Archive for the 'International Cooking' Category

Recipe: Pork and percitelli

|March 26, 2012|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Just a quickie meal – pork and percitelli –

I don't care what anyone says, even though I love meat sauce using ground meat, there is just something about adding pork to your sauce to give it "that" flavor.  Many times I add pork to my meat (beef) sauce, and I also love chicken added.  I don't add chicken legs, nor do I add thighs or breasts with bones in them.  I have this fear of someone choking and chicken in sauce is stringy enough without me having to worry about adding bones!  A good skinless, boneless piece of chicken is heaven in sauce.

I fried my pork (this was boneless country ribs) in olive oil and seasoned with my garlic, Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, parsley.  When just about done, I added my puree and paste.  I had a couple fresh tomatoes that were getting a bit too ripe so I scored them and plunged in boiling water to skin; then chopped and added to the pan with a bit of water.  Season with fennel (yes, fennel really adds when you have pork in your sauce, basil, parsley, garlic, Kosher salt, fresh ground black peper, a bit of onion powder, sprinkle of sugar, and fresh grated Pecorino-Romano.

Allow to simmer while you bring a large pot of water to boil – add your salt, return to boil, add perticelli and cook al dente – which only took about 8 minutes.

 

A simple side salad with homemade vinaigrette and a chunk of homemade bread to sop up everything.

Yeah – I still break bread………

Recipe: Italian Traditions

|November 8, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

All Soul’s Day

November 2nd is ALL SOUL’S DAY – also know as the “Day of the Dead” – it is the day following All Saint’s Day.

All Soul’s Day is a Roman Catholic Holiday – a day of remembrance for those that have passed on. There are church services and festivals in honor those that have died.

In Italy, they begin selling special cookies starting before November. Ossa dei morti – known as bones of the dead – are cookies that are flavored with cloves (Sicilian), and from other areas they may use almonds, some using hazelnuts. These sweets are to meant to bring cheer, compensating for the sadness of All Saint’s Day and All Soul’s Day.

Different regions in Italy have different recipes:

And may I remind you – these are what Italian babies teethe on!

These are made with cornmeal:

Bring 2 quarts water to a rolling boil; sift in (about) 1 pound cornmeal, stirring constantly, until you have the consistency of soft mashed potatoes. Stop adding cornmeal at that point. Keep stirring. When done, let it rest a couple hours.

When ready to make the cookies: Whip it, adding salt and pepper (a good dose of pepper); work in wheat flour (a good handful) to give it a good consistency; remove dough from pot.

Form into breadsticks – wider in the middle and tapered at the ends. Place on lightly floured baking sheets. Bake in preheated 360* F. oven until hard and cracked – you’ll see fine cracks.

In some regions, bones of the dead are made from risen bread dough, that has butter and oil added to it, as well as sugar and anise seed. These can also be sweetened with honey. When using bread dough, shape into sticks shaped like fingers. These get baked twice. The first time for 10 to 15 minutes (depending on size), cooled and baked again.

You can also find these cookies made with sweet wine, spices, dried fruits, chocolate and pignoli.

Peel and grind ½ lb. almonds until they are half the size of a grain of rice, adding ½ cup sugar as grinding. Add 1 cup flour; work in 2 tablespoons butter and one large egg. Flavor with some lemon zest, or orange zest, or vanilla along with enough sweet liqueur to make a soft dough. Break dough into pieces the size of a fava bean, brush with egg yolk and place on floured baking sheet. Bake at 375* F. until done. Because of their size they bake quickly.

When Carmella made hers:

Cup* flour, half cup sugar, some pine nuts, blanched, peeled and finely chopped almonds**, lemon zest from half a lemon, cinnamon, and a shot glass of grappa. Pull off small pieces, roll and shape with floured hands, place on greased and floured baking sheets, brush with beaten egg, and bake at 350* F. until done.

**be careful not to grind to the point that the oils come out of the almonds

*Carmella didn’t own measuring cups – she used a cup from the dish set. Just like we all did in the family. No measuring cups, no measuring spoons. Our measuring cups were our tea cups, our measuring spoons are our teaspoons and dessertspoons from our silverware. I still use my hands to measure – it’s easier and it hasn’t failed me yet. I was raised to bake and cook by look and feel.

Like I said – every region has their own recipes for these – there are no set rules – it’s the thought that counts.

Recipe: ITALIAN FRIED DOUGH WITH HONEY

|November 8, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

One of gramma's favorites –

 
Well – not only was it one of her favorites but everyone in the family looked forward to these!

ITALIAN FRIED DOUGH WITH HONEY

These are to die for!!

In saucepan, boil 1 c. wine, 1 c. oil and ½ c. water; remove from heat; let cool.  Add 1 T. cinnamon, 1 T. ground cloves, 1 T. vanilla, grated rind of one orange; mix well.

Add enough flour to make a stiff dough; knead well; cover with bowl and let rest for 30 minutes.

Roll and cut into strips.
Place strips in hot lard (oil); fry; drain.

