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Tag: Michele Carbone

Michele Carbone peppered mussels

Peppered Mussels (Pepata di cozze) for 2 to 4 People

This recipe features fresh mussels as the basis. You can either serve the mussels in their juices with fresh bread, or you can use the mussels in their juices as a pasta sauce for spaghetti.

Ingredients

About 3 pounds of mussels– Make sure the mussels are fresh and healthy by checking to see if their shells are close to slightly opened before purchasing.  Keep them in the fridge until you are ready to cook them.

  • ½ cup of virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch of Italian parsley (flat-leaf parsley) – finely minced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed into large chunks
  • 1½ cups of white wine, preferably an Italian pinot grigio
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

  1. Heat the olive oil on high heat in a large saucepan that has a lid. When it is hot, add the garlic cloves and allow them to become golden in color.
  2. Remove the garlic from the skillet as soon as it becomes golden (do not wait until the garlic gets brown).
  3. Add one handful of the minced parsley (reserving the rest until you serve the mussels) and all of the mussels to the pan and cover immediately. Using oven mitts, shake the pan on the flame to mix up the mussels (but don’t open the cover, because you want the mussels to steam).
  4. Wait about 2 minutes for the mussels to open: add the wine and cover again for 1 minute.
  5. Remove the cover and continue to cook on high heat for about 1 minute to let alcohol evaporate
  6. Turn off the flame and add freshly ground black pepper—a lot of it!—and the remainder of the minced parsley.
  7. Mix and serve immediately as a soup, along with slices of fresh bread you and your guests can use to sop up the delicious broth created by steaming the mussels in wine and oil.
  8. Buon appetito!

Notes

Mussels can be stored in the fridge in a pot covered with a wet cloth for about 1-2 days, but make sure to remove any plastic bag around them so that they can breathe. Clean the mussels—if necessary—using a knife and your thumb to remove the thread.

Suggested Wine Pairing

Serve with a white wine such as an Arneis no more than a year old. If you prefer, you can serve it witha more crisp and less fruity wine like a Gavi, also only a year old.

Italiano: Pepata di Cozze

Ingredienti

  • Circa 1,5 kg di cozze – Assicurati che le cozze siano fresche e sane controllando che i loro gusci siano leggermente aperti prima dell’acquisto. Tienili ben freddi finché non sei pronto per cucinarli.
  • Circa 125v ml di olio d’oliva extravergine
  • 1 mazzetto di prezzemolo italiano (prezzemolo a foglia piatta) – tritato finemente
  • 3 spicchi d’aglio, schiacciati
  • 1 bicchiere vino bianco,
  • Sale e pepe a piacere

Nota: Le cozze possono essere conservate in frigorifero in una pentola coperta con un panno umido per circa 1-2 giorni, ma rimuovete eventuali buste di plastica intorno a loro in modo che possano respirare. Pulite le cozze, se necessario, utilizzando un coltello e il pollice per rimuovere il filo.

Preparazione

  1. Scaldare l’olio d’oliva a fuoco vivo in una grande casseruola con coperchio. Quando sarà ben caldo unite gli spicchi d’aglio. e lasciate che diventino dorati. Rimuovere l’aglio dalla padella non appena diventa dorato (non aspettare che l’aglio diventi marrone).
  2. Aggiungete una manciata di prezzemolo tritato (riservando il resto fino a quando non servite le cozze) e tutte le cozze nella padella e coprire immediatamente. Usando guanti da forno, scuotete la teglia sul fuoco per amalgamare le cozze (ma non aprite il coperchio, perché volete che le cozze cuociano a vapore).
  3. Attendere circa 2 minuti affinché le cozze si aprano; aggiungere il vino e coprire ancora per 1 minuto.
  4. Togliere il coperchio e continuare a cuocere a fuoco vivace per circa 1 minuto lasciare evaporare 1 minuto
  5. Spegnete il fuoco e aggiungete pepe nero macinato fresco – molto! – e il resto del prezzemolo tritato.
  6. Mescola e servi subito come zuppa, insieme a fette di pane fresco che potrete utilizzare per intingere nel delizioso brodo creato cuocendo le cozze.
  7. Buon appetito!

