The Dumpling Diary

Dis cooking so you cooking too.

“A mangiar questa minestra o saltar questa fincestra.” January 3, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Meg @ 3:09 pm

“Either eat this soup or jump out this window.”  Italian folk sayings, you SLAY me.
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Now that the iron-clad restraining order with my camera cord has been resolved, I think now would be an appropriate time to post some new recipes. I’ve got the Italian buzz again, once again, I will blame it on the Brindisi Rosso. The wine so nice, in one week I bought it thrice. … Don’t you judge me.
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Okay, well on that note, New Year’s kissed our rosy cheeks this week, but I will spare you the “Happy New Year, Guyz! What a crazy year we had! Oh, well, haters gon’ hate. Fresh start! Lolz!” Instead, I will skip to the meat of it. What New Year’s really means to the masses. No, not resolutions, not losing 20lbs, not trying to forget the many shames we experienced in 2010. New Year’s means, in it’s truest essence, a really, really terrible hangover. Now, I’m not going to to unload all the debauchery-filled goodness of the particular soirée that I hosted this year (although rather tame, to be fair), but I will leave you with a cure-all recipe. Perhaps it’s a good idea to make this ahead of time, so you can slump off your hangover the next day with ease, but I happened to triumph through with many glasses of orange juice and coffee, and some bread I made before my guests arrived (secret cure-all bread that I hid in the oven). Then, when you’re feeling better, maybe you’ll be in the mood for some nice lemon biscotti.
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Minestra per Dopo-Sbornia (soup for hangover, more literally “soup for after-drunkness”)
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Okay, a pretty simple soup, not a terribly complex flavour, but all of you lushes will appreciate it, I’m sure. A rich chicken broth (brodo!), romano beans (fagioli!), cabbage (cavolo!) and pasta (spaghettini, in this case). Peasant-tastic!
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Ingredients
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For the broth:
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8 cups water (honestly, I’m just guessing at this, enough to nearly cover a chicken carcass, capisci?)
1 raw chicken carcass (or a few chicken backs, horror of horrors)
1 onion, peeled and halved
1 stalk celery, roughly cut
½ green bell pepper, in chunks
12 peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1.5 tsp coarse sea salt
2 cloves whole peeled garlic (smash ’em up if you want)
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Okay. Huck all of that in a big pot. Bring to a simmer, skim the scum off as you go. Unless you don’t really care. Sometimes I don’t really care, either…  Cover with a lid, ajar, over low-ish heat for 45 minutes to an hour. Until the broth tastes good. Check for salt at this point. So, now, just strain everything, and return the broth back to the pot. Feed chicken to your cat. I was too lazy to pick it off into the soup, but, hey. Do what you will.
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For the rest of it:
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1/4 head of green cabbage, chopped into 2 inch pieces (or however you want, it’s your goddamn cabbage)
1.5 cups cooked romano or cranberry beans (or kidney, again, do what you want, I’m just painfully in need of semi-authenticity)
Enough spaghettini to cover 1.5 inches in diameter, now BREAK IT IN HALF.
1 tsp dried basil
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Now, huck all of THAT in the pot. When the spaghettini is cooked, your soup is done. Eat with more bread than you think is humanly possible.
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Lemon Biscotti
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For the cookie:
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1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
2-3 Tbsp lemon zest
1.5 tsp baking powder
1.5 cups flour
milk
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So, vegetable oil and sugar in a mixing bowl. Mix until well blended. Add egg. Mix till well blended! Add lemon zest. Add flour and baking powder (perhaps sift them first, I am too lazy, and thus, mix baking powder in first), stir until combined, adding little, teeny splashes of milk if needed, to just moisten. Dough should be moist, but not too sticky. Then, on a greased cookie sheet or baking pan, place the dough-batter-stuff. Wet your hands with water, and pat it down into a rectangle (I rounded the ends though), about 3/4 – 1″ high, and about 4-5″ in width. Place in a 350 degree oven, bake for about 30 minutes, until top is slightly crisp and brown. Take out, and slice on the bias, about 1/2 ” thick.  Turn back onto pan, cut sides down. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until browned slightly, turning if necessary. It should be crisp on the outside, but still a bit soft on the inside. Not brick-like in any way. You get the idea. So, once those are fairly cool, ice ’em!
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For the lemon glaze:
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1 cup icing sugar
1 Tbsp lemon zest
juice of 1/2 lemon
a few Tbsp water, if necessary
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Mix icing sugar, zest and lemon juice. Stir until there are no lumps. Thin with water until you get a drizzling consistency. Drizzle over biscotti, and you’re done!
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Okay, so, for now, that is what you get. I’m playing with a few other recipes I’d let to get up on here (meanwhile trying to teach myself small amounts of Italian on the side), including a tomato-olive-basil pesto with walnuts, of all things. Delicious. Okay, now let that stew in your mind for a while. I’m out.
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