04/20/10 Cherry Tomatoes Stuffed With Crab

"Chi fa da s, fa per tre." (He who works by himself does the work of three. Do it yourself if you want it done right.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Cherry Tomatoes Stuffed With Crab
  -Fried Fennel
  -Lemon Tart

Remember, food is our common ground, a universal experience. Enjoy this week's recipes!

Arrivederci e a presto!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

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 Recipe: Cherry Tomatoes Stuffed With Crab

Cherry Tomatoes Stuffed With Crab
Ciliegine Ripiene di Granchio


12 red cherry tomatoes
9 oz (250 grams) crab meat
4 tablespoons Mayonnaise
Salt and pepper
12 black olives, stoned, to garnish


Cut off the tops of the cherry tomatoes, scoop out a little of the flesh without piercing the 'shells' and season the insides with salt.

Place upside down on kitchen paper for 1 hour to drain.

Pick over the crab meat and remove any cartilage.

Mix together the crab meat and mayonnaise in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Fill the cherry tomatoes with the mixture and garnish each with an olive. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Fried Fennel

Fried Fennel
Finocchi Fritti


4 fennel bulbs, trimmed
1 egg
1 and 1/2 oz (40 grams) Parmigiano cheese, freshly grated
2 oz (50 grams) butter


Cook the fennel in salted, boiling water for about 45 minutes until tender.

Thinly slice crossways and pat dry on kitchen paper.

Beat the egg with a pinch of salt in a shallow dish and spread out the Parmigiano cheese in another shallow dish.

Melt the butter in a non-stick pan.

Dip the fennel slices first in the beaten egg and then in the Parmigiano cheese.

Add to the pan and cook until golden brown on both sides. Serve hot. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Lemon Tart

Lemon Tart
Torta al Limone


For the Shortcut Pastry:
7 oz (200 grams) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) caster or superfine sugar
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) unsalted butter, softened and cut into pieces
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons lemon rind, grated

For the Filling:
5 oz (150 grams) unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
3 eggs
5 oz (150 grams) caster or superfine sugar
Rind of 2 lemons, grated
Juice of 1/2 lemon, strained
Plain flour, for dusting
Icing sugar, sifted, for sprinkling


Prepare the Shortcut Pastry:
Sift the flour and sugar together into a mound, make a well in the center and add the butter, egg yolks, lemon rind and a pinch of salt.

Mix thoroughly and knead briefly.

Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use to line a pie dish.

Trim the edges and follow the recipe instructions for your chosen pie. Serves 6.

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

Grease a tart tin with butter.

Beat the eggs with the caster sugar in a large bowl, stir in the lemon rind and lemon juice, then stir in the butter.

Roll out the pastry into a round on a lightly floured surface and line in the prepared tart tin.

Trim the edges, then pour the lemon mixture into the tart case.

Bake for 30 minutes, then remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Place a few lemon leaves or decorative paper shapes on the surface of the tart, sprinkle with icing sugar, then carefully remove the leaves or shapes. Serves 6.

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:

Comatose Saturday Postal Delivery in Italy To End

February 19, 2010 - Unions are finalizing an agreement with the Italian postal service which will result in an end to deliveries on Saturday but also an increase in afternoon deliveries during the week.

The growing popularity of electronic mail and competition from other parcel delivery services has greatly reduced the business of Poste Italiane which has compensated by expanding into other services including banking and even mobile phone service.

Last year, union sources said, there was a 20% drop in mail delivery which put the jobs of 10,600 letter carriers at risk.

Aside from ending weekend service, unions have agreed to only increase the length of daily shifts from six hours to seven hours and 12 minutes to allow for more afternoon deliveries.

Poste Italiane currently employs some 140,000 people, 73,000 of whom work sorting and delivering mail.

"Figlio di puttana", who knew mail was being delivered on Saturdays? Most Italians would have loved to have gotten a taste of this! We're happy as pigs in slop when we get anyone capable of delivering the mail without losing their breath.

Ever have the urge of doing something ridiculous like stopping by an Italian post office for some Godforsaken task? It's like entering the 'Twilight Zone' where you're viewing postal workers find 22 reasons to do just about anything (including skinning varmints) other than their original work tasks.

After you get over your initial amazement of actually finding the post office open (meaning that the manager did not lose the keys that morning), you make a run for the ticket machine and rather than waste time reading which of the four different tickets you need, you just take one of each. It doesn't matter what the information states because you'll eventually discover you're the nincompoop waiting in the wrong ticket line and have to start over again when you finally reach the window.

While you are being served, which usually consists of being told that whatever you need is out of stock, you will be constantly interrupted with other incredibly polite Italian customers asking for various paperwork. Mind you there are places for forms to be stocked but these were possibly last refilled when Mussolini was hanged.

At this point your obnoxious and foul-smelling teller will resume the phoney smile and drooling and then disappear from his/her desk to go and find said form which may take 10 minutes and involve at least three other incredibly efficient coworkers who were also busy pretending to work but have now all stopped...thanks to you.

"Poste Italiane currently employs some 140,000 people, 73,000 of whom work sorting and delivering mail." If it weren't for the deliberate help from Italian politicians, 99% of these postal workers would be stooped over picking potatoes and tomatoes right now.

"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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