Heat honey with ground cloves; place fried strips in honey mixture; remove and sprinkle with hundred thousands.

Recipe: Make your own Chorizo!

|October 9, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

If you need some chorizo for a recipe and don't have any on hand – you can make it in no time at all –

SIMPLE CHORIZO

1 lb. ground pork
1 clove garlic, minced
2 t. crushed red pepper
1 ½ t. cinnamon
1 ¼ t. salt
1 t. coriander
2 t. oregano

Will keep in fridge up to 3 days; freezes well for one month.

Recipe: A meal in less than 30 minutes – from May 2010

|August 25, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Recipe: Lazy Eggplant Lasagna

|June 25, 2011|read comments (6)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

We've all heard about Lazy Pierogie – so why not try Lazy Eggplant Lasagna?

This didn't take long to make at all – it's so hot and humid that I took a jar of my homemade meat sauce out of the freezer the day before to thaw so that I could use it and not need to have a pot of sauce simmering on the stove! 

 This is a smaller eggplant than I would normally use because I made a smaller lasagna than normal. – – 

 

First, I combined my whole-milk ricotta with my chopped spinach.  You can wilt fresh spinach – but I chose to use frozen, cook and drain well and chop.  I used barely half the box – saved the remainder for another meal.  Allow to cool before adding to the cheese.  Seasoned with Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, fresh minced parsley (dried is fine to use) and mixed well.  Cover and refrigerate.

 

 

Wash and peel your eggplant.  Normally I would slice my eggplant – but this time I diced it instead.  I wasn't using lasagna noodles so why go for the slices?

 

Dip in beaten egg and dredge in seasoned bread crumbs – dry bread crumbs, Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, garlic, onion powder, fresh minced parsley (dried is fine to use).

 

Well – you know the routine – heat your skillet, add your olive oil, heat your oil, and THEN add your breaded eggplant.  Fry until tender/light golden.

Meanwhile, I placed my pot of water on the stove to boil to cook my macaroni.  While waiting, I transferred the cooked eggplant to a dish to cool for just a bit, sliced my brick of mozzarella (which could easily have been grated – I sliced by choice) and I spooned about a half a quart of my sauce into a bowl.

Once again – you know the routine – pot of water comes to a rolling boil, add your salt and wait for the water to return to a full rolling boil, add your macaroni and cook al dente.  Drain well and do not rinse.

I used a few handfuls of medium shells, rotini, and cut ziti – a great way to use up macaroni!  And since they all cook at the same time – it was easy.  Once thoroughly drained, I stirred the cooked macaroni into my bowl of sauce and coated well.

 

I placed a couple spoons of sauce into my baking dish and topped with half my macaroni; spread my ricotta/spinach mixture over the top.

 

Then top this with cooked and partially cooled eggplant.  At this point you can sprinkle with grated mozzarella if you want.  I didn't do it this time.  Top with remaining macaroni, added a bit more sauce to the top of that and spread sliced mozzarella around the top.

 

Even though it was so hot and humid – I still preheated my oven to 350* F. and placed the lasagna in for 20 minutes – because this is not a big casserole dish.  A larger dish would take longer.

 

Enjoyed with a nice salad of greens and some onion bread.

If you didn't read my post about Chinese Meatballs then you missed my onion bread recipe – it's right up there with garlic bread – if not better:

Combine softened butter, fresh minced parsley (dried is fine), a bit of Kosher salt, fresh cracked black pepper, a sprinkle of onion powder, and fresh grated onion.  Slather on thick-sliced Italian or French bread.  Placed on a baking tray (can be done in the broiler or toaster oven as well) and in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes while the lasagna was heating through.

Mangia!!!

and so simple – did not take long at all to make!

I hope you try this one!

 

 

 

Recipe: Meatballs

|June 13, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

And I mean MEATBALLS!

Not to brag – but I do make a good meatball and I love to make huge batches at a time so that I can freeze them. It makes it very easy to just add some frozen meatballs to a pan of sauce and let them heat that way. Great for pasta dishes, meatballs hoagies, meatballs in gravy or even meatballs in soup – any recipe that calls for meatballs.

Hey – who said that Italian Wedding Soup had to be made with microscopic meatballs anyway?

A meatball in my house can be from golf ball size (not very often – it's too small – unless it's for a finger food dish) to baseball size.

You buy 10 to 20 pounds of ground round and you mix in batches and fry until done. Cool completely in the refrigerator – the bigger they are, the longer it takes. HOURS later or even the next day – spread them on a baking sheet and place in the freezer to freeze them individually. Makes it easier to remove as many as you want. Once pretty much frozen – do the "bag-n-tag" – you know – label and date – using freezer bags or containers (forget the containers for me – I'd need a ton of them – freezer bags are easier) and you're all set.

Make-ahead meatballs are lifesavers for any meal!

 

They aren't just for spaghetti and tomato-based sauce either – great for hoagie- type sammies with gravies and various different sauces and cheese sauces.  It's time to step out of the box and create!

