I have recently got back from Italy and while I was ther I picked up smoe fantastic new recipies .
These will appear in edition 4 , but for all you that have aready bought a book , these are the notes that are going to the editio for edition 4
Add after pg 97
Olives by Tony Fedele.
It is wonderful what twists life brings. After I published this book I received an email from a reader who turned out to be the son of a fellow prisoner of war of my father’s, when he was interned in Warburton Victoria. They both lived in a tent cutting wood for the local hospital.
My dad used to suffer from severe migraines and the traditional remedy, before aspirin and other pain relief, was to cut a potato into slices and tie them around your forehead. It didn’t work at all, but I suppose you could use the potatoes again in a soup??
Tony’s father, Pasquale Fidele, would play his guitar, badly, while dad had his migraines. I am surprised that Pasquale made it through the war and was not garrotted by dad.
Anyway, Tony’s mother and father were separated for 10 years also by the war as were my mum and dad, my mum and his mum came from villages in Calabria that were separated by 10 km , arrived in Australia a month apart in 1948, and Tony and I were born 1 month apart in 1949!!
Green Olives, Salt, Garlic, Chilli flakes, Oregano and EVOO.
Select larger green olives (Verdale, or Kalamata) . Soak them in fresh water for 3 days and then crush them with an empty stubby or beer bottle. I use these bottles because the bottom is concave and stops the olives firing off in all directions. This is important because
1. You want all the olives you can collect and
2. You don’t want a mess all over the floor or the cat going ballistic, chasing flying olives.
You then remove all the pips (this is a great job for the partner). Place all the olives in a non corrosive container and sprinkle liberally with salt. Agitate to ensure that the olives are mixed well and then place a weight on top. I find that 4-6 bricks are ideal.
Then leave for 14 days, agitating each day. Remove the olives , dry and either freeze, place in vacuum bags or place in jars with garlic, oregano and chilli flakes and cover with EVOO. If you freeze them, defrost before use and mix with EVOO, garlic oregano and chilli flakes.
Another recipe from Signora Anita is to leave the olives under the weight for up to 6 months and remove them when you want to use them, dry and mix with condiments. (I find these a little salty, but each region has its own variation)
Pg 181 ,, after “without a licence “ add
The alcohol these recipes can be obtained from Sydney Chef warehouse
029211455. However note that the alcohol is 60% and so the volume of water added needs to be halved.
Pg 183.. Fragolino Strawberry liquor.
1 kg of strawberries, 1 litre of 90proof alcohol 1 kg sugar and ½ litre of water.
Place the strawberries in the alcohol in a tightly sealed container. Allow to stand 10days. Make a syrup of 1 kg of sugar in 500 ml of water. Bring to simmering and then allow to cool. Mix with the strawberries/ alcohol and allow to stand another 20 days. Strain and drink after a month.
As I have gone around collecting recipes, I often am told of something that sounds strange, but then turns out to be really quite pleasant.
My cousin Teresina gave me this recipie
300 gm of thinly peeled lemon skins, 2lt skimmed milk, 800 gm sugar 1 vanilla pod and 1 lt of 90 proof alcohol
Remove the skins from the lemons and add to the milk, sugar, vanilla pod and boil for 20 min a low simmer. Strain and mix with the alcohol and leave for 1 month before drinking.
This year we travelled back to my parents village to catch up with my cousins. What food, what weather what welcomeness... fantastic, anyway once we left Varapodio we travelled a short distance to Gioa Tauro.. a seaside port city. I were walking along the lungomare with Lynn when we saw about 20 people all running and converging on one spot on the beach. Of course being a Doctor I immediately thought that someone had had a cardiac arrest and so I sprinted forward, shouting,,”out of the way , I am a doctor.. let me through” To my surprise instead of some poor fellow lying prostrate on the sand convulsing in his last moments of life, I found a women selling the very first white bate for the season . la Neonata. Well after trying to explain my bazaar behaviour I began talking to the fisherwoman about the Rosamarina . or Whitebait Calabrian Caviar . And guess what .. She had the best recipe .. and here it is .
Calabrian Caviar from Goia Tauro.
1.5 kg of fresh Neonata. 250 gm of salt, 100gm of vitalized dry hot chilli.
Wash the neonata in salt or sea water. Mix with the salt and place in a container with w weight on top. Each day, for 7 days, mix the salt/fish mix. After 7 days. Rinse with vinegar and lay out to dry outside on a napkin. Sprinkle the chilli on top and mix thoroughly with your hands, loosening up all the fish. (Make sure you wear gloves or else when you go far a pipi later on you will have a lingering, warm sensation).
Mix with EVOO and place in jars. Cover in oil and leave for 1 month before eating on crusty, toasted bread with a crisp Pinot Griggio.
After pg 113
Licioccole Marinate .. Salted small pilchards.
For this recipe you need large white-bate, or very small pilchards (the same thing) Salt and Vinegar Chilli flakes and EVOO.
Was the white-bate in salt water ( again traditionally sea water ). Remove the heads and entrails.
Make a solution of 6 parts white wine vinegar and 1 part water. And salt to taste ( as per pasta). Marinate in the fish for 48hrs then remove and allow to drain overnight on a towel .
