Friday, March 25, 2011

Grazie, Artusi

While Italy's celebration of unification was rather lackluster, something the whole nation can get behind is the 100th anniversary of Artusi.  Every household has a copy of the book that brought the country together more surely than politics or paper-signings every could.  The legendary cookbook author served up a collection of recipes that spanned the peninsula, the first of its kind.

I'm an Artusi devotee, so in honor of this anniversary I'm offering one of my favorite Artusi recipes.  Enjoy!

Here it is, in Artusi's words (as translated by Kyle Phillips):

Pollo alla Marengo

On the eve of the battle of Marengo, Napoleon's cook was unable to find the chuck wagons in the confusion and was forced to improvise, using stolen hens.  The dish became known as chicken Marengo, and it's said that Napoleon always enjoyed it, less for itself than because it reminded him of a glorious victory.

Chop a young chicken into pieces.  Saute it with 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 of oil, seasoning it with salt and pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg.  Once the pieces are browned on all sides, drain off the fat, dust the meat with a level tablespoon of flour, and sprinkle it with 1/2 cup of dry white wine.  Sprinkle about 1/2 cup of broth over the chicken to keep it from drying out, cover it, and simmer it until done.  Before serving, sprinkle it with minced parsley and squeeze half a lemon over it.  This is an appetizing dish.

Buy the Artusi from Amazon:

Try this other Artusi recipe from my archivesMaccheroni alla Napoletana

Monday, March 14, 2011

in Solidarity: Salmon Teriyaki

Since the tsunami struck I've been horrified and saddened by the images from Japan.  We await news of friends, praying they're safe.  I wonder about the beautiful and adventurous ladies who visited our village a few months ago, eager to see our mountain towns and participate in cooking classes.  My neighbor opened his wine cellar to them and I translated from Italian to English (which was then translated to Japanese) as Peppe explained the principles of his organic, home-made vino.  Their sweet smiles come into my mind and I just wonder...

There are many avenues for assistance, as this article on Huffington Post points out. 

Today I'm giving you a recipe a world away from Italy, but close to my heart.  It comes from a friend who owned a Japanese restaurant in New Mexico.  Enjoy, and do consider contributing to the relief efforts.

Salmon Teriyaki

1/4 cup molasses
1/3 cup dark soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup orange juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 TBSP fresh ginger, minced
dash of red pepper flakes
2 TBSP light oil

Combine all in a saucepan and cook until reduced by half and thickened.  Reserve half the sauce; use the other half to brush on the salmon filets while grilling.  Drizzle the reserved sauce over the cooked salmon, and serve with hot, steamed rice.