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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 27th, 2007, 04:06 AM
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Old Mar 27th, 2007, 07:19 PM
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Well, this is almost as much fun as eating.

Ekscrunchy, while reading I've been enjoying a simple Fuedo Principi Di Butera Syrah, which I pass on only because of your Fuedo Arancia. Mine is also a 2004 and is a nice drink all alone - but it's taking all my will not to run over to Fairway for some cheese. (Still thinking about it, though I should go to sleep and dream of it instead ...)

Franco, have been enjoying your apartment counseling on other threads, but now had had to email this one to the best cooks I know, who will all enjoy it I think - and, one hopes, they will repay the favor by cooking for me.
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Old Mar 28th, 2007, 04:02 AM
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Thank you so much, tomassocroccante, I feel honoured indeed, and I'm sure my fellow cooks here will feel honoured as well! Btw, what a nice meeting on this thread of tomassoCROCCANTE and eksCRUNCHY...
Yes, tomasso, I guess we'll continue cooking for you for another while, at least virtually...
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Old Mar 28th, 2007, 04:41 AM
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Franco,
Tomasso Croccante is a fairly direct translation of my name (Tom Crisp) and was given to me by my good friend in Rome, one of the current generation of the Morganti coffee family.
Thanks for clearing something up: I thought it was E.K."Scrunchy" ... Crunchy is altogether a different image!
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Old Mar 28th, 2007, 04:47 AM
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Tom - I can't say with a clear conscience that it IS crunchy rather than scrunchy... ek would have to clear that up herself... I just thought the (possible) resemblance of screennames is definitely funny!
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Old Mar 28th, 2007, 07:34 AM
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Good evening Franco,
I wonder if you have ever eaten a lamb's head? My father asked my mother to prepare one when I was a child, but when he looked at that eye peering up at him he couldn't eat it! I am wondering if e.k. is now in
Seoul, enjoying kimchee! I never noticed that her name is actually crunchy. I thought it was scrunchy. Welcome to this post, tommassocroccante from patrizia paduano (maiden name) a.k.a. koreaprincess. The wine here is way overpriced and so anything affordable is not too good. I can't wait to enjoy the wine in Italy soon.
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Old Mar 28th, 2007, 07:38 AM
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No, Princess, unfortunately I haven't - I wish I had, but all I've come across so far are lamb tongues, never the entire head! But I thought this is Persian/Arabian, not Italian?
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Old Mar 29th, 2007, 03:44 AM
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Hello Franco,
No it is definitely Italian. Check out "Capozello di Agnello". I might be spelling it wrong. I wonder how meaty it could possibly be. I myself prefer a nice "corpo di agnello" marinated in wine, olive oil, garlic and herbs, or perhaps a simple stuffed breast of veal as my dear mother used to prepare. Comfort food for sure! Alas, there isn't any vitello to be found where I am. But very soon, my sister and I will be feasting on pajate and buratta and all the wonderful antipasti I salivate thinking about! Franco, won't it soon be Palm Sunday? What foods do italians enjoy on that special day? kp
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Old Mar 29th, 2007, 05:43 AM
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Princess, that's amazing about the lamb's head. Which region does it come from? "Capozelo" (capuzzelo?) sounds South Italian... maybe Puglia?