Recipe: Just a couple simple pasta dishes……

|June 13, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Today I would like to share a very simple and delicious pasta dish that is one of our favorites! It’s done in no time and on those busy days – it’s a lifesaver.

Penne with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Simply cook your pasta al dente (you know the routine – bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, add salt and wait for it to return to a rolling boil, add pasta and cook).

Add to pot, olive oil and fresh minced garlic, saute – do not brown the garlic (burned garlic is very bitter – toss and start over) add cooked pasta back to pan, pour in the oil from a jar of sun-dried tomatoes in oil (all depending on your taste and how much you are making); stir in a small jar of (drained) marinated artichoke hearts; heat through, season to taste with Kosher salt and fresh ground or cracked black pepper, and serve.

This goes well with a nice salad and of course – crusty Italian bread.

This is very similar to my macaroni and oil – cook pasta as directed above – drain. In same pot, drizzle olive oil and add fresh minced garlic, saute – do not burn. Add pasta bake to pan, season to taste with Kosher salt, fresh ground or cracked black pepper, fresh minced parsley; serve hot.

Once again – this goes great with a salad and crusty Italian bread.

Either one of these dishes can be made with any type of pasta – the choice is yours.

These are just two of the dishes we enjoy on Fridays, or on meatless days during Lent, etc.

If you are a meat eater on those days – no problem. Enjoy as a side with your favorite entrée. And no one said that you can’t add fish or seafood to this!

Just a few notes:
The oil from the sun-dried tomatoes gives this a fabulous flavor. A
mix of equal amounts of olive oil and the oil from the tomato jar is a good ratio to start with – you can adjust from there. Diced or jullienned sun-dried tomatoes go farther than the whole ones do. Add as many drained, marinated artichokes as you want.

Recipe: Italian Traditions – from 11/1/09

|June 13, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

All Soul’s Day

November 2nd is ALL SOUL’S DAY – also know as the “Day of the Dead” – it is the day following All Saint’s Day.

All Soul’s Day is a Roman Catholic Holiday – a day of remembrance for those that have passed on. There are church services and festivals in honor those that have died.

In Italy, they begin selling special cookies starting before November. Ossa dei morti – known as bones of the dead – are cookies that are flavored with cloves (Sicilian), and from other areas they may use almonds, some using hazelnuts. These sweets are to meant to bring cheer, compensating for the sadness of All Saint’s Day and All Soul’s Day.

Different regions in Italy have different recipes:

And may I remind you – these are what Italian babies teethe on!

These are made with cornmeal:

Bring 2 quarts water to a rolling boil; sift in (about) 1 pound cornmeal, stirring constantly, until you have the consistency of soft mashed potatoes. Stop adding cornmeal at that point. Keep stirring. When done, let it rest a couple hours.

When ready to make the cookies: Whip it, adding salt and pepper (a good dose of pepper); work in wheat flour (a good handful) to give it a good consistency; remove dough from pot.

Form into breadsticks – wider in the middle and tapered at the ends. Place on lightly floured baking sheets. Bake in preheated 360* F. oven until hard and cracked – you’ll see fine cracks.

In some regions, bones of the dead are made from risen bread dough, that has butter and oil added to it, as well as sugar and anise seed. These can also be sweetened with honey. When using bread dough, shape into sticks shaped like fingers. These get baked twice. The first time for 10 to 15 minutes (depending on size), cooled and baked again.

You can also find these cookies made with sweet wine, spices, dried fruits, chocolate and pignoli.

Peel and grind ½ lb. almonds until they are half the size of a grain of rice, adding ½ cup sugar as grinding. Add 1 cup flour; work in 2 tablespoons butter and one large egg. Flavor with some lemon zest, or orange zest, or vanilla along with enough sweet liqueur to make a soft dough. Break dough into pieces the size of a fava bean, brush with egg yolk and place on floured baking sheet. Bake at 375* F. until done. Because of their size they bake quickly.

When Carmella made hers:

Cup* flour, half cup sugar, some pine nuts, blanched, peeled and finely chopped almonds**, lemon zest from half a lemon, cinnamon, and a shot glass of grappa. Pull off small pieces, roll and shape with floured hands, place on greased and floured baking sheets, brush with beaten egg, and bake at 350* F. until done.

**be careful not to grind to the point that the oils come out of the almonds

*Carmella didn’t own measuring cups – she used a cup from the dish set. Just like we all did in the family. No measuring cups, no measuring spoons. Our measuring cups were our tea cups, our measuring spoons are our teaspoons and dessertspoons from our silverware. I still use my hands to measure – it’s easier and it hasn’t failed me yet. I was raised to bake and cook by look and feel.

Like I said – every region has their own recipes for these – there are no set rules – it’s the thought that counts.

Recipe: Make your own Chipotle powder –

|June 11, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Wash and dry your peppers.

 

Slice and deseed.

 

Smoke for an hour or so with mesquite.

 

Finish in your dehydrator.

 

Grind to a powder.

 

Store airtight in a cool dry place.

 

Enjoy! 

 

it's that simple!