03/02/10 Leek and Cheese Soup

"A nemico che fugge, ponti d'oro." (For the enemy who escapes, golden bridges.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Leek and Cheese Soup
  -Eggs In Red Wine
  -Salmon and Bacon Bites

Remember, savory seasonings stimulate the appetite. Enjoy this week's recipes!

Arrivederci e a presto!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

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 Recipe: Leek and Cheese Soup

Leek and Cheese Soup
Zuppa di Porri e Formaggi


For the Meat Stock:
1 and 3/4 lb (800 grams) beef (no fat), cut into cubes
1 lb 5 oz (600 grams) veal, cut into cubes
1 onion, coarsely chopped
2 oz (50 grams) coarsely chopped carrots
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) leeks, trimmed and coarsely chopped
1 celery stick, coarsely chopped

For the Soup:
3 leeks, sliced
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) Emmenthal cheese, freshly grated
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) Fontina cheese, sliced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 oz (50 grams) butter
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
4 country-style bread slices
2 fl oz (50 ml) brandy
Salt and pepper


Prepare the Meat Stock:
Place the meat in a large saucepan, add cold water to cover and bring to a boil. Cooking and gentle simmering are essential for a great meat stock.

Skim off any residue that rises to the surface and add the carrots, leeks, onion, and celery and season with salt.

Lower the heat and simmer for about 3 and 1/2 hours to 4 hours.

Remove from the heat, strain into a bowl and leave to cool.

Then chill in the refrigerator.

When the fat has solidified on the surface carefully remove and throw away.

Prepare the Soup:
Bring the stock to a boil.

Meanwhile, heat the butter and olive oil in another pan.

Add the leeks and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.

Sprinkle with the nutmeg, season with salt and pepper, pour in the meat stock and cook for about 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) Gas Mark 4.

Place the bread in each of four ovenproof soup bowls.

Top with the Fontina and sprinkle with the brandy and Emmenthal cheese, then ladle in the soup.

Place on a baking sheet in the oven for about 10 minutes, then leave to stand for a few minutes before serving. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Eggs In Red Wine

Eggs In Red Wine
Uova Fritte al Civet


8 eggs
14 oz (400 grams) onions, thinly sliced
5 tablespoons red wine
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper
Toast, to serve 


Heat the olive oil in a frying pan.

Add the onions and stir-fry over a high heat until lightly browned.

Add 2 tablespoons water and the sugar, lower the heat and cook for about 20-30 minutes until the onions are very soft and caramelized.

Sprinkle in the two vinegars and cook until they have evaporated.

Pour in the wine and cook until about half of it has evaporated.

Season with salt and pepper.

Break the eggs into the pan, one at a time, and cook for a few minutes over a medium heat.

Transfer the eggs and their sauce to a warm serving dish and serve with toast. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Salmon and Bacon Bites

Salmon and Bacon Bites
Bocconcini di Salmone con Bacon


Butter, for greasing
2 fresh sage sprigs
1 and 1/2 lbs (675 grams) salmon fillets, cut into cubes
5 oz (150 grams) bacon rashers, halved
Salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 200C (400F) Gas Mark 6.

Grease an ovenproof dish with butter.

Pull the sage leaves off the stems and cut them in half.

Season the salmon cubes with salt and pepper and wrap each cube in a small slice of bacon with half a sage leaf.

Secure with cocktail sticks and place in the prepared dish.

Bake, turning occasionally, for 10-15 minutes. 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:

Berlusconi's Incredibly Competent Dental Hygienist In Italy Election

Rome - February 19, 2010 - The glamorous dental hygienist who helped Silvio Berlusconi flash his toothy grin again has been enlisted to contest regional Italian elections.

Nicole Minetti, 25, treated the prime minister after he was attacked in Milan late last year with a miniature marble statue of the city's cathedral. The former TV showgirl qualified as a dental hygienist in November just a month before Mr Berlusconi, 73, visited her practice for treatment on two broken teeth.

Miss Minetti has no experience in the political field, but she has worked at one of the channels owned by the billionaire politician. She appeared on a program called Colorado Cafe as a dancer and another show called Scorie, which is an Italian version of Candid Camera.

Italy will hold regional elections at the end of March and the prime minister said they were an "important test for the government, which could have a significant impact on the national level". But Miss Minetti joins other candidates who appear to have been selected by Mr Berlusconi for their good looks.

Last year the Italian leader's long-suffering wife Veronica Lario, 53, announced she was divorcing him after revelations he was planning to run several attractive women as prospective MEPs.

Ms Lario called the idea "shameless trash" that was created "just to please the emperor". In the end the idea was ditched by Mr Berlusconi who said his wife had misinterpreted the plan due to "leftist propaganda".

Besides Miss Minetti, the prime minister has also selected four women as prospective regional governors. Contrary to reports earlier this year, none of them are from the showbiz world. But other high-profile people fighting for votes include Giorgio Puricelli, the physiotherapist of Mr Berlusconi's football club AC Milan, as well as his trusted architect Francesco Magnano.

Of the 13 regions headed to the polls in March, only Veneto and Mr Berlusconi's home region of Lombardy are governed by his center-right coalition, with the remainder in the hands of the center-left.

The problem here is not dealing with Berlusconi's latest "cazzata" which would be the equivalence of changing a diaper underwater, but the fact that Miss Dental Hygiene 2007 is setting back the 'Women's Movement' 74 years with her delusions of adequacy.

We don't know anymore. How did we get to this point in time? Are Italian women that dangerous that we can get duped into performing hillbilly acts...or is it the shoe polish in our hair follicles that has started to seep into the brains of some of us?

Miss Minetti, 25: "I am not worried though. I am ready and I have done all my homework and I feel that I am qualified and up to the job. I know that I am young and I still have lots to learn but I don't like all this judgment of me without seeing what I have to offer."

-> "Mamma mia", how adorable! Hey Silvio, ever watch a nature film when they show a coyote eat his own leg off to escape a trap? Start chewing...

She also spoke of her past as a TV showgirl: "I would ask newspapers to stop publishing photographs of me when I was on the television."

-> Incredible. She, like most women in Italy live better than Cleopatra. In fact, most women from underdeveloped countries would give up their left breast to live like Miss Minetti does in Italy.

Well, we certainly wish her all the luck in her political venture. Remember, if at first you don't succeed, give up, and start looking into the profession of lawn mowing.

"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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