Ok, I realize that I'm being lazy... I owe you the Palm Sunday recipe. Here we go: cucina napuletana - timballo per la domenica delle palme, Palm Sunday pasta pie, for four persons. Prepare a dough of 0.5 lb. white flour, 0.25 lb. butter, 1 egg, salt and 1 or 1.5 tablespoons honey. (That's important - all traditional timballo recipes have sweet doughs, which is an ancient Roman tradition! The ancient Romans, of course, would use honey, not sugar, since they didn't know sugar, and though modern Italian recipes - modern, in this case, means 18th/19th century, since timballi are almost forgotten nowadays - use sugar, it's far better to stick to the ancient usage of honey.) Store in the fridge for one hour. Soak some slices of dried porcini. Prepare a tomato sauce of 2 lb. fresh (!!!) tomatoes, i.e. peel and chop them (remove the seeds first if you prefer), cook with a few spoons of best olive oil, salt, pepper, add garlic if you like. Sauté two or three tablespoons of (cooked) peas in butter. Sauté the porcini slices in butter, as well. Heat 2.5 lb. of blue mussels (cozze) till open, shell.
Take about one third of your dough, form a bottom for your pie mold, bake for ten minutes in a hot but not very hot oven, let cool.
Put 1 lb. of skinned sea bass fillet, 2 or 3 tablespoons of pine nuts (or walnuts, if you prefer), 2 oz. of stoned black olives and some parsley into the food blender, blend, salt & pepper. Add 2 tablespoons of best olive oil and 2 tablespoons (or more, if necessary) of breadcrumbs. Form nut-size balls of the fish mixture, fry in your very best olive oil till golden brown.
With the rest of the dough, form the rest of the pie shell (i.e., add the curb, and prepare & put aside the cover).
Reheat tomato sauce. Add fish balls (they're the best single element of this wonderful dish!) to the simmering tomato sauce. Add the porcini, the mussels and the peas. Ligate (not too heavily) with just a teaspoon of cornstarch, let simmer for a few minutes.
In the meantime, cook 0.5 lb. of spaghetti only half-way. In two tablespoons of olive oil, gently fry a chopped clove of garlic, parsley and 1 to 3 chopped anchovies (to taste). Mix spaghetti with this garlic-anchovy sauce. Fill alternate layers of spaghetti and tomato sauce into the dough shell, finish with pasta, cover with the dough lid, close thoroughly, bake in a 350 F oven for 40 minutes.
This is laborious, no doubt, but really, really excellent. I'm going to prepare it next sunday, as every year...
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Old Mar 29th, 2007, 09:13 AM
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OK, Franco, I'll bite. What did the Romans use instead of tomatoes?
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Old Mar 29th, 2007, 09:44 AM
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Do you mean generally, Tom, or for pies like this one?
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Old Mar 29th, 2007, 02:08 PM
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Yes, specifically in the Palm Sunday pie. You're giving us the authentic ancient Roman dough with honey ... but they didn't have tomatoes, so what would it be? (I realize that I am playing the role of the annoying child in the kitchen right now. I'll try to be good.)
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Old Mar 29th, 2007, 02:15 PM
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So many thanks for this delicious education!
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Old Mar 29th, 2007, 02:37 PM
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Ok, first of all, a MOST IMPORTANT AMENDMENT: having prepared the grocery list for the weekend this moment, I realize with shock that I forgot an important ingredient for the fish balls that go into the pie: 3 teaspoons of capers!!! (to blend together with the fish, the olives and so on)
That's one of those moments that make me wish Fodor's had an "edit" tool...

Tom, no, you ARE good. That's what this thread is being meant for: asking questions about Italian food. It's a misunderstanding, though: this TYPE of pies is ancient, savory pies with sweet doughs, and for the sweet dough, I prefer the ancient version with honey. The sauces that go into the pies, i.e. the precise recipes, are "modern" (18th/19th century, as said above), and have nothing to do with their ancient predecessors, there's no resemblance, and hence no "substitute" for tomatoes. Even the pasta is different: in antiquity, spaghetti had not yet been invented, they used what we're calling lasagne instead (thinking of lasagne pasta, not the whole preparation with the sauce that's also often called lasagne). Two pie recipes are in the Apicius cookbook (though it seems clear that this was a rather widespread type of dish - they had special pie molds for it). The more practicable recipe for modern cooks is a pie with (lasagne pasta and a sweet pie dough around and a sauce made of) fish, chicken, and cow udder. If you (or anybody else) want this recipe, too, please advise...
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Old Mar 30th, 2007, 05:34 AM
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Franco, thanks for sharing this interesting recipe for timpano. I wasn't prepared for a fish recipe. My dish used a sweet pastry, baked in a deep bowl just like in the movie "The Big Night", and as I recall, had meats, pasta (I only recall deboning squab) and a rich wine and vegetable and tomato sauce. I am intrigued by the fish balls. They sound delicious, with the sweetness of the fish and the saltiness of the anchovies and capers. I definitely want to try this dish! O.K. back to the lamb's head. I believe it is from Puglia region. For New Yorkers wishing to try it, I read a newspaper article referring to it as an appetizer at a restaurant on
New York's lower east side called (aptly) Puglia!
Franco, may I ask, do you live in Italy or do you just travel there? I'm sure many fodorites are curious to know, as you are so knowledgeable! I hope your Palm Sunday is lovely and you enjoy good dining! Principessa
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Old Mar 30th, 2007, 05:47 AM
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Princess, as I'm defining it, I only travel there. My friends would perhaps disagree... they're always teasing me because I'm spending so much time in Italy!