Abbinamento Vini Consigliato: Servire con un vino bianco tipo “Arneis” di non più di un anno. Se preferite, potete servirlo con un vino più fresco e meno fruttato come un Gavi, anche di appena un anno.

Risotto prepared with funghi porcini

Risotto with Porcini Mushrooms

Last August, when I was visiting family friends in Cellara, a small village in the Sila mountains where my family is from, my host brought out a basket of freshly-picked Porcini mushrooms.

Porcini Mushrooms

Fresh Porcini Mushrooms

 

We cooked them together and they were wonderful.

Cooking fresh porcini

Michele Carbone and Armando cook fresh Porcini mushrooms

While the dried Italian porcini mush
rooms are not as good as those freshly picked and eaten in the mountains of Calabria, they are still wonderful.  You may find them in the gourmet sections of your market.  Be careful: there are lots of “fake Italian porcini” for sale.  If the box says “packed in Italy”, and does not specify from where the porcini are from, it means they were imported in Italy from Yugoslavia or other country and packed in Italy to sell them at higher price by fooling you into thinking those are the Italian porcini.

If you cannot find the “Italian funghi porcini”, you can try this recipe with the Yugoslavia porcini or other mixed dried mushrooms—but the flavor will not be quite the same

Risotto is a classic Northern Italian preparation for their famous Arborio and Carnaroli rice products.  I prefer the Carnaroli risotto rice if you can find it, because it is a little starchier than Arborio; it’s less likely to get mushy if you overcook it.  Usually you need to look for the risotto rices in the gourmet sections of the market, although Amazon.com also has a variety of Italian rices available

So here is how you make risotto

Now for many years I thought I made the best risotto with porcini, until I ate it at “Papa` Giovanni” a restaurant in Roma near the Senate (strongly recommend you eat there!).  I called the host, Daniela, and told her: your risotto is better than mine.  How do you make it?  She told me she uses olive oil instead of butter, garlic rather than onion—I was surprised, to say the least.  I tried and it worked great, so I modified the recipe.  Here it is:

Ingredients for 5-7 people – depending on how much you eat!

  • About 50 grams dried funghi porcini (Porcini mushrooms)
  • 1⁄3 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 handful of minced Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 1-2 spicy Calabria pepper, or a Thai, or Hawaiian pepper or other
  • Salt and freshly grated black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup of freshly grated Parmigiano cheese
  • 1 TB butter
  • 3 ½ cups of risotto, Carnaroli preferred (1 box of 450 grams)
  • About 1.5 liters homemade chicken broth (or vegetable if you do not have chicken broth), brought to a low boil in a medium sized saucepan (this is incorporated in the risotto)

