Archive for Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Jayni’s Kitchen’ to give lesson in Italian cooking

November 7, 2007


Join "Jayni's Kitchen" this week for "A Lesson in Italian Cooking."

Host Jayni Carey and her guest, Chef Andrea Sposini, will prepare the following recipes: Pickled Vegetables, Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Double Butter Sauce and Pears Poached in Red Wine with Butternut Squash Foam.

A new show airs at 6:30 p.m. each Tuesday on Sunflower Broadband Channel 6. The show also is broadcast at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday; 9 a.m., 5:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. Wednesday; 9:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thursday; 10 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Friday; 9:30 a.m. Saturday; 10:30 p.m. Sunday; and 10 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. Monday.

Pickled Vegetables (Verdure in Carpione)

1 small cauliflower, broken into florets

2 cup green beans, trimmed and cut in half lengthwise

4 medium-sized carrots, peeled and sliced into coins

1/4 cup olive oil, or more if needed

2 fresh bay leaves, or 1/2 dry bay leaf

Salt and black pepper

1 medium onion, cut in half and thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, cut in half

Pinch of sugar

2 cup dry white wine

1 cup good quality white wine vinegar

1/2 cup water

1 packet saffron

1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds

1 teaspoon dried tarragon

Rinse the cauliflower, green beans and carrots and cut them as directed above. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet, add the bay leaf and saute each type of vegetable individually. Start with the cauliflower, followed by the green beans and carrots. Cook each vegetable for about 2 minutes, then cover the skillet and let the vegetables soften slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Uncover and saute just until the vegetables begin to brown, but are still tender-firm. Add more oil to the skillet, or a small amount of water if more moisture is needed. Using a slotted spoon, transfer each vegetable to a plate, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cool briefly.

Saute the sliced onion and garlic in the remaining oil (adding more if needed) until translucent; add a pinch of sugar. When the onion begins to take on a golden hue, add the wine, wine vinegar, water, saffron, coriander and tarragon. Let the mixture boil for approximately 5 minutes and salt lightly. Arrange the cooked vegetables in layers in a large glass bowl, pressing them down gently. Pour the onion and pickling liquid over the vegetables. Let stand for at least 1 hour at room temperature before serving, or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. (Keeps for several days.)

Serves 8 to 10.

Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Double Butter Sauce (Gnocchi di zucca al doppio burro)

3 medium butternut squashes, about 1 pound

2/3 cup all-purpose flour, sifted

1/2 cup unseasoned dried breadcrumbs, sifted

1/4 cups Parmesan cheese, grated

3 egg yolks

Salt, to taste

Pinch of nutmeg

Double Butter Sauce:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, divided

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated


Black pepper, freshly ground

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Cut each squash in half; remove and discard the seeds. Peel the squash, cut into 2-by-2-inch sections and place them on a baking sheet. (You should have about 2 pounds of cut squash.) Bake, uncovered for 40 minutes, or until tender, but not browned. If the squash becomes too dry during cooking, sprinkle lightly with water. Using a potato ricer, or masher, thoroughly mash the baked squash in a large bowl and cool to room temperature.

To make the gnocchi: Add the flour, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, egg yolks, salt and nutmeg to the mashed squash and mix just until combined; do not overwork. Pinch off apple-size bits of dough and, using as little flour as possible, roll each piece into 1/2-inch thick ropes. Make the gnocchi by using a knife or pastry scraper to cut off 1/2-inch sized bits. Dust the gnocchi lightly with flour, then briskly roll the gnocchi in a large sieve in order to get rid of any sharp edges. Continue working the remainder of the dough till completion. Take care to keep the gnocchi in a single layer to prevent them from sticking to each other.

Boil the gnocchi in plenty of salted water until they rise to the surface and the water returns to a boil. Remove the gnocchi with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a buttered baking dish large enough to hold them in a single layer.

Double Butter Sauce: Heat 1/4 cup of butter in a skillet over medium-high heat until it begins to take on a brown, nutty color. Add 1/4 cup of water to the skillet and cook for a few seconds more. Off heat, add the remaining 1/4 cup of butter and stir until melted. Pour the butter evenly over the gnocchi and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and fresh cracked pepper. Place the gnocchi about 6 inches under the oven-broiler and broil until golden brown. Serves 6.

Option: To make the gnocchi ahead of time, boil the gnocchi, place in a baking dish and top with the Double Butter Sauce and cheese as directed. Do not broil. Cool briefly, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Since the gnocchi will be chilled, bake the gnocchi (instead of broiling) in a 400-degree oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serves 6.

Serve with a full-bodied white wine or Lambrusco wine.

Pears Poached in Red Wine with Butternut Squash Foam (Pere al Vino Rosso con Spuma di Zucca Gialla)

1 cup dry, fruity red wine

1/2 cup sugar

Peel of 1/2 lemon

1 cinnamon stick

1 clove

3 pears, ripe but firm (preferably Bosc)

Approximately 2 cups water, or as needed to cover the pears

Squash Foam:

1/2 cup almonds

1/3 cup hazelnuts

1/4 cup raisins

2 tablespoons Cognac

1/4 cup warm water

2/3 cup butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch cubes

2 tablespoons honey

1 egg white

1/2 cup amaretti (almond-flavored) cookies, crushed

Extra honey, for garnish

Pour the wine into a tall, narrow pot that will snugly hold the pears. Add the sugar, lemon peel, cinnamon and clove. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat and boil for 2 minutes. Peel the pears without removing the stem. Tie the stems together with string and place them in the pot. Add water, if needed, to completely cover the pears. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer for 15 minutes.

Wine Sauce: When the pears are cooked, transfer them to a platter using a slotted spoon. Remove the lemon, cinnamon stick and clove. Reduce the remaining liquid in the pot over high heat until thick enough to coat the bottom of a dish; set aside.

Squash Foam: Chop the almonds and hazelnuts and place them in a bowl along with the raisins. Pour the Cognac and warm water over them and soak for several minutes. Strain, reserving the liquid. In a saucepan, add 1/4 cup of the reserved liquid and the diced squash and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently for 20 minutes, or until the squash begins to fall apart. Stir in the chopped nuts and raisins. Sweeten with the honey and continue stirring the mixture until it is thick and smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the amaretti cookie crumbs. Cool to room temperature. Whip the egg white to stiff peaks and fold into the cooled squash mixture.

Cut the poached pears in half and scoop out the center core with a melon ball cutter. Using a sharp knife, slice a small section off the underside of each pear half so that it will sit evenly on a plate; reserve the cut slice. Place the pear halves in a shallow baking dish. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of the Squash Foam into the center of each pear half, top with the pear slice and drizzle lightly with honey. Bake the pears in a 375-degree oven for 10 minutes, until the topping is puffed and lightly browned.

To serve, place the cooked pear halves on dessert plates. Garnish each with a drizzle of Wine Sauce. Serves 6.

Recipes by Chef Andrea Sposini, Alta Societa' Cooking School in Perugia, Italy. Web site: <a href=""></a>.


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