martedì 30 dicembre 2008

martedì 23 dicembre 2008

Brociolone o Falsomagro

In italiano su Agave blog

The brociolone, also said falsomagro is a dish of meat that is tipical of the traditional cuisine of Palermo, spread thereafter throughout Sicily (with variations).

Prepared for the most important feasts, and generally is on our dinner tables for Christmas or New Year.It is a dish that rises during the Aragonese domain, but that was already present during the previous Angevin domain.

His name, in Sicilian dialect "farsumagro" which has become Italianized falsomagro, comes from the French " farci de maigre ", stuffed of lean. This name was erroneously interpreted as "false lean".The story of this dish is interesting because in some ways is an anomaly in our kitchen, showing once again, the imagination and great culinary art of the "Monsù" in make rich some dishes originally poor.

The meat is not a typical specialties of the cuisine of Palermo, because there were not(and there are not) rich pastures, and oxen were used mainly to plow the land. So the meat was fibrous and hard. Thus the Monsù enriched the meat with these tasty fillings, to make them tasty for the table of French nobles.

As I have said there are many variations, this recipe is one of the more traditional.


A single slice of beef around 800gr, so having a thickness of 1 cm, 200 gr of mortadella, salami 200 gr, 100 gr of fresh caciocavallo cut into pieces (or provola), 400gr breadcrumbs, 50 gr of grated caciocavallo, onion, raisins, pine nuts, parsley, 4 boiled eggs, 1 bottle of tomato sauce, 1 glass of red wine, frozen peas, oil , salt and pepper.

Fry half chopped onion in olive oil . Extinguish the fire, add the bread crumbs, grated cheese, raisins previously soaked in water, pine nuts, parsley, salt, pepper and olive oil in abundance, salami and fresh caciocavallo cubes. Make a soft dough.

Flesh fly, add salt and pepper, if you want you can put the butter. Lay the slices of mortadella (alternatively you could use the mortadella into pieces to the stuffing). Distribute the compound previously prepared, creating a sort of central sulcus and add the boiled eggs. Wrap and tie well with kitchen twine.
Bake in a pan uncovered over low heat, with oil and onion previously sliced, mix occasionally. This proceeding is said inPalermo 'ngranciare.
When the onion is soft, pour the wine and let evaporate. Then add the tomato sauce and cook over low heat, being careful if the sauce is too dense.

When is cooked remove from sauce the brociolone , wait when is cool, unlinking, cut sliced not too thin and put it on a platter scope.
Add the peas into the sauce, cook for about 10 minutes. Pour the sauce over the slices of brociolone.

venerdì 19 dicembre 2008

Buccellato, Sweet Christmas

In Palermo the sweet for Christmas is the Buccellato or cucciddatu. Is apparently a simple cake, made with pastry, but it contains within itself flavors that speak of Sicily. Figs, raisins, pine nuts, almonds, walnuts, orange etc.
The form generally is a donut, decorated with honey and pistachios or from icing sugar. I buccellatini (small pieces of buccellati)are also covered in white icing sugar and colored sugar "diavoletti".

This cake originates from the country world, perhaps from the "panificatus" of the Old Romans, its name is derived from the Latin "buccellatum" bread cut in pieces.
As for the filling, you can think of Arab origin since it is an association of traditional flavors of this cuisine.

There are several recipes Buccellato, where there may be slight variations in both the dough (you can use butter or lard, some people put ammonia, but I do not recommend), some people in the filling joins all the ingredients with jam, others with honey, some with an egg yolk, some people add chocolate, cinnamon or cloves. The decor may vary too..


500 gr. 00 of flour, 300 gr. butter, 200 gr. sugar, 3 eggs, 1 dl milk, half cup of Marsala wine, 300 gr. figs, 200 gr. raisins, 100g. of sultana raisins, 150 gr. shelled walnuts, 30 gr. of pine nuts, 30 gr. of candied orange peel, 100 gr. candied pumpkin, chocolate fondant to 50gr flakes, 150gr of toasted almonds, orange marmalade, a pinch of cinnamon.


kneading the flour, sugar, butter, eggs and milk. When everything is well amalgamated, let stand for about an hour in the refrigerator.

