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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 Mar 21st, 2007, 03:54 PM
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Yes, I guess I should clarify that my post referred to the burrata, not the laptop wrapped in lardo....!
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Old Mar 21st, 2007, 04:35 PM
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Princess, good morning to Korea. I just wanted to ask whether you want me to translate that timballo per la domenica delle palme recipe for you (we talked about it on the "Roman food" thread). If so, let me know in time, translation and typing are going to take a while (it's a long recipe), and domenica delle palme is coming soon!
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Old Mar 21st, 2007, 06:55 PM
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Good day everyone! The princess has arisen. I'm glad my comment on cheese has led us into many discussions about it and types of ham. As some of you know, I'm here in Busan, S.Korea, and I am absolutely food deprived. The restaurants are probably the worst I have ever been to in the world. In fairness, I do enjoy certain Korean dishes, such as galbi, shabu shabu, and spring onion pancakes. I don't, however, do kimchi, though it is placed on every table in every type of restaurant. The people here love italian food, and we convince ourselves that the italian restaurants are really good, but they are not. So, alas, I cook most of the time, and my husband is thrilled about that. We splurge and go to the Westin or the Marriott for $20 fish and chips or a pathetic little excuse for a pizza.
I must go to every supermarket to find the small sections of "western products". As I said, I do get grana padana cheese, prosciutto is never found, but I occasionally find serrano ham, which I like. I even find mascarpone once in awhile and make my famous tiramisu. I had to bring in the marsala wine, though. I return from the states like a "pack mule" each time.
I am absolutely salivating from all this talk of hams and cheeses, etc. Franco, if it would not bee too much trouble, I would love to have that recipe. Thank you. I have a very easy appetizer recipe that I would like to share with everyone. First, I spread pizza dough (homemade or bought) in a rectangular baking sheet. Then I brush with good olive oil, and spread roasted garlic all over with a pastry brush. I top this with sauteed chopped spinach, porcini mushrooms (reconstituted), sprinkle with gorgonzola, then pine nuts. Drizzle with a bit more olive oil and bake in a 450 oven till crisp. Cut into little squares and serve. You could also use some prosciutto strips if you'd like to add meat. Or you could add sun dried tomatoes, but I like it as is. I've had many compliments on this simple dish.
O.K. back to cheese, I must definitely try the various pecorinos when I am in italy.I am waiting to try burratto and for anyone in US there is a company that ships it called COWGIRL CREAMERY. Lastly, a comment on wine. I have used both inexpensive and good wine in cooking and if your other ingredients are the best, I don't really see a difference. E.K., I live three hours from Seoul in Busan. Bring me a NY pizza too! I'm going to read your NY times thread now. More later.
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Old Mar 21st, 2007, 07:19 PM
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Well, well, the Princess has finally arisen from her royal slumber. Just in time for ekscrunchy to repair to the boudoir...more tomorrow...

ps. What is the weather like in your neck of the woods? Do I need a heavy winter coat?

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Old Mar 21st, 2007, 10:31 PM
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Hi everyone. I've been following the various gastronomic threads for a little while, delighted to see this one, and just wanted to thank Koreaprincess in particular for inspiration. I, too, am located in a far flung land with some challenges in the gourmet food department: I'm a New Zealander living in Abu Dhabi in the UAE. I could so relate to KP's lament for various ingredients, in fact just searched the UAE exhaustively for marsala last weekend (found some! at an "unofficial" alcohol outlet, this is after all a muslim country ...) and made my own famous Tiramisu ... Cheese we seem to do quite well for here, and spices, but the prosciutto and pancetta issue is a very real one for me (pork is not sold here except in a secret corner out the back of one supermarket where expats tend to converge).

So I will enjoy many things vicariously through this thread and console myself that, while I may be deprived of some things, I'm living closer to Italy than ever before (5 hours flying time I think) and could almost manage a long weekend every now and then ...
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Old Mar 22nd, 2007, 03:22 AM
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korea,

Thank you for telling us about Cowgirl Creamery. The website was a wealth of information including, best of all, their latest shop opening. It is right here in D.C, just a short ride from my home. I'll be there!!
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Old Mar 22nd, 2007, 04:19 AM
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Princess..that recipe sounds excellent. And easy enough for me! Thank you.

The state of the food situation in Busan does sound a bit grim. The "western foods" section is akin to the skimpy "Oriental" or even worse, "International" section that we have in many regular supermarkets here in US. Thank goodness we have those "ethnic" stores all around and, of course, we have places like Chinatown..

My enthusiasm is not ramping up as usual as far as the foods I will find in Korea next week. But I am determined to sniff out some interesting and delicious places; maybe will post them on the Asia board, where there is a definite lack of information regarding Korea.

Try the grilled cheese, maybe, in one of the versions you can get. It really can be outstanding. In the restaurant in the Bronx they served it as an appetizer with not only the roasted red peppers and black olives, but with arugula at the bottom that had been wilted. In Rome it was just the cheese on the plate but both ways it was more than the sum of its parts..
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Old Mar 22nd, 2007, 04:40 AM
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Princess, nice pizza - I'll try it!

