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 10/14/08 Almond and Raspberry Tart from CookiesFromItaly.com

"A confessore, medico e avvocato non tener il ver celato." (To the priest, the doctor, and the lawyer do not keep the truth hidden.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Petto di Pollo alla Valdostana con Lenticchie Brasate
  -Pollo con Limoni Arrosti, Olive Verdi, e Capperi
  -Crostata di Mandorla e Lampone

Thanks again for subscribing and enjoy the recipes!

Arrivederci e a presto!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       


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 Recipe: Petto di Pollo alla Valdostana con Lenticchie Brasate

Petto di Pollo alla Valdostana con Lenticchie Brasate
Chicken Breast Valdostana with Braised Lentils

Ingredients:

For the Braised Lentils with Spinach:
2 cups brown lentils
2 small onions, diced (about 1 and 1/2 cups)
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
1 stalk celery, trimmed and diced (about 1 and 1/2 cups)
2 bay leaves
Salt
1/2 cup chicken stock or chicken broth
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
4 cups finely shredded fresh spinach, thoroughly washed and drained

For the Chicken Valdostana:
6 medium (about 7-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
6 thin slices imported Italian prosciutto
All-purpose flour
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock or chicken broth
1/2 cup seeded and crushed canned Italian tomatoes
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces Italian Fontina cheese, sliced thin
2 tablespoons tomato sauce or additional seeded and crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Directions:

Prepare the Braised Lentils with Spinach:
Pour enough cold water over the lentils, onions, carrots, celery, and bay leaves in a 3-quart saucepan to cover by three fingers.

Season with salt and bring to a boil over high heat.

Adjust the heat so the water is at a gentle boil and cook until the lentils are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Drain the lentils, discard the bay leaves, and transfer to a large skillet.

Pour in the chicken stock and olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil and cook until the liquid is reduced enough to coat the lentils, about 3 minutes.

Scatter the spinach over the lentils and toss just until the spinach is wilted, about 1 minute.

Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary. Serve immediately.

Prepare the Chicken Valdostana:
Preheat oven to 375 F.

Trim any excess fat, skin, and cartilage from the chicken pieces.

Place a piece of prosciutto over each chicken breast, trimming and layering each so it covers the chicken breasts as neatly as possible.

Using the back of a large knife, gently pound the prosciutto into the chicken so it adheres.

Dredge the chicken breasts in flour to coat them lightly and tap off any excess flour.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter and the olive oil in a 12 to 14-inch skillet with an ovenproof handle until the butter is foaming.

Place in the skillet as many of the chicken pieces, prosciutto side down, as will fit without touching.

Cook just until they begin to brown, about 2 minutes. (Overcooking will toughen the prosciutto.)

Turn the chicken and cook until the second side is golden brown, about 3 minutes.

Repeat, if necessary with the remaining chicken breasts, removing the browned chicken to make room.

Adjust the heat as you work so the chicken doesn't burn or stick in places.

Pour the wine into the skillet and shake gently to dislodge any brown bits that stick to the pan.

Boil until reduced by half.

Pour the chicken stock into the skillet and distribute the crushed tomatoes and remaining 2 tablespoons butter in between the pieces of chicken.

Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the sauce is simmering, tilting the skillet to mix the sauce.

Drape the sliced Fontina over the chicken pieces to cover them completely.

Dot the center of each chicken breast with a small circle of tomato sauce or a small mound of crushed tomatoes and sprinkle with the grated cheese.

Place the pan in the oven and bake until the chicken is cooked through, the sauce is bubbling, and the cheese is lightly browned around the edges, about 10 minutes.

While the chicken is in the oven, finish the braised lentils.

Very carefully remove the pan to the stovetop and let stand a minute or two before serving.

Spoon a mound of lentils onto the center of a warm dinner plate, Top with a chicken breast and spoon some of the sauce around the lentils. Serves 6.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Pollo con Limoni Arrosti, Olive Verdi, e Capperi

Pollo con Limoni Arrosti, Olive Verdi, e Capperi
Chicken with Roasted Lemons, Green Olives, and Capers

Ingredients:

For the Roasted Lemons:
12 thin lemon slices (from 2 lemons)
Olive oil

For the Chicken:
4 large skinless boneless chicken breast halves
All purpose flour
5 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup sliced pitted green Sicilian olives or other brine-cured green olives
2 tablespoons drained capers
1 and 1/2 cups chicken stock or chicken broth
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, cut into 4 pieces
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

Prepare the Roasted lemons:
Preheat oven to 325 F.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Arrange lemon slices in single layer on prepared sheet.

