mercoledì 26 novembre 2008
The month of December is the richest of festivities, traditions and gastronomy.
The shops are already adorned with the Christmas decorations and cake shops are already full of sweets and biscuits.
The streets of the city are enriched by the colored lights (l'archi) of various types (simple threads of light, or wooden structures in the shape of stars, circles, flower), by white gold angels (which remember the sculptures of Serpotta), in expectation of seeing the big Christmas tree in front of Theatre Politeama, or see the steps of the Teatro Massimo covered by a red carpet of "Christmas stars", and palm trees illuminated by golden lights that make suggestive night.
It 'also why in this particular year, it is important to celebrate and have fun with a few things. And the kitchen poor (but at the same time cheerful)of Palermo helps raise the mood without spending too much.
Again the opportunity is good to reunite families at the table.
The evening's eve (December 7) is the day when the people starts to play cards and bingo, which will last throughout the month and will conclude with the epiphany.
But the people of Palermo does not play on an empty stomach ... the dishes of this occasion is "Sfincione" and especially "Fried Cod or with raisins."
For lunch the next day usually eats "ANELLETTI o furnu"
"Lasagne cu sucu ri cutini ", or pork sausage with the sauce. Perhaps to sanction the arrival of cold with these foods more fat. The sweets to celebrate "A Maruonna" are many and very attractive, the Reginella (dry biscuits covered with sesame), "the Mustazzuola" (biscuit with honey ), "Buccellatini" and "u Cucciddatu tunnu". These are biscuits, stuffed figs, almonds, raisins.
We prepared "the Sfinci" home-made (leavened dough, fried in hot oil and then sprinkling of sugar), other than "Sfinci of San Giuseppe" which are stuffed with ricotta and you eat for the day which celebrates the namesake saint.
And especially not miss the sweet, ”La Cuccìa”.
The Cuccìa was originally a very simple dish and poor, which was boiled wheat and seasoned with olive oil.
In Palermo, the original “Cuccìa” has given rise to a new sweet, with wheat boiled, cream cheese, candied and chocolate flakes.
Families have already decorated the tree (there are two schools of thought, one that will decorate the tree on December 8 "Pa 'Maruonna", the second on 13 for Saint Lucia), there are people who make the crib.
The gifts are ready and the food (which is beginning to prepare the day before).
On the morning of Christmas (or the night of the eve) usually the people goes to Church (even those who do not go there throughout the year).
And then returned home will start the eating.
The choice is wide, it can vary from meat to fish, and now has been "contaminated" by more modern dishes and other sources, but here I only followed the traditional cuisine.
Starting from the starters: "U'Piattinu" with all types of cheeses and cold cuts (pizzami), "L’ Arenga salata" with herring, orange, pepper and onion oil, "U ficatu ri sette cannuola " (pumpkin in sweet and sour), "Oliva bianche cu' l’accia (olives with celery), “verdure a pastetta "(broccoli, artichokes, cardoons etc, in batter and fried)," Sardi a beccaficu " etc.
As first courses, "A pasta o furnu", "A pasta chi vrocculi arriminata."
As main courses "Brociolone" or "Farsu magru" (meat roll stuffed with breadcrumbs, pine nuts, raisins, cold cuts, boiled eggs), “Pisci spada ‘a ghiotta” (swordfish).
And many desserts including "cannoli", "Turruni", "Cucciddatu", "Petra fennula", including various pastries "Sciù" (BIGNE with ricotta), "Cassatine", "Cannulicchi", ficu sicchi" (figs dried),
"passuluna" (figs boiled) and scacciu (pumpkin seeds, chick peas, peanuts).
The same dishes are also prepared for the following day, Boxing Day and New Year lunch.
The night of the end of the year, someone goes outside home
You can then make a walking to Politeama, where there is the New Year concert.
lunedì 17 novembre 2008
Is nearly unthinkable eating something without accompany it with the bread, the seasonings are called "companatico, something" that is added to bread ("pane"), which comes before everything. Even today the habit of some mothers (like mine), when the family is at the table to reassure everyone by saying that "there is bread."
What do they expect? That the bread leaves the oven. They want the bread to be burning hot hands. Even before arriving home, in secret (because that is not good education, but all do it) breaking the “cozzitello” (the end of the bread) and eat burning the mouth but with much satisfaction.
The breadcrumbs can be kept in the fridge mixed with laurel leaves.
In Palermo you can find the bread at all hours of day and in Sunday when most of the bakeries are closed. No problem! Sundays or public holidays, in every street corner there are the white vans selling strands of bread from Monreale or Molara, a good diversion (excellent with nutella!).
In Palermo we waive the bread only one day a year, Saint Lucia, the penalty is become blind(but I will tell this story the next month), However, on this day we eat Arancino, potatoes, sweet ricotta. And our eyes are also guaranteed.
A particular type of bread ("cricchi" with seeds of wild fennel) is done for the day of St. Joseph, take by bakers in churches, blessed and offered to parishioners.
The bread is fundamental to the famous sandwich with panelle and the spleen, or cunsato.
domenica 16 novembre 2008
martedì 11 novembre 2008
For the feast of St. Martin around Agrigento is a specialty that we like a lot, the 'mpignolata which is also called' mpriulata or 'mmiscata (depending on the town of origin).
