Friday, August 31, 2012

Prosciutto di San Daniele and Courgette Starter

Prosciutto di San Daniele is a PDO product and protected by the Italian State and the European Union.  PDO, or Protected Denomination of Origin products are followed throughout production.  This is to ensure that producers stay true to the areas the product comes from and methods of production.  Prosciutto di San Daniele has three conditions the producers must follow: 

1.)  The pig thighs it is made from must come from one of ten regions in Italy; Fruili Venezia Giulia, Veneto, Lombardy, Piedmont, Emilia Romagna, Tuscany, Lazio, Abruzzo, Marche, or Umbria.   

      2.) Following an ancient traditional production method, the meat can never be frozen.  The meat must quickly reach the town of Friuli and using sea salt the curing begins. 
        3.) The rest of the process must take place at San Daniele del Friuli.  It is said that the air is what makes this the best region for curing prosciutto, not too wet, not too dry.  

A starter that goes very well with a white wine - Courgette (zucchini to some) mingling with the Prosciutto di San Daniele, with pine seeds, lemon zest and parmesan cheese playing in the background on top of some lightly toasted garlic bread.  Finish with some drizzled olive oil.

Ingredient List:

3 oz. thinly sliced Prosciutto di San Daniele 
2 medium sized courgettes
1/4 c. toasted pine seeds
1 lrg. clove garlic, peeled and cut in half
1/4 c. shaved parmesan cheese
1/2 c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Zest of one lemon
1 small baguette
salt and pepper

Start by peeling the courgettes into about the size of Fettuccine.  Stop at the the seeds.  Boil some water with salt and flash the courgette "pasta" into the water, then into a bowl of ice water.  Drain all water and chill.  


While the courgette chills, use kitchen shears and cut the Prosciutto di San Daniele into strips, also like Fettuccine, set aside, covered so it doesn't dry out too much.  Cut the baguette into thin slices on the bias and brush with olive oil, you will need approximately 12 pieces.  Toast on both sides in a 400 deg oven., about 3 minutes each side.  Let cool.  While the bread toasts, zest a lemon.  When the bread is cool, generously rub with the garlic clove.  In a medium bowl; add the courgette, Prosciutto di San Daniele, pine seeds, zest, and season with salt, pepper to taste.  Lightly toss the ingredients, then fold in the cheese.   Place the toasted baguette slices on a platter, top with the Prosciutto di San Daniele and courgette mixture.  Drizzle generously with remaining olive oil.  Serve!    


It was so good with the wine that a pine seed got away from me.....



This is in Italian, but the pictures are great!



Thursday, August 23, 2012

Flaedle Madness - Day Three

Flaedle cake is featured for day three of flaedle madness. Layers of pastry cream and other goodies, in this case peaches. The farmer's market has plenty of in season peaches at the moment. Colorado is famous for them this time of year. Make a big batch of crepes, probably about 20. Make a peach puree (sweetened, or not) with gelatin and some lemon juice. Make some pastry cream. Put them in layers and use some sort of brace. I borrowed Lucie's metal ring used for such occasions. You can make it any size you want! Let the layers become one and set over night.


A wonderful CSA farm in Fort Collins - On The Vine At Richmond Farms. One of my fellow bloggers did this one on her blog called Choice City Native.  


Aaaaaw, shucks the corn was good!

Fleurs too!

This week we had a mess of fried okra.  I can see gumbo in our near future next week!

I took a few HDR photos, as well!



Thursday, August 16, 2012

Flaedle Madness Day Two

Day two is Flaedlesuppe. This makes a good starter for a meal and is dead easy to make. Roll crepes and cut them into thin noodles. You can put them in the bowl in swirls at the bottom, or just loosen them and put in freestyle. Pour over a nice hot beef broth, a la minute. Sprinkle with chives (I used parsley this time). I have also seen pictures with carrot and celery cut in thin strips. The texture of the crepe changes with the hot broth and makes a nice noodle for this German-style soup.

I can't imagine why someone couldn't make this with chicken, or vegetable broth. I thought maybe next time of putting some mushroom broth in with the beef broth.

Move over parsley, I'm tucking in.......


"Anyone who tells a lie has not a pure heart, and cannot make a good soup."
-Ludwig van Beethoven

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Flaedle Madness Day One

We have been having some flaedle/crepes lately. I will tell you about it between loads of laundry.  The first dish is Pfannkuchen, a German crepe casserole.  The filling in ours last night was chicken and chard.  The picture is a previous dinner, it had chicken and spinach for the filling (I was too busy enjoying the meal to take pictures last night).   I grated Gruyere over the top last night too.  Basically, you can roll flaedle around the filling and put them in a casserole dish.  Next, you can top with cheese. Bake to cook the chicken and make it warm and melty about 20 minutes at 350 deg.  Then, top with warm caramelised onions.  Delicious!     


Garden views: 1. We will have plenty of Thai chillis to make some paste for our frequent Thai meals. 2. The hop plant is going crazy on the new trellis made for it, more beer to be made! 3. Black Krims, one of my favourites. 4. These really need to be planted!

We had plenty of apples this year. I made filling for; pies, flaedles, muffins, strudel, etc., etc. I had to make some apple butter too.


I got to see Alison Krauss and company in concert. Bohemian Nights in Fort Collins just gets better and better.

Alison's angelic voice:

Highlighting Dan and Ron of Union Station

Featuring Jerry Douglas


"Being in the studio is a really romantic time."
-Alison Krauss

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Dried Banana Blossoms, or Are They?

Ah, that brings back memories of my middle child, when he loved that show. We still have a  stuffed toy that sings that song, it still works!  

I found these dried blossoms in Albany, NY, at that same Asian market mentioned before.  After doing some research, it seems they may really be lilies.  

"Along with a sprig of oregano, bulaklak ng saging (banana blossoms) is one of the most important ingredients in cooking paksiw na pata ng baboy (pork knuckle stew). Bulaklak ng saging gives the dish a distinct aroma and flavor. But, how many of us know what it really is?"
"In an article published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Dorothy MJ Ferreira of Dorothy’s Cooking School in Quezon City, refers to bulaklak ng saging as banana blossoms. However, in many recipes from different websites, local and foreign, it appears that banana blossoms refer to what is locally known as puso ng saging, a vegetable often cooked with gata (coconut milk) and which is an ingredient of kare-kare."
"As far as I know, bulaklak ng saging are dried lily buds. They do not come from the banana plant."

I'm still trying to find out the true story of this.  Watch this space!

Banana blossom, or lily aside.  This little package of dried blossoms added quite a bit to the stew I made.  It connected the ingredients into a thick, gooey gravy coating the tender pork.  The flavour is unique, as well.  It had a subtle nutty flavour, subtle roasted banana taste and a full mouth feel.   

This is the basic recipe used.  I couldn't get pork leg however.  I substituted a pork roast, but have hopes to find a pork leg to try it again.  Even if I don't find a leg, I will make this again, it is gorgeous!   

Welcome to the tomato forest.

We are getting tomatoes and all.  This heirloom variety is called "Bloody Butcher," maybe they can get me some pork leg?

The blue morning glories are not blooming yet, these are pretty though.......

The autumn/winter crops I started.

"His venture sounds like a banana peel awaiting its victim."
-Charlotte Curtis