Preparation

  1. In a small bowl –enough to submerge the mushrooms, soak the dried funghi porcini in chicken broth water for about 30 minutes.
  2. Heat the chicken broth to a low boil (I do not recommend vegetable broth) in a pot. Keep the broth on a low boil or simmer throughout the recipe; the broth is incorporated into the rice one cup at a time, and it must be very hot when it is added.
  3. In a large heavy pan, add 1⁄3 cup olive oil, and 2 cloves of smashed garlic and sauté it gently until the garlic takes on a golden color.
    1. While the garlic is being sautéed, squeeze the water/broth from the mushrooms that have been soaking and chop them. Reserve the water/broth so that you can incorporate it into the risotto later.
  4. Discard the garlic and add the finely-chopped parsley and spicy pepper (chopped very fine). Allow the flavors to combine for 30 seconds on low heat. Reserve a little bit of the chopped parsley for a garnish when you serve the risotto.
  5. Add the risotto, bringing the heat to medium. Toast the risotto in the pan for 2 minutes, stirring so that each grain of rice is coated in the oil. The grains of rice should begin to cook—you’ll see kind of a white dot in the center of each grain, indicating that it’s read for the next step.  If you do not see it,  well, do not worry about the dot, after 2 minutes it is ready!
  6. Add the chopped dried mushrooms and stir with the risotto for 1 minute or so.
  7. Add 1 cup of white wine, and continue to stir until the wine has been incorporated (30 seconds)
  8. Now start adding the heated broth, using a scoop or ladle to add it to the pan with the rice, 1 cup at a time. Keep stirring the risotto as it incorporates the broth.  You stir to make sure that each grain of rice is exposed to the broth and heat as it cooks.  I also re-heat the reserved water/broth from the soaked porcini and add that liquid to the pan as well, since it provides more of the mushroom flavor to the risotto.
  9. Continue adding broth, 1 cup at a time, until the risotto is ready. This usually takes about 20 – 25 minutes.  The risotto should be slightly firm – you don’t want it to get mushy. remember that it will continue to cook for a little bit after you turn the fire off, so turn off the heat 2 minutes before you think the risotto is ready.
  10. When the heat is off, the risotto is ready. Stir in the optional butter and about ½ cup of the grated Parmigiano.  If you have truffle butter, use that instead of regular butter– it adds a delicious, savory aroma that infuses the risotto.
  11. Sprinkle with the reserved chopped parsley. Put the rest of the grated Parmigiano in a small bowl so that you can serve at the table, allowing your guests to add more to their risotto if they like.  (Americans tend to use more Parmigiano on their pastas and risottos than Italians)

Wines: Barbaresco or Barolo, (10+ years old or older opened at least 12 hours earlier), or if you find it, try this one that I had the other day and that is outstanding Langhe Nebbiolo Cascina Luisin 2014, same grape as the other (Nebbiolo) but much less expensive, and opening it 1 hour in advance will do it.

Italiano: Risotto con Funghi Porcini

Il risotto ai porcini richiede brodo di pollo fatto in casa –pure quello vegetale va bene se non avete quello di pollo, porcini veri, tanto amore e poco o niente burro.

  1. Soffriggere aglio in olio (80 ml di olio) rimuovere aglio aggiungere prezzemolo e peperoncino, 30 secondi, aggiungere riso -450 grammi per 4 – 7 persone- cuocere a fuoco medio/alto 2 minuti, aggiungere i porcini freschi, oppure se secchi rinvenuti per 10 minuti almeno o di più in un po’ di brodo e poi strizzati.
  2. Fuoco forte 1 minuto.
  3. Aggiungere 1 bicchiere di vino bianco, fuoco forte, 1 minuto massimo, poi il resto dell’acqua in cui avere rinvenuto i porcini –sarà 1 cup, cioe` circa 236 ml—e poi abbassando un po’ il fuoco a medio/alto un po’ per volta brodo di pollo
  4. Spegnere il fuoco 1 – 2 minuti prima che è pronto–il risotto continuerà a cuocere un po’.

Vino ideale, vedi sopra, se possibile Barbaresco di 15-20 anni.

Michele Carbone spaghetti con le cozze

Spaghetti alle Cozze (for 4 People!)

This recipe features fresh mussels as the basis. YoMichele Carbone peppered musselsu can either serve the mussels in their juices with fresh bread, or you can use the mussels in their juices as a pasta sauce for spaghetti.  See my recipe for Peppered Mussels.

Ingredients

  • About 3 pounds of mussels (or 1.5 kg of cozze) – Make sure the mussels are fresh and healthy by checking to see if their shells are close to slightly opened before purchasing.  Keep them in a pot in the fridge.  (See the recipe for Peppered Mussels, page 123).
  • 400 grams spaghetti
  • ½ cup of excellent extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch of Italian parsley (flat-leaf parsley) – finely minced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed into large chunks
  • 1 glass of good white wine, of course I use Italian wine
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Suggested Wine Pairing

Serve with a white wine such as an “Arneis” no more than a year old. If you prefer, you can serve it with a more crisp and less fruity wine like a Gavi, also just a year old.

