12/15/09 Milanese Osso Buco

"Pancia vuota non sente ragioni." (An empty stomach cannot reason.) Welcome to another recipe edition from Adriana's Italian Bakery!

This week's Italian recipes:
  -Artichoke Risotto
  -Milanese Osso Buco
  -Crepes Suzette

All of us here at the bakery send our best regards to our readers. Enjoy this week's recipes!

Arrivederci e a presto!

Yours Truly,              
Adriana Ciccarello       

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 Recipe: Artichoke Risotto

Artichoke Risotto
Risotto Coi Carciofi


For the Vegetable Stock:
2 potatoes, coarsely chopped
2 onions, coarsely chopped
2 leeks, trimmed and coarsely chopped
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
2 turnips, coarsely chopped
1 celery stick, coarsely chopped
3 cherry tomatoes, coarsely chopped

For the Risotto:
1 and 1/2 oz (40 grams) butter
1 onion, chopped
6 artichokes, sliced (preferably Jerusalem)
12 oz (350 grams) risotto rice
1 tablespoon single cream
Parmigiano cheese, freshly grated, to serve


Prepare the Vegetable Stock:
Place all the vegetables in a large saucepan, pour in 1.5 liters (2 and 1/2 pints) water, add a pinch of salt and bring to the boil.

Lower the heat and simmer gently for about 20 minutes.

Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly, then strain into a bowl pressing down well on the vegetables with a spoon.

Prepare the Risotto:
Bring the stock to the boil.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in another saucepan, add the onion and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes until softened.

Add the artichokes and cook, stirring occasionally, for a further 5 minutes.

Add a ladleful of the stock and simmer for 20 minutes, then mash with a fork.

Stir in the rice.

Add a ladleful of the hot stock and cook, stirring, until it has been absorbed.

Continue adding the stock, a ladleful at a time, and stirring until each addition has been absorbed. This will take 18-20 minutes.

When the rice is tender, season with salt to taste and stir in the cream. Serve with Parmigiano cheese. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Milanese Osso Buco

Milanese Osso Buco
Osso Buco alla Milanese


For the Meat Stock:
1 and 3/4 lb (800 grams) lean beef, cut into cubes
1 lb 5 oz (600 grams) veal, cut into cubes
1 onion, coarsely chopped
2 oz (50 grams) carrots, coarsely chopped
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) leeks, trimmed and coarsely chopped
1 celery stick, coarsely chopped

For the Osso Buco:
3 oz (80 grams) butter
1/2 onion, chopped
4 osso buco (5-cm or 2-inch thick rounds of veal knuckle)
Plain flour, for dusting
5 tablespoons dry white wine
1 celery stick, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato puree
Salt and pepper

For the Gremolata:
Thinly pared rind of 1/2 lemon, finely chopped
1 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprig, finely chopped


Prepare the Meat Stock:
Place the meat in a large saucepan, add cold water to cover and bring to the boil, bearing in mind that slow cooking and gentle simmering are essential for successful stock.

Skim off any residue that rises to the surface and add the onion, carrots, leeks and celery and season with salt.

Lower the heat and simmer for about 3 and 1/2 hours.

Remove from the heat, strain into a bowl, leave to cool, then chill in the refrigerator.

When the fat has solidified on the surface carefully remove and discard.

Prepare the Osso Buco:
Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the onion and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

Dust the veal with flour, add to the pan and cook over a high heat, turning frequently, until browned all over.

Season with salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes more, then pour in the wine and cook until it has evaporated.

Add the stock, celery and carrot, lower the heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, adding more stock if necessary.

Mix the tomato puree with 1 tablespoon hot water in a bowl and stir into the pan.

Prepare the Gremolata:
Prepare the gremolata by mixing together the lemon rind and parsley in a bowl, add the mixture to the veal, turn carefully and cook for a further 5 minutes. Serves 4.

That's it!

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 Recipe: Crepes Suzette

Crepes Suzette


For the Crepe Batter:
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) plain flour
2 eggs
8 fl oz (250 ml) milk
1 oz (25 grams) butter
Vegetable oil, for brushing

For the Crepes:
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) unsalted butter
3 and 1/2 oz (100 grams) caster or superfine sugar
Juice of 1 mandarin, strained
2 fl oz (50 ml) Curacao
Vanilla sugar, for sprinkling
Cointreau or another sweet liqueur (optional)


Prepare the Crepe Batter:
Sift the flour into a bowl, add the eggs and 3-4 tablespoons of the milk and mix well.

Gradually stir in the remaining milk to make a fairly runny batter.

Melt the butter in a double boiler in a heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering water, leave to cool almost completely, then add to the batter.

Season with sugar, beat again for a few minutes with a small whisk, then leave to stand for at least 1 hour.

Brush the base of a crepe pan with oil and heat, then pour in 2 tablespoons of the batter.

Turn and tilt the pan so that the batter covers the base evenly.

Cook for 3-4 minutes until the underside is set and golden brown, then flip over with a spatula and cook the other side for about 2 minutes until golden.

Slide the crepe out of the pan on to a plate.

Make more crepes in the same way until all the batter is used. Makes 12.

Prepare the Crepes:
Cook 12 crepes, stack them, interleaved with greaseproof paper, on a plate and keep warm.

Cream the butter in a bowl, then beat in the sugar, mandarin juice and Curacao.

Spread the crepes with the mixture, fold into four and sprinkle with vanilla sugar.

Place on a serving dish and serve warm. The crepes may also be flambeed after sprinkling with Cointreau or another sweet liqueur. 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:

Italian Bishops Urge Politicians to Avoid the Limelight and Excesses

Rome - June 26, 2009 - The head of the Italian bishops conference CEI warned politicians on Friday the country wanted them to shun the limelight and avoid excesses.

In a message published by the Vatican daily Osservatore Romano, Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco said Italians and young people in particular wanted politicians to adopt "sound behavior" and to distance themselves from "din and the spotlight".

The cardinal made no direct reference to a media storm over Premier Silvio Berlusconi's private life in his speech at a CEI meeting in the southern city of Crotone. However, he voiced concern about the moral decline in the country, urging politicians to set an example for youngsters.

He called ordinary Italians "the silent multitude" who live each day "humbly and soundly" and best represent the country's essence.

Last month, the bishops conference publicly rapped Berlusconi and his wife Veronica Lario for feeding a marriage-ending spat to the media. A front-page editorial in a national newspaper, the bishops' daily, called for "a premier who, with sobriety, is able to be the mirror of his country's soul".

Leaders should largely be judged on their achievements, the newspaper said, "but the 'stuff' of a leader, his style and the values with which he concretely fills his life, are not inconsequential. They cannot be".

Bishops worrying about the moral decline of Italians and how politicians should conduct themselves. Mah...

To be serious for a moment; the cardinal is taking a rational road here but with the Italians, the bridge is out. The good cardinal forgets that the so-called moral decline is mindfully related to the Catholic Church. (Take it easy, fellow Catholics. "Calma!").

There's a sort of "mea culpa" in which it doesn't matter what you're up to, whether it's good or bad, as long as you profess your intention to improve. Italian Catholicism is all-embracing (katholikos: everyone is included), which simply means that everyone is forgiven or pardoned. There's nothing that a gentle nod towards the cassocks at Sunday Mass or judicial 'togas' can't resolve.

Italian politicians who spent their childhoods skinning animals and learning politics from a sick rooster and goat may be criminals, 99% will acknowledge as much along with the fact they are as dull as mussels, but it doesn't matter. Everything is whitewashed.

History, personal or political, is quickly forgotten.

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