“Waste not, want not and make it delicious!”
Mary of One Perfect Bite and 15 other women bloggers (including myself) are blogging our way through the 50 Women Game Changers In Food published by Gourmet in May ’11. Some of the women on the list you will know, others you may not, but either way, this will be a great 50 week journey to learn more about these women that inspire the way we think about food today.
Please visit Mary at One Perfect Bite, Val at More Than Burnt Toast, Joanne at Eats Well With Others, Taryn at Have Kitchen Will Feed, Susan at The Spice Garden, Claudia at A Seasonal Cook In Turkey, Heather at Girlichef, Jeanette at Jeanette’s Healthy Living, April at Abby Sweets, Katie at Making Michael Poland Proud, Kathleen at Bake Away With Me, Viola at The Life is Good Kitchen, Sue at The View From Great Island, Barbara at Moveable Feasts, Kathleen at Gonna Want Seconds, and Amy at Beloved Green for their tributes to these 50 women.
Antico Peposo & Risotto Con Spinaci
I must admit, although I had heard of her, I don’t know too much of Lidia on a personal level. I don’t think I have even cooked any of her dishes before (that I know of). But there were a plethora of good recipes to find throughout her book, Lidia’s Italy. I finally settled on two dishes that (I thought) would pair well together. Beef Braised with Black Peppercorns (Antico Peposo) and a Risotto with Spinach (Risotto con Spinaci).
They both came out beautifully. The risotto, being made with hot water instead of chicken stock (as I am used to), had a light, clean flavor to it. The beef was fantastically tender – although I do have a confession to make. She braised the beef in red wine, but alas, I was out – so I used beef stock. A flavor, I am sure, that is a world away. Nevertheless, it was delicious.
Beef Braised with Black Peppercorns (Antico Peposo)
Antico peposo, a very old recipe for cubed beef, is cooked with lots of pepper and no other condiment - not even a drop of oil or any other fat - and it becomes a delightfully savory and peppery dish.
- 2 pounds beef chuck or round, trimmed, in 2-inch chunks
- 4 cups red wine
- 1 teaspoon course sea salt
- 2 - 4 Tablespoons whole black peppercorns
- 1/2 cup garlic cloves, peeled
- a mortar and pestle or spice grinder
- a heavy-bottomed sauce pan with a cover
- Put meat chunks, wine and salt in the heavy saucepan. Crack two or more tablespoons of peppercorns into coarse bits using a mortar or grinder and dump them into the pan. Mince the garlic into fine bits and scrape into the wine.
- Bring to a boil, cover the pan tightly and reduce to a steady simmer. Cook for 4 - 5 hours until the meat is very tender and the wine has thickened and reduced to barely cover the meat chunks.
- Serve hot.
Risotto with Spinach (Risotto con Spinaci)
This recipe shows the basic technique that is used in Friuli to make risotto with common, delicious plants such as nettles, wild asparagus, and the popular herb sclopit. So, if you happen to come by some of these greens, cook them in place of spinach.
- 10 ounces tender spinach leaves
- 6 to 8 cups water
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 2 cups Arborio or Carnaroli rice
- 1 cup white wine
- 6 tablespoons butter, in tablespoon-sized pieces
- 1/2 cup grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for passing
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- A 3-quart pot for hot water
- A heavy 10-inch saucepan, such as an enameled cast-iron French oven
- Rinse and dry the spinach. Slice the leaves, a handful at a time, into 1/2-inch-wide strips. Heat the water in the pot almost to the boil. Cover, and keep it very hot on the stove, near the risotto pan.
- Put the olive oil, onions, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in the saucepan, set it over medium heat, and stir well. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are wilted and starting to color. Pour in the rice all at once, raise the heat, and stir continuously for about 2 minutes, until the rice grains are toasted (not browned) and make a clicking sound in the pan. Pour in the wine, and keep stirring, all around the pan, until it has evaporated and the rice is dry.
- Ladle in 2 cups of hot water, enough to cover the rice. Cook for a minute or two, stirring, then pile the shredded spinach on top of the rice, and stir steadily as the spinach wilts and the rice gradually absorbs almost all of the moisture, 5 minutes or more.
- When you can see the bottom of the saucepan as you stir, ladle in more water to cover the rice, and stir in the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, as the risotto develops its creamy suspension. Again, when the liquid is almost completely absorbed, ladle in another cup or so of water.
- After the risotto has cooked for 15 to 20 minutes and incorporated 6 cups of water, taste; add more salt or more hot water as needed. When done al dente and creamy, turn off the heat.
- Drop in the butter pieces, stir vigorously, then beat in the 1/2 cup of grated cheese, and grind black pepper generously on top.
- Serve immediately in warm pasta bowls.
In The Spotlight: Lidia Bastianich
(From Wikipedia) Lidia Matticchio Bastianich (born Lidia Motika on February 21, 1947 in Pula, Istria County, present-day Croatia) is an American chef, author, and restaurateur. Specializing in Italian cuisine, she has been a regular contributor to public television cooking show lineups since 1998. In 2007, she launched her third TV series, Lidia’s Italy. She also owns several Italian restaurants in the U.S. in partnership with her daughter Tanya Bastianich Manuali and her son, Joe Bastianich: including Felidia (founded with her ex-husband, Felice), Del Posto, Esca, and Becco inManhattan; Lidia’s Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Lidia’s Kansas City in Kansas City, Missouri.