Mix with finely chopped garlic , chilli to taste, dry oregano and some EVOO .
Put some EVOO in clean jars and the fill with the pilchard mix. Cover in oil and allow to stand for 1 month. When serving, server with fresh EVOO and finely chopped garlic
Great to serve with a seafood antipasto.
Tonno Salato Salt cured Tuna
Before fridges, it must have been very difficult to keep fish for a whole year . Can you imagine the husband coming home with a 50-60 kg tuna on his shoulders, and there being no cooling to store it .
So... they used salt it.
This recipe produces a tasty but very salty tuna meat. It was eaten in very thin slices with bread and other food as an antipasto or in cooking because it is very salty.. the same as salted sardines.
Cut the tuna in 4cm slices. And place in a non corrosive vat. Add 40- 60 gm ( 1- 1 ½ fists full) of salt between layers of fish and keep repeating the procedure until all the fish is under salt. Then place a wooden cap or a plate and weight down with approx 10k.
Leave and it will reduce in volume to approximately 50% of the original volume. Leave the fish in the vat until you are ready to eat it.
If you are going to eat slices, remove the tuna a wash with vinegar. This will reduce the salt content. Serve thinly with a trickle of EVOO.
Nduia Calabrese. ( no translation) recipe #2 from the butcher in Varapodio
You need 25% meat. ( the guanciale or pork cheeks , and pancetta,) 65 % fat ( preferably the nicer firm fat) 10% skins.
Firstly boil the skins until they are soft, chop.
To prepare the chilli, chop up dry chilli, remove the seeds and mix with a small amount of water. Simmer gently until the consistency of a paste.
Mix all the ingredients and for every 5 kg of meat/ fat/ skins add 1 kg of chilli paste and 5x 28 gms of salt. Mine all finely, or even 2x and place in lambs bungs. Dry for 4-6 weeks before it is ready to eat as a spread on crusty bread . Beware!! THIS IS HOT . If you don’t want is so hot you can add less chilli but then ... its like having half sex .. not quite the real thing.
At end of Pg 173
Boiled pigs head is called many things, but at the end it is still boiled pigs head
Here is a variation. This recipe was given to me by Marco, a Butcher in San Giovanni Valdarno . He also is the butcher that produces the Tarese
1 Pigs head, 2 kg of cleaned skins, 5 tongues, Salt (25 gm per Kg), pepper (2.5 kg per Kg), 2 head of garlic, the skins of 4 oranges and 3 lemons, very finely cut, Tuscan spices ( 2 gm per kg) and 1 bunch of parley.
The extra tongues produce a firmer consistency and is actually very lean . In Italy one can buy the Tuscan salami spices already made up but the recipe is equal parts of Cinnamon, Cloves and Nutmeg.. They are very finely ground and used in a lot of Tuscan dishes. This mix can also be used if making a stracotto San Valdarnese.
Boil the head, skins and tongues in water for 3 hrs, or until the meat falls off the bone. Place the meat in a bowl and add the finely chopped garlic, rinds parsley as well as the salt pepper and spice. Mix thoroughly and then place in a linen sack and allow to hang. The capofreddo will loose a gelatinous glug and as this happens the meat comes together. Place in the fridge and use after 1 day.
U Sudzu / Gelatina . Porks head in Aspic.
This recipe comes from Catanzaro where they DO actually make the best sudzu and was supplied by Signora Giovanna.
1 pigs head, 4 pig’s feet, 1 kg of lean meat, coarsely cut, salt, vinegar, water
Place the pig’s head, trotters and meat in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to boiling.
When the meat comes to the boil, it will form a thick frothy scum. Remove this and discharge.
After approximately 2 hrs, the meat will fall off the bones. Drain the fluid and put aside.
Remove as many of the bone as you can off the meat and place the meat into jars.
To the fluid that you drain from the heads etc, add 1 part fresh white vinegar to 2 parts liquid and enough salt to taste( to the point of “slightly salty pasta”).
Add this to the meat in the jars and cover. Make sure that you also allow a little of the clear liquid fat to settle on top of the meat in the jars.
At this stage, if you are going to eat the Sudzu soon, just place in the fridge. However you can keep it for months by sealing the jars and sterilizing the contents. This is done by boiling the jars in water for 20 min. You can then store for as long as you need.
When I asked whether you add pepper or chilli, Signora Giovanna said “ No. Because the young children may not like the pepper!!” I can’t imagine the average 6 or 7 year old eating pigs head in aspic but who knows.
Pg 172 after Tuscan sausages.
Salami Toscani da Mario di San Giovanni Valdarno , Mario’s Tuscan Sausages .
Meat from Prosciutto, shoulder and pancetta. Fine back fat 26gm salt per kg. 2gm of freshly ground black pepper and 3 gms of whole black pepper.
For Salamis you always use the best meat, from the shoulder and Prosciutto. Also add about 5% pancetta. Mince the meat finely.
Mix approx 13% fine back fat cut into small cubes approx 1 cm square. Mix the fat cubes with the meat as described previously, but you can see that he fat and the meat remain separate. Place the mix in the bungs and hand as described.