Grilled/melted cheese... here comes one of my favourites! It's a starter, so you don't need huge quantities. Slice a small amount of freshest porcini mushrooms (1 small porcino is enough for two eaters). Put some small cubes of butter into a small baking pan, put the porcini slices on top, salt (only a little!), and finish with a generous amount of mozzarella di bufala slices (one entire mozzarella for the two eaters) and, again, a pinch of salt. Put into a hot oven or under the (electric) grill till golden.
You can variate this dish using mozzarella affumicata (smoked), or also scamorza, affumicata or not. This is from the Marche region, where they use scamorza affumicata for it; personally, I like it best with unsmoked mozzarella, but all the other variants are delicious, as well.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2007, 09:25 AM
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ek, are you out there? I'm just curious whether you've already tried your "garum", and the pasta specialty of Cetara we were talking about on your Rome report thread.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2007, 09:57 AM
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Frranco that cheese dish sounds terrific. What an excellent idea for a light dinner..I am putting it at the top of my list of things to try.. I can sometimes find fresh porcini here in the US, but if not, I guess I would have to do it with portobello mushrooms..

There is also a mushroom sold in Chinatown that looks a lot like porcini; I believe it is called king mushroom..I could give that a try if I cannot find the real thing...

http://www.goldengourmetmushrooms.com/oyster.html


I have not yet used the garum but may do so this weekend. A recent issue of Saveur, a very good food magazine here in the US, mentions garum as one of their "Top 100" favorite things! Could garum be the next panini here in the US?!!

I am now almost out of excuses regarding the packing for my forthcoming trip to Asia..so this may make me a less frequent commentator for the next few days...I am leaving on Monday...

What do you think would be the simplest way to use the garum..with garlic and olive oil on dried long pasta? I am assuming I should leave out cheese, right? I remember reading that cheese is used in a couple of seafood recipes in Italy...could this be true or is it another example of so-called "experts" being out and out wrong?

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Old Mar 23rd, 2007, 10:20 AM
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ek, first of all, enjoy packing, and enjoy your trip. Remember, the garum pasta sauce recipe as they're preparing it in Cetara, where the product is coming from, is already on your Roman food report thread, posted: 02/10/2007, 05:14 pm. It's quite simple, and it doesn't use cheese, may I say "of course"? I think the combination of cheese and fish is most often abominable, and I don't know any exceptions of modern Italian origin; I DO know, however, an ancient Italian/Roman dish that combines mullet, cheese (I use Asiago), chicken liver, and brain of veal, and is GREAT (as almost usual with ancient cuisine, the seemingly terrible recipes are the best) - if anybody wants to have the recipe, just advise.
As for the mushrooms, the one and only replacement for porcini are bay boletus', which won't be much easier to find than porcini, I guess... the "king mushroom" is of the Pleurotus family, which makes it totally inadequate for this recipe. What you could try, though, are dried porcini (of course, soaked in water before using them).
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Old Mar 23rd, 2007, 03:18 PM
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Oh, Franco. I seem to be very forgetful today. Of course I remember that the recipe is on the Rome food thread.

And I promise you, I KNEW that Italians shun fish with cheese, but I thought I had heard of at least one dish where the two (maybe the cheese was ricotta salata..??) were combined..I guess I was mistaken yet again because you have the definitive word here..

The answer about the mushrooms, then, is to wait until one can find porcini, which we can at certain seasons.

I took out a cookbook by Lidia Bastianich, a popular restaurant owner and tv chef here in the US who is of Istrian origin. She is one of the better "commercial" chefs here, in my opinion. Actually, one of the only good ones. And lo and behold, there are two recipes using parsnips in the book: One is for a soup of scallions and parsnips and the other is a potato, parsnip and scallion contorno that she serves alongside poached veal tongue. So if anyone is looking for further parsnip recipes, that is one source.

