11/03/09 Ugly But Good Biscotti

"Chi tace acconsente." (Who doesn't speak up, consents.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Beetroot with Bechamel Sauce
  -Salmon Mousse with Shrimp Cream
  -Ugly But Good Biscotti

"Auguri e saluti" to all our readers. Enjoy this week's recipes!

Arrivederci e a presto!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

 Italian cookies for your Thanksgiving

Italian Thanksgiving? According to the fine pilgrim tradition, our Italian ancestors went over to the New World, America, celebrated and gave thanks for their new found fortune, freedom and prosperity. However, they were very reluctant to give up the traditions of their own, that is why they still serve manicotti, lasagna or stuffed shells prior to the turkey. Afterwards, you top off the feast with fine Italian pastries and cookies with espresso,

Why not order a scrumptious batch of Italian cookies for your Thanksgiving feast? They're perfect to adorn any Thanksgiving table and delicious to enjoy. If you would like to order in time for the Holiday, please keep in mind the following deadline:

All Thanksgiving orders must be placed by Saturday morning, November 14, at noon EST. Click here to order!

 Recipe: Beetroot with Bechamel Sauce

Beetroot with Bechamel Sauce
Barbabietole Alla Besciamella


For the Bechamel Sauce:
2 oz (50 grams) oz butter
2 oz (50 grams) plain flour
18 fl oz (500 ml) whole milk
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
Salt and pepper

For the Beetroot:
1 lb and 5 oz (600 grams) cooked beetroot, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch (5 mm) thick slices
1 oz (25 grams) butter, melted, plus extra for greasing


Prepare the Bechamel Sauce:
Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat.

Whisk in the flour.

Pour in all the milk, whisking constantly until it starts to boil.

Season with salt, lower the heat, cover and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for at least 20 minutes. Bechamel sauce should not taste like flour.

Remove the saucepan from the heat.

Taste and add more salt if necessary and season with pepper and/or nutmeg.

If the sauce is too thick, add a little more milk.

If too runny, return to the heat and add 2 slices of butter mixed with an equal quantity of plain flour.

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

Grease an ovenproof dish with butter.

Arrange the beetroot slices in the prepared dish and drizzle with the melted butter.

Season with salt and spoon the bechamel sauce over the beetroot.

Bake until hot and bubbling. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Salmon Mousse with Shrimp Cream

Salmon Mousse with Shrimp Cream
Mousse di Salmone con Crema di Gamberi


1 lb and 5 oz (600 grams) salmon (cleaned and filleted, bones and head saved)
2 egg whites
8 fl oz (250 ml) double cream
Butter for greasing
Salt and white pepper

For the Shrimp Cream:
18 cooked shrimp
2 oz (50 grams) butter
2 fl oz (50 ml) brandy
1 tablespoon plain flour
Salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 160C (325F) Gas Mark 3.

Grease a ring mould pan with butter.

Skin and chop the salmon fillets and place in a bowl.

Place the skin, any trimmings, the bones and head in a large saucepan.

Add water to cover, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until stiff.

Whip the cream in another bowl until stiff.

Add in the egg whites, then the cream into the chopped salmon and season with salt and pepper.

Pour the mixture into the ring mould and place in a roasting tin.

Pour in boiling water so that it rises to about halfway up the side of the mould and bake for 45-50 minutes.

Meanwhile, strain the salmon stock into a bowl.

Prepare the Shrimp Cream:
Peel and devein the shrimp and finely chop the shells.

Heat half the butter in a frying pan, add the shells and cook, stirring frequently, for a few minutes.

Sprinkle with the brandy and cook until it has evaporated.

Then season with salt and pepper.

Mix the remaining butter and the flour to a paste and add to the pan, stirring.

Stir in as much of the hot salmon stock as required to make a slightly runny sauce.

Strain into a bowl and add the shrimp.

Turn out the mousse and pour the shrimp cream in the middle. Serve immediately. Serves 6-8.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Ugly But Good Biscotti

Ugly But Good Biscotti
Biscotti Brutti Ma Buoni


6 egg whites
14 oz (400 grams) toasted hazelnuts, finely chopped
11 and 1/2 oz (330 grams) caster or superfine sugar
A few drops of vanilla essence
Unsalted butter, for greasing
Plain flour, for dusting


Stiffly whisk the egg whites in a grease-free bowl, then gradually fold in the hazelnuts, sugar and vanilla.

Pour the mixture into a non-stick pan and cook over a low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for about 30 minutes.

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

Grease a baking sheet with butter and dust lightly with flour.

Remove the pan from the heat and place tablespoons of the mixture on the prepared baking sheet, spaced well apart.

Bake for about 40 minutes without opening the oven door.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the baking sheet, then remove with a palette knife. Makes about 20.

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:

Spouse of Six Months Dies At 101

Imperia - December 23, 2008 - A 101-year-old Italian man who married his 98-year-old French sweetheart last summer after more than 50 years together has died after six months of wedlock, a newspaper reported Tuesday.

Giuseppe Rebaudi, a retired surgeon, died "in the arms of his housekeeper," the daily said.

Rebaudi met his future wife, Sylvie Basain, in Marseille in 1952. They were together for 56 years before she persuaded him to become man and wife. Their wedding on the Ligurian Riviera on June 26 attracted a lot of media attention.

Basain, a former employee of a French newspaper, told reporters: "We've only been together for 50 years. Marriage is not a step to be taken lightly".

Rebaudi said: "I'd never thought about tying the knot but Sylvie convinced me, even though it's a bit late".

Amore between two people can be beautiful. But, "porca vacca", this is not!

When she persuaded him to marry her, did he almost change the expression on his face?

"We've only been together for 50 years. Marriage is not a step to be taken lightly". Absolutely. If you read between the lunacy, she actually makes sense. After all, one wants to be positively sure he or she is the one.

- Would her future husband consider wife swapping seeing that one in four Italian couples indulge in it?
- Would he help count the silverware?
- Wear matching socks?
- Stop saying that France's contribution to world cuisine was not just the "souffle", or as he claims, something puffed up with a lot of hot air and full of fattening crap?

"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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 Adriana's Homemade Italian Gourmet Cookies; Italian gourmet almond, fig, pistachio and sesame cookies baked and shipped from our bakery in Italy to you; all natural, fresh, and baked to order. Great Italian recipes!

 Italian humor and news; visit and subscribe today and feed your sense of intellectual superiority by reading and wondering how Italy still survives after 56 governments in 50 years!
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