Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Part Six of Italian (non-pasta) Cooking

A Cold Saturday Night Bath!
Another ice carving photo today.  This one is of a "Old Fashion Clawfoot Bathtub" that they let people get in for photos.  They were suppose to use it to hold bottles or cans of beer but many wanted to try it out for size.  The young man is contemplating getting in so his parents can get picture of him in the ice bath.  I prefer a hot show myself.  Thousands of people came out for this three day event.  The weather was in the low 30's during the day and the teens at night.  A truly wonderful event.  If  you ever get a chance to go to such an ice event be sure to do it.  Everyone could watch the ice carvers work as they started several days ahead of the event opening.  They then also had ice carving demonstrations throughout the three days.  These ice carvers are very talented artists.  Next year I'll be spending more time at this event.

Now I guess I should get started on "Part Six" of "Italian Cooking."  This week I'm talking about entrees that don't have pasta as part of their ingredients.  I think most people think pasta or pizza when they think Italian food.  But that is really far from the truth.  Yes Italians love their pasta and pizza but they eat many other dishes.

Italians are big on fish and shellfish because the country has so much coastline.  I guess you get that when three sides of the country is touching water.  Much of what they like comes from what is readily available.  So they have many dishes using Anchovies, Sardines, Swordfish, Sea Bass and Red Mullet.  For shellfish they are big into Calamari or Squid, Mussels and Clams, and then Shrimp, Prawns and Scampi.

For meat, the Italians like it all.  But I'd say that veal, chicken and pork are the most used types.  They do like rabbit and pigeons too.  You may have seen the comment I received a few weeks back about pigeons.  My brothers and I raised them for a number of years.  They were tasty but because of size you had to eat several to get full.

This week I picked two recipes that I think gives a fair representation of Italian cooking.  The first is the classic "Chicken Cacciatore" which usually uses the whole chicken cut-up.  My recipe uses bone-in chicken breast.  You can adjust the recipe to fit your personal tastes.

The second recipe is for "Baked Fish with Capers & Olives" and it gives that flair they have for fish dishes.  I give you several options for the type of fish to use in this recipe.  Go with what you like and is in your budget for price.

I hope you enjoy trying these recipes and will look for other non-pasta dishes form Italy.  "Happy Cooking!"

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