Monday, January 21, 2008
SPROUZZI ALLA JOUNZZI 2 AND MUCH MORE
IVANO SAYS: REMEMBER RUSS JONES?? FORMER SAN JOSE POLICE OFFICER AND NOW OUR 'LA NOSTRA COSTA' RESIDENT CHEF HAS COME UP WITH ANOTHER OF HIS DELIGHTFUL RECIPIES. ENJOY. THANKS RUSS. (PHOTO DIRECTLY ABOVE: RUSS JONES's BEAUTIFUL WIFE SALLY, SET TO ENJOY SPROUZZI ALLA JOUNZZI 2. PHOTOS COURTESY RUSS JONES.)
Sprouzzi ala Jounzzi #2
As a reminder, your book La Nostra Costa reminded me so much of growing up in the Los Gatos - Santa Cruz area, especially the large Brussels Sprouts farms such as you were raised on. I thought I would pass on the latest dish I served my bride over the holidays.
The Osso Buco is first braised, then slow-roasted with a zesty medley of shallots and oven-roasted garlic blended with portabello mushrooms, ripe Roma tomatoes, rosemary and thyme. Serve with Risotto alla Milanese. The vegetables, rutabaga, carrots, parsnips, cauliflower, sweet potatoes and, of course, Brussels sprouts, are tossed with thyme, sage and a little grated nutmeg, then oven roasted with a small amount of Marsala in the bottom of the pan.
Buon Appitito Russ
AND FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO PREFER A HOT BOWL OF SOUP ON THESE WET AND COLD WINTERY DAYS, GINO "D'BAFFI" CAMPIONI, SENDS HIS RECIPE FOR RANCERE STYLE MINESTRONE ALLA 'BAFFI'
Ho pensato di mandarti la ricetta per fare il minestrone. (1) Perhaps your mother made it this way. This is how Baffi preferred it:
Ingredients: Salt Pork
Pinto Beans (the pale colored ones with darker speckles. Baffi called them "Kentucky Wonders")
Cabbage (the dark, curly variety is preferred, but not available in Oregon)
Pasta (optional) (small like rosary beads)
Soak the beans overnight or longer. (2) On cooking day, boil them till tender and force them through a sieve. Discard the husks.
Put the resulting bean puree back into the water in which the beans were cooked.
Lo Sfritto (the fry-up) Cut the salt pork into very small pieces. Place in frying pan to render it. Use the hide part also. ( left in one piece It makes
a special treat for the youngest family member)
Chop the onion, celery, parsley, and carrots and add them to the pan with the salt pork. When all is properly sautéed, put all into
the pot with the beans. Pour in a can of tomato sauce.
Cut the cabbage into manageable pieces and add to the pot. (Baffi wanted it in very large pieces)
Continue cooking until the cabbage is tender.
Add pasta, if desired, during the last 8 minutes of cooking.
For his supper, Baffi would have a huge bowl of this. Ada made 20 pints at a time, which lasted him 6 days.
He would add a large slice of French bread torn into small pieces, and top it all off with olive oil, and some of his homemade vino rosso.
(I draw the line after the olive oil)
Proportions are left up to the cook's imagination. There are as many varieties of minestrone as there are people who cook it.
(1) Pronounced: "ME-neh-STRON-eh" Means: "Big Soup".
(2) I heard on TV that if the beans are soaked in just enough water to cover them and they are allowed to begin sprouting, it
will release the explosive power that they contain. I was never able to prove that.
Allora Ivano, mangiamo? Migliori auguri.
AND NOW FOR DESSERT. NANCY JACOBS SENDS US HER FAMOUS RECIPE FOR RICOTTA PIE. NANCY'S RECIPE MIGHT BE AS OLD AS 'LA COSTA' ITSELF. WHO CAN ASK FOR ANYTHING MORE??
1 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter,softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange peel
1 tablespoon orange juice
FILLING (The good stuff)
1 container 15 oz ricotta cheese in old days they used loose ricotta sold by the pound
1/2 to 3/4 cups sugar depending on how sweet you like your sweets
1 1/2 teaspoons flour, all purpose
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons finely chopped citron, optional
1 egg, separated
TO MAKE CRUST
Sift flour with baking powder and salt.
In average size bowl with egg beater (old way) now use electric mixer, beat butter with sugar and one egg until fluffy. MIX in vanilla,orange peel and orange juice. Add half of flour mixture. With a wooden polenta spoon or just wooden spoon mix until well blended.
TO THIS add remaining flour mixture. Using your hands mix until the now dough leaves the side of the bowl and can hold itself together. On the wood ranch table I used to knead this until it was all blended in together. Now set it aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
MAKE FILLING the good stuff
Put the ricotta cheese in a bowl and beat with hand beater until creamy or use electric mixer.
NOW add sugar, eggs, flour, almond extract and if you choose to use the citron, the citron.
MIX until all ingredients are well mixed.
CUT PASTRY IN HALF.
You can use waxed paper to roll out pastry or do as I do which is to use flour on the wood table and moisten the dough lightly before rolling out with rolling pin. Fit the pastry into a 9 inch pie tin or glass pyrex pie plate. Once the pastry crust is in place in the pie tin, trim the pastry to the edge, leaving about 1/4 to1/2 inch extra pastry around the edge. LIGHTLY brush the bottom of the pastry layer with an egg white.
ROLL OUT the other half of the pastry either on the wooden table or between wax paper. The pastry should be no more than 1/8 inch thick. NOW cut with a knife which is what I used but a pastry cutter can be used to cut this, go ahead and cut the pastry into strips that are no more than 1/2 inch wide.
PLACE FILLING on top of pastry in pie plate.
NOW place strips across the top about 1/2 inch apart. Design a lattice or some other design with the strips and with a fork turn the extra pastry at the edge of the pie tin upwards and with the tines of a fork press down to seal the edge.
REMEMBER THE EGG WHITE? Well now it is time for the egg yolk. Mix the egg yolk with one tablespoon of water. Now slowly brush it on the crust.
Years later I saw a similar recipe in McCall's magazine. In the McCall's recipe they used aluminum foil to go around the edge of the pie plate. I am of the opinion that this prevents too much cooking on the edge. It did get somewhat brown on the edge but not all of the time when cooked the old way.
PLACE in the oven and cook for around 50 minutes, more or less. Check it when it gets to forty five minutes.
This is a wonderful low calorie dessert and tastes good cold. So, I would let it cool and then refrigerate overnight and eat. You can serve it with various berries. Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, etc.