Taccole in Bianco

Submitted by John on Wed, 12/09/2020 - 19:06
Sugar Snap Peas These sugar snap peas are delicious cooked "in bianco", which is to say just olive oil, onion, and white wine. You want very fresh sugar snap peas or snow peas for this, and a good white wine - not the best in your cellar, but something that you would be happy to share with guests.

Cod with Sage

Submitted by John on Wed, 12/09/2020 - 18:47

Cod with SageThis is another simple dish for a weeknight.

It's just a white fish dusted with flour and sauteed in butter in which you have also cooked some fresh sage leaves to flavor the butter, just like the Pork Chops with Butter and Sage.

I like this with cod, which responds well to many flavors, but it does get delicate when cooked, and easily broken, so this might not be a great dish to serve company for a fancy dinner. I bet it would be fine with lemon sole or gray sole. 

It's delicious on its own, but even better with an unoaked dry white wine, or a chilled dry vermouth!

Pasta ai Capperi

Submitted by John on Wed, 12/09/2020 - 18:13

Pasta with CapersHere's a simple and fast pasta dish with capers that can go with pretty much anything. It can easily be vegetarian if you omit the anchovy, and even vegan, depending on the pasta that you use.  

This is traditionally made with spaghetti, but I like to use short pasta like shells or the lumaconi shown here so the capers don't all sink to the bottom of the dish. 

Royal Clover Club

Submitted by John on Wed, 12/09/2020 - 17:40

Royal Clover Club CocktailHere's an oddball with something of a pedigree. It's named for the Clover Club of Philadelphia, a private gentlemen's club that served that city's captains of industry from the late 1800s up to about the time of Prohibition.

There's the original Clover Club Cocktail which uses an egg white, and then this "royal" version that uses the egg yolk, and this one uses lime juice instead of lemon juice. Both call for raspberry syrup, but grenadine is an allowable alternative.

Swordfish with Lemon and Capers

Submitted by John on Wed, 12/09/2020 - 17:36

Swordfish with Lemon & CapersHere's a superfast one-pan recipe for swordfish. 

Lemon and capers are common in Italian swordfish recipes because the strong flavors go well together and stand up to the strong flavor of the fish. Many other recipes include tomatoes, which also go well but which require a little more cooking time. 

Polpettone alla Modenese

Submitted by John on Wed, 12/09/2020 - 16:28
Meatloaf of Modena

This translates to "Meatloaf in the style of Modena", but it's really more like a cross between a traditional American meatloaf and a French ballotine or galantine: It has many ingredients mixed into the meat, and then it's poached in a fish poacher rather than baked.

This is traditionally served with boiled vegetables and Salsa Verde Modenese

Cape Cod Turkey

Submitted by John on Thu, 11/26/2020 - 21:38

Cape Cod TurkeyThere's no turkey in this dish! Cape Cod Turkey is a classic 18th-19th Century New England fish dish made with fresh or salt cod and dressed with white sauce and hard-boiled egg. It's a close relative of the smokey Finnan Haddie.

The version described here is made with salt cod, which would have been common in most of New England more than a short distance from the coast. Salt Cod, even after it's been freshened, has a denser, meatier texture than fresh cod. 

Swordfish alla Ghiotta

Submitted by John on Sun, 11/15/2020 - 21:17

Swordfish for the GluttonHere's another classic Sicilian presentation of their beloved swordfish, this one "for the glutton"! 

It's a pretty dish, and hearty with cherry tomatoes and green olives, suitable for company but easy enough for a weeknight.  

Rusty Nail

Submitted by John on Sun, 11/15/2020 - 20:54
Rusty Nail cocktail

I had this old classic at Leunig's Bistro in the charming Church Street plaza in downtown Burlington Vermont to celebrate Joe Biden winning back the "Blue Wall" rust belt states in 2020.

I wanted something that suits an old guy and that honors those rest belt states, and the venerable Rusty Nail was just the thing. 

