|Eric Hossinger.Lombardy, Italy. Photo by|
When Americans think of Italian food, the first thing that usually comes to mind is pasta--but in Lombardy rice is often favored. With that in mind, I chose a popular risotto recipe:
(from The Italian Chef)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 6 tbsp butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped fine
- 1 tsp saffron threads
- 2 cups risotto rice, such as arborio
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 4 cups beef broth
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmagiano-Reggiano cheese
Skillet Perch with Lemon and Capers
(from Jovina Cooks Italian)
- 1 1/2 cups each: flour, fine cornmeal
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground white pepper
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup milk
- 2 lbs lake perch fillets, skinned*
- Olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup capers, drained
- 1/4 cup snipped fresh chives
- 1 lemon, sliced (for garnish)
And I found this one for dessert:
(from Italian Addiction)
- 2 cups flour
- 11 tbsp butter, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp yeast
- 1/2 tsp salt
- jam or nutella (I used black cherry jam)
First make that volcano that pastry recipes are always wanting you to make, and add some yeast and a pinch of salt. Add the eggs, sugar and room-temperature butter to the flour and mix well (you may need to use your hands). Don't overmix because then the butter might actually start to melt.
Now put your cake pan on top of the dough and draw around it with a sharp knife, leaving a border of about 2/3rds of an inch all the way around. Don't toss the dough you cut off, instead set it aside.
Line the cake pan with some waxed paper and put the dough on top of that, so the edges come up the side of the pan.
Add the wine, and then pour in one ladle of the simmering broth. Stir until all the liquid has been absorbed.
Finally, add the rest of the butter and the cheese. Let the lid sit on the pot for a couple of minutes, then stir one more time and serve.
First dip the fish filets in the egg mixture, letting the excess drip off. Now dip in the four and cornmeal mixture. Give each filet a shake to get any loose mixture to fall off.
To make the sauce, drain the oil from the skillet and add the lemon juice and capers. Cook for one minute or until the mixture starts to bubble up. Now add the chives, salt and pepper. Transfer the filets to plates and top with the caper sauce. Garnish with the lemon slices and serve.
The crostata was really good with the black cherry jam. It was actually a lot like a scone in texture and flavor, but who doesn't like scones? It was my kids' favorite part of the meal (of course) and easy to make, too. In fact I'd have to say the whole meal was pretty low stress, as TbS meals go.
Next week we're going east, to Lithuania. I had some fun (haha) with that one and am looking forward to telling you about it.