Wednesday, November 28, 2018


I AM IN THE PROCESS OF TRANSFERRING NON FAMILY RECIPES TO A NEW BLOG TO MAKE THIS ONE MORE ABOUT FAMILY ONLY.  FIND RECIPES AT:

http://miocucinarustica.blogspot.com   It is a grammatical mess, but it is an address that is available at this writing

Thursday, May 25, 2017

I Hate Fish Baked fish for those who don't like it.

I think that it is widely known in my family that I hate fish!
So, to eat it without distress, I really have to gussy it up to cover it.  I cannot say that I truly hate all fish.  I can tolerate Haddock, sometimes a little salmon.  I can tolerate most anything if it has enough hot sauce, cayenne and dry mustard.
So, Here is one way I actually like fish.
 
Oil a baking dish just large enough to hold the fish.

Mash one, or if adventurous, two cloves of garlic with salt to form a more liquid paste. 
Spread a little of the garlic on each fillet or steak, then drizzle olive oil over the fish in the pan.
  Garlic can really take over here, and it has little time to cook, so be careful.  For me all this is a plus!  I do this mashing because I really like the garlic, but also because the mashed garlic does not have to be cooked as long as chunks or even minced garlic.  some people can do all this by just rubbing the pan or fish with the cut end of a clove of garlic, but that is too insipid for me.  I live alone...what can I say?

  Chop a few small, very ripe tomatoes over the entire layer of fish. Salad or cherry tomatoes are perfect for this.

Sprinkle with scallions or minced onion.  Do not over do the onion. I use chopped greens from Grammie's walking(Egyptian) onions.

Chop 1/4 cup of black olives( the better the olives the better the dish, so the olive bar is great, but canned are OK) and sprinkle over the fish thickly.
 
Sprinkle capers(the little ones in the jar do not need to be washed, but be careful to wash large ones to remove much of the salt)  Contrary to many peoples' opinions, fish needs salt, and the mashed salted garlic and the capers are a good source, especially as the salt is often sea salt from the islands.

Sprinkle with black pepper and a few red pepper flakes and a very light sprinkle of dried oregano.

Drizzle the toppings with oil.

Cover the baking dish with foil or a cover, and bake at 400 till desired doneness...maybe half an hour.  Just check it a few times.

Uncover and serve with oiled pasta, or pasta with ROMANO cheese and black pepper.  Parmesan is too nutty flavored.
 Sicilians do use cheese with fish sometimes, but you are not making Fish Parmesan with melted cheese on top.

You can sprinkle the fish with a bit of red wine vinegar, or lemon if desired.

Pasta is often served in restaurants with just oil, with salt, with lemon or black pepper and grated cheese. Pasta con cacio e pepe is on many menus.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Mildred Stevens Cafarella's Raisin M-m-m-Mumbles

Filling

2 1/2 cups Raisins
1/2 cup sugar
2T cornstarch
3/4 cup water
3T lemon juice

Combine and stir over low heat till thickened.


The Crumbs

3/4 cup soft margarine
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 t salt
1/2 soda
1 1/2 cups rolled oats

mix butter and sugar, add dry ingredients.  then add oats.

Press half of the crumbs into the bottom of a greased 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan.
Spread the filling on the crumb base.
Pat on the rest of the crumbs.
Bake for 20 to 30 minutes at 400 degrees F.
Cut in squares as it cools.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Nothing Says Loving Like Something Deadly From The Oven.


I thought I had discovered something new and awful in my food today, but in researching it I found that it has been in use since the 1950s.  Interestereified soybean oil was in the cookies I just ate.  Why Oh Why don't they check out the ingredients at the store!!!??? (There has to be something wrong with an ingredient whose name has a homonym for terrified in it.)  This was in a care package sent to me from a cousin.
These oils are chemically modified versions of old familiar trans-fat oils and fats.  They do not actually fit into the same category as TRANS-FATS which are absolutely horrendous for our health.  So, they are no longer mentioned as trans-fats, but are seemingly much worse.  These will lodge themselves in Male arteries, inflame them and promote plaque adhesion.  In women, they lodge in fats of the body and so promote cancer such as in the fat of the breast.  There were a number of other issues surrounding them, but too many for me to list here.  Sooooo....just avoid them!
I hope that all of you are already looking for and avoiding labels that say Trans-fats, Saturated fats, Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated...for that matter...why not just avoid all fats, but if you cannot, go for Olive oil, Butter and mono-unsaturated fats.
Now, I really want to avoid butter....good heavens what a bad choice, but if you are making something that requires shortening, Butter is a much better overall choice. 
Here is the real kicker...these fats may not even appear on the ingredients list!