We known it thanks to our guests-friends Lillo, Teresa and Ilaria of Grotte, a small town in the province of Agrigento.
It is a soft bun stuffed with sausage, onion and black olives, and there is another version with spinach and olives.
I found the recipe, although there are several versions. I have not cooked by me, but I ate the 'mpignolate that our friends bring us directly from Grotte.
1 Kg. of flour, 4 eggs, 50 gr. of yeast, 150 gr. of lard, sausage, black olives, onion, water or milk, oil, salt.
Pour the oil in the flour, mix well, add eggs, mix well, add enough salt, yeast, the lard dissolved and kneading it by adding little by little lukewarm water or milk. Mix well and allow to rise (the dough should be somewhat 'softer than the bread).
When the leavening will be reached, cut the dough into pieces of about 100-150 degrees; pave every piece with a rolling pin, making it take a rectangular shape and thin. Meanwhile in a pan cook the onion cut into slices in olive oil, to which you add the crumbled sausage. Put the sauce of sausage, onion and black olives fleshy and pitted on each rectangle of dough.
Wrap the dough over itself and then again in the shape of a spiral, put on an olives and place in hot oven. Cooking time: 30 minutes.
Now for vegetarians: with spinach.
Boil and then skip the spinach with olive oil in a pan, add the pitted black olives and season rectangles of pasta with this sauce, wrap the dough.
There are several versions in which you use minced beef, chunks of pecorino, Frittola pork, etc, to you the choice!
lunedì 10 novembre 2008
The rich people celebrate the Saint the 11th of November (San Martino of the rich), the poorest were looking for the following Sunday to celebrate (San Martino of the poor), the most gluttonous celebrate both days!
In Palermo in this day we eat three types of cookies, the simplest are the triccotti, round shape and flavored by fennel seeds. These cookies are very hard and we eat with the wine Moscato, a sweet wine made from grapes inzolia.
The day of San Martino in Palermo, but not only, was celebrated in the years because it coincided with pre and rural cults, which celebrated the last warm days before winter, which was called the summer of San Martino.
Furthermore, the name of this saint was linked to the production of wine, because around early November is produced the new wine. Hence the saying " in San Martino every must is wine." Became a good opportunity to taste the wine in the many taverns of the city, and drank to accompany boiled eggs, fried cardoons or biscuits.
In these beautiful days you could still eat outdoors roast beef, pork, sausage and drink so good wine! All this has made the holy very "friendly" and "famous" in the eyes of people from Palermo, that even in poverty, have in them the desire to celebrate and eat in the company of family and friends!
sabato 8 novembre 2008
1kg of fish, celery, 50gr of capers, 100 gr.of green olives, 1 onion, extra virgin olive oil, 100gr. tomato concentrate (you can also use peeled tomatoes), salt and pepper, 1 tablespoon sugar, 3 tablespoons of wine vinegar.
giovedì 6 novembre 2008
In Palermo we cooked with the assassunata sauce, the "sparacelli", the "broccoli" (cauliflower), the "giri" (chard) etc. The kind of pasta that is used for this dish is the “bucatini”, much appreciated in the kitchen of Palermo, perhaps because when you eat makes “u scrusciu” (noise), is certainly not a very refined image, but is part of our culture!
Wash thoroughly the sparacelli. Cut into pieces the sprouts, and the leaves.Boil them for 10-15 minutes in salted water. Remove from water the sparacelli and place them in a dish. Put in a large frying pan olive oil, anchovy and two cloves of garlic cut into large pieces, fry slightly and then add the sparacelli and some 'pepper. Is ready in minutes.
Cook pasta in the cooking water of sparacelli, after ten minutes remove the pasta from the pot and put it in a pan with sauce. Put it in the dishes and… Good appetite!
sabato 1 novembre 2008
“Liver of the Sette cannola neighbourhood”
This is a dish of the "palermitana poor cuisine". It was born from the processing of a more "rich" dish, cooked by the Monsù (refined chefs who cooked for the noble French), the main ingredient of this dish was liver (breaded and fried).
Probably in the neighborhood of “sette cannola”, where the poorest people rarely ate meat (though it was offal), some good housewives of Palermo came to know of this delicious dish and so decided to reinvent itself, replacing the liver with a cheaper ingredient, pumpkin red. The result will envy the best Monsù!
500 grams of red pumpkin, olive oil, 1 teaspoon sugar, 2 tablespoons of vinegar, 2 cloves of garlic, mint, pepper, salt
Peel the pumpkin and remove the red part with the seeds (if you like, the seeds can be dried in the sun and transformed into what we call "semenza"). Cut it into slices and a cm thick. Fry the pumpkin slices in olive oil on a slow fire, turned gently (will take a brown color). Add the cloves of garlic cut into slices. When the pumpkin are just fried, you must remove the excess oil, raise the heat, and pour over the vinegar (which will be done dissolve a teaspoon of sugar). When vinegar has evaporated, put them in a plate and add salt, pepper and especially mint leaves. Let cool is more tasty!