For the filling grind dried figs, sultanas, raisins, tree nuts, pine nuts, the orange peel, pumpkin, almonds, mix and put on fire along with the Marsala wine for about ten minutes. Outside the fire add three tablespoons of orange marmalade and allow to cool.

Pave the dough (1 cm thick) into a rectangle, place the stuffing, distribute the flakes of chocolate and wrap-shaped donut. Affect the surface with cuts that show the filling.
The Buccellato must be placed on a floured baking dish, in preheated oven at 180 ° for about half an hour. You can then garnish in several ways:
Dissolve 4-5 tablespoonfuls of honey, put it on the surface of the
Buccellato to make it glossy and garnish with candied fruit mixture.

Put on the surface of the Buccellato, a tablespoon of orange marmalade dissolved in water, then sprinkle with chopped pistachios and put in the oven for another five minutes.
Put on the surface of the Buccellato icing sugar.

The choice is yours
Allow to cool and good appetite!

The Baccalà

The Baccalà (salt cod) is a particular type of cod, fished in the Atlantic sea, different from cod that is caught in the Mediterranean sea, known by the name Nasello.
How is it that a fish of the North arrived in Sicily and has become an essential food (especially in the past), ingredient
of traditional dishes (fried cod, with raisins, a sfinciuni)?

It arrived in Sicily by the Normans, descendants of the Vikings (great navigators of Norway) who fished in these seas cod, which used to store it through a drying process in the open air, reducing rigid like sticks. So the type of fish conservation gave a new name, which was "stick fish", in the Flemish word "kabeljaw", which became our baccalà, or a derivation of Anglo-Saxon stick (wood), fish (fish,) or Norwegian stockfish, from which our stoccafisso.

In the years to follow, the Basque people of northern France and of Spain encounters this kind of cod, going hunting for whales. These fishermen began using a new type of conservation, both to transport in warmer lands, both because they generally put under salt the meat of whales. They conserved cod, gutted, beheaded and putting it under salt (this method was later resumed and expanded also by the Vikings).

It is so that even today is conserved the salt cod, differently from that which we call stockfish, which is dried in the open air.
The use of salt cod arrived in Sicily thanks to the Normans and later as a bargaining chip (in exchange for the salt of Trapani) and became a protagonist of our tables because it was a cheap, but is a nutritious food because it is rich in protein.

The salt cod was consumed on Friday for Lent and especially during the period of December to the immaculate conception for the New Year dinner.
To be cooked, the salt cod needs a preceding process of desalination (which lasts from twenty-four to forty-eight hours), to make his flesh softer. This process starts already in fishmongers. Is possible to see in our markets (or Ballarò or Cape), the benches where there are fillets of cod dipped in pans of water or under taps of cold running water .Before cook, you rinse in cold water.

Fried cod (Baccalà):
is a simple recipe, cover, with flour,the fillets previously rinsed and cut into pieces , fry in boiling olive oil . Put in absorbent paper and are ready

Baccalà with passuli (raisins):
chop an onion and fry it in a pan with a clove of garlic in extra virgin olive oil. Add tomato sauce or tomato extract (lengthened with the water needed). Adjust salt. Add a handful of raisins (big), previously soaked in water. When the sauce is ready, put gently cod fillets previously rinsed and let cook for one quarter of an hour, taking care that it don't attack at the bottom of the pan. (someone adds also black olives).

