Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking: Meat and Seafood [CoTM Sept 2006 and Nov 2013]
September 2006 Cookbook of the Month: Please post your reviews of meat and seafood recipes from Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking here. Please mention the name of the recipe you are reviewing as well as any modifications you made to the recipe.
A reminder that the verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is violation of the copyright of the original author. Posts with copied recipes will be removed.
Veal scallopine w/ marsala & cream. Mmm, mmm.
Beef stew w/ red wine and vegetables. Very, very good. Simple and easy too!
My contribution, plus a question: what are people thinking abbout the Silver Spoon cookbook?
Salmon Foam - not so good
Broccoli and Anchovy Sauce - Excellent, a standard in our house, but I use rabe
Sauteed Snapper or Bass w/ Finocchio, Sicilian Style - good, but stint on the oil
Pan Broiled Steak w/ Marsala and Chili Pepper - You can substitute rib steaks for the sirloin and madeira for the marsala, and it's quite nice. Use a milder chili, e.g one serrano/steak is too much (and I LOVE chilis).
Stewed Pork w/ Porcini Mushorroms and Juniper - This is GOOD. I grind the juniper berries and the bay leaves, and just add them to the whole mess. If you have rib trim (e.g. you were BBQing the night or two before), it works fine in lieu of shoulder. You may not want all of the mushroom soak water. Boosting the amount of anchovies, onions, and marjoram is, to your taste, a good thing.
Eggplant Parmesan - THE BEST. But triple or quadruple the amount of basil, also I usually use a homemade garlicy tomato sauce rather than just tomato. I also use a mandoline to slice the eggplant thin.
Diplomatico - Yummy, and I do NOT like chocolate
Pan Broiled Steak w/ Marsala and Chili Pepper (Essentials, p. 386)
I made this dish over the weekend - delicious. I didn't have fresh chili pepper, so I added dry. I loved the subtle, interesting flavor that the fennel seed added. This dish is listed in her menu suggestions at the back of the book and I followed that menu, serving spaghetti with butter/rosemary sauce first, then the beef with asparagus (dressed with olive oil and shaved parmesan), followed by fennel salad. The sirloins I bought were huge - a pound each, so we had a lot left over which I sliced and heated up with the remaining sauce the next day. I only used two sirloins, but made the full sauce recipe as my DH is a sauce lover. Also, I found that the cooking time for the meat cooked the meat more to medium rare, than rare, though that may also have been my use of an electric stovetop with which I am unfamiliar.
Pan Broiled Steak with Marsala and Chilli Pepper Pg. 386
Well here we are some 7 years later and I must say I agree with MMRuth's review from 2006, a very nice recipe with a very different/interesting flavour profile.
The only issue is the timing, which in my case was a tad too long, just as MMRuth said (wish I would have read her review before cooking). That said, the dish was still very good and I thought that the heat from the thai chilli I used combined with sweetness from from the tomato paste and Marsala, almost reminded me of a sweet and sour flavour with some kick. I was a bit worried about the whole fennel seeds, but the end result was very good with just a little burst of fennel flavour when you bit in to a seed every so often. It sounds a bit odd I know, but it really worked!
Eek. Just realized I have mushed together various parts of the meal in one post. Ok, will start resorting. Apologies.
Grilled Shrimp Skewers: maybe my favorite dish in the book. So very much more than the sum of its parts.
Fricasseed Chicken with Rosemary and Lemon Juice: wonderful.
Spareribs Pan-Roasted with Sage and White Wine, Treviso Style: it still makes my mouth water just to type the title of the dish, but when I made it, it was simply swimming in fat.
Just reading the title "Pan Roasted Spareribs" makes my mouth water. ;-) LOVE that recipe! Yes, it is swimming in fat. But such great tasting fat! Although the recipe doesn't call for it, I usually pour off most of the fat and degalze the pan with either water or white wine. We love that sauce so much, I always serve plain white rice with the spareribs just to have some way of sopping up the juices.