Brush lemon slices with olive oil; sprinkle lightly with salt.

Roast until slightly dry and beginning to brown around edges, about 25 minutes. (Lemons can be made 1 day ahead. Transfer to container. Cover; chill.)

Prepare the Chicken:
Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.

Dredge chicken in flour to coat both sides; shake off excess.

Heat 5 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over high heat.

Add chicken and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side.

Stir in olives and capers.

Add stock and bring to boil, scraping up browned bits from bottom of skillet.

Boil until liquid is reduced to syrup consistency, turning chicken over after 3 minutes, about 5 minutes.

Add butter, roasted lemon slices, and 2 tablespoons parsley; simmer until butter melts and chicken is cooked through, about 2 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to platter.

Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon parsley.

Boil until liquid is reduced to syrup consistency, turning chicken over after 3 minutes, about 5 minutes.

Add butter, roasted lemon slices, and 2 tablespoons parsley; simmer until butter melts and chicken is cooked through, about 2 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to platter.

Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon parsley. Makes 4 servings.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Crostata di Mandorla e Lampone

Crostata di Mandorla e Lampone
Almond and Raspberry Tart

Ingredients:

1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam

2 and 1/2-pint baskets raspberries

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Combine flour, sugar and salt in processor; blend 10 seconds.

Add butter.

Using on/off turns, blend until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Add egg and vanilla and almond extracts.

Using on/off turns, process until moist clumps form.

Gather dough into ball.

Using floured fingertips, press dough onto bottom and up sides of 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom.

Press 1/2 cup almonds over bottom of crust; spread with 2/3 cup jam.

Bake tart until crust is golden at edges and jam is bubbling thickly, about 40 minutes.

Cool completely on rack. Push up pan bottom to release tart.

Toss raspberries with remaining 2 tablespoons jam in bowl to coat.

Top jam layer with berries.

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons almonds around edge of tart.

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons almonds around edge of tart. Makes 8 servings.

That's it!

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 Only In Italy!

"Only In Italy" is a daily news column that translates and 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:

Anti Mafia School To Teach Agents Crime Fighting Skills

Rome - September 29, 2008 - A university course to teach 'secret agents' how to fight the Mafia is to begin on Saturday in the southern Italian region of Calabria, a Mafia stronghold.

A group of 35 agents will be trained by the University of Calabria and Cosenza on how to fight the Mafia known as 'Ndrangheta, reported an Italian weekly.

"The master's first objective is to create an 'intelligence' to contrast with organized crime," said program director, Mario Caligiuri.

"In Calabria there is not even a shred of a university course that deals with the 'Ndrangheta. The Turkish language is taught, but nothing about the history of 'Ndrangheta."

The students will learn about economic intelligence and the role of new technologies in criminal activities.

Former Italian President Francesco Cossiga as well as the former director of the Italian intelligence agency SISDE, Vittorio Stelo and Judge Rosario Priore will play a role in teaching the course.

The course lasts 19 days, with classes lasting 8 hours, followed by 100 hours of internship. The course costs 4,000 euros per person.

Italy's four main criminal organizations are the Sicilian Mafia, the Camorra in Naples and the surrounding Campania region, the 'Ndrangheta in the southern region of Calabria, and the Sacra Corona Unita in the southern Puglia region.

Cacchio, the tamest thing about that Calabria are the little red peperoncino peppers.

This university course is a hilarious jamboree of ignorance:

"A university course to teach 'secret agents' how to fight the Mafia..." FAIL! Hmmm...your secret cover blown by the registrar's office. Gee, we sure hope the Mafia doesn't find about this course and the secret agents. Excuse us, "students".

"The master's first objective is to create an 'intelligence' to contrast with organized crime." FAIL! The second objective is to create an intelligence to prevent the janitors at the University from discovering the first objective and passing it on to the Mafia.

"The Turkish language is taught, but nothing about the history of 'Ndrangheta." When you are forced to escape to Turkey in order to get away from the trauma of living in Calabria, the Turkish language can come quite in handy.

"The course lasts 19 days, with classes lasting 8 hours, followed by 100 hours of internship." FAIL! Congratulations! Here's your diploma. What crime fighting skills could you learn in 19 days? Gymnastics?

Calabria has a better chance of ridding the Mafia with the crime fighting skills of "Batman and Robin".

"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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