Baccalà a sfinciuni: prepare the sauce that is the same that we used for the sfincione. Cut into slice the onion and fry it in a pan with extra virgin olive oil, add chopped anchovy. Add chopped peeled tomatoes or tomato sauce, salt and pepper. Cook for twenty minutes.
Prepare a baking dish with paper oven unta of extra virgin olive oil. Put the cod fillets and cover with the previously prepared sauce and add oregano. Put across the surface abundant breadcrumbs.
Put in the oven for about 15 min. Some people add black olives, there is another version where you add in the pan even touches of potatoes boiled.

Baccalà apparecchiato alla palermitana: (see capone apparecchiato).

giovedì 11 dicembre 2008

"The Cuccìa of Saint Lucia"

The "Cuccia” is the typical sweet of feast of Saint Lucia (13 December)

Traditional recipe with cream of ricotta:

Ingredients: 500gr of wheat, 200gr of icing sugar, 1.5 kg of fresh ricotta, candied fruit 50gr (preferably cedar,orange or pumpkin) cut into pieces, 200gr of dark chocolate.
Processing: Prepare the grain: put in a pot with cold water for three days, changing the water continuously. The evening before the feast, cook the grain in a saucepan covered with water, add a pinch of salt, drain well.

Prepare cream: to sieve (you can also pass it with the blender) the ricotta, add the sugar and mix well, break the chocolate into small pieces, add the cream of ricotta and candied fruit, chocolate pieces and mix gently (someone also adds cinnamon).
Finally add the wheat. You can also store in the refrigerator.

Recipe with milk cream:

Ingredients: 500gr of wheat, 120gr starch, 1 liter and a half of milk, 200gr sugar, 200gr of dark chocolate,50gr candied fruit into pieces.
Processing: Prepare wheat as above.

For cream, dissolve the starch in cold milk, stirring with a whisk, cook over low heat, stirring constantly. Turn off the fire as soon as it is thickened. Add the grain. Allow to cool and add the chocolate reduced in little pieces and candied fruit pieces.
This is a base for other types of creams, chocolate, cream yellow and so on.

"The Gattò" of potatoes

In Italiano su Agave Palermo Blog

The "Gattò" is a typical dish that is eaten in Palermo for the day of Saint Lucia (13 December)


2 kg of potatoes old, 2 eggs, 50gr grated cheese(caciocavallo or parmesan), parsley, breadcrumbs, olive oil.
For the filling: 500gr of chopped, 1 tin of tomatoes peeled, 200gr for frozen peas, 1 onion, nutmeg, 1 bay leaf, half a glass of wine.


Boil the potatoes with the peel. When they are cooked and still hot, peel and crush them. Add two eggs, cheese and shredded parsley. Knead well, if it appears too soft, add breadcrumbs.

For the filling: fry in oil extra virgin olive, a minced onion, add the chopped, then add the wine. After some minutes add the pulp of peeled tomatoes.
Add the nutmeg and add a bay leaf and salt and pepper according to taste. Far cook for about 30 minutes. Then add peas and let cook until they will not be soft. At this point, anoint with oil a baking dish and sprinkle with breadcrumbs.

Divide into two parts the mixture of potatoes, with one part cover the pan, season with the sauce, cover with the remaining dough. Anoint the surface of “Gattò” with oil and smooth with your hands, finally add breadcrumbs. Put in hot oven at 180 degrees for about 45 minutes.
Bon appetit

lunedì 8 dicembre 2008

Sfinci home-made (swit for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception)

The home-made sfinci are a typical sweet for the feast of the Immaculate Conception (8 December)



150gr of flour 0, 300gr of boiled potatoes, 25gr yeast (for bread), water, 1 tablespoon of sugar.

Mix in a container tall (the batter will rise by volume) flour, boiled potatoes and previously crushed and the tablespoon of sugar. Add water a little at a time forming a thick but soft dough, add to end the yeast, knead vigorously. Cover the container with a cloth and let rise for at least half an hour. Put in a pan abundant oil extra virgin olive oil. When is very hot pour the batter a spoonful at a time. When they are ready put in a tray with paper, and then pass them in a container with sugar to cover the entire surface.