Italiano: Spaghetti alle Cozze

Ingredienti

  • Circa 1,5 kg di cozze – Assicurati che le cozze siano fresche e sane controllando che i loro gusci siano chiusi o solo leggermente aperti prima dell’acquisto. Tieni le cozze in frigo.
  • ½ cup -120 ml circa, di olio d’oliva extra vergine
  • 1 mazzetto di prezzemolo italiano (prezzemolo a foglia piatta) – tritato finemente
  • 3 spicchi d’aglio, pelati e schiacciati
  • 1 bicchiere ml di vino bianco buono
  • Sale e pepe a piacere

Nota

Le cozze possono essere conservate in frigorifero in una pentola coperta con un panno umido per circa 1-2 giorni, ma rimuovete eventuali buste di plastica intorno a loro in modo che possano respirare. Pulite le cozze, se necessario, utilizzando un coltello e il pollice per rimuovere il filo.

Preparazione

  1. Cucina le cozze exactamente come le prepari per la pepata di cozze (pagina 120), fai bollire l’acqua e aggiungi 1 scatola di spaghetti.
  2. Con una schiumarola grande trasferite le cozze in una ciotola capiente (metteteci sopra un canovaccio per tenere in caldo le cozze), lasciando solo la salsa creata dalla cottura delle cozze.
  3. Circa 2 minuti prima che gli spaghetti siano completamente cotti, scolate la pasta in uno scolapasta, quindi aggiungetela nella padella contenente il sugo di cozze. Alzate la fiamma mescolando bene la salsa con gli spaghetti. Mescolate delicatamente per circa 3 minuti o fino a quando la pasta è cotta al dente (ma per favore non cuocetela troppo!).
  4. Spegnere il fuoco e mettere da parte le cozze cotte. Mescolare bene con la pasta, aggiungere un po’ di prezzemolo tritato e pepe nero e servire subito.
  5. Buon appetito!

Abbinamento Vini Consigliato: Servire con un vino bianco tipo “Arneis” di non più di un anno. Se preferite, potete servirlo con un vino più fresco e meno fruttato come un Gavi, anche di appena un anno.

Michele Carbone pappa al pomodoro

Pappa al Pomodoro (for 6)

This evening, I made the “pappa al pomodoro”, a simple, wonderful Italian soup that my mother used to make.  It’s made with stale bread, tomatoes, basil and vegetable broth. It was great! 

For some reason, in the U.S., I have never seen this delicious meal in any Italian restaurant. Actually, unless I go to Florence, I cannot even find it in Italy because it’s a Tuscan soup.

The soup is very easy to make, and I substitute Pomì tomatoes for the fresh tomatoes that are traditionally used. Kids love this hearty soup, and adults like it even more! It takes 30 minutes to make, and the amounts suggested in this recipe easily feed 6. If you double up the ingredients, in 30 minutes, you feed 12 or more.

Ingredients

  • 300 grams Italian “rustic type” bread (ciabatta, for example) — old bread is fine — cut into thick slices
  • 500 gram peeled Italian tomatoes, a box of Pomì chopped tomatoes, or fresh tomatoes put in a food processor and roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 liter broth, either vegetable (traditional recipe) or chicken (my preference)
  • 1/3 cup Extra-virgin olive oil
  • A bunch of basil, chopped
  • Salt to taste

Preparation

  1. Fry garlic in oil on low heat until it takes on a golden color. Remove the garlic from the olive oil.
  2. Add the tomatoes and basil and cook on medium/high for 15 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, bring the broth to boil in a separate pen. When you’ve cooked the tomatoes and basil for 15 minutes, add the broth bring fire to high/max.  Add the bread and let it cook 10 more minutes, stirring often with a wooden spoon. Taste and adjust with salt as needed.
  4. Turn off the heat, mix and let it sit for at least 1 hour. Mix again and serve, or if you a e eating it many hours later, heat it up on low/medium flame.
  5. Serve the pappa at a warm (not hot) temperature. Add a teaspoon of olive oil to each bowl of soup as you serve it. Do not add parmesan cheese.