Leunig's has excellent bars both upstairs and down, well stocked, and beautiful with Art Deco decor. The bartenders are knowledgeable, so of course they had the ingredients and the know-how to make this fine cocktail! 

Drambuie is a liqueur made of Scotch whiskey blended with heather honey and spices. It's quite lovely, but expensive for a home bar where it won't be used much - but it's a nice Christmas gift!

Italian Sausages and Turnips

Submitted by John on Sun, 11/15/2020 - 20:41

Sausages with TurnipsThis is a simple, homey dish, and a good combination for a ribsticking winter lunch.

Lorna had secured a big fat Eastham turnip, knowing how well I like those, so even though it's not an Italian variety, it did a great job in this dish. 

There's a lot of confusion in these parts with regard to the humble turnip. If you care about such details, I refer you to [[nodetitle:New England Heirloom Turnips & Rutabagas]]. The executive summary is this: turnips tend to be small and white inside, and the large yellow-fleshed root often referred to in New England is really a rutabaga. In the photo above there's only the Eastham turnip (white inside); the orangey pieces were colored by the sausage fat.

Trout Baked in Red Wine

Submitted by John on Sun, 11/15/2020 - 19:44
Trout Baked in Red Wine

Here's a strange and delicious dish from the mountains of Valle d'Aosta.

It's odd to see fish and red wine together. It works here, but you want to use a lighter Piedmont red like a Dolcetto or a simple Nebbiolo, or an inexpensive Pinot Noir or Chianti. 

You make a sauce by preparing a regular soffritto and cooking it in the wine, then you thicken it with a roux, so there's flavor and texture that you want to complement the trout. The fish is baked whole or headless in the skin, so when the diner takes a fish and opens it on the plate, s/he can spoon on as much or as little sauce as desired.

Potatoes in White Butter Sauce

Submitted by John on Sun, 11/15/2020 - 19:21

Potatoes in White Butter SauceHere's an easy potato dish when you want something lighter than a scalloped potatoes and more interesting than Steamed New Potatoes or Italian Roast Potatoes. Parsley, chives, and butter are all natural allies of the humble potato, and the shallots and white wine bring it to another level.

There's one tricky part to this recipe: you have to quickly peel and slice the potatoes when they are hot from boiling. To do this, I keep a bowl of cold water in the sink so I can cool off my fingers and the outisde of the potato while I work. 

Haddock with Capers

Submitted by John on Sun, 11/15/2020 - 18:46
Haddock with Tomatoes and CapersThis simple and flavorful recipe works with any white fish, including halibut and swordfish. It's great for a weeknight because it's easy, and while it's not as quick as some other recipes, you don't have to hang over the pan the whole time.

Tom Collins

Submitted by John on Sun, 11/15/2020 - 18:26

Tom CollinsThis is a really old classic, from not long after the American Civil War.

Legend has it there was a joke going around in those days, quite a fad, in which the joker would ask a victim if he knew Tom Collins. Back in the days before mass immigration and the coming of the Kowalskis, the DiFrancescos, the Sousas, the Suzukis, and the Rodriguezes, if you knew a hundred people there was a pretty good chance that you knew a Collins.

Well, the way the joke goes, Mr Collins had said something very rude about the victim, who would roll up his sleeves and storm off muttering "Why, I oughta..." before ending up in an embarrassing situation.

Like the Monkey Gland and others, the joke begat a drink, and this is it.

Pasta all'Arrabbiata

Submitted by John on Sun, 11/15/2020 - 18:00

Penne all'ArrabbiataThis pasta dish is characterized by the inclusion of a fresh chili pepper in a simple sauce of tomatoes cooked in garlic-scented oil. Arrabbiata is an Italian word for angry; that's the chili pepper. Naturally depending upon your tolerance for angry tomatoes, you can add as much chili pepper as you like. This version is quite mild, with just the taste of the pepper and very little heat.

You can use dry or fresh chilies. If you use dried chilies, don't chop them and then they are easy to remove so nobody accidentally get more than they expected.

This is traditionally served with short pasta like penne or ziti.