage with onions", for example, when in fact the combination may hold so much more promise than that). The recipes are mostly very simple to prepare, almost deceptively simple, but again (as we have discussed before) you will only get an authentic result if your starting point is great ingredients, particularly produce. The best thing about this book so far, for me, is inspiration for what to do with lesser known vegetables. I notice that I've also bookmarked the minestrone recipe (or one of them), so I must get on and give it a try. I'll report back.
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Old Aug 9th, 2007, 02:08 PM
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The burning sands of Arabia..I love that! TEll us more..!

TC: I read the Amazon reviews but I must say that I do not like the book too much. I only tried one recipe so I am hardly in a position to vote either way but I am curious as to why those Italian food mavens ignored you, Thomas...

There is an interesting section in the back of the book with details of some famous chefs and their restaurants. One of these is Mario Batali (!) and there are a few with Italian restaurants in London (River Cafe is one..I like their books) but most are from the well known temples of cuisine in Italy: Vissani; Gambero Rosso, etc. I no longer have the book from the library and cannot remember the others right now.
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Old Aug 12th, 2007, 03:29 AM
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Ekscrunchy, I'm a New Zealander living in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. I posted a few months back (while you were in Korea, read your trip report by the way, fascinating) lamenting the lack of various Italian ingredients and some produce items here. I am by no means an expert on Italian cuisine, but am an enthusiastic cook and feeling a little isolated and deprived from time to time(no organic foodstore, no decent bread, no floury potatoes, no red wine vinegar, no radiccio etc). But the posts on this thread cheer me up!
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