BSV Forum - General - Off-Topic

For those interested

Feb 28 2007 12:03 am   #1The Space Between

Ok, my Mom found my Dad's recipe book that's been missing since he died four years ago and she sent me copies of my favourite dishes that he would make when they or I were visiting. I decided to share them with all of you since the steak and gnocchi is TO DIE FOR so if you like Italian food and are a pretty cook cook or can at least follow a recipe, here you go...

Spicy Pepper Ragu

2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
2 lbs pork shoulder cut into 1 inch cubes
4 oz thin sliced pancetta, chopped
2 cups sweet red wine
1 28oz can plum tomatoes chopped (SAVE THE JUICE)
2 cups chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped carrot
3/4 cup chopped celery
1/3 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
6 sprigs of thyme
6 cloves of garlic, minced
2 bay leaves

Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add pancetta and sauté until browned and crispy and then transfer to a bowl. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. Add half of pork to drippings in pot and sauté until brown (about 6 minutes) . Transfer to the bowl with the pancetta. Add the remaining olive oil to the pot with the onions, carrots, celery, thyme, garlic, bay leaves, and crushed red pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low and sauté until veggies are tender (9-10minutes). Add the wine to the pot and bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Add the meats along with any accumulated juices and boil for about 3 minutes then add the tomatoes with the juice. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover, allowing it to simmer gently, stirring occasionally until the pork is very tender (about 2 hours).

Uncover and spoon off fat from surface of ragu (I get lazy and float a papertowl over the top to absorb the fat and then toss it). Mash the pork pieces with the back of fork to break up meat, pulling it apart lightly to shred. Season ragu to taste with salt and pepper.

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Gnocchi di patate (potato gnocchi)

2 lbs potatoes (boiled and peeled)                 
8 oz all purpose flour                                           
2 quarts Ragu sauce (Ragu is the type of sauce - not the jarred kind)
a handful of shredded mozarella cheese                                               
3-4 oz grated parmesan cheese

       
Important Note:  Do not use new potatoes - use old potatoes (meaning about a week old). New potatoes contain a lot of water, so in order to get your dough to the right consistency you will need to add too much flour making your gnocchi gummy. Red skinned potatoes make the best gnocchi in my opinion though you can use white if you prefer.
 
Wash and then put the potatoes in a pot, covering them with enough cold water so that they are all submerged and then boil them over high heat until you come to a rolling boil.

Turn the heat down to medium/medium high and continue to boil them until they are tender all the way through (should be easy to insert a fork).

Drain and peel them while they're still kinda hot. (they peel easier) Rinse your pot and refill with water and place it on the stove so the water can come to a boil as you continue with the rest of the recipe.

Pass the boiled potatoes through a potato ricer using the disk with the smallest holes. Make sure you have gotten rid of all lumps in the potato. Press a papertowel or two on top of the potato to help absorb any extra water but dont tamp it all the way down as they do need to be damp.

Start working flour into the passed potatoes using the same kneading technique as if you were making bread, using just enough flour to ensure that the dough is no longer sticky but still nice and soft. If the potatoes give out a little water, it may be necessary to add a little more flour.

Put your dough to the side on a well floured surface. With a sharp knife, cut off a small portion and start rolling it out on the floured surface, making a rope a little smaller in diameter than your little finger. Once you have rolled the first dough piece into a rope, cut the rope into pieces about an inch long.

Now with a finger tip, squash the center of each piece and roll them slightly so that they resemble pasta shells and then place it on a well floured surface and sprinkling a little flour over them so they wont stick to the surface or each other. Now repeat the process until you've used all of your gnocchi dough.

Gently put your gnocchi into the pot of boiling water and boil them until they begin to float. After they've all risen to the surface, boil them for one more minute and then gently scoop them out and place inside a strainer to drain. Continue doing this until all your gnocchi is cooked.

Pour a small amount of ragu sauce and mozzarella over them and gently mix, transferring them all to a large baking pan, spreading them out evenly in the bottom. Cover with sauce and grated parmesan and bake at 375º for 30 minutes.

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Braciole (Italian Steak)

2-2-1/2 pounds eye of round roast, cut into approximately 3/4 inch thick steaks
4 oz mild italian sausage (or spicy if you prefer)
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 cup red wine
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese 
1/2 cup minced shallots
1/2 cup minced celery
2 ounces coppicola ham, chopped fine
1 egg, slightly beaten 
enough flour to dust the steaks with
Spicy Pepper Sauce

Lightly spray a 13x9 inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet and add the sausage and sauté until lightly browned. Add the celery, shallots and ham and sauté until vegetables are soft. Remove from heat and mix the breadcrumbs and egg into the veggie mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Flatten your steaks  to 1/2 inch thickness between 2 sheets of waxed paper and divide the filling evenly between each of the flattened steaks. Starting at one end, gently roll each steak until completely rolled up and secure it by wrapping it with butcher’s twine.