Italiano: Pappa al Pomodoro

Ingredienti

  • 300 grams Italian “rustic type” bread (ciabatta, for example) — old bread is fine — cut into thick slices
  • 500 gram peeled Italian tomatoes, a box of Pomì chopped tomatoes, or fresh tomatoes put in a food processor and roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 liter broth, either vegetable (traditional recipe) or chicken (my preference)
  • 1/3 cup Extra-virgin olive oil
  • A bunch of basil, chopped
  • Salt to taste

Preparazione

  1. Friggete aglio in olio toglierlo come prende colore aggiunge i pomodori pelati e basilico e cuocer a fuoco medio alto 15 minuti.
  2. Intanto avete portato il brodo a bollore, aggiungetelo alla salsa di pomodoro, alzate il fuoco al massimo e guinguette il pane tagliato a fettine.
  3. Fate cuocere 10 minuti rimestando spesso e spegnete il fuoco. Aggiustate di sale. Fate riposare un’ora.
  4. La pappa si serve tiepida –non bollente!- con un filo d’olio e niente formaggio per carità`. Se e` fredda potete riscaldarla, coperta a fuoco medio basso.

Suggested Wine Pairing

A simple Rosso di Montalcino or a Chianti pairs very well with this hearty soup.

 

 

Michele Carbone fried potatoes 2

The Best Fried Potatoes in the World

This recipe, like most of my recipes, is based on having a good extra-virgin olive oil, and fresh ingredients.  Another thing many of my recipes have in common is that they don’t feature too many ingredients.  This one, for example, just has the following ingredients:

  • Extra-virgin olive oil – You will need enough oil in the pan to cover the potatoes
  • Yukon potatoes, scrubbed and with the skin on: about 1 – 2 potatoes per person
  • A sprig or two of fresh rosemary
  • Sea salt

We grow our rosemary in pots so that we can clip off springs whenever we need them.  But, if you need to buy the herb packets from your supermarket, keep in mind that you can freeze whatever you don’t use.  The color may get a little dark if the sprig has been in the freezer for a while, but it retains its fresh flavor when you use it later.

You need a pan that can handle a lot of heat, and depth which allows the potato slices to stay under the oil in a single layer when cooking.  We love using the old-fashioned cast-iron skillets for this, but you can also use any pan designed for high heat which distributes heat evenly.

This recipe is fun to cook when your guests are keeping you company in the kitchen.  Because I’m Italian, I like serving this dish as an appetizer because it’s best when the potatoes have come right out of the skillet.  But, you can also serve it at the same time you dish up an entree, such as lamb chops or steak.

Preparation:

  1. Slice the potatoes into thick strips, each one about 1 cm thick.
  2. Pour enough olive oil into your skillet/pan to cover the potatoes.  This means you may use close to a bottle of olive oil, but don’t worry — you can save the oil to re-use for this recipe another time.
  3. Heat the oil moderately high, but not enough to bubble or fry.
  4. When the oil has gotten moderately hot, carefully place the potato slices and rosemary sprigs into the skillet.  There should be enough oil to cover the slices.
  5. Cook the potatoes at moderate heat for 15 minutes, moving them gently in the skillet.
  6. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, remove the potatoes from the skillet and place them on a layer of paper towels.
  7. While the potatoes drain and cool off on the paper towels for 2-3 minutes, bring the heat up in the skillet to high.
  8. Carefully add the potatoes back into the now very hot oil.  Allow them to cook for another 8-10 minutes, moving them gently to make sure they don’t stick to the bottom.
  9. After 8-10 minutes, the potatoes should be a dark golden color.  Take one out and let it cool enough to taste it.  If you judge that it’s ready, remove the rest of the potatoes with your slotted spoon (or tong) and put them on a serving plate that has been lined with paper towels.
  10. Sprinkle the potatoes with sea salt to taste.  We’ve been using Hawaiian black sea salt to finish dishes, and we love the color and flavor, but any salt will do.  Serve immediately.