http://recipes.lidiasitaly.com/Produ...?productID=643
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Old Mar 23rd, 2007, 03:36 PM
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Fish and ricotta salata, that may be possible. I don't know any dish like that, but that's probably true for the majority of local Italian specialties. Anyhow, that combination seems fine.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2007, 03:47 PM
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Hello everyone! I have just spent a grueling day searching for another apartment. It is not fun, especially when so much is "lost in translation". Finding an apartment with an oven is not easy, though I am proud to say I have produced some delectable things using my tiny counter top oven. The Koreans are into building massive apartment buildings and giving them elegant names with castle and royalty and things like that in the titles. We have selected a place in a huge new building called "Poseidon", which should be quite an adventure, as hardly anyone else lives in this huge place. The long hallways are deserted and the building is not officially open, and so it will be like "The Shining" I'm afraid.
By the way e.k., the weather just got warmer yesterday and today it's pouring rain. I would suggest a raincoat and do layering, because they still keep buildings extremely hot inside right now. The trees are just starting to blossom, so it's pretty. Have you been to Korea before? What is your brother doing here?
O.K. Back to food: Franco, I can't wait to try your recipe. It's simple and delicious. I have a "stash" of dried porcini here with me and I use them often. And we can get bufalo mozzarella here too. Arabianjedi, I think we're both going through the same thing. However, you are so much closer to Europe and thus, very fortunate!
When I go to Italy in a few weeks, I am going half way around the world to get there.
I was chuckling when someone mentioned fish and cheese in Italy! My mother and I were sitting at a lovely little restaurant in La Spezia and ordered pasta vongole. The waiter absolutely refused to bring us grated cheese! Fortunately, it was so delicious that the cheese was completely unnecessary!
Favorite food memories:
Sitting in a house outside of Rome, which was converted into a restaurant(I wish I could remember the name) and eating the most wonderful seafood risotto I've ever tasted in my life.
Standing outside a small bakery in Positano, watching the sunrise and eating a warm sfogliatella pastry fresh out of the oven, crisp and creamy, wonderful!
Franco,the mullet,brain of veal dish sounds interesting. Perhaps some chianti and fava beans?
e.k., good luck finding some good restaurants in Seoul. Please let me know if you do! kp
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Old Mar 23rd, 2007, 04:40 PM
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Ok, here is one of the showcases of ancient Roman cooking: patella tirotaricha, fish-cheese-casserole. The day before, prepare one of the ingredients: mulsum, honey wine. Heat white wine till warm, don't cook!! Dissolve honey in the warm wine (0.4 lb. of honey on a bottle of wine, 0.75 liters). Store in the fridge, it's ancient Rome's most popular appetizer (and you'll need it for the recipe, too).
Now for the recipe itself: fry a mullet in olive oil, with salt. Bone, mash the pulp with a fork. Cook one brain in (salted) water, mash. Fry two chicken livers in olive oil, chop. Cut a piece of Asiago cheese (or a similar cheese, about 0.5 lb) in cubes. Boil two small eggs, chop. Stir together all the ingredients, put in a baking dish. Pour in some olive oil, some white wine and some mulsum (just enough of each to flavour the dish, but certainly not more than the mixture can absorb, don't fluidize). Addpepper, origano, lovage (the most important herb in ancient Roman cuisine), rue (another favourite herb of the Romans), cumin and as many raw eggs as necessary to ligate the mixture (about three raw eggs, depending on their size). Bake in a hot oven (about 45 minutes). Serve with bread. Enjoy.
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Old Mar 24th, 2007, 04:33 AM
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princess,

LOL! Don't know if franco will like the "chianti and fava beans" as well as Hannibal did......
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Old Mar 24th, 2007, 04:48 AM
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Princess: I wish you a long and happy life in the Poseidon! And good eating! the last sounds pretty assured.

Thank you for the weather tips; I have never been to Korea. I am going first time to visit my cousin, an international man of mystery, and will use Seoul as a jumping off point for two Chinese cities.

Franco I was interested that lovage was so popular in ancient Rome. We see it here in farmer's markets and I have used it in salads and in meatballs but very rarely...

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Old Mar 26th, 2007, 09:01 AM
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Ekscrunchy has hit bottom.
Repeat,ekscrunchy has hit bottom. Evidence for her downfall: Here she sits in the airport lounge awaiting call for flight to Korea and what is she doing? Cathing up on today's news? Browsing high-end cognacs in the duty free? Taking one last stroll around the terminal before sitting down for that long flight? NO!
She has logged onto Fodors to make sure she has not missed one last morsel of food chatter.....

And she will spare you the details of her last (spaghetti, leeks, chard, borlotti beans,pignoli) meal at home..details that have been largely forgotten in the aftermath of the geyser-like leak in the kitchen sink and subsequent flooding of the entire food preparation area in the ekscrunchy homestead........

More soon....happy eating!!
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Old Mar 26th, 2007, 09:19 AM
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ek, that's great - happy travel!!! Sounds like a nice last day at home... If you happen to still follow, lovage is a great substitute for salt - the Romans used to cook almost without salt, and the two main ingredients that had a similar effect in their cuisine as salt has in our, were liquamen and - lovage. (I thought you were already departed, that's why I didn't send in this explanation earlier!)
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Old Mar 27th, 2007, 04:00 AM
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e.k., I thought of you today and wondered how you were faring on your long flight! I'm sorry about your flood. I do know about those. I have tenants in my house in Las Vegas and I o.k.'d the repair of a leak in one of the baths. They had the guy in, then went skiing and my whole downstairs flooded. I seem to be "flood prone". In 1990, on my first trip to Italy, we dragged ourselves into our hotel in Venice,exhausted, only to be told that our daughter called and our house had flooded! How is this related to food? Well we told the owner of the restaurant we ate at about our troubles, and he kept sending us wonderful little items to sample! We left stuffed to the gills, but relaxed from all the grappa. However, my husband doesn't like grappa and whenever the guy turned away, he quickly switched glasses!
I hope you enjoy Seoul and China and keep us posted on the cuisine! I am leaving for LA next week. The first thing I'm having when I step off the plane is a huge, juicy hamburger! I then plan on going to a restaurant called Genghis Cohen for some good "New York" chinese food. After a week, I will be in New York for the real thing and some good Pastrami, then heading for Italy, where the culinary celebration begins!
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