This produces a deep red Salami with cubes of fat, but is actually a lean salami.
After pancetta Tuscan style pg 161
Tarese di Sangiovanni Valdarno. Belly of pork the San Giovanni style
As has happened so often in recent times, older traditional methods of food preparation that produced a wide range of aromatic, flavoursome and regionally typical products have given way to standardized poor quality bland soulless products that appear on our supermarket shelf. They need to be cheap to produce and appeal to the widest range of customers.
The Slow food movement has been passionate about identifying, documenting and promoting traditional quality primary products. These products are produced regionally with locally sourced products in a traditional method. I suppose this book is about trying to document and demystify those methods. On its journey the Slow food movement identifies certain products that are almost extinct and takes a special interest in preserving them. It does this through “presidia”. One such Presedium is the Tarese di San Giovanni, another is the Bottarga of Mullet Orbitello. (Pg124)
La Tarese Di Dan Giovanni Valdarno. Belly of pork from San Giovannii Valdarno ( Tuscany)
This is made traditionally from pigs that are in excess of 200 Kg and each Tarese or belly of pork weighs up to 20kg. However the recipe can also be applied to smaller bellies and the flavour is still overwhelmingly, aromatically fantastic.
Remove the belly of pork including the fillet as one piece. Leave the skin on. You will include some ribs that need to be boned out carefully. Make a mixture of rosemary, sage, garlic, freshly ground black pepper and Tuscan spices ( see capofreddo). Chop finely and rub into the cut meat. Place on a board and cover totally with salt. Place the board on a slight incline to allow any brine formed to drain. The time that you leave the meat under salt will depend on the size of the meat. If you pig is the standard 120Kg , then 5-6 days is enough . If you actually get a pig of 250kg then you need to allow 10 days .
After this time , wash the salt off with wine . Regrind a mixture of garlic, salt, pepper and spices massage the surface. Then cover the whole of the cut surface with the spice / slat mix and hang for 2-6 months depending on the weight of the pancetta and whether you have included the fillet or not. .
On pg 163 . before “Variations on the theme”
Prosciutto without the bone .
A much more secure way, but maybe less traditional, of making prosciutto is to remove the bone ( and also the artery and vein attached to the bone) . This means that there is less of a chance of spoilage dur to the blood in the vein and also is an advantage because when you want to cut the prosciutto , there is no bone to cut through .
Trim the meat to the exposed round knob on the end of the leg bone as above under prosciutto. Trim the skin slightly. Place the leg on the bench and you will notice that the bone is closer to one edge than the other. Place the leg so that the bone is further from you and then cut the skin just above the bone from the ankle to the end of the bone. Cut down and around the bone, making sure that you have removed the vein and artery, and then remove the bone and vessels together. You will now have a leg that is sliced open. Cover the meat surfaces and the end of the leg at the exposed ends with a mixture of rock salt and table salt.
Cover liberally. You can add spices to the salt mix at this stage if you want;
- Freshly ground black pepper ( Abbruzzi).
- Freshly ground black pepper with some Chilli flakes ( Calabria)
- Freshly ground black pepper mixed with fresh chopped garlic, Rosemary and sage. ( Tuscany)
- 15gm White pepper, 12gm ground nutmeg, 17 gm ground allspice, 8gm ground cloves. Mix with salt ( Tuscany)
Leave under salt for 7-8 days for a 10kg prosciutto on a slightly inclined bench to allow drainage. Have the leg draining down towards the narrow end. Because the leg has been opened it will salt quicker than a whole leg. Hold the prosciutto up by the ankle and shake the excess salt off.
Cover the exposed surfaces with the particular mix of spices that you are using eg. pepper/ chilli/ spices etc ..
Hang to dry at approx 16 deg Celsius with a humidity of approx 70-80%. You can fold the cut meat back to recreate the shape of the leg without the bone , but if you do this you will need to place a clamp on the leg to ensure that the surfaces are tightly approximated to each other.
Allow to hang for 8-12 months. You will notice that a white mould will form, mixed with the spices. This is ok, just cut the surface off before slicing to serve.
After salami with fenel pg 172
Finocciona di Marco from San Giovanni Valdarno
The fennel salami from San Giovanni Valdarno.
This is made from 2nd selection meat , ie the belly, the trimmings from the prosciutto , the neck etc that is a little more fatty than the meta for Salami. You need a total of 40% fat for this particular style of finocciona.
So Meat , Fat , Salt 28gm per kg , 2.5 gm of Tuscan spices per Kg , pepper 2.5 ground and 3 gm whole per kg and Fennel, 10gm per kg . If you use flower of fennel then only add 2/3 the amount). Garlic ,1 knob per 10kg of paste.
Mince the meat and fat finely. Mix with the additives and place into ox bungs. . Allow to dry for 2 weeks or more. In Tuscany this can be eaten as a soft fresh meat rather than allow it to dry out like a typical sopprezza. This is also called a “sbicciolone” or ‘crumbly” because it crumbles as you cut it, but with fresh crusty bread it is absolutely sense blasting.