 

Italiano: Le migliori patate fritte del mondo

Questa ricetta, come la maggior parte delle mie ricette, si basa sull’avere un buon olio extravergine di oliva e ingredienti freschi. Un’altra cosa che molte delle mie ricette hanno in comune è che non contengono troppi ingredienti. Questo, ad esempio, ha solo i seguenti ingredienti:

  • Olio extravergine di oliva – Abbastanza per coprire le patate
  • Yukon patate –patate gialle-, con la buccia: circa 1 – 2 patate a persona
  • Uno o due rametti di rosmarino fresco
  • Sale

Noi coltiviamo il rosmarino in un vaso così è sempre a disposizione e mi piace il profumo. Ma, se lo compri a; supermercato, tieni presente che puoi congelare tutto ciò che non usi. Il colore diventerà un po’ scuro se il rametto resta nel freezer per un po’, ma mantiene il suo sapore fresco quando lo usi in seguito.

Serve una padella che possa sopportare molto calore e una profondità che permetta alle fette di patate di rimanere sotto l’olio, meglio in un unico strato durante la cottura. Le padelle in ghisa vecchio stile sono perfette per questo, ma puoi anche usare qualsiasi padella buona.

Questa ricetta è divertente da cucinare quando i tuoi ospiti ti tengono compagnia in cucina. Mi piace servirlo come antipasto perché le patate sono più buone quando sono appena uscite dalla padella.

Preparazione:

  1. Tagliare le patate a listarelle spesse di circa 1 cm.
  2. Versare abbastanza olio d’oliva nella padella per coprire le patate. L’olio puoi riutilizzarlo per questa ricetta un’altra volta.
  3. Riscaldare l’olio a una temperatura moderata,
  4. Quando l’olio sarà moderatamente caldo, mettete con cura le fette di patate e i rametti di rosmarino nella padella. Dovrebbe esserci abbastanza olio per coprire le fette.
  5. Cuocere le patate a fuoco moderato –sobbollire, per 15 minuti, muvendole delicatamente nella padella ogni 3 minuti circa.
  6. Usando una pinza o una schiumarola, togli le patate dalla padella e adagiale su carta assorbente.per 2-3 minuti.  Alza il fuoco al massimo.
  7. Rimettere le patate nell’olio bollente e cuocere per altri 8-10 minuti, muovendole delicatamente perché non si attacchino al fondo.
  8. Dopo 8-10 minuti, le patate dovrebbero assumere un colore dorato scuro. Tirane fuori una e assaggiala. Se ritieni che sia pronta, togli il resto delle patate con il cucchiaio forato (o la pinza) e mettile su un piatto da portata rivestito con carta assorbente.
  9. Aggiungi sale in abbondanza. Se usi il sale nero Hawaiiano il piatto è molto più bello (lo trovi su Amazon).\
  10. Servire immediatamente.

 

Image credit: http://www.cbc.ca/inthekitchen/2013/01/thick-cut-fries.html

Coyote Cafe’s Yucatec Stuffed Turkey

When I came to the United States in 1989, I had never eaten turkey.  For the first few years I was here, I had several great Thanksgiving dinners at the houses of American friends.  Then, one year in the early 1990s, I decided to try cooking Thanksgiving dinner myself.  My wife and I had been to a restaurant called the Red Sage, in Washington, D.C., run by Chef Mark Miller.  We loved the restaurant and bought his book Coyote Café. That book had the recipe for a Tex-Mex flavored turkey that was different from any other turkey recipe I had ever eaten.  I decided to try it, and now it’s been my family’s traditional turkey recipe every Thanksgiving.  

Here’s a link to the recipe on the Food and Wine website:

http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/coyote-cafes-yucatec-stuffed-turkey

Over the years, I have made a couple of small variations to this recipe:

  1. I use a roasting bag to keep the turkey moist as it cooks.
  2. I use the Chipotle in Adobe sauce (from the Mexican section of the supermarket) instead of the recipe’s recommended Cascabel chilis, hot peppers, and achiote.

Suggested Wine Pairing

The added spice and heat that the peppers give this turkey recipe require an assertive red wine.  I suggest you serve it with a Barbaresco or a Cirò Rose.

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