Btw, ek (I know you're in South Korea, but you'll catch up with this thread after coming home), a fish-cheese combination of modern Italian origin sprang to my mind, and it's delicious! No traditional fare, though, it's a cook's invention, but really a great one: a pasta sauce of anchovies (but fresh anchovies, not salted!!), cherry tomatoes and formaggio di fossa. As usual, whoever wants to have the recipe, please advise...
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Old Mar 31st, 2007, 11:34 AM
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Fantastic article in NY Times on Milanese Cuisine.

http://tinyurl.com/3ycvg5

Enjoy.
 
Old Mar 31st, 2007, 12:05 PM
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I am finally getting caught up on this thread and just wanted to say....YUM!

I hope ek is having a good time in Korea and China. I thought it was ekSCRUNCHY too so she is going to have to explain for us!

koreaprincess and arabianjedi, I feel for you! I guess I won't complain anymore when I have trouble finding fresh cilantro here in Germany...

I admit to making several simple pastas involving canned, oil-packed tuna (one is with roasted cherry tomatoes and green onions, the other with capers and lemon zest) and sprinkling some parmesan reggiano or grana on top! It may be a no-no but it tastes good to me, and that's what really matters...

And now for a question: my favorite dish on my recent trip to Rome was gnocchi with a gorgonzola and radicchio sauce. The radicchio was cooked down to a golden brown color and the gorgonzola was not "visible" but provided an intense flavor. Does anyone have a recipe for something like this?
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Old Mar 31st, 2007, 06:16 PM
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Here I am, squeezing in Fodor's time while battling the "yellow wind" of Seoul!

It is "scrunchy" and it comes from the way I "scrunch" up my face and am generally animated when I talk. I got it when I first signed up for e-mail and did not realize how the name would stick. (It was kind of a nickname at the time) It is more than a bit embarassing because it sounds so silly, especially when I have to spell it out loud!

So now that that has been setlted, I want to say hi to everyone and let you know that I have been following along whenever I can grab a few minutes. After a week of bulgogi and kimchee, this talk of cucina Italiana is even more enticing than usual! Off to Beijing tomorrow and may not have computer access there...

The oddest thing so far was at the fish market: The baby octopus was sliced up but still wriggling on the plate..you could feel the suction cups in your mouth as you bit into it!!! But it tasted quite good once you moved past the visuals!

Keep enjoying!!
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Old Mar 31st, 2007, 11:29 PM
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Hi Hausfrau, I actually can find cilantro here once in awhile. And basil, though the market gets it one package at a time and I check for it weekly. What restaurant did you have the gnocchi with gorgonzola at? It sounds yummy. So I think I will make some too, as I can get gorgonzola and radicchio here in Korea, though the cheese costs a small fortune. So, start with the gnocchi (use fresh or make them yourself). Simmer in boiling, salted water till they rise to the top and drain. Saute 6 oz. radicchio and 4 oz., both cut into strips,with 2 oz. chopped shallots in 3 Tbs. olive oil for about two minutes, till wilted.Set aside. Gently simmer 2 cups whipping cream and add 12 oz. crumbled gorgonzola. Stir till melted and smooth and stir in 1/8 tsp. nutmeg. Toss with gnocchi and radicchio mixture and add 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts. Season to taste with salt and pepper and sprinkle with grated reggiano. If you're watching cholesterol, I'd make something else, or down a bottle of red wine! Happy Eating! E.K.: I can't wait to hear what you think of Korean cuisine. Not much variety, I feel. O.K., we've tried the moving on the plate fish and the tentacles in the palate too. The one good thing about the odd things the chinese eat is that their seasonings are superb, that's why the pigs intestines tasted o.k. to me. I saw a documentary recently showing Queen Elizabeth eating sea slugs, a delicacy in China. However, she was a complete poker face while doing this. They kept showing live ones squirming around on a plate, and then the cooked dish which takes days to prepare. Happy travels! k.p.
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