01/11/11 Zucchini Flower Pancakes

"La moglie la chiave di casa." (A good wife is the key to a good home.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Pea and Barley Soup
  -Zucchini Flower Pancakes
  -Cod In Curry Sauce

Thank you for all that you do. It means the world to us! Enjoy this week's recipes!

Arrivederci e grazie!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Cookie of the Week: Dolce per La Festa

"Dolce per La Festa: This gift of great Sicilian taste is sure to please. Our cookie tray is filled with a scrumptious assortment of our best selling Italian and Sicilian cookies arranged on a golden cookie tray (Santo Trio Almond, Sicilian Orange Almond, Pistachio, Amarena, Buccellati and Sesame Seed Cookies). No preservatives, additives, artificial colors, nor flavors. Serves 9-13.

1700 grams (3.75 lbs.) is only 27.49 Euro ($37.00-$37.50) + Shipping.

Example Order: One order to anywhere in the USA costs 27.49 Euro plus 16.70 Euro for Global Priority Mail shipping (7-8 days) for a total of 44.19 Euro ($59.75-$60.25 U.S. Dollars).

 Recipe: Pea and Barley Soup

Pea and Barley Soup
Zuppa Con Piselli e Orzo


5 oz (150 grams) shelled fresh peas (or frozen peas)
7 oz (200 grams) barley
18 fl oz (500 ml) milk
Pinch of chilli powder
Salt and pepper


Bring the milk and 1 and 3/4 pints (1 liter) of water to a boil.

Add the peas and barley, season with salt, pepper and chilli powder to taste and cook over a low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Ladle into a soup bowl. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Zucchini Flower Pancakes

Zucchini Flower Pancakes
Fritteddi i Sciuriddi


1/2 lb (200 grams) zucchini flowers, washed, cleaned and cut into julienne
5 handfuls of flour
2 handfuls of Pecorino or Parmigiano cheese
1 egg
Basil and parsley, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste


In a bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix.

The final mixture should be thick (but if it proves to be too dry, add a little bit of water).

In a large frying pan heat the olive oil, pour in spoonfuls of the pancake mix at a bit of distance from each other.

Let them brown on both sides, drain with a turner and place them on paper towels to dry.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Cod In Curry Sauce

Cod In Curry Sauce
Merluzzo al Curry


For the Fish Stock:
1 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprig
1 fresh thyme sprig
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, sliced
1 celery stick, sliced
1 tablespoon black peppercorns, lightly crushed
2 and 1/4 lbs (1 kg) white fish or white fish bones and heads, gills removed

For the Cod:
1 and 3/4 lb (800 grams) cod fillets
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon curry powder
Pinch of saffron powder
1 egg yolk
Salt and pepper


Prepare the Fish Stock:
Pour 3 pints (2 liters) water into a large saucepan, add the herbs, onion, carrot, celery and peppercorns and season with salt.

Gradually bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Remove from the heat, leave to cool, then add the fish (the water should just cover).

Return to the heat, bring just to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Remove from the heat and leave the fish to cool in the stock for a stronger flavor.

Strain the stock.

Leave to cool slightly, then strain.

Prepare the Cod:
Put the cod in a pan, add water to cover and a pinch of salt and bring just to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes.

Remove with a slotted spoon, drain well and keep warm.

Heat the olive oil in a pan, add the onion and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

Add 1/4 pint (150 ml) of the stock, sprinkle with the curry powder and saffron and simmer for 2 minutes.

Beat the egg yolk with the remaining stock, pour into the pan and cook until the sauce has thickened.

Season with salt and pepper and pour the sauce over the cod. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Only In Italy!

"Only In Italy" is a daily news column that translates & reports on funny but true news items from legitimate Italian news resources in Italy. Each story is slapped with our wild, often ironic, and sometimes rather opinionated comments. And now, for your reading pleasure:

Police Finally Seize 200M Euros Of Assets From Sicilian Construction Builder

Palermo - October 14, 2010 - Assets worth more than 200 million euros were seized Thursday from a local builder believed to be a front for Cosa Nostra, judicial sources said.

The assets included 145 apartments and villas, 13 cars and bank accounts all held in the name of 76-year-old builder Francesco Civello.

According to investigators, Civello, who was investigated in the late 1970s on suspicion of being linked to the Mafia, had acquired the assets by laundering capital for the ex-mayor of Palermo Vito Ciancimino.

Ciancimino, who died in 2002 at the age of 88, was the first Italian politician to be found guilty of belonging to the Mafia.

Civello was described by investigators as being "socially dangerous" because of his alleged links to organized crime. One of these links was to Francesco Zummo, a business partner believe to have been Ciancimino's financial advisor.

Palermo is a Sicilian city that has gone out of its way to prove Darwin’s theory wrong: "Evolution was buried under a gas station somewhere."

In the 1960s, as Palermo's public works commissioner and ex-mayor, the infamous "testa di minchia", Vito Ciancimino, gave thousands of building permits away as if they were winning lottery tickets to some peculiar characters...mostly Mafia members. With the collaboration of another "testa di minchia", Salvatore "Salvo" Lima, later mayor and also senator, Ciancimino and his breed managed to turn most of the city of Palermo into an ugly concrete Disneyland, in the process destroying historic buildings to erect new ones.

Few parks, gardens or playgrounds were ever planned. That would have been ridiculous. So, Palermo families were forced to spend their weekends relaxing, playing, and having barbecues at their local construction sites. In the course of a decade and its long aftermath, a handful of politicians effectively pillaged Palermo, appropriating funds from Italy's development plan for its poor South to construct bizarre buildings, re-zone entire districts and literally wipe important historical monuments off the map.

"The assets included 145 apartments and villas, 13 cars and bank accounts all held in the name of 76-year-old builder Francesco Civello." "Mamma mia", how on earth does an old construction builder from Palermo stockpile such a fortune without sounding off any alarms? Isn't that like walking out in the rain and not getting wet?

Here's another case: One morning, we decided we wanted fresh farm eggs here at the news office (don't ask why). Now, imagine the inferno we went through to obtain a permit to build a small chicken coop in the backyard:

- Survey of the coop (by an architect),
- Structural design of the coop (by an engineer),
- Geological survey (by a geologist). That's to make sure the coop wouldn't be built on or near a fault line.
- A dozen free eggs a week (for a year) to the "figlio di puttana" town hall employee who would eventually give us our permit.

"Only In Italy" Subscribe today and you'll discover why the last improvements to Italy were made by Julius Caesar and why it's been downhill ever since!  Click Here to Subscribe!

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