Here is a health tip to top all health tips:

Make as much of your food from scratch as possible!


Butter vs shortening

I remember the taste of rolls in big pans...wonderful...and baked goods of all kinds, made with shortening.  I guess it is made out of vegetable fat, and that has to count for something, but it is Hydrogenated...one of the great watchwords for foods to avoid. Butter on the other hand may be high in calories, and full of fat, but at least it is not hydrogenated.  If you are baking, shortening makes the baked goods much more tender, and butter tends to crisp the baked goods up a bit, sometimes unpleasantly so, but it is clearly the better choice if you must eat fat in baked goods.
Here is a compromise...I give you permission to eat butter instead of shortening....but eat much less just to please me!
Margarine too is hydrogenated and though it may work in your baked things, is not a good choice for your health.  To be fair though, you should read the label on your brand of margarine to look for the words Hydrogenated, trans-fat and saturated fat.  If they appear, you should avoid them.
Olive oil is a mono-unsaturated fat.  It is a good oil, as are others, but it may not be satisfactory for baking.  There are some fine recipes in the Italian repertoire for baked goods with Olive Oil, but traditional recipes do not work well with it because of the liquid state of the oil and because of the pronounced taste of the oil.
If you are Italian though, you probably enjoy the taste of Olive Oil on your bread, vegetables etc., so please try this instead of butter or margarine.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

fred Burrill's Uncle Ed Bearce's Griddle Cakes. From Alberta Burrill

I just rummaged around in packed boxes and came up with these, here where my cooking facilities are minimal, so instead of cooking and eating, I will put them in the blog to satisfy my craving.

Sift together:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 t soda
2 t cream of tartar
1 t salt

add:
 1 egg beaten
3 T melted shortening
1 cup milk

Stir only to mix

This should be stirred as little as possible to make it fairly uniform as otherwise gluten will form

Cook on a hot seasoned or buttered pan

This forms a very light and fluffy batter similar to a mousse
1/4 cup measures must be spread around manually in the pan as it will form a mound without doing that.  It makes very light and fluffy pancakes.  Add a little more milk to make a more traditional batter.  Add blueberries or other berries or apples.  Try with chopped nuts like pecans or walnuts.  soak raisins in brandy till they plump and add them with as little liquid as possible.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

More Tomato Sauce Italian Style to can or to use immediately

If you go to the islands there are two choices for tomato.  You will find San Marzano or cherry tomato.  In this country you will find cherry tomatoes easier than the San Marzano.  In general the tomatoes are better for company dishes of the elegant variety if they are seeded and skinned.  Just knick the tomato with the tip of a knife and plunge into boiling water for a few moments.  The skin will shrink and split.  Lift them out of the water with a slotted spoon and put in cold water.  Peel with your fingers.  Cut the tomato along the equator of the tomato and give each half a squeeze to release most of the seeds.
All dishes will benefit from this treatment, but I often go without when a country or rustic feel is wanted. The skins will also add to the flavor if used in something that will render them invisible or not chewable such as pureeing through a food mill or a food processor.
So, here is a compromise canned or stored tomato recipe that is very common.  Prepare the tomatoes by seeding them as above first, but do not skin them.
To each two pounds of tomato that has been prepared, add one chopped onion, a half teaspoon of salt and a scant eighth cup of olive oil. 
Start the cooking at a very low temperature till the tomatoes have released their juices.  Raise the temperature to medium and bring to a boil.  Cook till the tomato pulp begins to collapse.  Run the entire batch through a food mill to make a puree.  Can according to your normal custom.
In Italy they use recycled bottles like soda or beer bottles and sometimes wine bottles.  I love these stored in old fashioned Coke bottles which are also used for expensive wine.
You should not use garlic in this recipe or any herbs because you will then be limited in its uses.  You can always add them later.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Rosolio liqueur

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups (500 g) of the best wine spirits
  • 2 1/4 cups (500 f) powdered sugar -- the kind without vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups (1/2 liter) milk
  • A garden lemon, or an organically grown untreated lemon
  • A half a vanilla bean
  •          
                         
Preparation
In Artusi's day many people kept lemon trees in their gardens. Even if yours is not homegrown, make sure its skin is untreated. Grate the lemon rind, peel the lemon, discarding the white, remove the seeds, and mince the pulp. Chop the vanilla bean and mix all the ingredients together in a glass jar. Expect the milk to curdle. Cover the jar, put it in a spot that's not exposed to direct sunlight, and shake it once daily for eight days.
 
Then filter the liquor, first through a cloth and then a paper filter, and bottle it. Let it age for a couple of months and it'll be ready for use.