Heat the remaining olive oil in a large heavy skillet and then dredge each roll in flour adding them to the pan and browning them evenly on each side. Remove from skillet and place in your prep'ed baking dish. Add the red wine to the skillet and simmer until its reduced by half. Add spicy pepper sauce and bring it to a simmer again. When its gently bubbling, pour the sauce evenly over meat. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350º for about an hour.

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Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
3 tablespoons water
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup ground toasted hazelnuts
2 tablespoons Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur)
1 1/2 cups chilled whipping cream

Melt chocolate in top of a double boiler over simmering water, stirring until smooth. Cool briefly.

Meanwhile, combine water, yolks and powdered sugar in large metal bowl. Set bowl over simmering water in base of double boiler and whisk until mixture is frothy and candy thermometer registers 160°F, about 6 minutes. Remove from over water. Using electric mixer, beat until thick and cool, about 3 minutes. Fold cooled chocolate, then ground hazelnuts and Frangelico into yolk mixture. Beat cream in medium bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold into chocolate mixture in 3 additions. Chill until ready to serve.

 

Now, I'm gonna go back to my writing so I can send these chapters to my wonderfully patient beta. Hope you enjoy for those of you brave enough to try it =)

~*~ The Powers offer no sympathy for the way things are...Human deeds are left in human hands. It's what one does with what's left that makes any difference ~*~ Jenny Calander as created by HollyDB
Feb 28 2007 01:49 am   #2Immortal Beloved

Cool!  I cook for a hobby, and I was actually thinking of trying to make my own Gnocchi last week Maybe I'll give it a try when I'm in the mood to cook.

Give me Spuffy, or give me death.
Feb 28 2007 03:03 am   #3Blood Faerie

Hmm, I'm Italian and never had Gnocchi, lol. Maybe different parts of Italy then?

Unfortunately, we had big vampires in the next room, and I didn't think they'd wait while we had hot monkey sex. ~Cerulean Sins :: (Anita to Jean-Claude)“Is there anything your bloodline does that doesn’t involve getting naked?" ~Danse Macabre :: I’m dating three men, living with two more, and having occasional sex with two others. That’s seven men. I’m like a pornographic Snow White. I think seven is plenty. ~Danse Macabre
Feb 28 2007 03:21 am   #4Blood Faerie

Yup, looked it up and it said it was a Truscan dish ^.^  My family isn't Etruscan Italian.... they're latin from the very tip of the boot, spitting distance from Sicily, lol (The rednecks of Italy, heehee, they lived in caves during the summer!)

Unfortunately, we had big vampires in the next room, and I didn't think they'd wait while we had hot monkey sex. ~Cerulean Sins :: (Anita to Jean-Claude)“Is there anything your bloodline does that doesn’t involve getting naked?" ~Danse Macabre :: I’m dating three men, living with two more, and having occasional sex with two others. That’s seven men. I’m like a pornographic Snow White. I think seven is plenty. ~Danse Macabre
Feb 28 2007 07:20 am   #5GoldenBuffy

Got me some Sicilian blood in me too, lol. But got a quick question can I sub. the ham with turkey ham? We don't eat pork. Sounds really good, and I was looking for some good Italian recipes. I've done my grammy's lasagna to death, lol. I also love Baked Mostaccioli. Nummy

And in the air the fireflies
Our only light in paradise
We'll show the world they were wrong
And teach them all to sing along
Feb 28 2007 08:04 am   #6Blood Faerie

GB, if you email me I can get my Dad's recipe for Spaghetti Carbinera... its like his specialty, lol.  It's basically spaghetti (or you can use another kind of noodle) which chopped ham and a cream sauce. I don't eat the ham either and you can probably use turkey ham for it. But let me email him for how to do the sauce and stuff. That and lasagna or spaghetti & meatballs is basically what we ate growing up. My mom had her own stuff like chicken noodle from scratch or chicken soup with doughy dumplings that were even better the next day *is getting hungry for it now* and also her white beans and ham soup (thats the only ham I eat... that and bacon and hotdogs, hehe)

Unfortunately, we had big vampires in the next room, and I didn't think they'd wait while we had hot monkey sex. ~Cerulean Sins :: (Anita to Jean-Claude)“Is there anything your bloodline does that doesn’t involve getting naked?" ~Danse Macabre :: I’m dating three men, living with two more, and having occasional sex with two others. That’s seven men. I’m like a pornographic Snow White. I think seven is plenty. ~Danse Macabre
Feb 28 2007 06:31 pm   #7GoldenBuffy

Ok, give me a minute to e-mail you. I'm being lazy, my cold is coming back. *sniff*

And in the air the fireflies
Our only light in paradise
We'll show the world they were wrong
And teach them all to sing along