sharing (Italian) food to enjoy life

Archive for May, 2010

The Wisdom of an 8 year old

Posted by Jim Carfrae on May 26, 2010

May long weekend and entertaining for our friends with two people who can’t eat wheat, (celiac). My thought went to a potato salad recipe that was developed for my company using our new Cube-etti pancetta cubes by Chef Leo at Humber College. When Leo served it, I couldn’t stop eating until it was gone. I shared it with my friend Bruna, and she also had great results. You see where this is going; I didn’t do as well.

Here is my photo, you can see the “chef’s photo” and the actual recipe, at this link: Potato and Bean Salad. I wanted to make the dish in advance, even though the warm topping is part of the magic – I think this was the source of my problems: the beans wilted and the balsamic dressing absorbed into the potatoes, making the potatoes bland. Oh, and I forgot the chives, even though we had some in the garden. And my potatoes were too big. And I missed the maple syrup in the dressing.

The wisdom of eight year old Tara really said it all, “Jimmy I don’t know about these potatoes, but I sure like the little cubes of pan, pan, pancetta. Would it be okay if I picked a few more of those out and just ate them?”

We have had samples in out fridge, (for short whiles), over the development of this product;  however my 15 years daughter  has taken to omelets to the next level, eating one whenever there is pancetta in the fridge. It is one of the fastest-growing products my company sells.

As an aside, the Cube-etti Pancetta are cubes of dry cured pork bellies – the same meat used to make bacon, but done in a very different way – giving a much more intense taste. (Previous blog on this if you are interested:  A rare mistake from my favourite cooking magazine.) Cube-etti are just starting to be shipped, so you may not find it in a store for a couple weeks.


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39, 49, 59 Again

Posted by Jim Carfrae on May 10, 2010

We had a party for my mother last week, so I set my kids to work. There was a lot to do so I went with the simplest, fastest appetizer going – Genoa Salami “flowers”. I have commented on these before, but the ease was never so apparent:

  • Fold the slice of genoa in half; fold that half again in thirds. (You can also cut the slice in half if you are short on salami. Shame, shame it that ever happens.)
  • Toothpick with grape tomato and pearl bocconcini
  • I like to have the tomato skin next to the salami, as the salami can absorb the moisture from the cheese – not that children necessarily follow my wish

My daughter also invented a new version – she put the tomato and pearl bocconcini inside the “flower”. She made 75 flowers in about 20 minutes – I just got the last two.

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The Final Basketball Tournament

Posted by Jim Carfrae on May 6, 2010

No I don’t mean the Raptors! We were in beautiful Sudbury for the Ontario Basketball Association U15 Girls tournament, and yes we visited the giant nickel. It didn’t go as well as hoped, so there was no need to hold back on Saturday night. When you work for an Italian deli company there is an expectation …

I conscripted a younger brother to wrap prosciutto around bread sticks and laid out Mortadella, Capocollo and Prosciutto Cotto with some fresh buns. I claimed we would not run out, but the prosciutto was gone before most people arrived. In the end there were a few scraps of deli meat left; lots of pizza, buns and chips were left.

I love the magic of customizing one’s own sandwich, and the conversation people have while putting one together, in the nicest tone “can I just reach over a grab a piece of that …”.

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