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 11/10/09 Chicken Pomegranate

"Chi la fa l'aspetti." (He who wrongs someone has to expect something in retaliation. What goes around, comes around.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Marinated Eggplants
  -Spinach and Ricotta Gnocchi
  -Chicken Pomegranate

"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: Marinated Eggplants

Marinated Eggplants
Melanzane Marinate

Ingredients:

1 lb and 5 oz (600 grams) eggplants cut into 1/4-inch (5 mm) thick slices
6 fl oz (175 ml) extra virgin olive oil
1 fresh chilli, seeded and chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon capers, drained, rinsed and chopped
10 fresh mint leaves, chopped
Salt and pepper

Directions:

Place the eggplant slices in a colander, sprinkle with salt and leave to drain for about 30 minutes.

Heat a heavy based, nonstick frying pan.

Rinse the eggplants, pat dry and brush with some of the olive oil.

Add the eggplant slices to the frying pan, in batches if necessary, and cook over a high heat until golden brown on both sides.

Mix together the chilli, garlic, capers and mint in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Make a layer of eggplant slices in a salad bowl, sprinkle with a tablespoon of the chilli dressing and continue making layers until all the ingredients are used.

Pour in the remaining olive oil and leave to marinate in a cool place for at least 6 hours. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Spinach and Ricotta Gnocchi

Spinach and Ricotta Gnocchi
Gnocchi Di Spinaci e Ricotta

Ingredients:

2 and 1/4 lbs (1 kg) spinach
12 oz (350 grams) ricotta cheese
4 tablespoons Parmigiano cheese, freshly grated
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
Plain flour, for dusting
2 oz (50 grams) butter, melted
Salt and pepper 

Directions:

Cook the spinach, in just the water clinging to the leaves after washing, for about 5 minutes.

Drain the spinach, squeezing out as much liquid as possible, chop finely and put in a bowl.

Add the ricotta cheese, half the Parmigiano cheese, the egg yolks and season with salt and pepper.

Shape the mixture into balls and lightly dust with flour.

Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to a boil, add the gnocchi, a few at a time, and remove with a slotted spoon as they rise to the surface.

Place the gnocchi on a warm serving dish.

Pour the melted butter over them and sprinkle with the remaining Parmigiano cheese. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Chicken Pomegranate

Chicken Pomegranate
Pollo alla Melagrana

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 and 1/2 oz (40 grams) butter
1 boiler chicken
2 baby onions
3/4 oz (20 grams) dried mushrooms,
4 pomegranates
8 fl oz (250 ml) double cream
4 fresh sage leaves chopped
Salt and pepper

Directions:

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

Heat half the olive oil and half the butter in a flameproof casserole, add the chicken and cook, turning frequently, until browned all over.

Add one of the onions and sprinkle with hot water.

Transfer to the oven and roast for about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, place the mushrooms in a bowl, add warm water to cover and leave to soak for 15-30 minutes, then drain and squeeze out.

Cut off and discard a slice from one end of a pomegranate, stand it upright and cut downwards through the skin at intervals.

Bend back the segments and scrape the seeds into a bowl with your fingers.

Repeat with the remaining pomegranates, then crush the seeds with a potato masher and pour the juice over the chicken.

Return the casserole to the oven.

Reserve the seeds.

Chop the remaining onion.

Heat the remaining olive oil and butter in a pan, add the chopped onion and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for a further 15 minutes, then add to the casserole.

When the bird is tender, remove it and the whole onion from the casserole.

Transfer the cooking juices to a food processor and process to a puree.

Scrape the puree into a saucepan, stir in the cream and sage, season and cook over a low heat until thickened.

Cut the bird into pieces and chop the onion.

Serve the chicken with the sauce, reserved pomegranate seeds and chopped onion. 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:

Italy Housewives: Home Is Dangerous

Rome - January 13, 2009 - Home is a dangerous place, particularly for women and older people, the Italian housewives association, Federcasalinghe, warned on Tuesday.

Around 3.8 million people are injured annually and 8,000 eventually die as a result of accidents at home, said the association, pointing to statistics by the Institute for Workplace Protection and Security (ISPESL). Italian homes see around 4.5 million serious accidents each year, said ISPESL.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, given that Italy has one of the lowest rates of female employment in Europe, women are almost twice as likely to be injured at home as men, accounting for two thirds of all accidents. Nearly a half of those injured are over the age of 65, said ISPEL, which based its conclusions on information from the national statistics institute, Istat, and government administrative offices.

The majority of injuries were fairly minor, with bruising topping the list at 40%, although Italians also reported fractures (23%) and burns (7%), according to Federcasalinghe. Hands were the body part most susceptible to injury (24%), closely followed by the head (20%) and legs (14%).

The figures were released by Federcasalinghe in a bid to raise awareness about the potential dangers at home and as part of its broader campaign to gain more recognition for the work homemakers, usually women, do at home. The association's president, Federica Rossi Gasparrini, urged the government to invest some of the 180 million euros it spends on accident prevention each year on tackling the problem.

Maria Rosaria Di Summa, of the national work institute INAIL, said there were currently around 2.3 million Italians insured for their work as full-time homemakers. But she said the government should do more to help prevent accidents and support people who choose homemaking as a life choice.

A separate study by economic think tank CENSIS recently concluded that some 4 million Italians suffer accidents at home each year, compared to a million at work and around 300,000 involved in road accidents.

According to the report, domestic risks stemmed mainly from shoddy building work, poor quality products and bad safety practices.

But the report also noted that nearly half of Italians (46.6%) had done something very risky or just plain stupid in the last three months.

"What am I doing?! I'm cleaning again! You came to help or 'rompere le palle'?!"

American women devote just four hours a week to household chores while Italians spend twenty-one on housework. There is just one small problem: Unsurprisingly, Italian housewives are hard to please and that's where part of the danger comes in.

You see, they believe they have to have a different product for every job. Italians ridicule the magical multipurpose cleaners, demanding one spray for windows and another for mirrors.

Six years ago, Unilever launched a spray that promised to clean any surface: FAIL!
Procter & Gamble tried to promote a non-rinse anti-dust liquid: FAIL!

Cleaning the floor is an art form that only devoted people like Da Vinci and Michelangelo would understand. And Italy's housewives have no time for over-sophisticated domestic appliances that wash, dry, spin and give cooking tips all in one.

Dishwashers also fail to convince. 31% own a dishwasher...
"Huh? Dishwasher? No-no, grazie! I don't want to wash them twice."

The funny logic behind their complaint is they don't want to rinse the plates before putting them in the dishwasher.

The washing machine is an appliance that should be driven carefully...

It should wash without ruining fabrics!
It should spin, but not too fast! (Piano, slow down, cazzo!)
It should wash all kinds of clothes, but not at the same time!

Then there's the obsession with ironing...
80% of Italian women iron everything that derives from any kind of fabric, including socks, underwear and handkerchiefs.

In the end, Italians devote 21 hours a week to household chores, of which five are spent ironing. Cooking is not included in the total...and it is always healthy and wise to not ask when dinner is ready.

"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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