05/31/11 Fresh Strawberry Granita

"Non tutti quelli che hanno lettere sono savi." (Not all those who are learned are wise.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Grilled Oyster Mushrooms
  -Cauliflower and Broccoli Flan with Spinach Bechamel
  -Fresh Strawberry Granita

Ciao! A quick note of "grazie" for being a part of our growing kitchen community. We're over 9,600 members now. Remember, you started it. Enjoy this week's recipes in good health and happiness!

Arrivederci and grazie again!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Cookie of the Week: Santo Trio

"Santo Trio" Almond Cookies: A soft and chewy Italian almond cookie with a crisp outside and tender inside. Made exclusively from our own home grown natural almonds, coconut, amaretto, lemon, the freshest farm eggs, flour, and sugar. No preservatives, additives, artificial colors, nor flavors. Serves 5-7.

900 grams (2 lbs.) is only 14.49 Euro ($21.00-$21.50) + Shipping.

Example Order: One order to anywhere in the USA costs 14.49 Euro plus 8.70 Euro for Global Priority Mail shipping (10-12 days) for a total of 23.19 Euro ($33.75-$34.25 U.S. Dollars).

 Recipe: Grilled Oyster Mushrooms

Grilled Oyster Mushrooms
Funghi alla Griglia


2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 lb large oyster mushrooms, stems trimmed
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt (preferably Sicilian)


Whisk together juices, vinegar, and olive oil in a large bowl.

Toss mushrooms with vinaigrette and marinate 15 minutes.

Transfer mushrooms to another bowl with tongs, reserving vinaigrette.

Prepare grill for cooking (if using a charcoal grill, open vents on bottom of grill, then light charcoal. Charcoal fire is hot when you can hold your hand 5 inches above rack for 1 to 2 seconds. If using a gas grill, preheat burners on high, covered, 10 minutes, then reduce heat to moderately high).

Grill mushrooms in 3 batches on oiled grill sheet set on grill rack, with grill covered only if using gas grill, turning frequently, until golden brown, about 5 minutes per batch.

Transfer to vinaigrette as grilled, then toss with sea salt. Makes 10 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Cauliflower and Broccoli Flan with Spinach Bechamel

Cauliflower and Broccoli Flan with Spinach Bechamel
Sformato di Cavolfiore e Broccoli con Besciamella di Spinaci


2 and 1/2 cups cauliflower florets
2 and 1/2 cups broccoli florets

2 6-ounce bags baby spinach leaves

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup whole milk
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese


Cook cauliflower and broccoli in large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.

Drain, reserving 2/3 cup cooking liquid.

Transfer vegetables to large bowl.


Rinse spinach, then toss in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just wilted.

Drain and cool.

Squeeze spinach dry; finely chop.

Melt butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat.

Add flour and whisk until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Gradually whisk in milk and reserved 2/3 cup vegetable cooking liquid.

Whisk constantly over medium heat until sauce thickens and boils, about 3 minutes.

Stir in spinach and cheese.

Using fingers, coarsely crumble cauliflower and broccoli in bowl.

Add spinach bechamel sauce; stir to blend.

Season with salt and pepper.

Butter 1 and 1/2-quart baking dish.

Spread vegetable mixture in prepared dish.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Bake flan until puffed and heated through, about 25 minutes if at room temperature and 35 minutes if chilled.

Serve hot. Makes 6 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Fresh Strawberry Granita

Fresh Strawberry Granita
Granita di Fragole


1 cup hot water
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 cups sliced hulled strawberries (1 pound whole strawberries) plus additional for garnish


Stir first 3 ingredients in small bowl until the sugar dissolves.

Blend 3 cups of strawberries in processor until smooth.

Add sugar syrup and blend until combined.

Pour mixture into a 13 x 9 x 2-inch nonstick metal baking pan.

Freeze until icy around edges, about 25 minutes.

Using fork, stir icy portions into middle of pan.

Freeze until mixture is frozen, stirring edges into center every 20 to 30 minutes, about 1 and 1/2 hours.

Using fork, scrape granita into flaky crystals.

Cover tightly and freeze.

Scrape granita into bowls.

Garnish with strawberries and serve. Makes about 6 cups.

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:

Deputy Mayor Resigns After Caught Filming Women's Legs

Suzzara - September 16, 2010 - The deputy mayor of this town near Mantua was caught filming women's legs in a mall supermarket and reported to the police.

Pietro Aleotti, 65, immediately resigned to defend himself.

The ex-official was said to have positioned his cell phone in his shopping basket so as to be able to take 'upskirt' shots.

The supermarket's guards had been tracking him for some time after complaints from customers.

"It was a weakness," Aleotti said. "My conscience is clear and I believe everything will soon sort itself out".

"Porca miseria", the town of Suzzara will be losing a fine deputy mayor. It's a shame. He’s a man who could have balanced the budget of his town if he wasn't too busy pursuing a career in film directing...and picking his nose.

Aleotti: "My conscience is clear and I believe everything will soon sort itself out". Ah, no no NO! We knew it. The "everything will soon sort itself out" is a political message in code which means he'll be taking the classic route of running for a seat in Italy's Parliament.

On a serious note, we'll give dear Pietro the benefit of the doubt. We realize he has a weakness and we sincerely hope he will seek the path of professional help. And we would like to close this story with a joyous announcement: At least no money was stolen!

"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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