sharing (Italian) food to enjoy life

Posts Tagged ‘cacciatore’

Daughters know

Posted by Jim Carfrae on February 15, 2011

My daughter has invented the ultimate “gourmet” KD, disagree at your own peril.

Her secret ingredient is Mastro Salametti Hot:

The outcome:

If I ate KD, my secret ingredient would be pancetta.


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Italian “Tapas” and Sherry

Posted by Jim Carfrae on December 21, 2010

The Spaniards have done a great thing with the word “tapas”. It communicates so much, and leaves many doors open. My wine expert friend Ramesh recently was in Spain for a course on Sherry – not your mother’s sweet pre-dinner aperitif either.

He tells me, for I know little of sherry, that there are many Sherries from ultra-sweet to bone dry. The dry Sherries work very well with the tapas we might call charcuterie – so this is my Christmas Eve plan given my mother has said we are doing only appetizers.

My plan goes as follows:

Cacciatore – sliced thick and on the diagonal

Mini-Milano grilled sandwiches – my daughter’s favourite and she will make them. (see https://jimmyprosciutto.wordpress.com/2009/11/13/cooking-with-my-kids/)

The proven pleasers, one-bite pancetta cups filled with Caesar salad, (see https://jimmyprosciutto.wordpress.com/2009/11/26/a-master-chef-from-the-canadian-institute-of-culinary-arts-science/)

And for something new will try this “christmasy” idea: http://www.howsweeteats.com/2009/11/25/holiday-appetizers-101-baked-brie-with-cranberry-pancetta-and-spiced-pecans/

And the sherry, per Ramesh’s recommendation is Lustau Amontillado, although I have had to search and source to find.

I promise a full report …

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Little addition – Big change

Posted by Jim Carfrae on January 14, 2010

My daughter is neutral to negative on green peas. I am told that peas are not the favorite green vegetable. My family was exposed to mixing in some cacciatore to the peas, (and onions, but we’ll get to that), now they are a solid positive for both my kids.

It is said there are four tastes: sweet, salty, sour and bitterness. There is also a fifth taste first recognized in Japan called umami, which could be described as meatiness or perhaps savoriness. Feel free to wiki for a whole lot more technical description. 

Umami is the answer here, adding some chopped cacciatore to the peas in a sauté pan for a couple minutes completely changes the flavour profile, even for a negative taste preference. My nephew is quite negative on most green vegetables, with peas at the bottom of their list. I persuaded him to try the peas with cacciatore during our Christmas meal and he quite liked them. I will admit he then asked if there was some extra cacciatore he could take home.

Chop the cacciatore and onion about the same size as the peas, (I make a bit smaller since the flavours are stronger), sauté for a couple minutes, add frozen peas until warm – serve. Here is a link to see the pro version: http://www.grangustoitaliano.com/en/recipes.asp?recipe=1&video=4 and click the play icon. (My kids always ask for the onion to be left out, tragically we usually do.)

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The Andrea Bargnani influence?

Posted by Jim Carfrae on November 19, 2009

My daughter has an away basketball tournament this weekend, that means the parents are looking for an upgrade on pizza and have asked me for a reprise on the last tournament: mortadella and capocollo panini; prosciutto wrapped breadsticks; and hot and mild cacciatore.  Last time I expected the kids to focus on the sandwiches and leave the prosciutto and cacciatore for the parents, boy was I wrong!  It could be the Italian influence of Andrea Bargnani of the Toronto Raptors, but I think kids today have been exposed to many more foods and appreciate a more sophisticated taste at a younger age.

I am happy to put the spread on because it really is very easy. There might be a couple things on the planet that taste better than cacciatore, but not with so little prep time.  When time is of the essence, all you need is a mild and a hot cacciatore.  Slice on a diagonal, lay out artistically and you are done.  Honestly, people will tell you these are amazing.  I like to slice the hot a little thinner to so I can get people to try it.  I read the other day that chili peppers are the fastest growing spice in the world; people are eating more spicy things and spicier things.

With just a little more time I go with prosciutto wrapped around a bread stick. Cut a slice in half lengthwise and wrap down half the breadstick.  My personal favourite is mortadella on the breadstick, but last time I learned it can only be done just before serving or the breadstick goes soggy.  Sometimes I drape the mortadella, put the breadsticks in a glass and let people wrap their own.

For Panini I prefer the Italian way, bread and deli meat; nothing else to dilute the taste.

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